Monday, July 30, 2007

Make-Believe Mondays With Brenda Williamson

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

Brenda: By day, I'm working on the edits for A DESPERATE LONGING, a romantic suspense that comes out August 14th from Samhain Publishing. It's about a woman that was attacked by a stalker and is a bit nutty until she meets a man that she falls in love with.

Debra: Now I am curious about what way she is nutty. LOL Guess I'll have to wait and read the book, right? ;)

Brenda: By night, I'm writing a story about an empress that is pleasured by eunuchs because her husband has neglected her, but this is unfulfilling. Then her husband dies and she meets a man, that really satisfies her.

If it’s not obvious, I write a lot of erotic romance.

Debra: Well, yes... LOL

Brenda: At this very moment, I'm working on three things: a) plotting and starting to write the fourth book in my demon-hunting soccer mom series, DEJA DEMON, b) finishing a proposal for a new paranormal romance series, (which DESPERATELY needs a title), and c) putting together a proposal for a project that I'm hoping will come to fruition, but is still in such an early stage that it may not get off the ground. Fingers crossed! (Okay, a quick amendment ... the proposals are out the door! Yay! So now I'm focusing on the demon series, working on the next book and updating the series bible.)

Debra: So many manuscripts so little time. :) Congrats on getting the proposals out.

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?

Brenda: I think Bradbury is right and it's not something that you actively do. Your cup is always being filled simply by being in the world around you. Going to the store, playing with your kids, reading books, taking long walks, sitting in a dark theater with a bag of popcorn! I think with regard to storytelling in particular, so much creativity spins off of the simple question: What if? If you're open and let yourself go from there, you can come up with any number of wonderful takes to tell!

Debra: That's the big question...the "what if?"

Brenda: The harder part, I think, of Bradbury's quote: tipping over and letting the good stuff out. I think that's what stymies a lot of potential authors. I know that I had hundreds of false starts in fiction, and a lot of that stemmed from a basic shyness in my personality. I wanted to write, but I didn't necessarily want to reveal myself. And even if you're writing about superheroes or psychotic killers or demon hunting soccer moms, a little bit of you will always seep into a story. It wasn't until I was finally able to get over that hurdle of letting other people (my mom, my friends) read my stuff, that I was able to step back and seriously think about trying to get it published.

Debra: Yes, sometimes we have to write through the messy part to get to the gold.

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?

Brenda: I've woken from dreams and went straight to my computer to write down everything I remember. Unfortunately, I don't always capture the tone that the dream has and I ended up with nonsense. But some bits of the dreams always work into a new story.

Not really. I tend to remember my dreams, and if I do remember them, they're usually more Lovecraftian than I tend to write. :)

Debra: And that would be a different kind of story. LOL

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

Brenda: Oh my gosh, yes! I was so influenced as a kid. Madeleine L'Engle and A Wrinkle in Time and it's sequels, Half Magic and all the other books by Edward Eager, Paul Zindel, Paula Danziger, Judy Blume, Zilpha Keatly Snyder, E.L. Konigsburg, Shel Silverstein. Man, I could go on forever!

Debra: So could I. :)

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?

Brenda: I already use the wildest imagination. I write what I like, figuring someone out there will have the same taste I do. My wildest story has yet to find a home. It borders taboo and is about a tiger shape-shifter in the tropics, cursed by a voodoo priestess. A woman is ship wrecked on his island and while the tiger in him wants her for sexual breeding, the man in him falls in love with a woman.

Honestly, I'm writing them! If you look at my book history, you can see that I've had a very varied past within women's fiction. I've been very fortunate that the ideas I've pitched have sold. That's not to say there haven't been rejections along the way - there most definately have - but I don't feel like there's some story out there that's the book of my heart just waiting for the market to open up and let me write it.

Debra: I'm always pleased to hear an author say she is using her imagination in the largest way possible and not allowing the market to shrink wrap it.

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?

Brenda: Just that it's important to follow your dreams!
I'd love to hear from readers. I'm online at my website,

Chat with me at

And on MySpace:

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

Thanks for having me!


Make-Believe Mondays will pause August 11th to the 22nd while I travel through Scotland. We will resume on the 27th.

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