I’ll set the scene. Mom and two sons in car. Mom is dropping kids off at school. As she navigates the icy parking lot and rounds a snow bank suddenly she becomes aware of several girls on the sidewalk in front of the jr. high/high school. Kara, Kaitlin, Paradise and Jessica… They start pointing and jumping up and down.
Me: Uh oh Adam, they’re waiting for you. (in girly voice) Adam Adam Adam!
Adam (unimpressed): Uh, yeah…
I pull up to the curb and the girls run around the car. They start flashing pictures of him with their cell phones and a camera.
Mom (drily): Wow, your own paparazzi.
Adam (mortified): Man…
Mom: Here’s your lunch money, honey. Make good choices.
Adam: (large sigh, then Mom hears a silent, can I die now?)
He fights his way out of the car, hand shielding face like the big celebrities do, and literally struggles to get into school while the girls mob around him. He’s thirteen and a half.
Enough of that! Now on with Wednesday Wonder Writer, Bronwyn Green. First off I want to thank Bronwyn for being one of my first Wonder Writers. I’ve known Bronwyn for almost twenty-five years—wow that seems like a looooooong time when you write it out. She’s my critique partner and best friend, so who knows what might come up in this grilling. And here’s a little known secret, that even she doesn’t know…if she hadn’t started writing seriously, I never would have either. Because of Bronwyn I am where I am today (and indirectly, if I’ve made any impact on your life, that’s her fault too. LOL!). So without any delays…Heeeeeeeere’s Bronwyn!
Okay…typical schedule. I drag myself out of bed (not at all a morning person) at six am, stumble and grumble downstairs, shower, get my kids ready for school, drive them to school, come back pick up my daycare kids and get them off to school too, then it’s back home. Once I get here, I go through my email, answer the urgent ones, figure out what I’m going to blog about and then catch up on everyone else’s blog. After that, I try to write straight through until 3 pm except on Tuesdays when I volunteer at school) when I have to leave to pick up my kids. Once I get them home and the daycare kids get home, it’s time for homework monitoring and tutoring until the daycare kids leave around 6:30 then it’s time to make supper. I loathe cooking. After we eat, then I hang with the kids and hubby until the kids go to bed. After that, I watch the few TV shows I follow, participate in chats, write some more and/or hang with my husband until bed which is usually sometime between 11 and 12.
I set up the music play list for the story I’m working on, look at the picture pages I’ve created for the story, and glance at my story notes and start writing.
Tell me about your picture pages. What are they and how did you get started doing them? Do you have suggestions for anyone else who might want to try them.
I read an article by Jenny Crusie about creating story collages as a way of freeing the subconscious as part of the prewriting process, but I knew there was no way I’d could do a 3D creation with all of the kids and cats around, so I decided to make scrapbook pages instead. I find pictures – either in magazines or online – pictures that that represent characters, settings and incidents in the story I’m working on, and I scrapbook everything together as kind of a visual map to my story. The pages also work beautifully for helping me get back into the story after I’ve been away from it for awhile – you know for those times when life intercedes.
If you’re going to try making picture pages, gather all of your images together beforehand as well as the paper you’re going to mount them on. You may want to consider putting the pages together in a dry run before you get glue happy. Don’t worry if you’ve chosen images that don’t seem to go with your story – they’ll likely come into play later. It’s the subconscious mind at work – get out of it’s way. Weeks after I put together the pages for Guardian’s Challenge, I discovered the answer to a plot problem by looking at the pages I’d put together before I even realized there was a problem. I have a caveat though, don’t spend so much time on picture that you don’t get any actual writing done.
Do you have a favourite author or someone you look up to in the industry?
I have a lot of favorite authors – Suzanne Brockmann, Angela Knight, Dara Joy, Viginia Kantra, of course Brynn Paulin, Jennifer Armintrout and Cheryl Sterling.
What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?
I wish I could say I was quick and prolific…and sometimes I am, but really I’m all over the place.
Right now, I’m working on Guardian’s Challenge which is the sequel to Overlord’s Vessel and another called Moonlit Magic for an anthology with Brynn Paulin, Carol Lynne and Lacey Thorn.
Ooooh! Tell me about the anthology, Brynn said, pretending she knew nothing about it.
Well, Carol [Lynne], Lacey [Thorn], Brynn and I are writing a series of connected stories for an anthology called Legend that will be coming out from TEB in June. There are five interconnected stories that have the common thread of a necklace found in a bottle in the ocean. Once the finder of the necklace discovers his or her own happy ending, the necklace is thrown back into the ocean for someone else to find.
How many books have you had published and for whom?
Definitely Paranormal. I love mixing the magical and mundane.
Mystic Circle just came out with Ellora’s Cave. Can you tell us about the book and how you got the idea?
Well, it’s an erotic romance crossed with a paranormal murder mystery…take one disgruntled cop, a sexy psychic and a psychotic serial killer and mix well. I decided to write the book when several friends demanded that the detective in Best Laid Plans get his own story. Since Jack is such a pragmatic guy I knew his heroine needed to be a little…um…different
When Becca stood up Jack for what promised to be the hottest one night stand of her life, she never expected to see him again. As the years have passed, he’s haunted her dreams and occasionally her psychic visions. After another vision reveals a kidnapping, she must go to the police. Instead of saving a life, she becomes the prime suspect.
