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
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!
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.