Monday, December 07, 2009

Make-Believe Monday with Juniper Bell

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Juniper Bell.

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

Juniper: First of all, thanks so much for having me on your blog! I’ve read so many fascinating things from other authors here. It’s an honor to be here!

Debra: Thank you, Juniper. It's a pleasure to have you here.

Juniper: My first Samhain book, “Doll,” is coming out on December 15 – it’s a contemporary erotic romance. Here’s the blurb:

Even a plaything can be pushed too far…
Chloe Barnes thought her marriage to a wealthy politician would be the stuff of fairy tales. Instead, he took advantage of her naiveté and used her as a plaything to fulfill his twisted sexual needs. Ten years is enough. She returns to Bellhaven Island to sell the summer cottage she inherited, hoping the money will buy her freedom—and custody of her daughters.

Fisherman Dustin McDougal never forgot the childhood crush he once had on the fairy-like Chloe. The woman she’s become has a haunted look that brings his feelings back, stronger than ever…with a mature edge. Along with all his protective instincts.
Their passion blows stronger than a Maine nor’easter, awakening Chloe to the joy of true love. Yet it may not be strong enough to free her from the past…

Debra: Congratulations on your first Samhain book.

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

Juniper: Oh, definitely. One of the joys of writing is getting to know my characters. For me, they start out as little wisps of a thought, or an impression, or maybe an image. The more I write, the more they start to move through time and speak and interact with other characters, the more I understand them. The first draft, for me, is a “getting to know your characters” draft. When I go back for a second draft, it’s hilarious to see the things I wrote that I now KNOW my characters would never do or say!

Debra: Those little wisps can be so tantalizing as they draw us in to write. Maybe that is where the magic starts to happen.

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

Juniper: I was obsessed with the Chronicles of Narnia. Totally obsessed. I was convinced I could find a way into Narnia if I looked hard enough. My family lived in England for one summer and my sister and I used to roam the countryside, poking into old barns and searching for a portal into Narnia. (I’m pretty sure we never told our parents about that!) Later, I became convinced I was Jo March from Little Women in another lifetime.

Debra: What fun you must have had searching for it!

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?

Juniper: Imagination is one of my favorite topics. I don’t think it’s limited to “creative” people. Everything starts with imagination – not just books, but inventions, civilizations, gadgets, cars, houses, chia pets, everything. To me, imagination has a spiritual aspect. We can’t really control it. We have to respect its mystery and power, and have faith in where it’s leading us. I don’t know why my imagination expresses itself in books (especially erotic romance!) but for some reason that’s what I feel drawn to do. Whoever you are and whatever you do in life, respect that incredible blessing of imagination we’ve been given. And enjoy it!

Debra: Yes, imagination, that creative spark is the beginning of everything. And there is something very spiritual about the source of all things. Excellent thoughts to leave us with.

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

Readers please visit Juniper at JuniperBell.com and authorjuniperbell.blogspot.com

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Debra's News/Debra is Watching:

Well this week I started a job working as a courier. So I plan to post the Make-Believe Mondays interviews late Sunday night for Monday morning. Just a bit of juggling going on here.

www.debraparmley.com

Monday, November 30, 2009

Make-Believe Monday with Erin Nicholas

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Erin Nicholas.

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

Erin: My current work in progress is the sexy, contemporary third book in a three-book series following a set of siblings. The first book, Just Right, will release in April. The manuscript I’m working on now is about the youngest sister who’s been in love with her brother’s best friend for years. He’s a lot older than her and her brother knows way too much about his wild past to be comfortable with letting his little sister be with him! Still he can’t leave her alone and the heroine isn’t above using every weapon in her arsenal to get what she wants!

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?

Erin: Great question! Some days it’s harder than others, isn’t it? I read, read, read, for one thing! My children and husband also help. They love the stories mom makes up for them at bedtime (after writing steamy love scenes, it’s a great stretch for me to have to make the stories rated G J). I also think my “day job” keeps me constantly creatively revived. I’m a physical therapist, so can satisfy my scientific “left brain”, which seems to allow my creative “right brain” to recharge! Plus, working with people all day every day gives me lots of great chances to be inspired and rewarded!

Debra: Yes, it can be. Writing can be isolating. Reading is so important as is getting out among people.

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

Erin: Absolutely. Actually, until that happens I feel like I need to get to know them better! They pull me into conversation a lot in the shower and in the car… the only two places I’m ever truly alone! J

Debra: Alone time is essential to the writing life.

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?

Erin: I write contemporaries, so I haven’t come up with a language (yet! J), but I do play with words in creating and getting to know my characters… giving them phrases they use a lot or a way they speak. Some of my favorite authors are brilliant at that! I also constantly create places. I love the small towns of the Midwest and many of my books are set in fictional towns I’ve created from bits and pieces of towns I know and love. I also have multiple characters and stories that involve the medical field (my November release is about a physical therapist!) and so I create the hospitals where they work, which is again, bits and pieces of the places I’ve worked myself!

Debra: Being a midwest gal myself, originally from Ohio, I can relate to your fictional towns. :-)

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?

Erin: I have dreamed scenes or a premise before and that’s like finding a winning lottery ticket without spending the money! I mean, wow, I’m sleeping rather than staring at a blank screen and suddenly this idea is just there? How great is that? More than that, though, is when my characters show up in my dreams. Not always in the context I’ve put them in on the pages, but mixed in with my real life. It’s kind-of fun and I take that to mean that I’ve gotten to know them pretty well by that time!

Debra: Yes, it is like winning the lottery! When the stories show up in your dreams you know you were meant to write them.

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

Erin: Oh, absolutely! My dad was an English teacher before he became a high school Principal (yes, my high school Principal! J) and he introduced me to the original Alice in Wonderland (not the Disney version), A Wrinkle in Time, The Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia… oh, wow, talk about fabulous worlds!

Debra: What an awesome dad to give the gift of stories. I'll bet he is proud of you.

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?

Erin: I love the fact that it seems more and more the world of romantic fiction is just wide open! I think the only limitation is… me! J

Debra: So much truth in that one. "the only limitation is me" So true.

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?

Erin: I think that dreams and the imagination allow us to do two really huge things: hold on to the “what could be” in life and connecting with others. Fiction, at least the fiction I love J, is about the good things: love, triumph over adversity, bravery, faith, truth, justice, sacrifice, loyalty… the things that we all really want and deep down have to believe in to keep going. It is absolutely amazing to me that not only can a writer create something purely from within them, but once it’s out there in the world it touches others and they learn from it and it lifts them up and entertains them. It’s such a hard thing to explain, but it’s so fantastic the way our souls can speak to and touch each other!

Debra: It is something of a miracle the way stories can touch lives, isn't it?

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

Erin: Thanks for letting me share a Monday with you!

Debra: You're quite welcome! It's been a pleasure.

Readers can visit Erin at:

www.ErinNicholas.com
ninenaughtynovelists.blogspot.com
groups.yahoo.com/group/ErinNichloas

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Debra's News/Debra is watching:
I took last week off to visit relatives over the holidays and got to meet my beautiful niece Maggie who was only one week old.

This week is for catching up on things and getting back to the two manuscripts I'm working on.

