Monday, September 29, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays With Lyn Cote


Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Lynn Cote.

Lyn, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript
you’re working on now.

Lynn: This year I'm writing 3 books-the second and third of my new "Texas Star of Destiny" historical (inspirational) series for Avon Inspire. And the second in my "Gabriel Sisters" series for Love Inspired Historical.

The Texas series covers the years 1821-1848 in of course Texas. And I have 3 heroines that exemplify the three types of non-Native women in Texas at this time.

• Dorritt is a Southern spinster who comes to Texas with her family in the first wave of angloamericanos.

• Alandra is a Spanish lady whose mother was a mestiza of mixed Spanish and Native American blood.

• And Mariel is an immigrant who flees Germany in the 1840's during political revolution.

My Gabriel Sisters are Quaker women in the mid-nineteenth century who are passionate about improving the life of others. Verity (HER CAPTAIN'S HEART out in 12-08) goes South in 1866 to open a school for freed slaves. Felicity, the manuscript I'm writing in 2008, opens an orphanage for the orphans left by the Civil War and their sister Mercy becomes a doctor.

As you can see, I like to write about strong women who are not only shaped by their times, but are active in shaping their times and moving into a better future.

Debra: Yes, and it's one of the things I like about your books. Well, and of course I do have enjoy a good western.

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?

Lyn: I read a variety of books in various genres and I watch movies that I deem especially creative. It's interesting that I love to read fantasy and paranormal but I'm unable to write fantasy.

I've benefited from reading JK Rowling's Harry Potter books, Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and watching the Buffy series. I find fantasy excites my imagination and my passion for writing about the battle of good vs. evil which is so important to my novels. My heroines are what I call "passionate participants in their times"—just like Harry, Frodo and Buffy.

But I find that recreating a time that has been forgotten is my m├ętier. I dislike historicals that just add long dresses to a contemporary story. I try as best I can to take my reader back into the past.

Debra: Yes, I agree with that. I think if you're going to write about a time period, the research is very important. Knowing what is happening in the year you are writing about, whether you use it in the story or not.

Lyn: BTW, Ray Bradbury and I share the same home town, Waukegan IL! We went to the same high school—40 years apart but the same building!

Debra: How fascinating! And I would say they trained you both well.

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

Lyn: I find Tami Cowden's book on the Hero and Heroine Archetypes as a good launching point. Once I figure out which archetype or combination of archetypes my hero and heroine are, I find they begin to "live and move and breathe." And their story begins!

Debra: Thank you, Lyn. I haven't read that one yet.

And thank you for visiting Make-Believe Mondays, to share a bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Please visit Lyn Cote at
www.LynCote.net

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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

This week I've been resting up from our trip out west. I've up and about and feeling much better. Those two days in bed gave me plenty of time to think about all that I saw and experienced out west and I've come up with a new idea for a western historical novel. The western theme seem to have continued this week as I attended a rodeo Friday night and a hispanic wedding Saturday night. Sunday I started writing that new novel. It's always exciting to begin a new one.

www.debraparmley.com

Monday, September 22, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays with Misty Evans



Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Misty Evans

Misty, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Misty: So glad you asked! I’m working on the second book in my series of Super Agents. The first book, OPERATION SHEBA, introduces Julia and Conrad, partners and lovers in a game of high-risk espionage and is due out September 9th. They show up again in the second book, but in this story you also meet Lawson and Zara who have to stop a mad scientist from starting a world-wide plague.

I’m also editing my paranormal comedy that won Samhain’s Tickle My Fantasy Contest, WITCHES ANONYMOUS. This story is about a bad witch trying to get away from Lucifer and become good. She gets mixed up with the original Adam (who’s back on Earth for a redo) and the angel Gabriel.

Debra: Oh, they both sound like fun reads.

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?

Misty: Quiet time. When my twins were born, I learned how fast I could burn out, not just creatively, but mentally, physically and emotionally, if I didn’t find a few minutes every day to myself. My imagination is always active, but time to meditate, read, work in my herb garden, or simply sit out on the patio and look at the stars feeds my creative muse better than anything else.

Debra: Meditation is something I've been meaning to incorporate into my life on a daily basis. Yes, time to ourselves, quiet time, is so important.

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

Misty: The moment they enter my mind! My muse watches reality TV in my brain.

Debra: LOL What a fun image!

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?

Misty: Creating a fictional world of Eden for WITCHES ANONYMOUS was great fun and I played with words, language and especially the theme of good versus evil. Amy, my bad witch who is trying to go good joins a Witches Anonymous group – great fodder for playing with words right there. I wrote the other characters—Lucifer, Adam and Gabriel—with unique personalities that differ from the traditional ones our culture has instilled in us, so again, I messed with wording and language to make them believable.

I also had fun making up spells for Amy. For example, the Atomic Sister Slave spell—any time your sister steals your boyfriend or your stash of chocolate, you can turn her into your slave for twenty-four hours.

Debra: Oh, now that is a good spell to have. LOL

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?

