Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The IWof contest

If you're searching for the answer, you're going to have to dig. The hint for The Temple of Fyre is to search in the villainess interviews.

For The Henge Betrayed -- Flight, you must look very far and find Astrology and Characters.

Lots of luck, Janet

Monday, December 1, 2008

Critique partner, Jenny

I've known Jenny since her first writing projects that she shared with HVRWA and the critique group. Her historicals are feel good stories and her paranormals to come are quite intense. Janet

. For you, which comes first the characters or the plot?

I’d have to say neither or, perhaps, both. I usually start with a ‘what if’ question or some fragmented scene. Each book is different. For one of my recent historical, HIGH PLAINS BRIDE, I came up with an opening page of dialogue and had to construct plot and characters from that. That book left me wondering who these people were and how they had gotten themselves in such an awful mess. My newest paranormal, DREAM STALKER (Silhouette Nocturne), came to me as a premise: What happens when a woman discovers that the terrifying creature from her nightmares is not a dream, but a vengeful spirit sent to reclaim her for the spirit world from which she escaped?

2. How do you create your characters?

I generally try to decide what is good and honorable about my hero and then what his flaw or insecurity might be. Then I find the woman who would be absolutely perfect for him, but also be most threatening to his flaw/insecurity, so as to put him under the most stress possible. Then I’m in business.

3. Do you plan ahead or go with the flow?

I do a lot of planning, plotting and scene outlining. But I’m not so detail oriented that I don’t allow for surprises and discoveries along the way. It reminds me of a road trip. I know the starting point, the major points of interest and my final destination, but I leave time to explore interesting or unexpected attractions.

4. How much research do you do and how do you go about it?

I often do a lot of research. I love to read history books and original journals, diaries and sources from the time period I am exploring. I also use the web to check facts and details. Sometimes just reading along in a history book, I might find an intriguing detail that sparks a story. That was the case for my story, TURNER’S WOMAN, from Harlequin Historicals. I discovered that an up-and-coming military man dropped out of the service and disappeared for a few years to be a mountain man and then returned to resume his career with great success. It was theorized that he may have been a spy/cartographer for the US Government, sent to Spanish California to find an overland route to the sea. Well, that was all I needed to have my imagination go into overdrive.

5. How do you select goals and the reasons your characters what to accomplish these goals?

The character’s goals grow naturally out of their backstory. I don’t force them into unnatural situations, but let them lead me into discovering why they do or don’t want a particular thing. It is fun, as the author, to figure out or unearth an entire psychological profile on a person that began with just a name and a vague impression.

6. Tell us about your latest release.

I’m not sure which story will be released next, but believe it might be DREAM STALKER, followed by the second book in the series, GHOST STALKER. The second story is about a shapeshifting wolf who escapes a vicious attack by ghosts only to be dropped into the hands of an enemy healer who might just as soon kill him as help him. Check out my website at www.jennakernan.com for exact release dates and excerpts.

7. What's on your backlist?

My back list is all western historical, which I will continue to write. I’d say my westerns are romantic adventures that take place mainly on the trail or in the mountains. My first three stories (WINTER WOMAN, TURNER’S WOMAN, THE TRAPPER) all feature scouts and trappers. My last release, OUTLAW BRIDE, begins with a jail break and then a mountain rescue.

8. What are you working on now?

I’m working on two projects now. The first is a western historical where a woman is forced to choose between the man she loves and saving her family’s home. It is set in Sacramento after the gold rush and my hero is a railroad tycoon with issues of trust. No release date on that one.

The second project is a short story for Nocturne Bites, which are about 50 pages and released initially as ebooks available from www.eHarlequin.com . The story is titled, SHADOW STALKER and it is about a bear researcher who is rescued from poachers by a shapeshifting grizzly bear.

Thanks for the interesting questions. Aspiring authors can always visit my favorites pages for articles on craft at www.jennakernan.com.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Critique partner again

I've known Kathy for a long time and remember her first book and the revisions. We had a fun time with finding all the It was starts. She's a great writer and I'm eagerly waiting her return to the States. We've been through both joy and sadness together. Janet

1. For you, which comes first the characters or the plot?
The Characters definately come first. I need to know then before I can decide what kind of situations I can put them into.

