I have been a freelance journalist and photographer; a columnist for a Canadian collectibles magazine writing about antique dolls (column was called “Hayes on Dolls”); a newspaper reporter; have had a showing of my 5X7 photographs in a local gallery; been an actress for a short time; and am a screenwriter of both short and feature-length films.
What inspires you to write?
Life. People. There are so many combinations of different characters living different lives that I could write all day every day and never even skim the surface of the stories that actually exist and the ones that deserve to be told, and then there are the tales my mind makes up.
Tell us about your writing process.
I firmly believe in outlining. The more detailed your outline, the better you are prepared to let spontaneous events/happenings into your story without the whole thing getting derailed. I outline on paper… actually I write the whole story on paper, in long hand. Like Michael Crichton. It helps me feel more of a connection to the people and the story than typing things into a computer. The typing comes later after the story is all written. (So much for saving trees! Guess that’s why I use recycled paper!)
My character sketches are more profiles than sketches. I ask myself what they would look like, what they would do on an average day, what is unique about their personality, what their goals in life are, what they need to happen in their life, what they WANT to happen, etc. I have to know all of this beforehand. Your stories come out of your characters… you can’t make characters to fit into a plot… that’s like trying to put a square peg in a round hole — although that situation can sometimes increase the conflict and tension in your story, too.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
In order to truly create your characters, you have to be able to hear them talk, so listening is definitely involved. And then there are the times when your characters will talk to you, telling you that they wouldn’t do what you’d just written them doing, or wouldn’t say something the way you’d just written it… and sometimes, if you’re very lucky, they’ll help you solve a problem with your story plot. They can get bold enough to try and take over… when that happens, I run with how they want the story to be told. You can always go back and override their ideas. 🙂
What advice would you give other writers?
Advice… that’s difficult to give without sounding cliche. But cliches come about because they are repeated truths… so, be persistent. Always keep improving your skill as a story teller. Make yourself invaluable to a well-known publisher author and maybe they’ll become your mentor. Never stop telling the kinds of stories you like to read — they will be the ones you write the best.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Short on Time Books, my publisher, is new on the publishing scene. They specialize in quick-read stories and are open to publishing novelized versions of movie scripts/screenplays. Since A TASTE OF REALITY was a screenplay that wasn’t earning any attention in the movie-making business and since I hated to see it just sit in a ‘drawer’ gathering dust, I thought why not ask SOT Books if they’d be interested. They were! So that’s how I and my co-writer came to bring A TASTE OF REALITY to readers.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Book publishing is never going to go away. It may morph into different technologies, different forms that we can’t conceive of right now, but people will always want to read. Ebooks are great conveniences, but there is nothing like the feel and the smell of a new book in your hands. Independent bookstores may struggle for a while, but like LP records, they will come back into fashion.
What do you use?
Co-writer, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
YA, fantasy, romance, thriller/mystery, historical fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print