I'll be out in Vegas Dec 16th to 22nd to visit my youngest son and really looking forward to seeing him again.

www.debraparmley.com

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving



There are so many things we have to be thankful for. Some of the things I'm thankful for this season are my new niece who I'll get to see the day after Thanksgiving (as well as the rest of my family), the trip we have planned to see my youngest son just before Christmas. He lives in Vegas so I don't get to see him often. I'm thankful for loving friends and family and for good health.

I hope that you have many things to be thankful for this season.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,

Debra

Make-Believe Mondays is on break this week for the holiday but will resume 11- 30 -09
www.debraparmley.com

Monday, November 16, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays with Shelley Munro

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Shelley Munro.

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

Shelley: I’m currently working on book nine of my Middlemarch Mates series about a feline shifter community living in a small country town in New Zealand. My work-in-progress features two tiger shifters, although most of the shifters in the community are black leopards. The series starts with Scarlet Woman. Actually, each time I return to my Middlemarch series it’s like meeting up with old friends. This particular story features Ambar, the sister of the hero in CatNap and she’s starting to experience freedom after her very strict parents died in a motor vehicle accident.
If anyone is interested in the idea behind the story they are welcome to visit my website for photos of the real town, how I came up with the idea for the series and also a free PDF booklet which shows the family trees and the connections between the different stories in the series.

Debra: That sounds fascinating. Tigers are my favorite big cats. Readers can find all your websites listed at the bottom of this interview.

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?

Shelley: One thing I’m not short of is ideas so I must be doing all right with keeping my creative cup filled. I’m constantly reading—anything from newspapers and magazines to books in various genres. I read lots of non-fiction titles as well. I watch current movies and television shows—they’re always great sources of ideas and a way to relax away from writing. My favorites at the moment are The Mentalist and True Blood.

Writers spend a lot of time alone during the writing process, and I think it’s very important to get out and interact with the rest of the world. Watching other people go about their business is always fascinating and a way to stimulate the imagination and get ideas. I really enjoy people watching at the mall.

And finally, I love to travel and always return home recharged and full of ideas, ready to start writing again.

Debra: I agree with all these points. It's a balance I think. A writer needs to be alone to write, but we also need to interact with people. And I firmly believe that everyone should travel. If everyone left the country they were born in and traveled even once to another country we'd live in a much different world.

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

Shelley: An English author, Enid Blyton was one of my favorites as a child. She is well known for her Noddy series, but she also wrote children’s mysteries such as the Famous Five series plus stories full of magical elements like wishing chairs, fairies, goblins and toys that come to life. I write contemporary and paranormal stories usually strewn with bodies. I think Enid Blyton is directly responsible for the direction my writing has taken.

Debra: I am not familiar with her, but Shelley has kindly provided a website link.
www.amazon.com/Enid-Blyton

Shelley: I was also very keen on Hugh Lofting’s Doctor Dolittle series about a doctor who treated talking animals.

Debra: Oh yes, I recall being fascinated with the animals in that one.
Shelley, thank you for joining us here on this Make-Believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Shelley: Thanks so much for having me here today, Debra.

Readers can visit my website at www.shelleymunro.com or my blog at www.shelleymunro.com/blog
www.shelleymunro.com/for-readers/behind-the-scenes
www.shelleymunro.com/for-readers/behind-the-scenes

Debra: It has been a pleasure.

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Debra's News/Debra is Watching:

www.debraparmley.com

Monday, November 09, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays With Carolan Ivey

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Carolan Ivery.

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

Carolan: I have two main projects right now. Book 3 of my “Legends” series of paranormal romances should be number 1 on my agenda, however a family trauma earlier this year got me sidetracked. I decided to take a break from it and delve into some new creative territory to recharge my batteries. It’s a short erotic romance piece set in the Yucatan. I traveled there last spring and while Cancun proper didn’t exactly thrill me, the surrounding countryside is saturated with the kinds of legends and history that sparks my imagination.
Book 2 of the Legends series, A Ghost of a Chance, is available now in both ebook and print.

Debra: Sometimes we need a little break to rest and allow the creative urge to well up again. Cancun is rather touristy. Any time you can visit Mayan ruins though, there are always legends and quite a bit of atmosphere.

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?

Carolan: Travel! We’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to travel all over the United States, mainly to see our treasured wild and historical sites. My husband’s career with international companies has also allowed us explore parts of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Britain, France and Germany. We’re castle geeks. J
I’m also a firm believer in occasionally getting out of your comfort zone. For example, guns scare me, but a friend of mine took me target shooting and not only was it an education, I found myself enjoying it.

Debra: Ah, you're a kindred soul I think. I used to work as a travel consultant. Haven't made it to Wales, Britain or Ireland yet, but they're on my list. There's nothing quite like visiting a new place for the first time. Target shooting is on my to do list too. I'm determined to get over my fear of guns.

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

Carolan: Yes, but it’s almost never in the first draft! Somewhere during the second or third revision stage, my creative process is in full gear and that’s when I hear the characters carrying on full conversations in my head. In fact, I know a book is really finished when I stop hearing them. It’s eerie, and a little lonely when that happens.

Debra: Yes, then you know the book is truly done.

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?

Carolan: In general, I don’t remember my dreams. So it’s possible I’ve dreamed a scene and it emerged later from my subconscious.

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

Carolan: I was a horse nut growing up, so my go-to authors were Marguerite Henry, Walter Farley, Dorothy Lyons, Will James, Stephen W. Meader and Jo Sykes. As a child I often had trouble falling asleep, and I entertained myself making up long, involved stories in which I interacted with the characters of the books I loved.

Debra: Yes, I wonder how many of us have imagined ourselves in the stories we read, right along with the characters.

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?

Carolan: Interesting question. So far I’ve been blessed to write exactly what I want to write, blending sub-genres and stretching out of my comfort zone to my heart’s content.

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

Carolan: Thank you for having me!

Debra: It's been a pleasure. Readers can find out more about Carolan at

www.carolanivey.com and
samhainpublishing.com

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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

Last week I was down with bronchitis, but I'm happy to report that I'm up and about this week, doing much better. I signed up for Nano, which is sort of a write-a-thon type challenge for writers. The idea is that you write as fast as you can without editing all through the month of Nov then in Dec you edit the novel. Fast way to a finishing a novel I have been told. This is my first time to try it however.

I'm also working on the 2nd manuscript to get the revisions and edits done. Seem like I keep reporting that, doesn't it? Well, it does take time to finish a 300 to 400 page manuscript. Now if we could only write them as fast as you can read them.

I'm also doing a little exercise where I find one thing to be thankful for each day in November. Why should we wait for a national holiday like Thanksgiving, right? It wasn't my idea and I don't know where it originated but I like it. There is always something to be thankful for.

Love,
Debra

Visit my website
www.debraparmley.com
I'm planning to redo the photo section a bit as time allows and there may be other changes.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays on Break This Week

Make-Believe Mondays is taking a break this week to allow me to rest and recover from bronchitis. I hope to resume interviews next week.

Thanks

Debra

Monday, October 26, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays With Julia Knight

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Julia Knight.

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

Julia: Well I’m working on two at the moment. One’s an historical erotic romance, with pirates. The other is the third and final installment of my Oathcursed series (book 2 is released by Samhain in January)While we’re still following the heroes and heroine from the first two – Hilde, Hunter and Ilfayne – other characters are coming along to complicate their lives. Nerisse is a rather willful girl – thoroughly spoilt, but overly protected by her father, who has good reason to believe someone will take revenge on him through her. When the chance comes for Nerisse to escape and live a little, she grabs it with both hands – only to find out her father was right. As usual there will be big dollops of romance to offset the adventure!

