What was the inspiration for your current book?
General Maximus Decimus Meridius – a.k.a Russell Crowe in The Gladiator. I’ve watched this film about 10 tens now and I’m still bowled over by his gorgeousness! He is the typical alpha male Roman hero IMHO.
I’ve actually got 3 writing places. One, sitting in my arm chair in the living room with the laptop on a small laptop table and with a footstool elevating my feet. The second, is a recliner chair that sits in the corner of our bedroom (with another footstool), and thirdly, the spare bedroom where I’ve got my own little office with desk and computer chair. But I seem more productive in the bedroom (that sound rude doesn’t it!) as I can type away quite happily for hours while hubby watches what he like on the TV in bed. The only thing I need to block out interruptions are my earplugs, then I can pretty much tap away to my heart’s content!
I’m always in awe of the productivity of some writers, and wish I could be as disciplined at they are. But I’m not. I do try to write every day except Wednesdays when I have other commitments. I find the weekends and evenings work best for me. Not having young children around means I’m not as constrained by the hustle and bustle of life as some writers are. I have learned by trial and error as to what works for me productivity wise. I did try once to get up at 5am to write before I went to work to try and increase the word-count but that was a disaster – Facebook and Candy Crush - but no writing! I’m definitely more productive the late afternoons and early evenings.
Before I got my Kindle I swore I would always buy books. But once I got my Kindle (a surprised Christmas present) I was totally converted to eBooks. I’ve discovered so many new authors (mainly as they are US based and their books were never released over here.) And once I’ve discovered them I often read all their backlists too!
For many years now I’ve suffered from insomnia. To get to sleep I normally make up stories in my head. The beginning of a love story between two individuals set almost anywhere! Then by the end of the first chapter I’ve normally fallen asleep. (My hard drive is full of “Chapter 1” ideas!). I also get ideas from reading voraciously. In my debut book for HarperImpulse – “The Roman”, the idea came from reading a children’s book about Herculaneum that I found in the library one day. I often find children’s history books (lots of pictures) spark an idea much more readily than a weighty historical tome! In this particular book there was a villa discovered at Herculaneum which had lots of bronze statutes. Justina, my heroine in “The Roman” is a sculptress and she lives and sculpts in a huge villa in Herculaneum. But when it comes to writing the whole book I’m definitely a “pantster” though. The idea starts and just flows from there. I’ve tried to plot out books, but to no avail – the characters just take over and demand their story to be written.
Learn your craft. Like any job, unless you are Superwoman, you have to learn and be trained to do it right. I’ve been an Environmental Health Officer for 25 years now and I’m still learning on the job all the time. Writing is very much like that. Beg, borrow or buy as many “How To” books as you can. If you want to write Romances, then Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing is a must, and the one thing that stuck when I read Kate’s book is “…emotion, emotion, emotion…”
I’m finishing off my second contracted book for HarperImpulse that has to be with them by the end of February. I’ve also got a “dirty draft” of another “Roman”, along with a “Viking”. Ideas in development include a “Regency” along with a “Futuristic” romance.
Social media – friend or foe?
Foe. But we are currently at the cease-fire point. I’m not very good on all things tecci, I’m afraid. I can handle the basics such as Facebook and Twitter, but I’m not good at anything else. But I’m also a realist. If I’m published as an eBook author then I need to embrace technology! I’m due to have some lessons soon with a computer geek, so finger’s crossed I’ll soon be a whiz on the social media front!