M.D. Grimm lives in the wet state of Oregon, and when Grimm isn’t reading, writing, or watching movies, Grimm dreams of owning a pet dragon. Grimm wanted to become an author since second grade and feels that dream is finally coming true. Grimm was fortunate to have supporting parents who never said to “get your head out of the clouds.” While Grimm doesn’t like to write in only one set genre, Grimm feels romance is at the core of most of her stories. M.D. earned a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Oregon (go Ducks!) and hopes to put that degree to good use in the literature world as well as the “real” world.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always described it as a compulsion. I *have* to write. I’ve wanted to create stories since the second grade and I never grew out of it. I never attempted to publish until I was in my senior year of college. I still have a lot to learn about writing but I know I’ve grown exponentially since my first published book.
But what inspires me, specifically? Life, in general. I also find inspiration in other books, in movies, sometimes even in poems. I never consciously look for inspiration, it has always simply come to me. I’m never lacking in story ideas. The problem comes with the limited hours in a day, and the fact that I have a 9-5 job that eats up most of my time. I always enjoy an element of the fantastical in my stories, whether it’s outright fantasy or shape-shifting or magic in the modern world.
I’m a huge fan of asking “what if?” Most of my stories come from my answer to “what if?” As in, what if a bird shape-shifter and a snake shape-shifter fell in love? What if a dark mage anti-hero fell in love? What if there was a war between those with magic in their blood and shape-shifters? You get the point. I don’t always consciously ask myself that question, but since my subconscious is always working, I don’t need to. Inspiration comes from everywhere, everything I see, hear, touch, and “sense.” I like working with opposing forces when it comes to my romantic couples, but sometimes I work with complementary elements and they offer up their own set of challenges.
Tell us about your writing process.
This is a loaded question. I suppose I would say I’m an outliner. I certainly outline major events, and sometimes dialogue if I have a good scene. I make full character charts which includes, not just their appearance, but a full bio. I may not put all that info in the book, but *I* need to know certain things about my characters which will influence how they interact with others and any given situation.
I use Microsoft Word when outlining. I don’t go for anything fancy. Though, for my series books, I sometimes use a white board to draw timelines with arrows and such. Sometimes I need that visual representation of my overall series plot and that requires a bigger board.
That being said, while I may outline scenes and events, my characters always surprise me. I don’t plan *everything*. I try to leave some things open, so they can surprise me. Some stories and characters speak louder than others, which influences how detailed an outline I have. While I always have detailed character outlines, my story outlines can vary from vague to literally scene-by-scene. I also have a “notes” page which is where I jot down those random thoughts or snatches of dialogue I think might work somewhere in the story. When I let the story simmer long enough, sometimes I can write an entire scene in my head, and that’s when the “notes” page comes in very handy.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
While I can’t say I have full-out conversations with my characters, I do “listen” to them, in some ways. Let me explain it this way: I was a huge fan of “Fantasia” when I was a child. It was a movie that had amazing images coupled with music, to tell interesting stories. That made an impression on me, one I never truly noticed until I started writing. The best way for me to “listen” to my characters is when I listen to music, usually when I exercise. I see the characters in a scene, in my head, accented by the music. I hear their voices, their emotions, and can see their facial expressions. I “see” them. I don’t always need music, but it can trigger such images. I especially use this technique when it comes to action scenes. These are the hardest scenes for me to write, and music helps me see and describe the action.
My characters often surprise me, as I mentioned earlier. They usually follow my grand plan but create detours along the way. I always let them lead the charge, since the story is always better with those detours and minor changes. I can’t always know how the finished product will turn out, but I haven’t been disappointed yet!
What advice would you give other writers?
This is just my opinion: Write for yourself first and foremost. You won’t please everyone, you will get negative reviews, and there will always be someone who says you can’t or shouldn’t write. You need to write to please yourself. You need to be your biggest fan. You need to write the story that needs to be written, and turn away from the naysayers. I have to write. I would be miserable if I didn’t. I like to say that my muse is a tough old bird who doesn’t scare easy. She doesn’t. She considers the opinions of others, absorbs the constructive criticism, but writes the stories that need to be written. If others like my books, sure it pleases me, and I love every one of my fans. But I will not let them dictate what I write or how I write.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I realized I wanted to write romances early on, then I realized I wanted to write m/m romance. I preceded to research… a lot. I found a couple of eBook publishers, bought a couple of their books to see what sort of writers they published. I then researched their legitimacy, and once I was satisfied, I submitted my own work. I got rejected a lot. It happens. But when my first book was published, I got on a Yahoo Author group and that was when I truly bloomed. I found so much support, advice, and other publishing houses. I also found betas, who are priceless and precious resources.
I would encourage a lot of research. Determine what genre you’ll write in, then research that genre. Research the legitimacy of that publisher, this is very important. And then submit. Don’t expect to be accepted right off. But be bold enough to do so. The bottom line is: if you want to get published, put your work out there. That’s the only way.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I like eBooks. I really do. But there’s nothing that compares to print books, in my humble opinion. I hope the loveliness of print books never goes away. I don’t think it will, since many people still aren’t interested in eBooks (though they are very convenient, especially during travel). But I know that eBook publishing is the new medium and I have nothing but good thoughts about it.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-Fi
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print