Debra: Pirates, did you say pirates? :-) I'll bet they are fun to write about. Adventure and romance, what could be better?

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?

Julia: Reading widely and daydreaming. Reading, to see what works, what doesn’t, what’s already been done to death. And daydreaming scenes, playing them as movies in my head, with all different possibilities tried out. I could spend all day doing that.

Debra: Yes, the already been done to death part can make it difficult. Thankfully that daydreaming imagination can vanquish that one.

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

Julia: Oh yes – they talk back to me all the time, the monkeys. Usually it takes me a few chapters to get a feel for them. Then they’ll be somewhere with something nasty happening to them (I do so like to torture them) and all of a sudden they’re saying ‘There is no way you’re getting me to do that! I’d do this instead.’ One reason I don’t outline – the characters always end up pulling me in different directions to the ones I’d envisaged.

Debra: Sometimes character are like unruly children that way. Outlines are too much like rules to be broken.

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

Julia: The first one I really remember grabbing me was an old book about King Arthur – you know the ones that had colour plates and gold edging on the pages? I grew up with the Pig Sty Prince, the White Dragon and the Red, the Fairy Hunt. All evocative, romantic ( in the literary sense, not the genre sense) stories. They took me to another place, and I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so entranced by any story. I still have that book – it’s one of my son’s favourites.

Debra: Yes, I remember those! And the color plates and gold edging made the physical book as romantic and enticing as the stories.

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

Julia: Thank you! It’s always fun seeing new types of questions.

Visit Julia at
juliaknight.co.uk
juliazknight.wordpress.com
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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

I've been hard at work on the contemporary romance and hope to be submitting it very soon. Then will turn to finish the western historical romance. (Not a sequel to A Desperate Journey, but a story that is very different.)

What are you doing this Halloween weekend? I will be attending Gatalop. Gatalop is held in Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island close to Mobile, AL. It's an SCA event. (SCA is the medieval reinactment group I'm a member of.) My group is staying inside the fort. The fort is believed to be haunted, so if I see any ghosts, I will come back and tell you about it! ;-)

The site is open to the public from 9:00 to 5:00 and I will be there in the merchant area selling my books.

www.debraparmley.com

Until next Monday, Happy Halloween and Happy Samhain!

Love,

Debra

Monday, October 19, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays with Meg Allison

Today my guest on Make-Believe Mondays is Meg Allison.

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

Meg: The novel I’m working on now is the second book in the Sentinels series. It tells the story of empath Samantha Bays as she meets the man of her dreams. But her hero is under a lot of stress since he recently started drawing the murder scenes of a serial killer. It combines my favorite subgenres of paranormal and suspense, of course with a heavy dose of romance along the way.

Debra: And an empath would be able to feel what the hero was feeling. Very interesting.

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?

Meg: I find the best way to keep my creative cup filled is by taking a break from writing now and then. I recharge by getting out of the house, sometimes going for a walk. I also listen to music -- most of my best ideas are inspired by song. Often, reading some of my favorite authors also helps get the ideas flowing.

Debra: Yes, fresh air and a walk can clear the mind and provide inspiration. And autumn is such a lovely time of year to walk.

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

Meg: I’m usually able to at least visualize my characters from the very first scene. As I get deeper into the story, I can hear the dialogue and thoughts in my head. I find I really have to get to that point for my stories to really come alive.

Debra: Yes, until we can hear them they're just characters on a page. Maybe writers are unusual in that we want to hear voices in our heads. :-) That means the story has come alive.

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

Meg: Thanks for sharing your blog with me! I enjoy talking about writing and the whole process. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to bring my characters to life and share them with readers.

Visit Meg

www.megallisonauthor.com
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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

On Saturday I signed books in Jackson, MS with Imagicopter. Now I am taking a break from signings and will be focusing more on writing and submitting. My next signing will be in Nov. and you can find it on the calendar on my website.

www.debraparmley.com

Thank you to everyone who told me the website isn't coming up. I'll let my webmaster know and she'll fix it. You can get there on the second click, but the first time its sending an error message. Thank you for your patience and thank you for telling me there was a problem.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays with Judi McCoy


Today my guest is Judi McCoy.

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

Judi: I’m working on book three in my new dog walker series. Book one, Hounding the Pavement, came out in March 2009 and it’s a brand new direction for me. I call the series romantic mystery, but I sure the term has been used before—if not I’ve coined a new genre.

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?

Judi: I have to admit, with the new series, keeping the cup full is easy. My characters are unique (a NYC dog walker who understands what her dogs are thinking/saying and the dogs who converse mentally with her in return) so there are plenty of situations I can put them in for fun and excitement.

Debra: It would be hard to resist a talking dog. What fun. Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Judi: I think about the idea/plot for a new book, then come up with the heroine and hero. When I created Ellie, my dog walker, she was fully formed in my head. Once I named her, Ellie’s voice rang out loud and clear. It was the same with Detective Sam Ryder, Ellie’s sometimes love interest, sometimes adversary. The real fun was creating personalities for each dog she walks. Rudy, Ellie’s own dog was easy because he’s exactly the way I imagine my real life dog, Rudy, to be. The others were carefully thought out so that each dog would be an individual.

Debra: It sounds like a fun series. Do you have anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

Judi: Hounding the Pavement, the first dog walker book, was released March 2009. ALL royalties received by the author for this book will be donated to Best Friends.org the largest ‘no kill’ animal shelter in the US. Situated in Utah, Best Friends cares for dogs, cats, birds, goats, horses and other abused animals. Each breed of animal has their own compound and are worked with to be rehabilitated and adopted out, but if that doesn’t happen the animal can live on the sanctuary for the rest of its life.

The television series, Dogtown, on the National Geographic channel, comes out every Friday immediately after The Dog Whisperer.

BEST NEWS: Hounding the Pavement was recently sold to CBS Productions to be made into a weekly.

Judi, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers. It's been a pleasure.

Readers can visit Judi at www.judimccoy.com

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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

I just returned from a great little regional conference, the Ozark Creative Writers, which is held in Eureka Springs, AR every year.

I'll be in Jackson, MS this Saturday signing books at the Eudora Welty library. More information on that event and other appearance is listed on my website.
www.debraparmley.com

Today I'm catching up on being away for the past four days and then tomorrow I'll start back to work on the manuscript.

Come back and visit next Monday and till then keep reading, keep writing, keep smiling. :-)

Debra

Monday, October 05, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays with Renee Wildes

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Renee Wildes.

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

It's set in my Samhain Publishing "Guardians of Light" world. I'm tentatively calling it "Dust of Dreams" and I hope it ends up being Bk 4. The hero Benilo is an elven spirit healer (he has a teeny part in Duality and pivotal role in Hedda's Sword). The heroine Pryseis is a rebellious dream faerie. They work together to stop a goblin child's magic-influenced nightmares from spreading to everyone and starting a war.

Debra: The idea of nightmares being able to spread is intriguing. I'm wondering how they spread and how to stop them. Stories about the fae are always so fascinating.

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?

Renee: I do a lot of reading & watching old movies. I love art, scrapbooking, horseback riding through the woods and playing with my kids. One of our favorite games is "What if?" or serial stories - one of us starts, stops at some cliffhanger point and the next person has to then pick up whatever thread got dropped. Can be a LOT of fun (as is also useful at writer's meetings/parties)!

