There are 5 weeks in June, August, and November this year. Which means my four week schedule is interrupted because of dead Caesars. Which means this week is a FREE FOR ALL!
So this week, I've decided to do an Ask the Author.
I occasionally answer questions on Goodreads and have reenacted them here. I think they are very good answers worth taking a look at. They range from process to what I read.
So if you're interested in the life of an author, keep reading!
What books are on your summer reading list this year?
SOFT WEAR by Marilyn Lakewood
HUSBAND FOR HIRE by Patricia A. Knight
CHIEF by Kris Michaels
STORM RUNNERS by Nara Malone
The whole EROGENOUS ZONE series by Brandi Evans
What mystery in your own life could be a plot for a book?
My books are an extension of my life. Things I've encountered or experienced are within the stories I write. But a mystery in my own life? Fortunately, I have no murder mysteries to speak of. But I could tell you about the mystery of the lost keys, or the mystery of the lost $20 bill. They'd be a whirlwind romance that would end in HEA.
Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
As of March, 2017, the most recent book idea was Marilyn Lakewood's challenge to write a dragon story. I'm writing this one for her. :) Love you Marilyn!
How do you get inspired to write?
Inspired? Seriously? No, no, no, when you have murderous creatures in your head whispering they want their story out in the wild, it's not inspiration, it's survival.
What are you currently working on?
My friend, Marilyn Lakewood, challenged me to a dragon story. I accepted. I'm writing that now :)
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
I really wish I could help them understand that, while plagiarism is out there, it's no excuse not to show your work, not collaborate or not share. You're story is awesome, I'm sure, but it's not what I want to write. I want to write my own stories. And my stories will be exactly the way I want them. So why would I copy yours?
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Being able to shut-up these people in my head.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Ahhh...writer's block. The nemesis. Writer's block can be a bane, but I've found there are 3 different types of writer's block. Not all of them bad. At least for me. Empty, Buzzed and Plot Problems. Let me explain.
EMPTY - This is when I've written and written and written and there's just nothing left. This happens to me when I've finished a book, look around for the next one to write and...nothing. Nada. Zilch. I've got bupkis.
SOLUTION: Nothing. I don't write. I take a break. I watch movies. Read books. Let my mind rest because the creative process does not just run on coffee and see's candies. Blasphemy! Yes, I know, but imagine your heart bleeding out all its desires, fears, wants and dreams. Once all of that is purged into a book, why would you think there was anything left? Take a nap. Don't be afraid. The muse will come back.
BUZZED - This is when I've been writing and writing and my head is so fuzzy I'm not sure where to go next. I don't feel empty, I feel buzzed. Like a little drunk, and swimming. This happens because BICHOK. But-In-Chair-Hands-On-Keyboard. I've been thinking and thinking and I just can't think anymore.
SOLUTION: Take a walk, a drive, talk to friends on the phone. I get my mind out of the game of writing. Take a nap. Anything to stop thinking. I allow the unconscious mind to work it out. I've even been known to start another project and come back to that one because my mind needs time to work it out.
PLOT PROBLEMS - This happens when I'm working away and then I peter out. Like I get the characters somewhere and things come to a screeching, brick wall halt. THAT is my unconscious mind saying YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG DIRECTION. This happens most, when I don't make a complete outline. This is the tough writer's block and the one most people are asking about when they say, "How do you deal with writer's block?" What writer's are really asking is, "How do I finish this book without doing an outline?" 99% of every writer I've known who asks the get rid of writer's block question has not completed their outline for the story. Shoot me, call yourself a pantser, but the truth is, no outline means meandering. I am a notorious pantser. I will start an outline, get excited, start the book before finishing the outline because all the wonderful scenes are coming and then...where do we go from here? Yes, I'm just as bad. But the good news is I have suggestions if you're just stuck and can't even get working on the outline. Or most likely, don't want to. Don't ask me how I know.
SOLUTION: I have many solutions and find that each book gives me a challenge on how to fix it so, I'll tell you what I've done in the past.
#1 - A solution I do, which I don't recommend, is reading what I have. This allows me to find things in the story that a reader might have questions on. That in turn jars something loose and lets me work on it.
#2 - I have been known to write a different POV in the same story.
#3 - I have chosen a manga and emulated it, making it subject to my world and characters. If I'm writing a fantasy, I draw on the characters inspirations. For instance when writing Dr. Vampyre, the main characters were modeled after real people. I observed those real people and took sections of their life and applied it to the story. I didn't copy what happened. I took a facet of their life, twisted it and figured out how my characters would solve the problem.
#4 - What has been most effective has been a simple question. "What is the worst thing that could happen to my characters in the situation they are in now?" Is it a meteor hitting the earth? Is it them breaking up? Is it one dying? Write that. I don't always include that situation in the book, but I no longer have writer's block.
#5 - When all else fails, I take a nap. Fresh and awake, I try to work on the outline.
Hope this helps!
Until next time!