Monday, September 7, 2015

Another Q&A

Search my website for Q&A and you might find more. I periodically open up questions from my readers and select the ones I can answer (for obvious spoiler reasons, I can't address them all). I also skipped a few that didn't have enough additional information, so I couldn't write a proper answer.

So here is a collection of recent questions. Please note there could be spoilery answers to books that are already published, mostly the Seven series and Two Minutes. So read at your own peril.



Q: Did you always know the direction you'd take his [Prince's] character or the writing just took you that way? Can you elaborate on your thought process, writing his personality in the earlier books and in Two Minutes?

A:  People are complex. I've known people for years who still manage to surprise me when I learn more about their beliefs, or see the decisions they make in life that seemed to contradict what they used to say. Prince is an ancient, and by ancient, I don't mean he's just a couple hundred years old. He's been around since the Medieval period, and there are many things we don't understand about his life, his experiences, his family, and his culture.

It's easy to make a blanket judgement on someone (good or bad) because of something they say or how they behave. When we take the time to dig, we often learn more about what makes a person tick. Many of my characters have proved with the continuing series that there are many layers to them. Lorenzo is a good example of this. How we saw him in the beginning made more sense when we dug deeper into his story. Even Wheeler came across as fairly harmless, but then we learned about his dark past and what he's capable of. We're not seeing a different side to Prince in Two Minutes; we're getting to know a little more about him than what we'd already seen. But do we see it all?

I absolutely love writing complex characters. We're onions, people. Layers and layers of complexity. :)

Q: Where did Lexi put the pie?

A: Only Lexi knows. ;-)

Q: Did you know since the first book where she put the diamonds? Or did it take time for that to develop with you?

A: No. Writing is magic. Sometimes I find myself writing details that seem important, yet don't make sense in the moment. But as the series evolves, pieces fall into place as if it were meant to be. In some cases I'm able to pre-plan a lot of my breadcrumbs, but this is one instance where the idea came to me when I hit Three Hours.

Q: What happened to the little boy? His dad didn't kill him too did he?/Did Denver mate Cora?

A: Writing about a child's death is not something I take lightly, nor something I wanted to go into detail on when it's not necessary to the story. It was a tragic part of Denver's past and I think he was more sensitive to the death of the child than Cora herself, only because the boy was an innocent. Because of the fire, Denver will never know the details of exactly how the boy died - if he suffered - and perhaps that pains him most. Denver did not mate with Cora. He had an unrequited love.

 Q:  Is the Seven World Novel different from One Second? Just wanting to clarify..also if they are not the same thing. Is Seven World Novel a novel or a novella??

A: Yes, it is a different story. Charming is a spin-off from the series involving one or more characters, but does not fall within the series. It is a NOVEL! :-D Yay. It is not as long as the other novels, but it is classified as such because the word count is over 50K. It was meant to be a novella, but the story just kept going.

Q: Why was Denver waiting outside when the rest of the mates crashed girls night?

A:  It was a girls' night out, so the men were supposed to stay away. Unlike the other men who had no problem going in and stirring up trouble, Denver probably didn't want to push things and upset her, especially with their relationship still being so new. But that doesn't mean he wouldn't be hanging around, just in case she needed him. He's still new at the whole relationship game, and you can see that even after he claims her, he struggles. Most of that is internal stuff he's still dealing with.

QIn Three Hours, Melody is three and a half, Izzy is pregnant with the boys, and Maizy turns eleven. If Maizy turns twenty-four in Two Minutes, how would that make Melody fourteen and the boys ten or eleven? The math doesn't add up.

A: I'm actually one year off. Maizy's comment about her age in Two minutes was referring to her upcoming bday. Basically the kids' ages are all correct but I was one off with Maizy. The book was recently updated. Adding kids to any book can make ages very tricky, especially depending on the time of the year. Most authors I know (even JR Ward) has made reference to how difficult a series becomes the longer it gets because of timelines, ages, facts, etc. I have a series bible and also keep track of crossovers, and that's what reason I've made mention that I don't want to get too heavy with crossovers because of the risk I could forget something factual from a book published 3 years ago and write something incorrect. o.O

Q:  Is Denver's wolf crazy because he killed Cora's husband in human form and the wolf got no satisfaction or is there another reason all together?