2. How do you create your characters?
They are composits of people I have met, or someone's who story I heard. Once I figure out one character, the second one is developed by pretty much choosing a person whose goals are at odds with the fisrt.

3. Do you plan ahead or go with the flow?
I do not write a full synopsis or outline, but I do have a general idea of where the story is going before I begin. Often it takes off on its own, despite some planning but for the most part they end up where I expect.

4. How much research do you do and how do you go about it?
I do as much research as is necessay to make the characters, setting, and plot believable. Since I write contemporary romance and tend to set my stories in placec I am familiar with, I'd probably say I do less research that a historical writer, but I still fact check what I write about real places, legal matters, police matters or medical referances.

5. How do you select goals and the reasons your characters what to accomplish these goals?
It usually springs out of character's past. The more complex the character's past, the more motivated they are towards their goals, and the strong the conflict with anyone who stands in their way.

6. Tell us about your latest release.
"Miuphy's Law" is a romantic suspense. A sometimes comical road trip of two people who must rely on each other, despite a mutual distrust, to avoid being found by a villinous murderer who wants to stop them form returning to America to testify against him.

7. What's on your backlist?
Check my wesite at www.katattalla.com

8. What are you working on now?
I am revising my forst release, Homeward Bound for re-release and then it is back to my romantic suspense, "China Blue"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another critique partner -- Allison

Allison is the newest of my critique partners and she always has good insights into what's right and wrong with what I've written.

1. For you, which comes first the characters or the plot? Usually, it's the plot: a situation or circumstance will pop into my head. I'll think "What if..."?" and then I'll create the characters to develop that situation into a full-blown story.
2. How do you create your characters? I've used character charts, I've used astrology signs, and I've sometimes based my characters on people I know. I don't have any one way I create characters. Usually I have a rough idea of who they are, and they develop themselves for me as the story goes along.

3. Do you plan ahead or go with the flow? Oh, I'm a big planner. I usually have a pretty specific outline before I begin a story. I can't start without having a general idea of the major conflicts and the black moment.

4. How much research do you do and how do you go about it? Since I write contemporary romance, I don't usually have to do a lot of research. Anything I need to look up, I do so on the Internet.

5. How do you select goals and the reasons your characters what to accomplish these goals? Sometimes I base my characters' goals and motivations on actual people and situations I've known; sometimes I draw them from things I read about in the news. It's amazing, the things that actually happen to people!

6. Tell us about your latest release. One Night in Memphis is a "twenty-four hour" romance that takes place over a single day and night. The hero and heroine meet up in the blues clubs of Beale Street, but she's trying to outrun a violent ex-boyfriend, and which means neither of them is safe. The reviewer from Literary Nymphs gave the book 5 Nymphs and commented, "Boniface conveys some real danger and tension in this fast-paced tale, but shows astonishing and realistic growth in her characters. This is an absorbing novel, nearly impossible to put down. It has coincidence, a car chase, corruption and cool piano music..."

7. What's on your backlist? Readers can check out my first twenty-four hour novel, One Night in Boston, about college sweethearts who meet up ten years after they broke up, or Lost in Paradise, a contemporary romance about a woman with the right name and the right connections who leaves entire her life behind and discovers a new life and love by moving to a place where no one knows who she is.

8. What are you working on now? I'm finishing up a third twenty-four hour novel, One Night in Napa, and also doing revisions on another contemporary novel, Summer's Song, about a woman who returns to her hometown after 10 years away and discovers not only a new love but old ghosts.

Thanks, Janet - this was fun!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Interview with Carly Phillips

I've known Carly for a long time and under another name. I've watched her career blossom and her talent grow from the very beginning. Here's her interview.

1. For you, which comes first the characters or the plot?Always, always, characters come first. For me the characters must have life and personality before the plot can take shape. Who the heroine is, who the hero is, how their conflicts mesh together, all of this is of utmost importance. The plot is a means to carry the romance through the book as opposed to more suspense/mystery writers whose plot is central.

