Monday, August 21, 2006

Make-Believe Mondays With Cathryn Fox

Today on Make-believe Mondays I'd like to introduce Cathryn Fox. Cathryn writes erotic romance for Avon and Ellora's Cave.

Cathryn, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Cathryn: I just finished writing my Pleasure Game trilogy for Avon Red. These stores are light, humorous, sexy contemporaries. So after working on these for the last year I thought it was time to jump into something a bit darker. I am now working on a new trilogy called, The Soul Game. I absolutely love writing dark so I’m having so much fun with this. My first story, Soul Man, is about video game designer who suddenly finds herself trapped inside her own game. She, along with her computer generated character Sever, must battle ‘other world beings’ in order to save her soul or run the risk of losing it in the alternate universe forever. Here’s the website page I have set up for it.

Debra: Fascinating. I'll be watching for this one!

Mark Twain said, “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” How do you fill your creative well to keep your imagination in focus?

Cathryn: Sometimes in order for me to fill the refill the creative well I have to change focus from light contemporary, to dark paranormal. This helps me immensely. I also like to do other creative things like gardening, painting, baking with my daughter, playing soccer with my son, or having a movie marathon weekend with my hubby!

Debra: Changing from one genre to another allows us a chance to step away while still keeping that writing muscle in tune. It's amazing how quick answers come when you try that.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Cathryn: Yes, and it’s so good to know this happens to other people. For awhile there I thought psychiatric help was in order. )

Debra: You're in good company. Many writers I know have this experience.

Cathryn: When I’m deep into a story my characters are always with me, always in me. They are always speaking to me, telling me what THEY want to do next instead of me telling them what I want next. When I’m finished a book I really miss my characters. I love to go back and reread, to revisit my old friends. (You’re not calling the psyc ward are you?)

Debra: Oh, no. Never. I understand this feeling. They become friends and its hard to let them go.

Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?

Cathryn: In my dark paranormal stories I’ve created places and alternate universes and have made up names of towns and characters. Sometimes a name will just come to me, other times I struggle to get the right word to fit the character or the universe I’ve created.

Debra: Names can be tricky sometimes and they are so important.

For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Cathryn: I have the most vivid dreams. My husband and children will no longer listen to me. When I get up in the morning and tell them that I had the coolest dream last night, all I hear are groans. I do dream about my characters and what is really amazing is when I’m having trouble with a scene, really wracking my brain to figure out what is wrong, I can sometimes solve the issue when dreaming. It’s fascinating when the subconscious takes over.

Debra: There's a whole world waiting for us when we sleep, isn't there? The subconscious keeps on creating, even while we are resting. Though learning to listen to that subconscious sometimes takes practice.

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Cathryn: I read Stephen King long before I ever should have. At a young age I would sneak the books from my parents pile and read them in a quiet place. I used to scare the bejesus out of myself, but I LOVED the worlds and characters he created.

Debra: So those vivid dreams were probably present at an early age! King is such a vivid author.

If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Cathryn: I have never really written horror before, even though I read it voraciously as a child. So for this book, Soul Man, I wanted to try my hand at horror. I dug deep to create a story with many elements such as: Paranormal, Erotic, Romance, horror, suspense. I definitely think it’s outside the box!

Debra: It sounds like it! Outside the box is a good place for an author to be. So many good stories have come about when the author dared to take a chance.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?

Cathryn: Nothing is too out there, nothing is too wild. Go with it, trust yourself and you’ll be amazed at the where your imagination can take you.

Debra: Yes! Imagination is limitless if we let go and allow it.

Cathryn, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Cathryn: Thank you so much for having me here today.

Debra: You're quite welcome.

To learn more about Cathryn, visit

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