Debra: Story games are so much fun, especially if the writers write in different genres. This subject came up just the other day at lunch. Somehow it keeps re-appearing this week.

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

Renee: I usually start a story with a vision of the character:

Duality was a red-haired woman kneeling in a burning room. (When I realized she STARTED the fire I had to know more!)

Hedda's Sword I was trying to figure out who to pair Cianan with (an elven version of the ultimate ladies' man) and my evil red dragon muse whispered "assassin nun." And there she was - Brigitte Nielsen, complete w/sword!

Lycan Tides I've always been facinated w/selkies, and I got a single mom living in a lighthouse!



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?

Renee: I write fantasy romance, so everything I write is make believe. I base imaginary places on real places, use historical weapons, mix real creatures with mythological beasts. Medicines are part real herbs and some made-up (telgara bushes, waxroot, relag & garelbark tea, dreamwine, drenieval whiskey). I make up the names of gods and goddesses. Then I thow in things like talking horses, sentient jewelry & vemonous mermaids - I even have swear words in different languages:

DRACKEN RUE - elvish

DREK - dragon

VARDEN - selkie

LURSA - faerie

Debra: Fascinating! To learn more, we'll have to read your 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?

Renee: Writing is part IMAGINATION & part RESEARCH. Take enough of the real world to make your story seem well-grounded, but add enough of a twist to make it fresh and new and exciting. Don't ever be afraid to reach, to stretch it just a bit more. And don't be afraid of the dark - the best stories are those where good/light triumph over evil/darkness! The light always shines the brightest against the dark!



Debra: Renee, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers. It's been a pleasure.

Renee: Thanks so much for having me here today, Debra! It was fun! Anyone who wants to find out more about my worlds can check out:

website: www.renee.wildes.net
Samhain Publishing author page
blogs: reneewildes1.wordpress.com
guardiansoflight.wordpress.com

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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

Thursday I'm headed to Eureka Springs, AR to the Ozark Creative Writers where I'll be signing books on Friday and Saturday.

I'll be sending tweets from the writers event and my Twitter feeds into my home page, so you can follow even if you don't wish to get a Twitter account.
www.debraparmley.com
You'll also find my calendar with upcoming appearances for the rest of the year. I'll be winding that down soon in order to get more writing done.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays with Jenna Ives


Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Jenna Ives.

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

Jenna: The premise of my September 29th Samhain release “The Initiation Of Isabella” is this: what if a case of mistaken identity allowed you to experience your wildest sexual fantasies? Would you be daring enough to indulge? In the case of my heroine Isabella Tallin, her decision literally changes her life.

Debra: That's quite a question! I wonder how Isabella will handle that and what will happen to her? Readers, we'll have to wait till tomorrow when the book releases to find out.

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?

Jenna: First of all, can I say that I love, love, love Ray Bradbury? I saw him recently in Pacific Palisades, CA, at an event, and I was so tongue-tied I couldn’t even tell him how much I admire his writing. Reading his “Martian Chronicles” is one of my most vivid childhood memories, and my first three manuscripts were sci-fi -- no doubt because of his influence!

As for my ‘creative cup,’ I don’t have any problem keeping it filled J There are any number of things that spark story ideas for me: a snippet of overheard conversation, a newspaper article. In fact, my Samhain release “The Initiation Of Isabella” was inspired by my nightly cocktail sipped on my balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean and asking “What If…”

Debra: He really is wonderful and I would love to hear him speak. That "What If" question can be the start of so many good stories and it's so much fun to play the what if game.

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

Jenna: I must admit it IS scary when your characters start to talk to you in your head, but then again, that’s the point when you know you’re a real writer, LOL!

Debra: Yes, when those characters come alive and start talking it can feel a bit otherworldly. But then it is another world. ;-)

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?

Jenna: Ironically, one of my dreams became a storyline in a YA novel in which the heroine dreams my dream, but that story hasn’t sold yet L But yes, it *does* happen!

Debra: Perhaps it will soon. :-)

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

Jenna: Even though my new Samhain story “The Initiation Of Isabella” is a contemporary erotic romance, see my answer on Ray Bradbury, above, LOL! He is The Man!

Debra: Yes, he is. lol

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?

Jenna: Imagination is a writer’s greatest asset. When you let go of the ordinary world and let your imagination soar, that’s when inspiration invariably strikes. As someone once said, “As the mind calms, the eyes see more clearly.” Free yourself, and see what happens!

Debra: That's a very good quote and excellent advice.

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

Jenna: Thanks so much for having me here today! I’m so excited that my first Samhain story, “The Initiation Of Isabella” releases on September 29th, and is part of Samhain’s sexy Binding Ties bondage anthology. You can read an excerpt at www.jennaives.com and register to win a Bondage Kit by sending an e-mail to: bindingties-subscribe@yahoogroups.com Winner will be chosen on October 29.

How about you? If a case of mistaken identity offered you the opportunity to fulfill your wildest sexual fantasies, would you be daring enough to indulge??

Debra: That's quite a question to leave our readers with. So, readers, how about it? How would you answer?

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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

This week I am writing and resting up for the Ozark Creative Writers in Eureka Springs Oct. 8th to 11th. Between now and then I need to finish the manuscripts and get them ready to submit to a few agents.

www.debraparmley.com

Monday, September 21, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays with Allan Gilbreath


Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Allan Gilbreath.

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

Allan: Currently, I am working on "Final Kiss" which is the next installment in the Galen series. I have also begun work on a speculative piece called "What's a Modern Demon to do?"

Debra: That's a good story question which raises all sorts of questions in this readers mind. So many possibilities there.

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?

Allan: My creative cup overfloweth. I have no shortage of projects that I want to get done. I just don't have enough time.

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

Allan: I have actually lost arguments with my characters. Since we spend so much time trying to figure out what we want them to do next, it is very easy to fill in all the missing parts and get to know the personality of your creation very well.

Debra: Those arguments would be fun to witness I'd think.

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?

Allan: I have in a couple of fantasy projects. I find it convenient to create the place, but you really have to keep up with your own details.

Debra: And with a fantasy world there can be so much to keep up with.

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?

Allan: Absolutely, I find that dreams can be a wonderful inspiration for new works.

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

Allan: Jules Verne and Edgar Allan Poe let me explore aspects of the world (real and imaginary) hidden to most people. They showed me everything from innovation to dismay and how a host of feelings could exist in a single person.

Debra: That host of feelings is what can make a character come to life.

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?

Allan: To be honest, I am exploring that at some level in everything I write.

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?

Allan: The imagination is an amazing gift. It can solve problems or let you explore the heavens. It allows writers and readers to connect in an incredible way and share entire universes.

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

Learn more about Allan and his work at
Kerlach.com/allangilbreath
and
Allan on MySpace

----------------------
Debra's News/Debra is writing:

I was in Little Rock Saturday signings books and now I am taking a little break until Oct. 8th to 10th when I'll be in Eureka Springs at the Ozark Creative Writers signing all weekend. You can find my calendar on my website and follow me on Twitter if you wish. Sign up for my newsletter and you may win a free ebook!

www.debraparmley.com

Finishing out this month I have two manuscripts to finish and get out the door so
I'm also writing as fast as I can in the Unleash Your Story Write-a-thon which raises funds for Cystic Fibrosis. Go to
UnleashYourStory.com
to learn more. Every $5.00 donation adds up and we appreciate your support! Those who donate can also win free books! Check it out!