2. How do you create your characters?From my heart. Seriously, I have to feel the characters come alive inside me. For example I am working on Lucky Break right now and in the first seventy-five pages, I realized my heroine was flat. The character didn't jump off the page. The plot was there, the heroine's history, background, etc. After reading my critique partner, Janelle Denison's work, it finally dawned on me what MY heroine was missing - PERSONALITY. As a result, i had to go back to the drawing board and ask myself, who is she? How would someone who was raised by parents more concerned with humanitarian issues than their children, who had to clean up her younger sister's messes, who would SHE become? This taught me that you prepare all you want with a character - I gave her everything in her background, conflict, etc. as I always do, and yet it still wasn't enough. I am now in the process of going back to the drawing board and weaving my new heroine into those first 75 pages. That said, my basic process is the same: I sit down with my plotting group (there are four of us) and we tape our sessions, building character first, then plot, then story.

3. Do you plan ahead or go with the flow?I go with the flow. This inevitably leads me to have to go back to the beginning often, and weave things back in. Over the years, I've learned to plot more heavily with my plotting group (www.plotmonkeys.com), and plan ahead and then I let the characters tell the story. If I don't follow the plan exactly that's fine, but I write faster and easier with a road map of where to head next. Usually it's transitions that hang me up - how do I get from point A to point B. The easier things are sometimes the hardest!

4. How much research do you do and how do you go about it?Not enough and that's honest. I prefer to do my research over the Internet or by asking questions of people I already know. I'm not someone who goes deep into areas other than character, so it's easier for me. I do rely on Google. Google is my friend!

5. How do you select goals and the reasons your characters what to accomplish these goals?The goals are usually set by the characters personality first, and the plot second. If I don't have a heavy secondary storyline, the goals must drive the characters more heavily so there is meat to the story. It really depends.

6. Tell us about your latest release.
Three sexy heroes and a centuries old curse defines the series that's out now. I call it my "LUCKY" series, starting with LUCKY CHARM (out now); LUCKY BREAK 6/09 and LUCKY STREAK 10/09/. In between, SECRET FANTASY is being reissued in January 2009. All my books are listed on my website at www.carlyphillips.com.

7. What's on your backlist?Luckily for me, Harlequin has been releasing my backlist in January of each year, so most books are available. My backlist can be found here: http://www.carlyphillips.com/books.php and there is also a printable booklist link on this page. As I said, SECRET FANTASY is out in January 2009, which means my entire backlist as Carly Phillips will have been reissued at least once!

8. What are you working on now?LUCKY BREAK (10/09) which is giving me fits as I had to search for my heroine's personality, but hopefully it's been located and all will be well. Soon! Then it's on to planning a brand new series, and I'm blank at the moment, so I can't wait to see what I come up with!

Interviews with former and current critique partners

Thanksgiving approaches and brings one thoughts of things they are thankful for. Among these are my former and current critique partners. In the next few days I'll be posting interviews with soem who have helped me on my way to publication and some who have gained from my help

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Interview with Marilyn Meredith

Today, a friend I met in Omaha at the first EPICON is on for an interview. I remember the great restaurant she and her husband took me to while I was waiting to go to the airport for my plane. I've seen her several times since then and read a few of her books. Enjoyed them.

. For you which comes first, the characters or the plot? Because I write two series, the main characters I already have. For my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, when I'm thinking about what I want to write about, first, I usually consider who is going to be a murder victim, why more than one person would like to see this person dead and that these people had the opportunity to do the deed. Of course this is all entwined with the plot.

2. How do you create your characters?

I being thinking what the character looks like, what he or she does, the kinds of things that motivate him or her, character traits--and of course I write that all down so I don't forget as the book progresses.

3. When writing do you plan or do you go with the flow? Really, kind of a combination of both. After I've figured out pretty much what I think the story is going to be about and who the other characters besides Tempe, Hutch and others who live in Bear Creek and Indians who've already appeared in the previous books, I usually start working on the computer. But as ideas pop into my head, I'll write notes down on paper so I don't forget. I also jot down clues and things I need to resolve as the story unfolds. I don't outline though, it might be easier if I did, but I've never worked with an outline.

