The Dreaded Question

For those keeping track on Twitter, you’ll know that I’m currently neck-deep in edits for the e-book version of Be Ours Forever. *cue nervous twitching* Obviously, I haven’t had time to work on a new blog story for you guys. But you need something to read, right? Thought so.

Last week I did an interview with Lucifer. All of the questions came from reader submissions on Facebook. I’ll admit,  I fully expected The Dreaded Question. That question all writers fear when opening up for interviews.

“How do you do it?” Or “Where do you get your inspiration?”

All the writers reading this just recoiled from their computers, hissed, and made the sign of the cross.

I’m a baby writer. Sure, I get asked that question quite a bit, but not as often as someone who has a billion books released and is literally swimming in fan emails all asking the same thing. So, for shits and giggles, I’m going to actually answer these dreaded questions. Are you ready for this?

I’m Insane.

That is the secret to my talent. Any and all sane thoughts flew the coop two years ago when I decided, “Hey, lets try to make a living out of this writing thing.” You think I’m kidding, but since then I’ve become a virtual recluse–only venturing out into the world when I need food or a new pair of plaid pajama pants to work in.

How do I physically do it?

I wake up, grab coffee, harass folks on social media to read my psychotic ramblings (This blog. And hey, it works since you’re here!), and after I’m sure enough time has been wasted, I pull up the file with my newest Work In Progress and begin begging the characters to behave long enough for me to get 2000 words out of them.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. At that point, I’m happy to get whatever writing I’ve done out and on the page.

Always make forward progress.

Finding inspiration is harder to explain. Mostly because my subconscious is the best co-writer I’ve ever had. The last few projects really have come from dreams, so there is no telling what one thing triggered the idea.

One of the best hobbies I picked up from years as a theatre major is people watching. Back then I did it to pick up mannerisms, speech patterns, stuff I could pilfer and stuff in my bag of tricks to use on stage and make the character three-dimensional. That’s very much how I approach writing the people/creatures in my stories. I grab little things from the people around me or interesting people I see on the rare occasion I’m seen out of my writing cave. No, no one character is a specific person in my life. That’s just creepy, guys. I kill too many characters to do that and not feel like a complete asshole.

I also pay attention to what folks say online. Person X wishes there were more stories with a certain flavor of supernatural beastie. Can I do that? If not, I let the idea go. Person Y wants to see female leads that aren’t crippled by nail polish. I can do that one. So I look at the bits and pieces of ideas floating around my head and see where I’m able to use that person’s reading desire.

Yeah, I’m a lot like my djinn, Lucifer. Only you guys don’t pay me in souls.

Readers pay me in comments and return visits. Some days I look at my bank account and wish those good vibes converted into money… but hey, I’m an artist. We are first and foremost cheap whores. I can be bought with pretty praise, that’s the shameful truth.

I’ll be taking more questions in the comments. If I missed explaining anything you wish to hear, pop it down there and I’ll do a straight (non-story) Q&A session some time this month between bouts of crying from my editing marathon.

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