Misty: Yes, several times. Dreams are another form of muse for me. In Operation Sheba, Julia dreams about a man chasing her through a carnival before he draws a gun and kills her. That dream is based on a recurring nightmare I had in my twenties. To this day, it’s still a visceral experience for me to remember it. In Julia’s version, I had her realize at the last second that the man is Conrad. On one level it symbolizes the fact that he’s betrayed her in real life. On another, it symbolizes her fear of being a victim.

Debra: That is fascinating. Recurring nightmares are a terrible thing to have, though. I'm glad you're no longer having them.

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Misty: Just about every book I read. J Charlotte’s Web, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Laura Ingalls, Nancy Drew, the list could on forever. Even now, I read kids books and YA. My boys and I are currently digesting the City of Ember series together. I can’t keep up with all the great YA authors, there are so many.

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?

Misty: Probably exactly what I write now, suspense with a side of humor. I’d like to explore darker characters, especially female ones, but not in a paranormal context. I like real-life women who have dark sides, like Holly Hunter’s character Grace on Saving Grace.

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?

Misty: Think of yourself as a compass. All points on the compass send and receive creative energy. If you find one point isn’t working for you or is stifling your creativity, turn yourself a different way and be open to something new.

Debra: What a beautiful image and a good way to explain creative energy!

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

Misty: Thank you so much for having me!

Debra: It's been a pleasure.
Readers please visit Misty at

www.readmistyevans.com
and
groups.yahoo.com/group/MistyEvansSuspense

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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

I just returned home after a 2,100 mile drive from Las Vegas to Memphis. Got in late last night. It was a beautiful trip. We went to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, stayed in Kanab Utah at the Parry Innn, where the movie stars used to stay and we visited a movie set, we stayed in Alberquerque, NM where we visited the old town and Oklahoma City where we saw the Cowboy Hall of Fame. It's quite a long drive though and we made it in 4 days. I'm having trouble with my swollen ankles so the doctor has put me on bed rest for two days, which is why this is posting so late on a Monday. (And I really should be in bed right now.)

So it's going to be a quiet week for me. I'll post pictures and tell about my trip over on myspace once I have rested up.

www.debraparmley.com

Monday, September 15, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays With Kelly Jamieson



Today on Make-Believe Mondays our guest is Kelly Jamieson.

Kelly first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Kelly: The manuscript I’m working on now is different for me because I’ve included elements of paranormal, which I’ve never done before. It’s about two undercover agents who end up working together, posing as a couple. The female agent, however, has her own agenda and her own special abilities which the male agent has a hard time accepting.

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?

Kelly: I don’t think I do anything consciously. I think to keep the creative cup filled you just have to open yourself to everything around you.

Debra: Absolutely!

Kelly: I read a lot (A LOT!) and I read all kinds of things. I get ideas for stories and characters from the newspaper, news magazines, Cosmo magazine(!!) and from talking to people - friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances. Having new experiences and traveling, or just people watching always spark something in my imagination.

Debra: Travel always does that for me too. :-)

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?

Kelly: Dreams drive me crazy! I have had dreams where I’ve had the BEST idea for a story – absolutely, incredibly ingenious. Then when I wake up I can’t remember it. Not a thing. So truthfully I don’t think I’ve ever actually incorporated anything from a dream into one of my books.

On the other hand, insomnia is my best friend and worst enemy! Many nights I can’t sleep and I don’t know whether it’s because I’m writing a story in my head, or if I’m writing a story in my head because I can’t sleep, but I have done a lot of “creating” while lying in bed wide awake in the middle of the night.

Debra: I have insomnia too, but then I'm a night owl. Many times I am up late, writing. If we could just channel our dreams onto the page that would be amazing I think. There is nothing like a ride through the imagination.

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Kelly: I read voraciously as a child. This may date me, but I started reading Bobbsey Twins books as a young girl. Those really pulled me in because they always traveled to exotic locations, and by the time I finished grade school I felt like I’d been around the world! Another author who really pulled me in as a girl is Lucy Maud Montgomery and her Anne of Green Gables books. I loved those stories so much, and in fact the story of Anne and Gilbert was probably the first romance that drew me in!

Debra: I read those too. No, I don't think it dates you. Good fiction lasts throughout the eras.

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?

Kelly: I think I’m already doing that! I don’t think about reader expectations and (this is a problem for me) I don’t think about categories when I’m writing. This leads to problems selling my books because they apparently don’t fit in to categories easily. And it’s not that I’m writing any crazy fantasy – I just like writing about real lives and real problems, and real mistakes people make, but I’m told you can’t put a married heroine into a romance, and you can’t have adultery in a romance even though those are real-life situations people have to deal with.

Debra: Well.....I put a married woman into a romance. And it sold. It's going to be a thrill to see it in print come March. Of course her husband was a cheat, a liar, a bigamist and their marriage wasn't legal. LOL So I threw a whole bunch of things into the mix, but life is like that. Not always so clear, but lots of murkiness. It drives me nuts to hear those can'ts. Makes me want to try doing it just to see if I can pull it off.