4. How much research do you do and how do you go about it? How much research I do depends upon the book. I did quite a bit for Kindred Spirits because there was so much about the Tolowa people that I didn't know. When I'm writing about mystical Native American things, I do research quite a bit.

Of course I use the Internet a lot for research, but I also have a lot of Native American books that I consult. For Kindred Spirits, my primary source was a Tolowa woman who was also the inspiration for two characters in the book.

5. How do you select goals and reasons your characters want to accomplish these goals.

In Kindred Spirits, of course Tempe's goal is to find out who murdered the woman found in the aftermath of the forest fire. That's why she goes to both Crescent City and Santa Barbara. Another important goal was repairing her damaged relationship with her husband, Hutch.

6. What is your latest release? Tell us a bit about it.

Of course I've told you a few things about Kindred Spirits in the answers of the last questions.

There is a two year gap between Judgment Fire and Kindred Spirits. During that gap a casino was built on the Bear Creek Reservation--something Tempe was happy about because it changed the Indians lives but her husband fought against because of what gambling can do to people.

7. What's on your backlist? Kindred Spirits is the eighth novel in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, this is the order for the books:

Deadly Trail
Deadly Omen
Unequally Yoked
Calling the Dead
Judgment Fire

8. Do you write just one genre or do you do more than one? If so, what?

Right now I'm just writing mysteries, but I do have two series going. Besides the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series I also right the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. The latest is Smell of Death, the previous ones are Final Respects, Bad Tidings and Fringe Benefits. I have a new publisher for the one that is coming next, No Sanctuary.

9. What are you working on now? I'm finishing up the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. But I have to confess, that I have a lot of promotion going on for Kindred Spirits that's taking up a lot of my time.

Besides doing things on the Internet, I just returned from the WOW Writers Conference where I gave two workshops. I have something every weekend until the second week of December.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

One of Jane Toombs' villains.

Jane and I have been friends for years and have even written a book together. Becoming Your Own Critique Partner. Glad to read about her villain.

This villain is from Let My Bones Rest, one of the stories in the NORTH OF NONESUCH ANTHOLOGY by Jane Toombs, out in November from Whiskey Creek Press.

Today we're interviewing a man who prefers to be called Number One Ghoul. Why is that, sir?

Ghoul: Not because I chose the name, you blockhead. I'm obviously as human as you. What I told you was that those two who seek to thwart me refer to me in that way.

Interviewer: You feel they misjudge you?

Ghoul: Those university types never understand those of us who are business men.

Interviewer: Business men?

Ghoul: Certainly. I know a demand when I spot one and so I find a way to become the supplier.

Interviewer: By using force to obtain your product?

Ghoul: Whatever it takes. Look, they weren't supposed to be there yet. It's their own fault for getting in my way. I don't allow anyone to keep me from what I want. Ever.

Interviewer: You sound like a dangerous man, sir.

Ghoul: In spades. I've wasted enough time with you. My helicopter's waiting to fly me back to the site.

Interviewer: Thank you for being--"

Ghoul: Knock it off. If coming here causes me to fail in this project, you can bet I'll be back. Uninvited. In spades.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rowena Cherry here with another villain

An on-line friend gives us this villain.

http://tinyurl.com/Buy-KnightsForkhttp://www.dorchesterpub.com/Dorch/productdetail.cfm?product_ID=2215&L1=2INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL by Rowena CherryDorchester Publishing - Online Bookstore for Romance, Horror and Western NovelsDorchester Publishing/ LoveSpell

1. What should I call you?
The god-Prince Django-Ra: To my face, Earthling, you should call me "Your Highness" or "Sir". Behind my back, I presume you will call me "Django" .... pronounced "Jan-GO"...

