Wednesday, May 30, 2012

IT'S ALRIGHT, I'M A WRITER

I took Memorial Day weekend off.

This was momentous because I work every night and every weekend - on top of my full-time job - and have for so many months now that I can't remember the last time I took three days off. Or two. Or one.

I had a great time. Walked in the sun. Ate some fabulous food as well as a suspect serving of potted duck (not recommended, even if you love potted meat and especially if you love duck). Caught up with old friends. Drank quite a lot of absinthe (just the legal kind, don't get too excited).

It was an exhausting weekend, partially because I flew twice and slept little, but mostly because of how often I interacted. With real, live humans. I forget sometimes, when I'm buried up to my neck in my laptop, that writing is about conveying realistic experiences. Even if you're writing fantasy, sci fi or any other kind of speculative fiction.

If the interactions don't ring true, the reader won't follow. And if the interactions aren't unique, just recycled scenes from the myriad books you've read, they likely won't sell.

So, with three full days of people-watching sloshing through my brain, I'm back at it with new material.

How do you recharge? Where do you find your inspiration?

Monday, May 21, 2012

WHEN, IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS, YOUR CHILD FORSAKES YOU FOR AN ALTERNATE HISTORY OF HIS OWN CREATION

Setting: At the grocery store, with the four year old in the cart (also one of the more bizarre answers you can get at the game of Clue).

Kid: I'm a new boy.

Me: Do you want olives, new boy?

Kid: Yes.

Me: So what makes you new?

Kid: I've never been to Earth before. This is my first time.

Me: Do you want regular Goldfish or parmesan Goldfish, tiny Oshkosh-clad extraterrestrial?

Kid: Regular. I'm from Saturn. I'm here for work. I'm going home in three days.

Me: What's your home like?

Kid: It's painted green, and there are no baby things in my room, and my parents are like you. They have the same hair as you.

Me: How do you get back and forth?

Kid: I fly through space. In a giant bar of soap.

Me: 'Cause it's biodegradable?

Kid: Yes. Can I get a new one here?

Me: A new soap rocket? Maybe in sporting goods.

Kid: I like it here. I like meeting people. And eating olives. But I can't wait to go back to my home country.

Me: Planet. Saturn's a planet.

Then we go to check out, where a woman who had been trailing us down the aisle congratulated him - a foreigner - on having such a good English accent. She was, unfortunately, serious.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

NEXT-DAY OBSERVATION



You know those breathalyzers you can install in your car so that the ignition locks when you blow above a certain level? Twitter needs those.

The end.

Monday, May 7, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH PARANORMAL ROMANCE AUTHOR TIFFANY ALLEE


I am here with (or, according to Google maps, 3,670 miles from) Tiffany Allee, author of paranormal romance Banshee Charmer. Banshee Charmer is the first in her Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency novella series, and was recently released by Entangled Publishing.

From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency - Book I 

When she’s sent to a crime scene and finds her second dead woman in as many weeks, half-banshee detective Kiera “Mac” McLoughlin is convinced a serial killer is on the loose. Incubi are extinct, her boss insists. But what else can kill a woman in the throes of pleasure? When her partner is murdered after using witchcraft to locate the killer and Mac is thrown off the case, her frustration turns to desperation.
Certain the killer is an incubus, Mac works behind her department’s back to chase down slim, sometimes perilous leads. While the killer eludes her, she does discover handsome Aidan Byrne, an investigative counterpart from the enigmatic Otherworlder Enforcement Agency. Mac typically runs her investigations fast and hard, but with Aidan at her side, she’s running this one “hot” as well. But Aidan knows more than he’s letting on—something that could shatter their blazing romance and add Mac to the killer’s growing body count…

Let’s talk passion. Why romance, and why paranormal in particular?

First of all, thank you so much for having me here! I love your blog and read it regularly. J

Romance is a constant in most people's lives, whether they are currently in a happy romantic relationship, avoiding them because of a bad experience, or considering jumping into a new one. It fills out and complicates our lives.

Banshee Charmer, like most of what I write, is about characters that are striving for something—and that goal is further complicated by romance. The heroine of this story, Mac, is trying to find a serial killer. In order to catch him, she has to work closely with another law enforcement officer…who she is attracted to. This factor brings a whole new level of emotion into the mix.

As for the paranormal aspect, what can I say? I love me some monsters and magic. J

Your main character, Kiera “Mac” McLoughlin, in a banshee, sort of. Can you talk about researching and adapting the folklore to suit your contemporary world?

I wanted a character who was just a little different from what I've seen in books and on television, but still somewhat similar. A character whose species probably isn't the first to come to mind when a person thinks of the paranormal. And I needed a species that I could manipulate to suit my world.

Banshees are interesting in that there are a lot of different takes on them in mythology. They are sometimes thought of as evil and sometimes merely as messengers who bring words of warning.  With so many mythological creatures generally thought of as either evil or good, I liked the idea of a gray area type of character.

Sexy, sneaky, good-with-locks Aidan Byrne is Kiera’s unconventional partner in her investigation. And they have rawr-worthy chemistry. Why do they work so well together, considering their differences?

I think they work so well together because Aidan is willing to look past Mac's gruff and at times hostile exterior to the vulnerable woman beneath. Mac sees the goodness in Aidan, despite how his actions may make him look. And I think that she likes having someone recognize that she's a bit of a softy underneath her toughness.

But above all, I think that they work so well together because Aidan sees things in a more positive light than Mac does, and uses humor to communicate. Mac—whether she'd ever admit it or not—needed a little humor in her life.  And Mac gives Aidan something to care about, and hope for a future. Not to mention someone to trade verbal jabs with.

You kind of hit the ground running on the road to publication. Can you share a few of the a-ha moments along the way?

My a-ha moments have been so many that it's hard to pinpoint them all. I first really started on the road by reading and interacting with the fantastic people on the Absolute Write forums. Then—after trying my hand at a few stories—I got brave enough to seek out beta readers. That, I think, has been the biggest thing that has helped me get on something of a fast track to publication. The critiques I've received have been invaluable, and by taking and applying the lessons I've learned from my fellow writers, I've become a much better writer than I would have on my own.

I'd have to say my biggest a-ha moment was realizing that writing is a job. Oh it's fun too, don't get me wrong. But it's also difficult work that offers no secure reward at the end. If I didn't truly love it—even the ridiculously frustrating parts of it—I definitely wouldn't have made it this far.

So, what is next? Can you give us a briefing on the next in the Files series?

The second book in the Files series comes out toward the end of May. While it is a series, all of the books can be read as stand-alone reads. Succubus Lost is a story that follows Marisol Whitman, a succubus, in her mission to find her missing sister. Marisol is a secondary character in Banshee Charmer, and I'm excited to share her story. 


Find Banshee Charmer at Amazon  Barnes & Noble


Find Tiffany Allee at Website  Goodreads  Twitter