Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Romance Weekly: #LoveWriteChat

Want to know more about what goes on inside the mind of a Romance writer? Are you sure you want to go there? LOL. Well, suit yourself. You can't say I didn't warn you! Romance Weekly is the first place to go if you want the inside scoop straight from writers you love. 

Whether you landed here by happenstance, or were so kindly directed by author Ronnie Allen, I'm thrilled you found me. Enjoy your stay and don't forget to enter our Romance Weekly Giveaway before you go. This week's questions from the lovely Tessa Gray.

Do any characters you've written into your books remind you of yourself? Explain which ones and why.
Sure, to some degree. For the most part though, my female characters embody some random aspect of my life, rather than my personality. Maya from Redemption For Liars roller skates because I did growing up. Angie, from Assassin P.I., sings and dances, only she's doesn't have the horrid case of stage fright that I have.

I do, however, have a character patiently waiting for me to tell her story (which is really more like my story). April can't make up her mind which path she wants her life to take. As a result, she has become a perpetual college student, switching her major whenever the mood strikes. Her choices in boyfriends suffer the same fate. I like to call her a serial monogamist (which I was totally guilty of being!). To find her inner voice, April swears off men (which only has the opposite effect) and sets off on an adventure of a lifetime through Latin America. This photo is what I imagine April might have looked like as a child. Colorful hair, sassy attitude, and a unique sense of fashion. Just talking about her makes me want to hurry up and write her story!

Was there a teacher or mentor in your life who helped nurture your writing?
I had several inspiring teachers in high school, but there are two college professors in particular who unknowingly stoked my writing confidence, for very different reasons. One because she hated me, and the other because she loved my writing.

While taking a course in The Psychology of Women, we were required to read articles and respond in writing. Encouraged to add in our own personal narratives to make our point, I relished each assignment, and the comments that followed. One comment in particular said this:

"Overall, you are a superb writer & throughout have insightful comments."  I cherish those handwritten comments. She was one of the first to actually value my writing skills.

On the other end of the spectrum, was my English 306 class. I couldn't stand the vague and pointless writing prompts the teacher assigned and she, in turn, couldn't stand my snarky comments or the classmates I sat with. Rather than fold under the pressure, I dug my teeth into each new challenge, determined to prove my writing worth. One assignment called for us to write about a Mythic Hero. So who'd I choose to write about? That's right. Jack Kevorkian, the hero of my paper entitled, EXPOSED! Angel of Death. I didn't even know how I felt about good ol' Jack and his deeds. I just wanted to prove I could support my arguments.

Here's a couple of my other assignment topics and subsequent titles:

  • Cultural Outlaws . . . Madman With a Bible (the Kool-Aid Suicides of the Jonestown cult)
  • Race Card . . . Dancing Racists? Or Too White to be a Hip-Hop Diva?

I guess I kinda like to push the envelope whenever I can. The teacher might have seriously disliked me, but she couldn't fault my writing skills. She only made me work harder to earn her approval.

Every author has that moment when they doubt their ability to write. When that happens to you, how do you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and continue? What do you do to inspire YOURSELF? 

Losing a contest, or receiving a dreaded rejection email, doesn't bother me so much anymore. But when every sentence I write begins to sound stiff, I take a break. I realize this sounds totally counterintuitive, but it works for me. I go play the piano, write music, redecorate my home, crochet, etc. I do anything creative that isn't writing. Sometimes my creative juices just need to be recharged.

Then I talk. I talk a lot. I bore my friends and co-workers with whatever plot dilemma I need to figure out. And because they don't know any better, they offer suggestions, none of which I ever take.

Once I'm done avoiding my computer, and hashing it out until I'm blue in the face, I begin rereading whatever story I happen to be working on at the time. With enough distance and time, I fall in love with writing again. My fickle muse calls me back to the keyboard.

But if my wacko avoidance method doesn't work, all it really takes is for someone to issue a dare, and tell me I can't do it. I'll do whatever it takes to prove them wrong. Problem solved!

Next up on the Romance Weekly Blog Hop is Jami Denise. While you're on her blog, check out her Jayne book series, See Jayne Play (book 1) and Queen of Hearts (book 2). Trust me when I say, they both look, and sound, sinfully delightful. Check out her book covers below. 

Well, that's all for today. Don't forget to enter our Romance Weekly Giveaway!  
See y'all next week!


  1. I do avoidance activities, too. I just need to keep them short, otherwise I never finish! :(

    1. I hear ya. I need to be better about getting back to my writing. I let those avoidance activities keep me away a bit too long.

  2. I love the sound of April, she sounds like such a great character. Fab post x

    1. Thanks! She's an impulsive gal, so I just might need to move her up in my queue. I need to wrangle her a hot Latin guy to love, first.

  3. I love the quote from your professor. If that doesn't inspire confidence, nothing will!

    Tell us when April's story comes to light, I'm dying to meet her.

  4. Aww. Thanks, Veronica! Hopefully you'll get to meet April soon.

  5. I'm Queen of Procrastination, so I know what you mean about avoidance. And there's nothing like the challenge of someone say, "You can't do it." Loved your answers!!!

  6. Taking a break really can help refresh your creativity :) Great answers!