2. Tell me about yourself, Your Mightiness.The god-Prince Django-Ra:
My talents are many. I am exceptionally gifted and exceedingly dangerous. I can read or wipe minds with ridiculous ease. Consequently, I play god-level chess, and am one of the most formidable Duplicate Bridge players in all the galaxies. In my day, I was a superb star-fighter pilot with many kills to my credit... and to my discredit. Friendly fire is such a useful expression, isn't it?I am misunderstood. I daresay I have bad genes. I enjoyed a deeply disturbing childhood. My twin brother died in what you would call his crib. His cot. I had nothing to do with his demise. It would have done me no good to expedite his departure from this life. We had vigorous, older half-brothers who were first and second in line to the Imperial throne, and it was beyond my strength and powers to remove them from my path.Indeed, I was obliged to feign an interest in lesser-being members of my own sex in order to enjoy my big brothers' tolerance. As long as they thought me "peculiar", they did not see me as a threat to their male dominance. Eventually, as you see, I...ah... outlived them.

3. What do you want?
The god-Prince Django-Ra:I want to experience the Great Djinn mating frenzy known as the rut-rage. I want to fuck myself silly with the scent-love I never was in a position to claim. My muscular half-brothers had her, consecutively. I, alas, would have gladly stood in line but Djohn Kronos and Devoron-Vitan made war over her.By All the Lechers of Antiquity, I tried to experience the rut-rage with other Princesses and even my nephew's Empress, but met only with frustration. At first, I did not harm the females. One does not blatantly soil ones own nest. I beDjinned them, and took them by stealth. They survived, with no memory of my attentions. Although, my offspring might have been a reminder... It pleases me very much to think of the cuckoos (as I think you'd call them) that I have foisted on my unwitting half-brothers' heirs.

4. So you have a good reason for what you do. What is it?The god-Prince Django-Ra:Earthling, do you not understand what the rut-rage is? It is more than a drive and an obsession. It is a sexual madness. Pure Great Djinn males, such as myself, possess saturniid glands of such sensitivity that we can smell a full-Djinn female who is approaching oestrus from as many as fifty of your miles away. We then fixate upon that "scent love" sight unseen, and become obsessed with possessing and impregnating her.It is inconvenient to be thwarted. However, I have relatively few enemies left, so annoyances are few and far between.
5. Do you have a family and friends?
The god-Prince Django-Ra:Hah! No. I am something of a rogue. I hesitate to describe those with whom I associate (when convenient) as friends. They have their uses, but they seldom outlive their usefulness. I've been known to eliminate my bastards if they become embarrassing.

6. Why would you be called a villain?
The god-Prince Django-Ra:Is it possible that you have been so dazzled by my presence and alien Royal glamour that you did not comprehend what I have told you, my dear? Possibly, your mind is not worth the slight trouble of wiping! You may read my great nephew's love story, Forced Mate, and also Insufficient Mating Material for a less subtle view of my exploits.Hmmmm. I believe I smell blood not too many of your miles away. Someone is in pain. You will excuse me....-----------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another villain

Today I'll be talking to the villain from The Henge Betrayed -- Flight published by Mundania.

Sir, what should I call you?

I am Dom Senet and would be called the ruler of all.

Tell me about yourself.

I am the master of the elements and am able to use Earth, Fire, Water and Air to control and rule lesser people. My affinity with the elements is strong. In fact I have never met anyone who has a stronger talent. I travel between Wesron, one of the princedoms where I am considered an advisor and the highlands where my allies abide.

What do you want?

"What do I want?" Laughter sounded. What all men of great power wants. To rule and to control others. I have seen the Henges destroyed and once I find the four halflings who have but one affinity each, I will train them to my purpose. I am seeking other halflings and have sound several who will do as I will.

Do you have a good reason for what you do?

Why should I worry about reasons? I do what I do because I can. There are those who believe the advice I give is helpful. They don't understand in the end the usefulness is to me.

Do you have family and friends?

Who needs friends. There are syncophants who gather around me but they are not friends. As to family, I once had a son and daughter, twins. The son is being trained in the highlands by one of my followers. The daughter has been lost but since her brother has a great affinity I am sure she has none.