Detective Jack Duritz, is investigating in a series of ritualistic murders. He never expected his investigation to lead him to the woman who’s starred in too many of his fantasies. Becca claims to be psychic, but he doesn’t believe a word of it. Soon, however, it becomes clear that Becca is the next victim and Jack is the only person who can protect her. He must keep her close, but he finds himself keeping her far closer than any investigation would require.
After playing several exciting rounds of “Change My Major” in college, I discovered I loved writing and decided to go with an English degree. Of course, once I graduated I chickened out until after I’d gotten married and had my kids. I started writing seriously in 1999. In 2003, I was having what I thought was great luck with a large New York publisher who would write me lovely revision letters saying, we’d love to offer you a contract on this book, but could you change X, Y, and/or Z first? Like a moron, I did this four times before I was bumped to another editor and the book was summarily rejected. This process took over two years. Frustrated, I decided to try my hand at erotic romance and submitted a story to Ellora’s Cave in July of 2006. In October, I got the electronic call. In the meanwhile, I changed the other story back the way I wanted it and submitted it to Cerridwen Press – it sold within a week.
Six years is a long time to wait for the call. How did you keep going? How did it shape you into the writer you are now? And is there anything you’d differently?
It is a long time to wait and it was downright depressing and frustrating at times, but I have the world’s best support system. I honestly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today without my friends. I wish I could tell you that the long wait taught me the virtue of patience…but not so much. As for things I’d do differently, I don’t think I would have done my Fifi the Wonder Poodle impression by leaping through the flaming hoops of repeated revisions. I think I would have moved beyond that New York publisher a whole lot sooner than I did.
You mentioned earlier that there are a few TV shows that you watch. Which ones and why?
On Monday night, I watch Medium. I absolutely adore this show. It’s the perfect mix of the mystical and mundane. The main character is a psychic soccer mom who solves crimes/mysteries. One of the things I love best about the show is how realistically written her family life is.
On Tuesday night I watch Bones and House. I started watching Bones because it came on before House, but then I discovered I’m a sucker for forensic crime solving, sexual tension and clever dialogue. House…what’s not to love – a medical mysteries, a dysfunctional misanthrope, fascinating vignettes about human nature and brilliant dialogue.
Also, I’m always up for Buffy on dvd – but that’s no secret. 🙂
OOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhhh you’re EVIL. Okay…the story of Buffy the Musical. Once upon a time, Brynn Paulin, Jennifer Armintrout, Cheryl Sterling and I were at a romance writers conference in Chicago. Jen and I had big plans to sing Buffy karaoke that evening with some friends who weren’t Brynn or Cheryl (Cheryl because she didn’t know the lyrics and Brynn because she hates Buffy) and we’d been wandering around the conference humming the songs all day. While in an elevator (and despite the repeated warnings by Brynn) we broke into full blown song.
There we were, Jen, Cheryl and I (Brynn had wisely abandoned us earlier) in an elevator, Jen and I singing Going Through the Motions at the top of our lungs (complete with the dance steps) when the elevator doors whooshed open. Standing there, waiting for the elevator was the one editor we were all there to pitch our stories to. He stared wide-eyed, his mouth dropped open and he backed up, an expression of pure horror on his face.
Our voices stuttered into silence and we shifted, giggling nervously. Jen informed him that we were going up and we visibly made room for him. He shook his head in that kind of slow motion you only see in horror movies and announced that he’d wait for the next car. Yeah…we can sure make an impression.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Wow…I wish I had something really clever or brilliant to share, but I’ve got nothing!
Last question… Coke or Pepsi?
Dear God, Coke! Pepsi is vile.
Her eyes flew open and she pinned him with her shiny gaze. “It’s the truth.”
He shook his head. “The only way you could possibly have these details is if you participated.”
She shot to her feet. “I would never harm anyone. I certainly wouldn’t torture a person and carve into her flesh.”
Bingo. He had her. “You didn’t mention that little detail earlier.”
“I saw it while I was waiting for someone to pick up the phone. I saw her tied to…something…and then he cut her.”
“Who is he?” Jack asked.
“I have no idea.”
He tried a different tack. “What did he look like?”
She shook her head helplessly. “I don’t know. His features were blurred out like the street signs. It was as if he’d warded himself.”
“It’s the metaphysical equivalent of being in disguise. I think he shielded himself somehow.”
“With a magic spell?” Jack couldn’t keep the incredulity from his voice.
Becca looked away, her lips compressed as if she refused to say anything else. She slung a huge patchwork bag over her shoulder and pushed her feet into a pair of sandals near the desk.
Studying her, he rose and slipped his jacket on. The corners of her mouth turned downward and resignation dulled her eyes. Remorse pummeled him. What the hell was he feeling guilty about?
It didn’t matter that this woman seemed fragile and lost. Defeated. He wasn’t about to feel sorry for her. She’d just sat here and lied to him about one of the more brutal murders he’d ever seen.
She cleared her throat. “I’m guessing this is the part where you take me downtown.”
No question about that. He just needed to figure out how he wanted to play this. Be her friend, stop and get her some coffee, coax her into confiding in him? Or scare it out of her?
Sighing, he pinched the bridge of his nose, in an attempt to stave off the throbbing behind his eyes. He didn’t have the patience to play nice. The scent of spilled blood still lingered in his nostrils and the victim’s expression of unmitigated terror was seared onto his brain.
Becca stared at him expectantly, then turned around. She placed her wrists together behind her back, offering herself to him. Her shoulders straightened as she awaited her fate. She looked like goddamn Joan of Arc headed for the stake.