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

Please visit Kelly at
www.kellyjamieson.com
and
building-castles.com

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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

Waving to everyone from Las Vegas where I am vising my youngest son. I'll be away until the 22nd. Driving back and stopping to see the Grand Canyon on the way, as well as the Cowboy Hall of Fame. It's only a 1,600 mile drive home to Memphis. I'll be writing in my journal and taking plenty of photos. And who knows? Maybe I'll get an idea for my another western. This week I am soaking it all in, feeding that creative well.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays With Devyn Quinn



Today on Make-Believe Mondays our guest is Devyn Quinn.

Devyn, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Devyn: I am currently working on Man After Midnight, the sequel to Flesh and the Devil. This is one of those few rare books that writes themselves, and I am happy to say I am nearing the finish line!

Debra: How lucky a writer is, when that happens.

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?

Devyn: I make sure I get plenty of downtime to watch all my favorite movies and television shows. Though I don’t own a television, I do have a DVD player and I love renting my favs to watch. I’ll go on a glut of no writing, only movies. Right now I am looking forward to the release of Dexter Season 2 on DVD. I definitely plan to watch the whole season in a few days.

Debra: I've been considering doing that with Lost, since I only saw the first three and then got busy. I don't watch TV much any more, but that story was so fascinating. Thanks for the idea.

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

Devyn: Definitely! If I don’t believe they are real, how can my readers???

Debra: 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?

Devyn: Oh, yes. I have a Gaelic dictionary and I just love going through it and creating new words out of the Irish language!

Debra: Ah, I love Gaelic. (Probably my Celtic heritage.) So your new words intrigue me.

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?

Devyn: Most days I can’t recall my dreams. I’m a leaden sleeper!

Debra: As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Devyn: I worshipped at the altar of Salem’s Lot by Stephen King for years. It is one of my all time favorite horror novels.

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?

Devyn: :::Giggle insanely::: I think I am about to write that book for Kensington. Demons, bondage and possession. Oodles of fun!

Debra: It's wonderful when publishers allow for the new, for the wildly creative books.

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?

Devyn: If anyone has my imagination, please send it back. I’m trying to finish this WIP!!!!

Debra: LOL Sometimes they like to play with us, don't they? Maybe it's just around the corner, playing hide and seek. I hope you find it soon.

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

Come visit Devyn at
www.devynquinn
or myspace.com/devynquinn

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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

I was thrilled to receive a review this week from Coffee Time Romance for A Desperate Journey.
You can read it here:
Coffee Time Romance

Reviews and updates will be posted on my website
www.debraparmley.com

Monday, September 01, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays With Lyn Mangold



Today on Make-Believe Mondays our guest is Lyn Mangold.

Lyn, thank you for joining us on Make-Believe Mondays, this Labor Day weekend.

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?

Lyn: First of all, what a great quote! I’d never heard it before. I keep my creative cup filled by reading a lot. I absolutely love to read, especially stuff in the fantasy or paranormal genres. All the different creatures and worlds give me ideas and really make me look at the world from a different perspective and think, what if?

Debra: Thank you, Lyn. It's always been one of my favorite quotes. That what if question is the perfect jumping off point for any creative endeavor, I believe. Fantasy is a way of stretching the mind.

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

Lyn: Yes. The more I think about my characters the more real they become to me. They also have a mind of their own sometimes. Sometimes, as I’m writing, they do and say things that catch me by surprise. Or I’ll be trying to write one thing and find that it’s just not working with my characters. It’s frustrating and interesting at the same time.

Debra: Yes, it is. I love it when they surprise me though, kind of like a new friend does.

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?

Lyn: Yes. The idea of my book Warrior Woman came from a dream I had. It was like a saw a glimpse of the story in my dream and when I woke up, I wanted to know more about what had happened. I had written about the dream in my journal initially, but the more I thought about it, I decided that I had to develop it into a complete story. It is available in eBook and print through Samhain Publishing.

Debra: I've always felt that there were certain stories that just wanted to be written, and I've come to suspect the ones that appear in our dreams fall into that category.

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Lyn: Absolutely. My favorite book when I was a child was Beauty by Robin McKinley. I was always reading fairy tales and myths, but Beauty just took it to another level for me. I loved all the magic in the story and the wonderful description. It was like I could see and hear everything like I was physically there. I still pull that book off the shelf and reread it periodically, and every time I am pulled into the world Robin McKinley created.

Debra: Oh, I haven't read that one! I must add it to my list. Thanks!

Please visit Lyn at"
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lynmangoldgroup/
http://www.myspace.com/lynmangold
Email: lynmangold@yahoo.com

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

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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

I was thrilled to receive my Romantic Times Book Lovers magazine this week. Flavia mentioned me in her column in the Oct issue, and it was another reason for me to celebrate. I was positively giddy about it all day.

And I'm able now to announce that I'll be at the RT convention in Orlando all week next year, working with Judi McCoy in the beginning writers program and with Bobbi Smith in the advanced writing program. I'm just thrilled to be a part of it all and looking forward to helping other writers.