Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today my guest on Make-Believe Mondays is Delle Jacobs.
Delle, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.
Delle: Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Debra. What a fun subject you have!
Delle: My current works in progress would fit right in with that because they’re both fantasies, and both historical, which combines two types of fantasy in one.
SIDHE is a very sensual medieval paranormal story set in Norman England. The Sidhe (pronounced Shee, are the Celtic faeriekind, not your ordinary wee creature casting about fairy dust, but tall, slim and elegant descendants of the legendary Tuatha de Danaan, with powers beyond those humans can comprehend. Leonie of Bosewood, daughter of a Norman lord, hides her true Sidhe heritage, lest odinary humans think her a witch. But a forced marriage to a Norman she believes means to kill her thrusts her into the middle of a furious struggle for power over Northern England, pitting Normans against Scots. She is forced to ally with her mysterious and frightening husband against even more dangerous, unknown powers that threaten to destroy them, the world of man and the hidden world of the Sidhe.
SIREN is completely different, a short novella that is a very hot, sensual re-telling of the Siren myth. For thousands of years, sirens have lured sailors to their deaths with their beautiful song. Clipper ship Captain John Wall has heard and felt the lure, and it took everything he had in him to resist its power. But he will let nothing and no one stand between him and his dreams of success and wealth. Then, just as he is about to achieve his goal, he meets the King of Storms, and his beloved ship, with the cargo that cost him his last shilling, goes down off the Coast of Africa. Clinging to debris and nearly dead, he succumbs to the Siren’s kiss, and in her embrace, slips beneath the waves. He believes he must be dead, for what happens to him is beyond his wildest imagination.
Debra: It's my pleasure, Delle, and thank you. I love stories about faeries and sirens.
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?
Delle: I think this is both an enormous challenge, and an easy fix. The power is always in our own minds, and how we open ourselves to new ideas comes not just from our natural creativity but how we challenge it and shove it around. I don’t buy the Muse theory. I’m not willing to let anything so arbitrary control my mind. It’s my own responsibility to get my imagination in gear. I do lots of things, like read or go through my large collection of books with photos of settings I love. I try to avoid surfing the net because it’s too easy to waylay myself with something that’s fun but mindless. I try to look beyond the narrow scope of what I’m currently writing, to different times or places, or people who wouldn’t normally be in my story. These can often lend a piece that fits into my puzzle and gives it unique qualities.
I’ve discovered that when I encounter a mind block or stuck place in my story, the problem is not that my brain just won’t cooperate. I’m actually at a point of opportunity. This is my chance to take my story out of the ordinary into something special. I use the technique I learned from Jolie Kramer: “List ten things that could happen. Throw away the first six because they’re trite.” The reality is, I rarely get to six before I find the perfect solution- the one thing I know in my heart is what would really happen.
And the funny part of this is, the more I write, the better my imaginations does its job.
Debra: Yes, and when it becomes the day job, we can't be sitting around staring at the blank page and hoping the muse will arrive. We have to do things to make it happen.
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Delle: Yes, the ornery devils. They never let me write my own stories. I may think I know the best way to go, but they don’t care.
Debra: They can be stubborn that way. :-)
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?
Delle: My most creative writing time comes to me in the reverie right before I fall asleep. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to wake up enough to jot down a few notes in the notebook beside my bed. If not, sometimes I manage to persuade myself to memorize the dream to write it in the morning. True dreams, when I’m really asleep, also influence my writing. The basic concept for SIREN came to me in a dream. The mindset (that’s the only way I can describe it) for SIDHE was part of a dream, which I developed into the concept the next morning. A number of scenes and secrets (it’s full of secrets) of SIDHE have come in dreams through the year I’ve been writing it. They’ve given the story a completely different cast from what it would have been.
Debra: Those bedside notebooks are sometimes the only way to capture what might otherwise drift back into the world of dreams, making us forget.
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?*
Delle: Even as a child, I was always one to go off into the world of Make Believe for adventure. So I think it’s wonderful that as an adult I still get to visit that world daily, simply because I write fiction.
We read and write fiction because there is something in us that must have a world beyond ourselves. Fiction helps us to reach beyond our own limitations to grasp for the stars. It reminds us of a bigger universe and takes us out of the isolation of our inner being. Those who learn to reach beyond themselves, through fiction or other means, find they have more to give to the world than their simple day-to-day existence. They have the sort of far-reaching vision that can make the world a better place.
Debra: Yes, indeed. Well stated.
Readers please visit Delle at:
Delle: I’m excited by it because I’ve just got the new one up. Completely re-decorated! I still have some pages and links I want to add, and still spotting bloopers. Feel free to tell me if you see anything wrong.
My blog is new, and is generating lots of excitement. That’s because it’s about something that interests all romance readers and writers: IN SEARCH OF HEROES
We’re exploring heroes and all aspects of them, real or fictional.
Check it out at
I have some great book videos (and a holiday greeting you’ll like) on YouTube: Delle on Utube
My latest book release, APHRODITE’S BREW, will come out in print at the end of this month, January 27^th . It’s available now as an ebook, as is SINS OF THE HEART.
Delle-Jacobs at Samhain
Debra's News/Debra is Watching:
This week I'm a day late posting the interview and seem to be behind on everything. I've been down with something for the last six days but have antibiotic for it now and hope to catch up and be feeling better by the end of the week.
We all have weeks like that, don't we?
One happy little plus is, my flight for the RT convention has been purchased this week. I am looking forward to sunny Orlando, visiting with friends, teaching, and signing books. Something to think about on a cold January day when I'm feeling rather icky. Now that I have my schedule set I'll be posting it in the calendar section on my website this week.
Stay warm, be well, and do something today that makes you smile!