Monday, November 17, 2008
Make-Believe Mondays With J.K. Coi
Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is J.K. Coi.
J.K. first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.
J.K.: Having recently finished my third book in the Immortal series, Dark Immortal (due for release in the new year), I have turned my attention to the fourth book, Forever Immortal.
This series is about a band of immortal warriors charged with the responsibility of keeping the world safe from demons. Book 4 is about Gideon. He’s one of the newer Immortals, and one night his inexperience in the face of a very dangerous demon cost the life of an innocent human bystander. It’s a mistake that will torment him for the next five years.
Lyssa James just wanted to go out on the town and leave behind thoughts of her dead-end job and obnoxious ex-boyfriend for a while. What she got instead was a first class ticket to a demon hell dimension where she’s been trapped for five long years. Finally, providence intervenes, giving Lyssa access to the very portal that had swallowed her whole and taken her life. But when she comes out the other side, she finds herself facing the same Immortal that botched her rescue five years ago. Now, if only she was still human instead of the very thing Gideon’s sworn to destroy. Demon.
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?
J.K.: That’s a good question. I think it helps to try and take a break every once in a while. When I finish a book I like to let it simmer for a while before I go back to read it, or before I start another one in that same series. During these in-between times I do a lot of reading and I work on my stained glass projects. I might start writing again, but I’ll likely choose to do something that isn’t related to what I’ve just finished. For example, when I finished writing book 2 of my series I got right back into the chair and started writing The Trouble With Destiny. I could do it because they’re very different stories (although they are similar in genre), but I couldn’t have started another Immortal book at that time.
Debra: Yes, I agree. It makes the editing process much smoother too, if you've had a break from the story and characters. And one of the nice things about writing in more than one genre is you can give one a rest while working on the other.
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
J.K.: Definitely. I think it takes me about 25,000 words to really figure out my characters—which means I usually end up going back and fleshing out the beginning a little more afterward—especially since I don’t write very detailed outlines. I kind of like to figure things out as I go along, and that goes for my characters as well. But once they have been nattering around inside my head for a while, then things really get interesting. They start talking to me more clearly, demanding things and arguing with each other. The trouble comes when they stop talking, either because I haven’t been listening closely enough or because the “real” world has gotten in the way and I’m feeling the stress.
Debra: For me it is chapter three. They all start showing up around that time. One of the things that makes it fun is having a character surprise me. Silent characters usually means the story is stalled for some reason.
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?
J.K.: I can’t say that I’ve dreamed a scene for my books because I’m a very deep sleeper and I don’t often wake up remembering my dreams. But I do daydream a lot. More than I should, and I do keep a pad of paper beside the bed because I’ll often be thinking of my story before I fall asleep and there are a number of times I’ve had to write something down so that I don’t forget it in the morning.
Debra: Daydreaming is good too. :-)
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
J.K: I loved the Narnia books when I was young, as well as The Lord of the Rings. Those fantasy worlds called to me, and it might be one of the reasons why I’m drawn to writing about the things that I do.
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?
J.K.: Just that I’m positive the two go hand in hand. I don’t think that you can have good fiction without a healthy dose of imagination and dreams. We have to bring that magic into every manuscript. That’s what makes the really awesome books stand out for our readers.
Debra: Well, you know I agree completely with that. :-)
J.K, 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.K.: Thank you very much! This was a lot of fun and I appreciate the opportunity to meet your readers. Here is my pertinent book and contact info and I hope to see you again soon!
The Trouble With Destiny is now available!
Books 1 and 2 of the Immortal Series are also available. Get My Immortal and Immortal Kiss from Linden Bay Romance directly, and other major e-retailers online. You can also buy print copies of the books from your local stores.
Please visit me at my website for more information about upcoming books, chats, interviews, reviews, and all things Immortal: www.jkcoi.com I’m also on MySpace: J.K. on Myspace and I blog at www.jkcoi.blogspot.com
Debra's News/Debra is watching:
This week I am working on my new western novella, trying to meet a Dec. 1 deadline with Samhain with fingers crossed that they will choose mine.
Over on Title Wave my AT II sister Maria is blogging about the American Title V contest and you can see the contestants there. Was it only three years ago that we were in the contest, excited, nervous, not sure how to promote ourselves, wondering who would win that publishing contest? So much has happened since then. Now I am a published author with my first book in print March 31, 2009. Dreams do come true. Be sure to check out this years contestants and vote. Help these aspiring authors make their dreams come true.