Why do others call you a villain?

There are four children and their friends who think I am evil. One of them is the son of the prince of Wesron, but he has vanished and perhaps is dead. Anyone who wishes the power to rule can be called a villain by someone. I am no different.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Margaret Carter's villain

Margaret and I are part of the same promo group, Jewels of the Quill. Janet

Interviewing Dr. Hugh Lange from WINDWALKER'S MATE, a Lovecraft-inspired paranormal romance by Margaret L. Carter (published by Amber Quill Press, www.amberquill.com):

What should I call you?Just call me Hugh. After all I've been through, my title doesn't mean much anymore.

Tell me about yourself.I was a professor of anthropology before getting sentenced to prison on tenuous charges of producing designer drugs. I wasn't a drug pusher. I used carefully calibrated doses of certain rare substances to enhance the psychic abilities of my son, Nathan, and his girlfriend, Shannon—who, by the way, I rescued from the streets of Baltimore when she was running away from an abusive stepfather. The criminal charges were instigated by Shannon's mother in revenge for luring her daughter into a cult, as she saw it.

What do you want?I want my four-year-old grandson, Daniel, to embrace his true heritage. The Windwalker, a deity from another dimensional plane, used my son's body to beget a child who would have vast powers, including the ability to open the gate between universes to invite the Windwalker and the other Ancient Ones into our world. Nathan and Shannon are determined to keep me away from Daniel. They don't understand the importance of allowing him to develop his gifts and fulfill his destiny.

So you have a good reason for what you do. What is it?To welcome the inevitable return of the Ancient Ones to rule our universe. All who resist Them will be exterminated or treated as mere livestock. Those who serve Them, on the other hand, will receive unimaginable rewards. When the earth becomes transformed into a realm fit for the Ancient Ones' habitation, I want my grandson to share in that glorious future in accordance with his birthright. If possible, I would like Nathan and Shannon to enjoy those rewards, too, instead of suffering the doom of most of the human species. I wish they could grasp the fact that I have only their welfare and their child's at heart.

Do you have a family and friends?Not anymore. I forsook my academic career to serve the Windwalker. My only friends, the other young people who belonged to my so-called cult, vanished from my life after I was imprisoned. My son, Nathan, betrayed me by testifying against me at my trial. He and Shannon refuse to let me become part of my grandson's life. If I achieve my goal, though, Daniel will join me in ruling the transfigured world of the Windwalker's triumph.

Why do others call you a villain?Because they don't understand the inevitability of the Windwalker's reign. The only choices are to worship It or to suffer at Its mercy—of which It has none.

Margaret L. Carter has written numerous novels, novellas, and short stories in horror, fantasy, and paranormal romance. She specializes in vampires and has had several books and articles published on vampirism in literature, including THE VAMPIRE IN LITERATURE: A CRITICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY and DIFFERENT BLOOD: THE VAMPIRE AS ALIEN. Her vampire novel DARK CHANGELING won the 2000 Eppie Award in the horror category. Visit her website at www.margaretlcarter.com.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rowena is here with her villain

Rowena is another online friend who also shares a publisher with me. Janet

Make sure you send me book title and publisher so everyone who reads the blog can know where to buy. Here are the questions

View full size

MATING NET (e-book, short)
New Concepts Publishinghttp://www.newconceptspublishing.com/matingnet.htm

1. What should I call you?The god-Emperor Djohn Kronos: My dear little inferior being, you should call me "Your Mightiness" the first time I invite you to speak, Sir after that, even in bed--if I am pleased to take you to bed-- and Sire if... ah, when...you become pregnant.

2. Tell me about yourself, Your Mightiness.The god-Emperor Djohn Kronos: As you see, I am a tiger's length tall. In other words, I am seven of your standard, large, male feet tall. I am also very well developed. You have no idea, because you are small, sweet smelling and pleasing to my senses, how truly terrifying I can be to those who displease me.You see the rings on my fingers? They are Rings of Power.... also known as Rings of Imperial Authority. This one, on my forefinger is the Firestone. It focuses and directs my power somewhat like one of your lasers. I can incinerate an enemy from forty of your paces, simply by pointing and willing him --it's usually a him-- to catch fire.That is all you need to know, I think.

