Monday, October 20, 2008
Male-Believe Mondays with Mima
Today, on Make-Believe Mondays, my guest is Mima.
Mima, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.
Mima: I have twelve manuscripts in my wip file. A year ago this would have sent me into a gibbering pile of drool. I’ve really grown as a writer this past year, my first as a professional.
The two I’m most focused on right this second are a paranormal contemporary with a chick lit feel titled Deep Water and a dark, dark, dark gladiator-style futuristic currently called Torpor. In both cases, it’s the heroines that really excite me, although of course creating heroes worthy of them is also fun.
In terms of editing, I’m officially working on a feline shapeshifter anthology, Half-were House, at Liquid Silver Books.
Debra: I know just what you mean. Not long ago I listed the various works in progress I had going and was quite surprised at how many I'd started. My muse is a giddy child who wants to play more than one thing and I have to learn to tell her, this one today and if you are good we'll play that one tomorrow. ;-)
Great titles, BTW.
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Mima: If they don’t, I drop that story. I can’t write unless the characters are real to me. Plus, I have a trick where I put a little bit of me (mostly my problems) into my heroines. So Amaya (Alpha Within) had my yearning for the exotic, KarRa (Wild Within) had my bitterness over betrayal. When even one line in a critical scene is autobiographical, it helps make the women real to me. I can pull on that emotion so much easier.
Debra: My guess is, this is true of most of the better fiction out there. The author has to put bits of themselves or things they've seen and experienced for the stories to even come close to holding truths. It's a good idea to drop the ones that don't seem real.
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?
Mima: Well, when you write scifi and fantasy, your options just pretty much are limitless. Then you get to play in the world of Let’s Make Shit Up. I think it’s helpful if you choose terms that sound plausible in our world, and just twist them in unique ways. The terms “elite” and “craft,” for example, carry specific connotations, but you don’t want to be trite. I like to try to use those common words, but invent new definitions for what they are and how they function in my non-earth worlds.
I have a series at Samhain where there are Singers and Elite. Singers can work aspects of the natural world with psychic powers, and Elite are cybernetic, technologically-enhanced humans who can also manipulate the physical world. My Bonded series at Liquid Silver has a world where everyone can manipulate one of six elements. This ability is called “craft.”
Debra: I've always been interested in this word play when authors create worlds. We certainly see more of it in fantasy and sci-fi than anywhere else. There's a certain freedom allowed authors of those genres.
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
Mima: Alice in Wonderland and The Secret Garden were two classics I read young, and they had a HUGE impact. When I was older, books like Jacob Have I Loved, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and A Ring of Endless Light were probably read, oh, about 100 times. I liked the depressing stuff because I was DEEP. (snicker)
On a lighter note, the series I was most into was the Choose Your Own Adventures. And then I discovered Harlequin in high school and was pretty much locked in on happy endings.
Debra: Alice in Wonderland and Island of the Blue Dolphins were two of my favorites too. I was actually thinking of Alice and Wonderland just the other day and wondering how it would read now that I'm an adult. :-)
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?
Mima: That’s the beauty of epublishers. They give you this freedom, because there are more readers out there who don’t require expectations than NY thinks there are. I already have written my wildest flights of imagination, and now can’t imagine writing anything else. I suppose the most genre-busting story I’ve written is In Service, a scifi-action-erotic-intrigue-romance out at Loose Id.
Debra: Mima, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
Mima: Thanks so much Debra! I invite readers who want to see my title list, latest news, reviews, and excerpts to visit
Debra's News/Debra is Watching:
Galleys for A Desperate Journey are in! They just came in this weekend and that is another exciting first for me to celebrate.
I'm also at work on a new western and beginning to plan my conference and book signing schedule for 2009. Once I'm done, I'll post the calendar events on my website.