Saturday, November 10, 2007

Make-believe Mondays With Maya Banks

Today on Make-Believe Mondays our guest is Maya Banks.

Debra: 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?

Maya: Lots of daydreaming!

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

Maya: I often have to propose a story to sell and then go forward with a different story until the “time slot” for the proposed book comes up, so I have a whole lot of people running around my head at any given point. It gets crowded in there and they like to talk to me at night when I’m trying to sleep. I get up often to write down entire passages of dialogue because if I don’t then it’s gone and I can’t get it back.

Debra: Oh, yes. That's why an author has to keep pen and paper nearby at all times. Many people keep dream journals as well. 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?

Maya: I dream entire books. Not kidding. I’ve had a couple where the dream was like a movie or as though I was reading a book. Other times I’ll just dream a snippet and it’s so powerful that it stays with me the entire next day. I’ve built stories around that “feeling” or that idea represented in the dream. I probably get more ideas from dreams than any other avenue.

Debra: 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?

Maya: I love to daydream. I love to night dream. As stated above, most of my ideas are from dreams. When I get stuck in a story, my solution is often to go to bed and lay there in that hazy place between sleep and waking and let my mind go free. I love to play the what if game. I love to dream big. The act of creating a story, a whole new world, is addicting. It’s a wonderful experience to share that creation with readers because then they get to step into that dream world for a few hours. (website) (blog)

Maya, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers. (Note to my readers: Make-Believe Mondays will be on holiday until Dec. 10th. Readers who wish to see my itinerary can visit my other blog on


Monday, November 05, 2007

Make-Believe Mondays With J.A. Konrath

Today on Make-Believe Mondays our guest
is J.A. Konrath.

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

J.A.: I'm doing NaNoWriMo (National
Novel Writing
and hope to start and
finish Jack
Daniels Book #7. It will be tough,
every weekend this month I’m out
of town, doing book
promo. But I
promised myself if I don’t make the 50k
word quota, I’m shaving my head and
posting a video of
it on YouTube.

Debra: Now that would be something to see! Great motivation. ;-)

J.A.: I’m writing this one without an outline, but I have a

pretty good idea where I want it to go. Basically a lot of sex, a lot of violence, a race against the clock, and a Super Suprise Shocker Ending. (Note to self: Think up some sort of Super Surprise Shocker Ending.)

Debra: Well, I can't wait to see what you come up with.

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?

J.A.: In a recent short story I used the sentence “His false teeth
slupped out from between his lips.” The editor made me change it to
“slipped,” the grahzny bratchny.

Debra: hahaha. And slupped was such a good word. I can even hear
that happening. Slipped? Nah, too quiet. Sounds like they snuck

J.A.: As a fiction writer, my goal is to tell the story in the best way possible. Sometimes that

means playing with grammar, or words, or POV. In several of my books, I’ve ha chapters that were only a sentence or two long. In my new book (AFRAID, coming 2009 from Grand Central) I don’t have any chapters at all---there are no breaks. In my next Jack Daniels book (FUZZY NAVEL, coming 2008 from Hyperion), I describe eight hours in real time, hopping into the heads of eight different characters.

If it makes the story better, I do it, rules be fricked.

Debra: Thank you God, for authors who know how to play.

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?

J.A.: Funy you should mention that, because I've done it. Twice.
On, you can download two of my unpublished books for
The first, ORIGIN, is about the US Government holding Satan
in a secret underground research facility. The second, THE LIST, is
about clones of Thomas Jefferson, Joan of Arc, Abe Lincoln, Jack
the Ripper, and others, in a plot to start WWIII.
Neither sold
because they crossed too many genres, containing elements of
horror, thriller, sci-fi, and liberal doses of romance and humor.

Of course, your localbookstore doesn't have a

SciFi/Horror/Humor/Thriller/Romance section, so the books didn’t
sell. Or maybe they didn’t sell because they suck. Download them,
read them, and let me hear your opinions. You can also (for a
limited time) download a free ebook version of my first Jack
Daniels thriller, WHISKEY SOUR. That also straddles genres (funny
mysteries and scary thrillers) but it fits nicely in the
Mystery/Thriller section, so no one complained.

Debra: I will definately look for them and I doubt very much that
they suck. (But it is nice to hear another published author say
that because I think we all feel that way sometimes about our
work.) And how cool that your first book is available to all. So,
you heard it readers, and here's your chance to test an e-book if
you've never tried one!

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

J.A.: Thank you! But next time, I get to ask the questions…

Debra: Sounds Like a fair deal. ;-)