3. What do you want?The god-Emperor Djohn Kronos: I want for nothing. What I want, I take. I desire much. It would, for instance, be very agreeable to be loved.

4. So you have a good reason for what you do. What is it?The god-Emperor Djohn Kronos: (Raises eyebrow) Have you not asked that? And have I not answered? You cannot possibly imagine that I am going to reveal how I managed to mate with the lovely Helispeta without her realizing that she was giving herself to the "wrong" god? I needed a replacement. My first Empress died.

5. Do you have a family and friends?The god-Emperor Djohn Kronos: I have a small and dwindling family. Unhappily, we alpha males tend to fight to the death for mating rights. There are so few virgins of the blood royal left that we must compete fiercely. As for friends, gods and Emperors do not have friends.

6. Why would you be called a villain?The god-Emperor Djohn Kronos: Your sub-species...humankind.... would call me a villain because you are incapable of understanding that lesser beings exist for my entertainment, my pleasure, and to satisfy my needs. I do not rule you Earthlings. I have never taken any of your virgins as tribute. Yet, you view my behavior according to the inflexible rules of your own distant world. You call me a villain because you are incapable of understanding why I killed my father, took his throne, appropriated my twin brother's contractually betrothed mate-to-be, and took her for my own Empress. Alas, many of my own subjects feel as you do, and thus I remain misunderstood.You see, my dear, a Great Djinn never apologizes, never explains. And now, I believe that you have delighted me sufficiently with your questions. You may kneel.....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Villains of Moon Bright; Moon Dark

Moon Bright Moon Dark is a fantasy romance with three heros, three heroines so there had to be three villains. The book was published by New Concepts Publishing.

Gentlemen, would you answer the questions one at a time.

What should I call you?

I am Sargon the Gladius, a man of arms and the best fighter of the priests of Midran.

I am Gamish the Thamaturg and the best in the use of herbs and poisons of the priests Midran.

I am Lugal the Cabal and a seer of great renown of the priests of Midran. In time I will be the greatest priest of Midran.

That is what he thinks," Sargon and Gamish said.

What do you want?

Power, Sargon said.

Worship from the masses, Gamish said.

To rule supreme," Lugal said.

What is your reason for what you do?
Sargon. To defeat those women who worship Midra, especially Dian who seeks to take Kobe my follower from me.
Gamish To see Midran rule the four nomes. Keltoi is the last. To have Egeria under my power and to use what she has for my ends.
Lugal. Midran is the master and his Dark Queen must be at his side. I would see Ashiera in that role when I defeat the other two of my triad.

Do you have a family or friends?
All three answered the same. They feel they need no one but themselves and Midran.

Why would you be called a villain?
Lugal. A villain. I am the Cabal of Midran and a hero in his service.
Gamish. As my fellow has said. I am the Thamaturg of Midran. To call me a villain is blasphomy.
Sargon. Those who worship Midra would look on me as a villain but those fools know nothing.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Another interview

Kate Hill is an online friend. Here's a bit about her and her interview with a villain.

Kate Hill is a thirty-something vegetarian New Englander who likes heroes with a touch of something wicked and wild. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in publications both on and off the Internet. When she’s not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, and researching vampires and Viking history.
Sir William is the villain in The Chieftain's Bride. Marion of Ravenhill is promised to the Viking raider, Wyborn, for his fierce protection of the British shoreline. She vowed he will never have her heart, but from the moment they meet, the attraction between them is nearly overwhelming. But before they can find happiness, will they be destroyed by bitter enemies, including Sir William Blackridge?
Later, Sir William becomes a hero in The Mad Knight's Bride:
Hatred made the outlaw William Blackridge untamable, until Rockland's warrior woman claimed his heart.
Inspired by his angelic face, Elaine of Rockland calls the injured man she has plucked from the sea and nursed back to health Gabriel. With no memory of who he was before, Gabriel has nevertheless retained his skills as a healer and a warrior and uses both to aid the people who saved his life, building a new life for himself in Rockland. But despite the irresistible passion that ignites between him and Elaine, and the love that neither can deny, his past catches up with both of them and threatens to destroy them.

