Today on Make-Believe Mondays our guest is Antonia Pearce.Debra: Antonia, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you're working on now.
Antonia: I'm working on a number of projects right now. I have an erotic suspense with paranormal elements trilogy called, Nemesis: The Legacy, Nemesis: The Wraith and Nemesis: The Successor in the works, also and erotic contemporary called, "Rub Me Right," and erotic paranormal called tentatively, "Windward Destiny" and a Celtic/Gael inspired Medieval fantasy with a working title of "Sword." When I become blocked on one story or get an idea for a scene for a different story, I have to switch. Unfortunately, the only way I can stay true to one story is when I am meeting a tight deadline.
Debra: Yes, it's a great way to keep from getting blocked. And it's always nice to know I'm not the only one who works on multiple manuscripts in this way.
Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?
Antonia: Reading books, watching people around me, movies, music, just living life. I never have a problem coming up with a new idea for a story, unless the parameters for that story are extremely narrow or center on something I know nothing about. My husband says I "do the 'what if' scenarios." Yes, duh, I'm a writer, that's how I write my stories. Years ago, in my other life, I was a nurse. If you are a nurse and don't plan for contingencies your patients could be in real trouble and how would you know what those might be? I'm a "what-ifer" and proud of it!
Now, letting "the beautiful stuff out," that's the real trick, isn't it? As I said before, I have no problem getting halfway through a story. Then I'll usually hit a wall and I have to push a bit to get going again. I don't outline, but I do always know where I want to go.
Debra: Those murky middles that so many of us strufggle with. "What if" is the way all my stories start too. :) I agree it is a thing to be proud of.
For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or image that later wound up in one of your books?
Antonia: Oh, absolutely. I have used characters, concepts, plot devices or even whole scenes that I got from a dream. The trick is getting them in the computer before I forget the details.
Debra: Yes, that's the tricky part. Holding on to them once we wake.
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
Antonia: The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett was quite memorable. The imagery of that story stays with me today. Also, the Bobbsey Twins mysteries, the Trixie Beldon mysteries, the Nancy Drew mysteries. Also, the Cherry Ames nurse series. I was always in an imaginary world, LOL. Usually hunting for a real mystery. Then I discovered Georgette Heyer, Barbara Cartland, and Gothic romances when I was about eleven or twelve…
Debra: The Secret Garden is a wonderful story.
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?
Antonia: One I love to explore is the death experience. Is a dead character really finished? Or can they stay in the story? What is death? What are ghosts? My fantasy story, "Sword" pretty much pushes the boundaries with this. Plus, it has the whole Celtic/Medieval ambiance going on and lots of horses, swords and sword fighting. I adore swashbucklers and paranormals, so this is going to be my version of that combination.
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?
Antonia: Control your internal editor. It can stop the creative process dead in its tracks. Don't let that cool dream or that great story idea go to waste because you tell yourself it's dumb, or you think person X might not like it. Also, you have to be willing to let your imagination do its job. It's a scary thing to do and you may face criticism from critique partners, reviewers, editors, etc. No question about it. You are putting yourself out there on a limb. You have to learn to sort through the negative things and use the constructive points to improve your writing and marketability and put the rest away.
I'd love to hear from readers.
I'm online at my website, http://www.antoniapearceromance.com
At my blog: http://antoniapearceromance.blogspot.comAnd on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/antoniapearce
Debra: Antonia, that is such excellent advice. Thank you for joining us here on this Make-Believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
Antonia: Thank you again for inviting me, Debra! What great questions! It's been a pleasure visiting with you and your readers.
Debra: Thanks, Antonia. It has been my pleasure as well.