Monday, June 28, 2010
Make-Believe Monday with M J Frederick
Welcome M J! First, please tell us a little bit about the manuscript
you’re working on now.
MJ: Thanks so much for having me! I love talking writing! Right now I’m revising a straight contemporary romance which combines a friends-to-lovers element with a road trip from Minnesota to Seattle during a snowstorm. I’m having so much fun building the tension! I’m also playing with the plot of a new romantic suspense that takes place on a cruise ship. I hope to start working on that one later this week.
Debra: It's a pleasure having you here. Road trips certainly have a way of bringing people together or pushing them apart, add a snowstorm and it just intensifies. I have a completed contemp set on a cruise ship also, which I'm sending out to agents currently. I'm partial to romance on the sea from all the trips I took while working as a travel consultant. Bet that one will be fun for you to write!
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?
M J: My very favorite thing is to go to the museum. It’s free on Tuesday nights, and when I’m there, I just want to grab a pen and notebook and start writing. It’s nothing in particular that I see, but the atmosphere fills me up. Also, going to historical buildings. Here in San Antonio, we have the Alamo and the missions. Those always light a spark in me.
Debra: Wonderful ideas all!
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
M J: If they don’t, I know I have a problem. If they aren’t real for me, I worry they won’t be real for the reader. Sometimes it’s that I haven’t spent enough time with them, or didn’t do enough to develop their personalities. When I first started writing, I wasn’t writing every day so I spent a lot longer thinking about my characters. I had characters set in a certain town near my grandparents’ place and now every time I drive through that town I think of those characters! I really should revisit that story….
Debra: Oh, yes, it sounds as if they are calling to you.
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?
M J: How funny you should ask. Beneath the Surface, my July Samhain book (in print July 6!) came from a dream. I dreamed of archaeologists working in the jungle and being kidnapped by guerillas. I fully intended to write that book, but the dh pointed out it could get pretty gritty, especially for the heroine. Around that time, one of the cable stations started playing the movie Twister a lot. I was drawn into the reunion aspect of the story, and Beneath the Surface took off from there.
Debra: Fascinating. Hmm maybe there are two books emerging from your dream. Dream worlds can be so rich and vivid.
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
M J: Trixie Belden! I recently rebuilt my collection. I loved the friendships of those novels, the adventures, the different settings. I wanted to be Honey Wheeler so bad. Then there were the Little House on the Prairie books, which weren’t imaginary, I guess, but I loved traveling back in time to her world (as long as I could eat Double-Stuff Oreos while reading them!)
Debra: Oh, I wanted to be Honey Wheeler too. (And don't tempt me with those Double-Stuff Oreos now, or I'll be in trouble.) lol
M J 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 M J at
Debra's News/Debra is watching:
I'll be chatting more on my Facebook Fan Page, as I close my personal page. Soon there will be pics from writing events I've attended (and yes some of those handsome cover models) as well as talk about the writing life. Stay tuned.
I'll be writing this week on Tue and Wed most of the day. Also plan to get a partial of the contemporary romance in the mail to an agent I've had my eye on. ;-) Wish me luck!
Until next time, stay cool in this summer heat and have a Happy Fourth of July!
Love, light and joy,