Now, for those who have been waiting for the winner from last weeks contest with Jeanmarie Hamilton.....the lucky winner is .....Kaitey Benoit....
please email me debra@debraparmley.com and we will get your prize out to you.

If you enjoy games, contests and free books
I'm one of twenty authors in a treasure hunt where you can win free books! Roaring twenties, twenty authors and over twenty prizes! Go to
CiarCullen.wordpress.com
to play along and good luck!

Until next week, have a beautiful Monday, a lovely week and remember to smile!

Debra

Monday, September 14, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays with Jeanmarie Hamilton

Today on Make-Believe Mondays I'm pleased to introduce my AT2 Sister, Jeanmarie Hamilton.

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

Jeanmarie: Debra, thank you for having me here today. I just finished working on back cover blurbs for MOONLIGHT DESPERADO. I received a contract last week from Siren-Bookstrand for the novella.

Moonlight Desperado takes place in central Texas after the Civil War has ended. The story was inspired by a family story about my great great grandmother who was told by raiders one night to bring out all her bedding for them to sleep on in her yard. She was alone at the time, her husband away on business. The next day they came back and demanded the money from the safe while threatening her at gunpoint. I changed the story, a little, and the characters. My hero is a werewolf, as are all the raiders in this story. I had fun writing it.

Debra: It's a joy to have you here! I get excited every time one of our sisters sells a book and is able to come do an interview. (Jeanmarie and I were the only ones in the contest with western historical romances which at the time people were saying were hard to sell. So I'm especially excited for her.)

How exciting to be able to bring your great great grandmothers story into your fiction in a way that a part of her can live on!

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?

Jeanmarie: My characters help in that regard. After I've finished a story and sent it to a publisher, I think about the stories I have waiting to be written, and the characters let me know which one I want to write next. The characters with the strongest pull usually lure me to finish their story, unless an editor has asked for a different story. I also find my decision on which story to work on next is often made according to an editor's or publisher's story needs. Whichever, the characters and the story take over from there.

Debra: Things change once you have an editor. There's a bit more direction as to where to go with the next story. But ultimately the story must take over in order to come alive.

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

Jeanmarie: My characters usually come to my mind already formed. The hero or heroine always has a problem to take care of, and they're emotionally involved in finding a solution. They voice their emotions in no uncertain words, and then their story evolves.

Debra: Sometimes quite loudly I'll bet.

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?

Jeanmarie: I write western historical and contemporary stories. So my words center around the language of the times. Although I haven't come up with new words, I have spent hours researching for words the people in my stories would use. It takes hours for me to decide on the right names for my characters. I can't imagine how many hours it would take to come up with new words. Could be fun though.

Debra: Names are so important. Yes, creating new words can be fun. Even just a pet name for someone.

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?

Jeanmarie: I once dreamed an entire western story. It was quite a sweeping story. Then one day I was watching an afternoon movie, and it turned out to be the dream I'd had. I believe the old movie was the Jubilee Trail, which was originally a book! So I don't trust my dreams for new stories. Sometimes my characters will appear in my dreams and tell me the answer to a problem I'm having with some part of the story. That's always helpful.

Debra: I'll bet you were surprised. lol The movies we watch and the books we read can influence our writing so it's good to be careful.

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

Jeanmarie: My mom read us kids the Raggedy Ann books, and some fairy tale books. She also read the Oz books to us. When I started reading for myself, I started with the Oz stories, then the Little Women books, and finally fell in love with The Black Stallion and all the stories by Walter Farley. I have to say that I loved his stories the best.

Debra: Your mother made good choices of reading material. Bless all those mothers who read to their children every night. Who knows what budding authors are out there?

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?

Jeanmarie: I have to say that I'd probably write the historicals and shapeshifter stories I'm writing now. They incorporate things I love, horses, places I love, strong men and women, and mythical beings, shapeshifters.

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?

Jeanmarie: I once heard Ray Bradbury speak at a writers conference. He talked about writing down his dreams immediately after rising from his bed. I have to be quick to do that because my dreams disappear fast when I'm awake. Another thing he said that still inspires me, is to write, and write what you enjoy writing. I've always been a bit of a rebel. What I enjoy about writing shapeshifters is the freedom it gives me to develop my characters and to break some genre rules, if needed, to define my alpha characters.

Debra: What a great experience to hear Ray speak. (Well you know I think he's awesome both as a writer and writing mentor to others.) Thank you for sharing his wisdom with us and for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Jeanmarie: I've had a great time. Thanks for inviting me. If you'd like to visit my web site, here's the address:
www.Jeanmarie Hamilton.com

Readers please visit Jeanmarie's website to learn more. Also, Jeanmarie is giving away a copy the anthology Northern Roses and Southern Belles which has one of her stories in it. There are 6 authors in the anthology from The Wild Rose Press and they are all members of the Scandalous Victorians.

Leave a comment to win a copy of the ebook!

I'll contact the winner next Monday.
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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

My website has been added to and updated www.debraparmley.com with a Twitter feed on the home page (I Twittered from Heather Grahams Writers for New Orleans on Labor Day weekend) as well as a section on the home page of my book signings and appearances.
I also have a section where you can sign up for my newsletter and I'm giving away a copy of the ebook version of A Desperate Journey to one lucky subscriber who signs up in the month of Sept.

I'm also writing as fast as my fingers can type in a write-a-thon called Unleash Your Story which raises funds for Cystic Fibrosis.

And this coming Saturday I'll be in Little Rock, AR at Words Worth Books signing A Desperate Journey from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. You can find a map on my website.

Till next time, have a beautiful week and keep reading!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

Make-Believe Mondays is taking a break to celebrate the Labor Day holiday. We will resume next week.

Visit
www.debraparmley.com to keep up with Debra's news (now also on Twitter) and I will be signing books in Hernando, MS next Saturday from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Details and a map are available on my website as well.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays With H David Blalock


Today on Make-Believe Mondays, my guest is H David Blalock.

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

David: Thanks for the chance to talk to your audience, Debra. Always great to be able to connect with new readers.

I just completed the manuscript for EMPEROR and submitted it to Sams Dot Publishing for consideration. That is the second in a series of three stand-alone titles with a common theme: ASCENDANT, EMPEROR, and DEITY. ASCENDANT appeared in March, and I'm hoping Sams Dot will accept EMPEROR in time to appear by March of next year. Meanwhile, I am working on several other manuscripts. HIGH KINGS is a time-travel novel, ANGELKILLER is a horror/thriller, and THE BOATHOUSE is a secret-society novel. I work on all three simultaneously, so I don't get “burnt out” on the stories.

Debra: Oh, you're quite welcome, David. It's a pleasure having you here.
Fingers crossed acceptace and pub dates all fall into line.
That's an excellent way to prevent burn out and writers block.

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?

David: I do a lot of people watching, observing how people react to ordinary situations and then postulating how they might react to extraordinary situations. I also read as often as I can, usually authors from the mid-twentieth century, before the advent of mass market paperbacks. Their ideas were so innovative for their time, groundbreaking even, that just by soaking in their work I feel inspired.

