Tag Archive | Stephen King

Inquiring Minds Want to Know (Part 3 of 4)

This is the third installment of answers to questions from Facebook friends. Enjoy!

What is your relationship with your characters and how do you hope your readers will relate to them?

I adore my characters. I never write “the end,” because I love these imaginary people and I miss them when the story ends. Writing the last sentence of a book is bittersweet. Happy that I finished the story but sad to let them go. I’m happy people are loving Renate and Tony so much.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write, write, write. Write short, write long. Flash Fiction. Short Stories. Novellas. Write long. Read a lot.

Learn what you can about writing. Attend a writer’s conference! I also recommend On Writing by Stephen King and The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. There are so many more wonderful books out there on the craft. Connect with the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) or some other writing group to find other writers who can help you grow.

Some people live a hundred years, and some people write novels. Is there a particular food that keeps you going strong? lol…

Right now, Wild Cherry Pepsi is the beverage of choice but food changes. Occasionally chocolate. Right now my fave is Lindt Strawberry Cheesecake chocolate stick but sometimes I only need one small square to satisfy me. It’s good stuff!  Having said all that, my great-grandmothers lived to be over 100 and my grandmothers are in their 90’s so there’s hope for me yet, regardless of diet and sedentary occupation.

How many books do you have in the works?

Thirteen, if you include the one published and those already contracted.

In the Orchard Hill (contemporary romance) series there are five written and one in my head waiting: Pesto and Potholes, Salsa and Speedbumps (Dec 2015), Feta and Freeways (2016), Root Beer and Road Blocks, Bratwurst and Bridges and Donuts and Ditches. 

In my Rose Hill (Regency romantic suspense series) there are five novels: The Virtuous Viscount, Lord Phillip’s Folly, Sir Michael’s Mayhem, Lord Harrow’s Heart and The Captain’s Conquest. My agent has this series.

In my Lady Warriors (contemporary romantic suspense) there are two: Madi’s Secret and Whitney’s Redemption (incomplete).

I also have a Christmas novella (historical) releasing out as part of an anthology this December.

Besides explicit sexual content, is there anything you wouldn’t write about?

As for content? Beyond swearing or romanticizing sin, I don’t know that anything is off limits.

As for genre? I refuse to write Amish fiction. I won’t contract them either. That’s more for theological reasons as I think there are some cultish aspects to that faith and I don’t want to romanticize that. I also don’t write Biblical Fiction. I don’t want to mess with Scripture. I don’t despise anyone who does choose to write or read those genre’s but they are not for me.

What/who has been your biggest support?

My Grandmother, Doris. My first content editor and dear friend, Elisabeth. My pastors David and Ken. Other writers and mentors especially Lisa and Beth.

If you could describe yourself using only three words, what would they be?

Silly, encouraging, weird.

What percentage of your books reflect your own personal story?

I’ve never been very good at math. My heart bleeds all over the pages but I’m not going to share what parts are right out of my own personal life.

What kinds of subjects/topics have you researched while writing your stories?

Football schedules,restraining orders,  medical issues, how to disarm a bomb, oil carriers, geographical data, weather reports, cancer types and treatment, rape laws, human trafficking, FBI, fetal sizes, burn injury and recovery, medications, foreign and/or cultural foods, car repair, and maps, among other things I can’t think of right now.

Any other questions you have? Leave them in them in the comments below!

What the Author Really Meant Was. . .

Image courtesy of Feelart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Feelart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In college, I remember dissecting stories for their deeper meanings. Comparing and contasting Shakespeare plays. Did he really mean for the fools to always be the wisest in the whole story?

I do think that a lot of what an author experiences in real life, from people, places, events, hurts, challenges, dreams and joys, finds their way into the pages of their stories. The fact is though that some of what a reader might see as a theme may have never crossed the mind of the writer.

I wrote a story and someone told me how cool my symbolism was with some of the physical aspects of the story to the emotional challenge of the character. I was impressed. “Sure, yeah. I meant to do that.”

In reality, it was unconscious. I had no clue I had written that way.

Part of communication isn’t only what the writer or speaker says, but how the reader or listener interprets those concepts or images. As much as the writers brings everything about themselves to their story, so to does the reader. For that reason alone, every story is going to have some people who love it. The tale resonates with something deep inside them. For others, it will be a miss and not enjoyable. It’s not the author’s fault or the reader’s either. It just is.

You might like chocolate ice cream and I prefer mint chocolate chip. It’s a preference and matter of taste.

So enjoy whatever story you are reading. Go ahead and ask yourself what the story’s theme and concepts are, but don’t do that with the idea of trying to really “get” at what the author was really saying. Do it for what the story revealed to you, about you. Your needs, met or unmet. Your dreams, passions, preferences.

Then find those authors who have a style that your relate best to. And enjoy the story and the journey it takes you on. When a story does not appeal though, don’t bash the author in reviews etc, without admitting it’s a personal preference. Unless there are serious issues with the story and research etc, there’s no need to belittle the hard work of an author because you don’t like their style or subject matter.

Nicholas Sparks is a great writer. I prersonally don’t like crying every time I pick up one of his books. Stephen King is also a phenomenal writer and in reading his bio/book on writing, I can see why he writes the subject matter he does. I don’t read those books because I don’t like that kind of thing.

When you do love a author, do them a favor and let them know. Give them a review on the bookseller sites (Amazon, Goodreads, B&N . . .) or even send them an email or letter or message on facebook. Unless you are a writer, you cannot have any idea of the hard work it takes to write, revise, edit, find a agent/publisher/editor and get that book to print. While making money is nice–face it, we all need it to live–writer’s need to know that you appreciated their hours, days, weeks, months and years of labor to bring that story to you. It can be a frustrating and fatiguing process and only those who really love it and are called to this can persevere. So a pat on the back can help. Especially if you like them and want them to write more stories for you to enjoy.

Thank an author today. Who are your favorites to read?