A: Partly. Wolves have different personalities, and there was always a bit of wildness in Denver from the beginning. Maybe that's what makes him such a fierce watchdog. But that's one piece of his past that made his wolf dangerous. It also explains why he was protective of Maizy from the beginning, even if he seemed the least likely to take on such a responsibility.

Q:  I think it would be fun seeing a Sweet Treats Bakery or even a Weston pack recipe book. Have you ever considered doing something like that?

A: Ha. That would imply I know how to cook. :) 

Q:  Was the deer in the road that caused the accident a shifter?

A: No. It's not uncommon for deer to dart in the road in rural areas where there are deer. I've almost done it a time or two when visiting family in Oklahoma.

Q: Was the mage Simon? / Did Simon leave the chess piece at the grave site?

A: Yes.

Q: How did you choose that snack item for the after-shift-craving-food for Maizy? Do you like cheese puffs? Wait, is that Denver's craving or hush puppies?

A:  Denver craves hush puppies and Maizy craves the cheese puffs. For non-Americans, hush puppies are essentially deep-fried cornmeal mix (cornbread) that's seasoned. Cheese puffs come in a bag and are like "crisps" - long thick crunchy snacks coated in bright orange, and probably fake, cheese. I usually am random with the food selections since their craving can be anything. Sometimes a Shifter will crave something they've never eaten before, and they might go many years until they find out what it is. In most cases it's likely something they've eaten before. I don't eat cheese puffs, although I used to have a friend who always had them in her house when we were kids and we'd sometimes snack on them during sleepovers.

Q:  Do you ever have characters that you dislike? Even hate having to write about them? If so who, and what kept you from deleting them from the book?

A: In a strange way, I like all my characters. Not always with fondness or affection, but in the sense that a writer should find a character compelling or interesting enough that they want to write them into the story, no matter how villainous they might be.

Q:  Were you referencing a real movie with the dragon flick or was it a metaphor for her fairytale obsession?

A: Yes. Dragonslayer [1981]. Nothing in the book would ever hint to that, but that's the movie I had in my mind.

Q:Will Sparty get his own spin off series ?

A: Isn't he awesome? I really loved writing that crazy cat into this book. With the years having passed, it made sense that Naya would have lost her first cat, but that wouldn't stop her from saving another kitty. The thing is, Denver was always seen as the comical character in previous books, and most often his scenes were the ones that lightened things up. But in Two Minutes, we learn more about Denver, and that means the tone has to shift to a more serious ones - sometimes dark. To offset that, the story needed some comic relief to balance things out. That's where Sparty comes in, and he does it swimmingly.

 Q:did you ever have any point in your writing where the story just wasn't flowing or going in the direction you didn't want it to go, and make you nuke part or the whole thing to start over? (Like writing yourself into a corner)

A:  I don't have writer's block, but I do get "plot block." It happens when you're writing a book and something isn't flowing right. Usually it has to do with the direction you took the plot. Four Days was the only book I struggled with because initially that book was supposed to be Wheeler and Naya's story, but that wasn't happening. After around 30K words written, I had to make the decision to put it aside because they weren't ready. Things happen for a reason.

Some stories are never meant to be told. Many writers have books they've started but never finished. Sometimes the idea is there but it just doesn't work in print. You can force it, and who knows, maybe it'll work out. But I believe in going with my gut. Sometimes if I get "plot block" I'll backtrack a little and rework previous scenes; other times I need more direction within each scene. I have a few books I've never finished. Maybe I will someday, because there are instances where a project simply needs to marinate.

Q: at what point did you decide you had to write Charming?

A: I don't know the exact moment, but I'm thinking around Naya's book probably. Typically the deeper in a series I go, the more ideas are fleshed out.

Q: crossing over characters in your stories, is it a planned thing or usually an "a-ha! I can insert this character here and it will be awesome" spurt of the moment thing?

 A: I never plan crossovers because it doesn't always work or flow natural, and additionally I don't want to get too deep into inserting so many of these that I lose track over the course of my publications. I didn't know until I began writing Ivy and Lorenzo's story that there will be an opportunity, but I seem to recall it hitting me like a train one day and the whole thing made sense. Knowing the outcome not only added to her story, but it was an opportunity to enrich a Mageri story that I had always foreseen. As you know from reading Shine, there are mentions by a certain character about the possibilities. I always saw them going that route eventually, and so it seems like it was meant to be.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely LOVE when I get the chance to have answers to my questions. thank you for selecting some of them for this post. Your answers are pure gold ❤️