Debra: People are fascinating. So many characters and stories can come to mind when watching them. An there's nothing quite like good writing to inspire.

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

David: Yes, usually before they ever hit the page. I find it difficult to write a character into existence. They have to already have “spoken” to me before I start the story. I need to know who they are and how they act in order to describe them properly. I have tried creating characters on paper, but that never seems to work for me.

Debra: That never works for me either. I have to close my eyes and see them and hear them.

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?

David: Well, writing fantasy you kind of have to make up words – names, terms, language. There is an art to that too, though. I think that fantasy readers have certain expectations about names in fantasy stories. You couldn't call your magic-using hero “Fred”, for instance, unless you were writing a comic piece.

Debra: Yes, true and it very much is an art. Well, there'd have to be a very good reason for calling him Fred. (Or her.) 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?

David: Actually, the entirety of the three-book series is built on a framework of stories that came in dreams over about a three year period in the early 1970s. From that background material, I was able to cobble together a coherent storyline and produce what I personally believe is a thought-provoking, perhaps even a little controversial, set of works.

Debra: Fascinating!

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

David: The most influential author for me as a child was actually Robert Heinlein. I started out as an avid science-fiction fan, in love with the science as much as the fiction. As I grew older I became interested in the freedom afforded writers of fantasy such as Lin Carter and Frank Laurie. I had been writing since I was a boy, and from that point forward I found myself more drawn to fantasy, although I never lost my love for science-fiction.

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?

David: Wow, that's a tough one. You see, much as I hate to admit it, I don't write for an audience, although I know I should. I write to tell a story and hope the audience will come along for the ride. I may never be famous because of that, but it makes the process so much more satisfying personally.

Debra: Oh, I don't know. I think sometimes when an author writes for an audience, the works shows it. Especially if they write beyond their enthusiasm for the story. The best combo is writing what you love and the market loving what you write. Then you can happily make a living doing what you love. The market seems to drive everything else though. So I think it's good for upcoming writers to see other writing focusing on work that they love.

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?

David: Imagination is the heart of creative writing, without which it couldn't exist. It's the greatest pleasure a writer can have to have related an idea, a concept, a belief, intact and whole from themselves to another person and to have that person understand it, whether as simple entertainment or something more. Creative writers have often been prophetic in their ideas. Arthur C. Clarke predicted satellite communication. Jules Verne predicted use of the submarine outside the battlefield. H.G. Wells predicted the use of the aircraft in the battlefield... the examples go on and on, and not just in science-fiction. In the years to come, when people look back on the literature of our time, I would like them to see a fullness of ideas and hopefully a wisdom that would compare favorably with that of those men.

Debra: Yes, there is no other pleasure quite like that one.
I wonder who the next Jules Verne or H.G. Wells will be?

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

David: Thanks Debra!

Debra: You're quite welcome.
Readers please visit David at his

Personal Website: http://ThranKeep.com
Personal Blog: http://hdavidblalock.blogspot.com

and visit the new group he just formed
http://sites.google.com/site/imagicopter

----------------------------
Debra's News/Debra is Watching:

Last week I got together with my web designer and made some changes to my website. I'm quite pleased with it and though there are a few more things to add, like video from my book launch, it's almost done.

www.debraparmley.com

A future project in the planning stages is a book trailer for A Desperate Journey.

This weekend I will be in New Orleans at Heather Grahams Writers Weekend. If you are in the area, the book signing is Saturday from 11:30 to 2:30. Come by and say hello!

Make-Belive Mondays With Mel Francis


Today on Make-Believe Mondays I'm thrilled to be able to introduce my friend Mel Francis. Mel has her first book out!

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

Mel: Well, I’m playing with an idea for a 3rd book in the Bite Me! series and I’m also working on a new series that is super secret…I could tell you but then…well, you know.

Debra: Yeah, you'd have to kill me.

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?

Mel: The beach always fills me up, but unfortunately I don’t get to go that often so I make due w/ the bodies of water I have available to me like the river or the lake. I have been known to take pictures and just walk to help refill my creative well.

Debra: Water is so restful and soul filling and there's something about just going for a walk.

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

Mel: I can’t start writing until I believe the character is real. They talk to me before the story ever begins. More often than not, I have a character and no story. The more they talk, the clearer their story becomes to me.

Debra: I like the way you put that. We really do need to believe in our characters.

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?

Mel: Well, when you write Urban Fantasy/Paranormal you almost always have to play with language. In Bite Me! many of my vampires drink blood from a “Hemoshake.” I’m pretty certain I made that word up. J

Debra: Yes you do! "Hemoshake" is a pretty cool word.

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?

Mel: I just recently had a dream that I know will end up in my new WIP. I’ll give you a hint, Warring Turtles. And no, not of the Teenage Mutant Ninja variety.

Debra: Ooh fun! Guess I'll have to wait and see.

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

Mel: Three books from my childhood were very important to me. 1) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 2) Deenie by Judy Blume and 3) when I was a teen, Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss

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?

Mel: As a kid, if you would ever have told me I would get paid to make stuff up, I would have laughed myself silly. Now I think it’s the best job ever. So encourage the kids to daydream, you never know what can come from it!

Debra: So very true! Somewhere there's a kid out there daydreaming who is filled with so much potential. Or perhaps thousands of them! Maybe some of your YA readers even. ;-)

Mel, thank 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 Mel at
melissafrancis.net

www.haveyoubeenbitten.com

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Debra's News/Debra is Watching:

Last week I joined a new group formed by my friend H. David Blalock, called Imagicopter. The launch was on Saturday at Davis-Kidd in Memphis, TN and I attended as a surprise guest. I will be joining them at future signings around the mid-south. To learn more about our group visit
imagicopter

www.debraparmley.com

Monday, August 17, 2009

Make-Believe Monday With Frank Tuttle

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Frank Tuttle.

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

Frank: The manuscript I’m working on now is called ‘The Banshee’s Walk.’ It’s a Markhat novel – a very long Markhat novel. This one is set just outside of Rannit proper, and there may or may not be a banshee involved. But I’m not saying.

Debra: Well I guess I'll have to read it to find out. Very intrigued by your banshee.

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?

Frank: I read a lot. I try to read things that are completely alien to whatever I’m working on. If I’m writing a gentle kid’s story, I try to pick up ultraviolent zombie fiction. For Markhat, I try to read hard SF. I also just shut my eyes and listen to Pink Floyd and let my mind drift. Although I had to stop doing that while driving, after the incident with the petting zoo.

Debra: LOL Well my hubby has turned out the lights while driving at night just to see better but I've never known anyone to drive with their eyes closed. You must be quite talented. lol And now I want to know what happened with the petting zoo.

Ahem. Okay. Back to the questions. Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Frank: Oh yes, but Dr. Phelps says I should ignore them, ha ha. Truly, I hear every bit of dialog, and I hear it spoken in the character’s voice. Especially Mama Hog’s. She cracks me up, and sometimes I honestly wonder where the things she says come from.

When I’m writing the Markhat stories, which are told in first-person, I hear Markhat’s voice as I type. It’s almost as if I’m just transcribing an audio program, when the session is going really well. I know that sounds strange but that’s how it is.

Debra: I love that name, Mama Hog. And I don't think that sounds strange at all. Dickens used to carry on whole conversations with his characters and sometimes become that character for a while.

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?

