Monday, February 11, 2008
Make-Believe Mondays With Adrianna Dane
Today on Make-Believe Mondays our guest is Adrianna Dane.
Adrianna, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you're working on now.
Adrianna: Wow, at any given moment I'm usually working on several projects. Right now at the forefront would be:
--drafting the second Zytarri story tentatively titled Huntress Queen. This is a series about an alien vampire culture.
--a new, full-length novel in my Vampyre Falls series about a vampire and a lethal DNA-spliced creature known as a Spinner.
--a second edit on an erotic contemporary gay romance titled Hidden Impact.
--a scifi erotic romance tentatively titled Sidra's Song which is related to my Argadian Rebellion series.
You don't want to know what's waiting for my attention on the back burner. One thing I've never had a problem with is coming up with story ideas. It's harnessing the muse into a workable manner that takes focused effort.
Debra: So many story ideas, so little time. Yes I know how that can be. :-)
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?
Adrianna: Keeping the cup filled hasn't been a real problem for me. But focus can be. I'm a member of a small brainstorming group with several other very talented authors and we try to keep each other centered. We call ourselves Servants of the Muse (www.servantsofthemuse.com) and we help each other through the highs and lows that encompass an author's daily life. Be that breaking a block, sharing a success, hugs in personal tragedy, unraveling a plot knot, or whatever, a wonderful support system of friends such as this can help to keep that cup filled and overflowing with energy and creativity. It's like you've got this circle of girlfriends all holding your hand tight while you try to navigate your way. You know you're not alone. These ladies are my lifeline to sanity.
Debra: You're very fortunate to have found such a group. So many authors struggle alone.
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?
Adrianna: Oh yes. I play with language all the time. Take for example my science fiction series with Amber Quill Press, The Argadian Heart. I actually have a glossary of terms for this series. You can find it on my website.
In Body Parts, my gothic/horror paranormal/dark romance story with Loose Id, which was just released, I create an electrophasm machine. That's purely a made-up word.
I first learned to do this in a fiction writing class I took a long time ago. We did a lot with mixing and matching of words, using them in different ways, switching letters around to create new words. It's a very freeing experience and I think it makes creativity even more fluid and versatile. I love making up new words.
Debra: What fun, to play with language in such a way. Yes, I believe in can be freeing, even if the play we do as we create our stories is never seen by anyone.
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?
Adrianna: Definitely. Again, I do this all the time. Many times I'll go to sleep at night thinking of a particular story or theme and wake up with either a full-fledged story or a very vivid scene. I had that happen with Nights in White Satin, which is just one example. Ruthless Acts pulled together in a dream sequence. I woke up this morning with a story plot and several scenes which I've had to jot down before I lose them. For me, it's more the rule than the exception. Even if I don't know what a particular dream means, I keep a dream journal to refer back later. Every symbol is important, so I try to be careful to write everything down. Some of the dreams will be developed later into full-fledged stories that may not be on the front-burner right now.
Debra: So many authors keep dream journals. The dream world is such a rich one and so full of symbolism.
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?
Adrianna: Actually, I do that all the time. My latest "problem genre" was Body Parts. Definitely a story difficult to categorize. It's erotic romance, yet it doesn't quite follow the rules and comes more under the heading of dark romance. It's gothic, with traces of horror. The relationships within the story in many cases fall under the heading of GLBT. It's not an easy story to categorize, but it is the story that I needed to tell. Thank God, my editor was willing to work with me.
I've had several instances of reviewers commenting that my stories don't follow the rules. But they are the stories that need to be told. That's where the magic is.
Debra: Yes, and when a story needs to be told, well, it can be quite insistant.
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?
Adrianna: Many people think that imagination is simply a gift and either you have it or you don't. I'm not sure I agree with that. Imagination and creativity sometimes hide and they have to be wooed out of that secret place and it does take time to seduce them into the light. A person who says they don't have any imagination simply hasn't learned the art of wooing the muse. At least not yet. Some days the muse can be more contrary than others.
Dreams are the same. They need to be worked with. Opening our minds to the Universe and allow a door to open and reveal what's on the other side is sometimes frightening. But in my opinion, well worth embarking of the adventure.
Debra: I think we are all born with massive imaginations and as children we either protect them or have them squashed out of us. I think when an adult says they don't have any imagination it's because they lost it somewhere along the way and don't know how to connect with it again. This to, me is a very sad thing.
And you are right, in that it can be quite frightening to open ourselves up to dreams and those things that seem to be on the other side.
Adrianna, thank you for joining us here on Make-Believe Mondays.
Adrianna: Thanks for having me here, Debra.
Readers can visit Adrianna at
Debra's News/Debra is watching:
Well, it has been an exciting week since I last reported in. We had tornados here in Memphis and several people lost their lives. Lightning hit the pole in front of our house and we were without power from Tuesday to Thurday. We were the only ones on the street hit, but there were whole sections of Memphis without power and there were looters as some houses were condemned. We were lucky the only thing we had to deal with was no heat or hot water or way to fix a hot meal. There is something about being in a dark silent house with candle light that our modern way of living has lost. (I can look at it romantically now that my feet are warm.) ;-)
Tuesday I had received an email from my editor. The subject line said first round edits. I have an iphone, so I could read this message, but couldn't open it because the file was too big. So it was a relief on Thursday evening to finally be able to open it. For the rest of this month I will be hard at work on edits.
And hopefully there won't be any more excitement here for a while.
AT2 sister, Gina Black is doing her last book giveaway over on her blog. This week, the book is The Raven's Revenge, her ebook that was just released in December. Pop over to The Gina Channel to get in on the action.
Over on Title Wave this week, on Wednesday, Gina is going to blog: "Valentine's Day Boycott -- Counterpunch" and on Friday, Jeanmarie is blogging on style changes.