Today on Make-Believe Mondays, I'm pleased to introduce my friend, Angela Steed.
Angela, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you're working on now.
Angela: My latest work is a paranormal story about a vampire - a four hundred year old man in denial of who he is. He believes he was cursed by the mistress who turned him. As he learns about a cure in a certain family bloodline, he waits in the shadows of night until the time is right to fulfill his destiny. Little does he know that the one holding the cure for his illness is the woman he cares about most.
I actually wrote it about four years ago so it's finished. I'm just doing a rewrite to make it less horror fiction and more enticing to the romance genre. It's kind of sad to do because I love this story - but I'll admit it needs a bit "revamped" for love and not gore.
Debra: Sounds like a major rewrite and sometimes that is harder than simply writing a new story. Especially when dealing with two different genres. But some stories just won't let us go.
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 well filled?Angela: First of all, that's a great line by Mr. Bradbury. I think when authors first start "tipping", sometimes they make a mess. I know I have a few. The trick is to clean it up, start again, and work until you get something beautiful. A perfect cup of java would be wonderful!
Debra: Yes, we need to give ourselves to permission to be messy, to play with the writing.
Angela: Music has been a huge influence on my life and my work. My older brother is the one who really got me into music as a child. I used to listen to his 8-track tapes, showing my age there, of John Denver after school. When he was out with his friends, I'd sneak into his room and play his Van Halen records, get my tennis racket out and play air guitar like I was some rock star. Hehe, I'm not sure if he ever knew that.
Debra: Well, if he reads this, he will know! Ha ha ha.
Angela: Another creative addition is the real world itself. There are so many stories going on that it's absolutely unbelievable! I research news sites every day and read about incredible people. There is unlimited product for an author to write about. Mix it in with little unworldly things, and wa-la -you've got your next paranormal novel. My saying is, "the more you look around at the real world, the fancier your mind will be."
Debra: I like that saying.
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Angela: They come to life before I start writing! I visualize, kind of like a movie, the way they act, sound, and the things they say from beginning to almost the ending. In 1080 Kiss was a lot of fun to create their disagreements and listen to their arguments like I was actually there. Sometimes I wanted to smack them both. I really get into the story. :)
Debra: Yes, makes you wonder who is in charge then, doesn't it? ;-)
Angela: I respect authors that have that kind of perseverance to write a new language. I've always thought it's be interesting to do, but I never have.
Debra: 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?
Angela: Absolutely! I have always had the wildest dreams. Indeed there are many scenes throughout my books that have been dreamt. For instance, in 1080 Kiss there's a part where the main character, Morgan, is dumped by a jerk at a look-out point on top of the snowy mountain where the story mainly takes place. She's about to freeze to death and becomes worried that there are wolves tracking her. She breaks down and calls Vince, her love interest, to come pick her up, but he swears there are no wolves on the mountain. When they're both back in the truck ready to leave, they find the wolves, standing where she's sat waiting on him, eyes shining in the headlights. That scene is one of my favorites.
Debra: Oh, I like that scene! We should always listen to intuition.
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
Angela: I read the Darksword Trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman when I was a teenager. I fell so much in love with the story, that I spent my entire time at the school library reading. It inspired me more than any other book that I've read before or since.
Debra: 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?
Angela: A romantic comedy sci-fi horror called My Zombie Boyfriend from Outer Space. Actually, the thought has been rolling around in my head for a while. I might just get started on it after I'm done with my vampire novel!
Debra: Yes, I think you should!
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?
Angela: Don't ever give up on writing if that's what you love to do. It is endless, the possibilities when writing fiction. Whatever your mind can think up, write it down. And never, ever give up on your dreams.
Debra: Good advice. Angela, thank you for joining us here on Make-Believe Mondays to share a bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
Angela: Thanks so much for having me here. I really enjoyed answering your questions.
Debra: It was my pleasure.
Angela: Add me as a friend on MySpace:
I’ll be having a contest soon, so subscribe to my blog as well.
1080 Kiss will be available November 1st. Check back mid-October at http://www.blacklyonpublishing