Monday, December 10, 2007

Make-Believe Mondays with Gina Black

Today on Make-Believe Mondays I am thrilled to be able to introduce my American Title II sister, Gina Black. Gina's first book, the Raven's Revenge, just came out and we are all celebrating its release.

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?

Gina: Creativity is everywhere. It's in fragrant flowers growing in a neighbor's garden, a cat's purr, a red balloon tied to a wrought iron fence, a hot cup of black tea with just the right amount of milk and sugar. To keep myself creative I take walks. I ride the bus to and from work. I watch people. I also indulge in knitting--a good time to work out plot points (unless I'm working on an intricate lace pattern!) and enjoy the feel of the soft fuzzy yarn (or smooth silk, or shiny bamboo). I firmly believe that the more we create the more we *can* create, so it's important to stay in practice. Specifically with my writing, I've found that I'm more creative if I write every day.

Debra: Yes, it becomes a way of life, a way of looking at everything around us and then inspiration is found everywhere we look, in everything we touch.

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

Gina: Yes, usually as I'm starting to fall asleep. Kidding. Kind of. My stories actually germinate in the dark recesses of my mind for quite some time before I start to write them. I don't do character sheets, although I usually work out the main plot points before I start writing. The main character usually comes to me first. When I stop deciding things about them and start hearing what they have to say about things I know they are taking over and it's time to start
writing the book. In THE RAVEN'S REVENGE, the hero, Nicholas, was right there from the very beginning, but Katherine, the heroine, took a lot more work and didn't appear as fully fleshed out until maybe the fifth revision.

Debra: Your process is so much like mine, the main character always coming first. (And I do believe that writers write even in their sleep even if they don't realize it.) ;-)

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

Gina: Books have always transported me to other times and places. From Dr. Suess' Mulberry Street, to A.A. Milne's 100 Acre Wood, stories have always given me worlds to visit and friends to cherish. Jo March, Laura Ingalls, Tom Sawyer, Elizabeth Bennett. Each in their own way
kept me company and helped me grow up and make choices for my life as they had for theirs. So many books were (and continue to be) part of my life I can't narrow it down to one.

Debra: Oh, there are so many to list, aren't there? Just when I think I have thought of them all another author answers this question and I think, oh yes, that one too. How can I have forgotten that one? lol

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?

Gina: I thought long and hard about this, but I couldn't come up with anything I would do differently than what I am doing now.

Debra: That is a wonderful thing to hear because it says you are right where you need to be, following your bliss.

Gina, thank you for coming to do the interview here at Make-Believe Mondays, and thank you for being such a wonderful supportive AT II sister.

Everyone, please visit Gina at her blog:

and her website: