When I come up with an idea for a book, I jot down all of the ideas I have in a word document but it’s a loose skeleton of the book. I just make sure that I hit all of my plot points and a few turning points in the story. Then I think about character names, nothing that requires a lot of deep thinking on that. I just try to make sure that I’ve never used the same name for a hero or heroine before (because that would get confusing), unless I’m writing a series. Then I Google images for who I want my characters to look like.
Voila, I’m ready to begin writing my next book. Often, I might not have every aspect thought about in advance which is where the “fly by the seat of my pants” come in. When I wrote my March 2014 release LOVE OVER TROUBLED WATERS, my heroine Maggie has a job across the river from home and it’s an important job that requires a lot of smarts, but did I plot out that job? Ever? Nope, I just kind of talked around with the idea that I would flesh it out “later”. So there I was, doing first round edits with my editor and she asks me, “What does Maggie do?”
“Oh!....hmmmmm…….”Fail! No worries, I gave her a really cool job and all is right with the world now.
Do you listen to music to enhance your writing? When I first started writing, years and years ago, I’d listen to the radio because I thought that writing has those same “Up and down” points that radio music have. One song might be a fast and catching dance tune and the next one a slow and mellow tune. That’s kind of how I wrote in the beginning.
These days, I don’t listen to direct music constantly but I DO have a mental playlist for each book that I write. If I hear a song that reminds me of a scene that I am trying to write, I will download it to my iPod. I wrote (and I’m still writing) a book called THE LONG TERM ASSIGNMENT and it was/is a super blast to write. It’s kind of secret agent stuff and the hero is an undercover agent while being a professional wrestler and when I heard Flake by Jack Johnson, my head yelled, “That’s the parking lot scene when Deke, Ava, Danny and Carla were walking across the lot to the mobster’s…” well, you probably get it. So now when I hear the song on the radio, that scene plays in slow motion inside my head.
What two songs best describe your overall body of work? I’m going to list three because they are the ones that popped into my mind and because they were strong soundtracks for the following body of works.
Flake by Jack Johnson for THE LONG TERM ASSIGNMENT
Simply Beautiful by Al Green For 2015 release of WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES
Somewhere down the Crazy River by Robbie Robertson for the Summer release LOVE Encounters
Be sure to hop on over to my friend Ronnie Allen's blog to see how she answered these very same questions