Frank: Oh yeah. I love making up names – proper names, place names, you name it. The huldra, from “Hold the Dark?” I knew when I started writing the story something called a huldra would play a big role, even though I didn’t know just what role until it actually made its appearance.

Sometimes I sneak in local place names – Pot Lockney, Yocona, Britney Woods – but usually I make them up. And not just any made-up word will do. There’s a feel and a sound that just has to be right. I keep lists of nonsense words, lol. Just because some of them sound so cool.

Debra: Just the sound of it is cool. Huldra. Yeah I like that.

The feel of a word in your mouth as well as the sound. Definately.

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?

Frank: Not really. I daydream stuff up all the time, but my actual sleeping dreams always seem to center around being stranded on a desert island with the Pussycat Dolls, and that’s really hard to work into most of my stories.

Debra: Oh but what a fun fantasy for you. ;-)

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

Frank: Everything I read did, lol. I suppose Tolkien had the biggest impact, with L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt’s ‘Enchanter’ series a close second. And another assorted dozen right on their heels – Niven’s Ringworld, Zelazny’s Amber books, the list is pretty long. I read everything I could find, from Amber to Xanth.

Debra: I wonder if all children who devour books end up writing? Maybe soaking up so many words and worlds creates a surplus of them in our minds which then has to go somewhere.

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?

Frank: I’d like to think that it would be what I’m writing now, with Markhat. He’s a wise-cracking private eye in a world where vampires and Trolls mix with magics and mayhem. And now I’m throwing romance into the mix. I probably can’t get much wilder than that!

Debra: I like your mix, Frank. Mixing it up is always fun.

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?

Frank: I guess my only message would be this – BUY MY BOOKS. Seriously. I’m begging you here.

Debra: LOL You crack me up. You really do.

Frank: Just kidding. The only message I have is for readers to keep reading. There are so many other pastimes out there, competing for our attention. You could be playing a video game right now, or watching YouTube. And that’s fine, both activities have their place. I’d just hate to see reading fall away over the course of the next century, as video and other media make it easier for us to retire our own imaginations in favor of flashy graphics. And buy my books. Yeah. That too.

Debra: Yes, I agree. And buy Franks books! LOL

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

Readers, you have a chance to win a copy of Dead Man's Rain, thanks to our awesome editor Beth. Leave a comment for Frank and I will announce the winner next Monday.
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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

My father is down from Ohio to visit this week, so I'll be running around town with him enjoying his company. Mostly working on the PR and marketing end of writing. Then next week will be back to the pages. I don't get to see him often so I'm making every moment count.

www.debraparmley.com

Thank you to everyone who came out to Saturdays book fair and thank you for buying my book! It is still a thrill for me each time I sign another book.

This weeks winner of Dead Man's Rain will be announced next Monday.

Last weeks winner is..........Candice!
email me at debra@debraparmley.com so we can send it off to you and thanks for commenting!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays With AE Rought

Today on Make-Believe Mondays, my guest is AE Rought.

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

AE: Well, Debra, I have more than one manuscript going right now, so I'll give you a quick run down of the major attention getters:

Beau and Laney, the sequel to Slade and Kally, is set on the Fourth Moon ranch in Hulett, Wyoming. Beau is a driven, strong minded character who knows what he wants and how to go about getting it. Laney is under her parents' thumb, and is struggling to make a life on her own. Add a jealous almost ex-boyfriend and meddling ex-girlfriend into the mix and you've got tension, steam and more than a few laughs.

Systemic is a genre blending story, mixing sexy scenes with the ick and gore of a zombie flick. Kat, the heroine, is a survivalist who falls for a man she meets on her night out. Jared is the sexiest nerd she's ever met, an immunologist on the trail of a miracle one-time immunization shot that, once tampered with by a jealous female, causes the entire lab to fall one by one and become zombies. Kat saves the day with her trusty Sig Sauer and an arsenal of ammunition and one liners.

Vengeance Eclipsed is the continuing story in my urban fantasy series that I'm shopping to agents. The series mixes werewolves, werecats, vampires and Mixed Martial Arts in a kick ass, fast paced ongoing tale of a hybrid, her struggles to get revenge for the life she's been forced to live and the sexy werecat cage fighter who distracts her.

I'm also writing two erotic tales under my sassy southern penname.

Debra: Your projects are quite varied! The western is intriguing me. (One might guess I have a thing for westerns and for cowboys.)

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?

AE: I have playlists for each manuscript that I have playing while I write. I also switch my desktop wallpapers to sustain the mood. Heck, I even have crystals and incense. And, when the old writing battery gets too low, hubby and I spend some time by one of our favorite water sources. There are some picturesque lakes, ponds and rivers here in Michigan. I always coming away feeling refreshed and recharged.

Debra: The playlist idea is a good one. Switching wallpapers, that's unique. So your entire writing environment is geared to that particular manuscript you are working on. I just might try that.

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

AE: Oh, definitely! One of the characters in my urban fantasy series actually talked me out of killing him off and into setting him up with the heroine's best friend. He's a smooth talker. Most of my other characters grow their own voice and personality as I write, by the second or third chapter.

Debra: Oh my, he is a smooth talker! LOL I just love that!

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?

AE: Yes, I did. In my creative writing class at Grand Valley State University, during our poetry session, I created a couple words. Big fun. My favorite created phrase was screeling, a combo of screeching and squealing.

Debra: It is great fun! And so many writers have played this way with some fascinating results.

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?

AE: Not really. I have images, snippets of scenes come to mind doing mundane tasks when my brain might've been kind of dozing, but I was physically awake. A lot of scenes come to me when I'm in the shower. Once I had the hubby grab a notebook and take dictation.

Debra: Now that's a good hubby!

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

AE: I loved fantasy when I was in school. Mom bought me The Hobbit in junior high and I was hooked after that, a huge, huge Tolkien fan--also a big sucker for Carole Nelson Douglas and Stephan R. Donaldson.

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?

AE: Well, Systemic is probably the craziest combination I've toyed with yet, melding horror and romance and some humor. Vengeance Moon was fun, very dark and gritty, and I loved immersing myself in that after Slade and Kally's light, sweet atmosphere.

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?

AE: Other than love, there is no greater gift than imagination, in my mind. Vast, wonderful worlds, unknown creatures and magick untapped exist in the realm of imagination, ones not yet shared by those dreaming them. If mine ever fails, I want someone to take me out behind the shed and put me out of my misery.

Debra: If imagination fails, we're all in trouble.

AE, Thanks so much for visting here on Make-Believe Mondays to share a bit of the magic of imagination, creativity and dreams.

Readers, you have a chance to win a copy of AE's ebook! Our lovely editor Beth, has donated a copy. Isn't she awesome?

Just leave a comment here on the blog and I will announce the winner on the following Monday!

Vist AE at
www.aerought

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Debra's News/Debra is watching:

This coming Saturday I will be at the Book Fair at Books and Beauty on Covington Pike in Memphis, TN from 10:00 till 2:00 signing and reading from my book, A Desperate Journey. I'll be reading at 12:30. If you are in the area, stop on by and say hello!

www.debraparmley.com

Here on Make-Believe Mondays we will have contests for our readers to win free books! To win all you need to do is leave a comment and I will announce the winner on the following Monday!

Next Monday my guest is Frank Tuttle.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Today on Make-Believe Mondays, tips from my editor, Bethany

Today on Make-Believe Mondays I'm taking a little break in order to re-direct you to the Samhain blog. My editor, Bethany Morgan, has posted tips over there. So this one is for all my writer friends.
tips from editor Bethany Morgan

I may from time to time take a break from our regular author interviews to introduce an editor or two. Maybe post some tips.

There are a few things in the works to change things up a little here, just for variety, but I will continue to offer author interviews here. Just adding a few little surprises.

Till next week, happy reading and happy writing!

Debra

www.debraparmley.com

Monday, July 27, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays With N. D. Hansen-Hill

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is N.D. Hansen.

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

N.D.: I'm actually working on 5 books at the moment, Debra: a Regency romance about a woman with dowsing abilities, but she's gifted at seeking gemstones and metal objects in the ground instead of water or oil; a mainstream SF thriller about 3 archeologists who know far more about their "finds" than they should; a gargoyle book where the gargoyles come from another world; a paranormal romance where the heroine is struck by lightning then develops an ability to see ghostly, and ghastly, animals; and a fantasy about a spelunker who encounters more than rocks in a cave.

Debra: They all sound very intriguing, especially the spelunking. Could be just about anything hiding in a cave.

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?

N.D.: I read heaps of non-fiction, actually, plus I've studied the sciences (plant pathology/virology specifically), and am now studying archeology. New ideas constantly pop up. It's just a matter then of binding them together into a cohesive whole .

Debra: And with your background, the fiction is bound to be more plausible.

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

N.D.: Usually, as soon as I describe the first scene, or the dialogue begins. For me, it's more a matter of place and action than looks. Someone may have long legs or wispy hair, but it's the action that really matters to me—that defines my characters.

Debra: Action defines character and keeps the stories moving, so true.

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?

N.D.: Always, but most often in my fantasies! My editors always catch them, and then I have to explain why and how. I frequently have my characters speak in other languages, too, that I translate as I go along.

Debra: What fun! We readers do need that translation.

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?

N.D.: I sleep so soundly that even if I were to dream a scene, I'd never wake up to write it, LOL! That said, I have several writing friends who dream entire scenes or manuscripts, then rush to capture the gist of them before they vanish! Wish it were that way for me!

Debra: LOL In three years of doing these interviews, you're the first author to tell me that! At least you wake well rested. :-)

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

N.D.: There was a book about a blind boy who wanted to give the best gift in the whole world to a princess. He was poor and had nothing so he grew her a strawberry in his garden. It was the finest gift the princess received, and made her cheeks and lips grow rosy with joy. I loved that book!

Debra: Oh, that sounds like a sweet story. I wonder if any of our readers know the title of it.

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?

N.D.: The kind of story I already write, except the only romances I would scrawl would be historicals. To be honest, I don't really enjoy writing romance as much as fantasy or sci-fi.

Debra: Hmmm....well there's much more cross over than there used to be. Hopefully that helps.

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?

N.D.: A core of realism and quality research underlies imagination. To make the story believable, it's important to embed it with a sense of the real, the here and now. Make it plausible, and both you and your readers will enjoy it far more.

Debra: And you do just that! N.D.thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

N.D.: Thank you so much, Debra, for inviting me to blog with you! I've really enjoyed it!

Debra: It's been my pleasure!

Best wishes,
Norah/ND/Melody

www.NDHansen-Hill

www.MelodyKnight.com

www.myspace.com/ndmanuscripts

www.twitter.com/writingfool

www.facebook.com/nd.hansen.hill

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Debra's News/Debra is Watching:

Well I am loving my new library writing day. On Thursdays I go to the library and write from 9 to 5 and stay away from phones and internet. (Which means turning off my iphone until I am done working.) It's my new favorite day of the week.

Of course one day a week is not enough for a romance novelist to get her books written, so must write on other days too. Thursday just happens to be my day to retreat from the world to write. Other days of the week I write at home.

I've been seeing lots of movies lately. They feed my creative cup. Recently I've seen the new Harry Potter, Casablanca at the old Orpheum theater in Memphis, and Angels and Demons.

www.debraparmley.com

My next scheduled book signing and reading is Aug. 15th at Books and Beauty in Memphis TN. Books and Beauty is a unique Beauty Salon that is also a book store! More details as that event gets closer.

May you have a merry Monday!

Love and light,
Debra

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays With Meg Benjamin


Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest it Meg Benjamin.

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

Meg: Well, Wedding Bell Blues is being released by Samhain Publishing on July 21. It’s the story of a disastrous wedding—the hero and heroine are the best man and maid of honor who are trying to keep the whole thing from imploding. Here’s the blurb: Janie Dupree will do anything to make sure her best friend has the wedding of her dreams, even if it means relinquishing what every bridesmaid covets and never gets—the perfect maid-of-honor dress. Problem is, family drama as tangled as a clump of Texas prickly pear cactus threatens to send the skittish bride hopping aboard the elopement express.

Janie could use a hand, but the best man’s “help” is only making things worse.

Pete Toleffson just wants to get through his brother’s wedding and get back to his county attorney job in Des Moines. He never expected to be the engineer on a wedding train that’s derailing straight toward hell. Janie’s the kind of girl he’d like to get close to—but her self-induced role as “Miss Fix-It” is as infuriating as it is adorable.

If they can just fend off meddling parents, vindictive in-laws, spiteful ex-boyfriends, and a greyhound named Olive long enough to achieve matrimonial lift-off, maybe they can admit they’re head-over-heels in love.

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

Meg: Oh yeah. In fact, hearing the characters’ voices is really important to me. After I’ve worked on a story for a while, I can begin to tell myself, “No, so-and-so wouldn’t say that.” Which means I have to sit down and think about just what she/he would say under those conditions—hearing their voices, in other words. Seeing them is harder. I sometimes begin a book by finding pictures that look like my people. I don’t create collages, like some of my friends, but I do collect pictures to look at, at least initially. I also sometimes have actors in mind, but that can be tricky because I sometimes end up thinking of characters those actors have played who may be very far from the characters I’m trying to create.

Debra: Usually I see my story people before I hear them, so we're opposites on that. But I've tried using photos too.

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

Meg: I was one of those kids who loved folk tales and fairy tales. My mom read me Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, and the Arabian Nights. I also loved the Alice books and Oz. And when I got older I read most of the Narnia books, too. I also loved an obscure bunch of books by an author named Edward Eager called Half Magic, about a family of children who found a magic coin that could grant wishes, but only half of what they wished for. They spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to wish for twice what they really need and then end up with weird results (duh!).

Debra: All wonderful tales. I'd love to read Half Magic. Maybe there are still copies floating about.

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?

I think it’s important to remember that creating ordinary, “realistic” worlds also requires imagination. Being creative isn’t limited to imagining alternative worlds—imagining the everyday world takes creativity as well. After all, we’re not really dealing with “reality” here; it’s what I think of as “reality 2.0”. We’re not actually dealing with what people “really” do or think or say; rather, we’re dealing with what they do or think or say in this neat little microcosm we’ve created for them. It’s not real life—it’s life reimagined.

Debra: So very true. Life reimagined.



www.megbenjamin.com

megbenjamin.wordpress.com

Debra: Meg, 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:

Thursday is my new favorite day of the week because my new schedule is to go to the library and write on Thursdays from 9 to 5. This is a time when I do not answer emails or phone calls (even with the iphone) And the writing is going very well.

www.debraparmley.com