1. What should I call you.Sir William.

2. Tell me about yourself.I live for battle and the thrill of my blade clashing with that of a worthy opponent. Truth be told, I prefer an honest fight. There is no honor in raiding, but honor itself is an illusion. Long ago my vision cleared and I learned that in order to survive one must often abandon honor and become as despicable as one's enemies.

3. What do you want?Vengeance and the respect I fought for and was denied.

4. So you have a good reason for what you do. What is it?Not that it's any of your business and not that I care what anyone else thinks, but my reasons are hatred and revenge.

5. Do you have a family and friends?My family was slaughtered. Friends are a hindrance.

6. Why would you be called a villain?Because I was intelligent enough to realize that abiding the law and following "proper" procedure is useless when faced with enemies who possess wealth, power, connections and a lack of integrity. The only way to defeat them is to become worse then they are, and that is exactly what I have done.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another Interview

Hi Janet. Thanks for doing this interview for me on your blog. My third book in THE SOLONIAN CHRONICLES is coming out this December from NCP. The futuristic romance is called A RUTHLESS GOOD. I've been reading your blog and wondered if you would mind if I put a link on my blog to yours. Could you let me know when you put this up so I can promote it. Thank you again.

Sue Kelley/Gourley

1. What should I call you?
Please call me Father Morda as all my followers do. It's a title of their love and devotion for all I've done for this great city of Parlania.
2. Tell me about yourself.
I've saved this colony from extinction with my intelligence and clever planning. Some might think my methods ruthless and sexist but I've only done what was necessary.
3. What do you want?
I want nothing but to preserve mankind. To do so, I've instituted some strict laws controlling the breeding of children and way our society must run. Women have learned their place in this peaceful, safe city because of me.
4. So you have a good reason for what you do. What is it?
Of course I have a reason. Men are the stronger gender. The women who led us before almost took us into oblivion. I've reversed the effects of their poor attempts to subvert the natural order.
5. Do you have a family and friends?
I once had a great, true friend. He betrayed me but I intend to bring his son back into the fold. Or kill him. As for family, all are my children in Parlania.
6. Why would you be called a villain?
There are those who would rebel against the order I've created. Some think I've gone too far in my endeavors to help Parlania survive. Most of those don't remember the dark days when the enemies from the wild almost destroyed us. Everything I do is necessary. Without me, humans might have gone into the night of extinction. I'm a very good person. In fact, some of my more loyal followers see me almost as a god. Perhaps they're right. I saved them when all their gods left them to die.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A villainess

Today I'm introducing the villainess from The Temple of Fyre published by NCP and a finalist in the Dream Realm awards this year.

What should I call you?

Tell me about yourself.
I am the chief priestess of the Temple of Fyre and thus the most powerful woman in the land. I can use the red fyrestone something few people can. I am beautiful and men want to worship me. I allow them to touch but they cannot go beyond that.

What do you want?
Power. Is there anything else to want. I would like to find the fabled blue fyrestone for then I would be invincible. I would also like to see Ria punished for daring to disagree with me. When I wanted her to destroy a village, she refused. Her very poser frightened me but I prevailed and ordered her stoned. There is also Ari, a stone seeker. He refused to worship me as I should be worshiped.

Do you have a good reason for your actions and if so, what is it?
I am the chief priestess. There is no other reason. Because I have the power I should keep it.

Do you have a family and friends?
A priestess in the Temple of Fyre has no family. Once a woman enters the temple, her family is nothing to her. As for friends, why should I need any. Other priestesses envy me. There are those who pretend to be my friends but I know they only believe I can elevate them.

Why would you be called a villainess?
Someone like Ria might believe that is what I am. I do not believe I have ever acted against making sure the temple rules this land. A villainess, never.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bade is the "almost" villain in the first three books of my werewolf hunter series. I say almost villain because there are worse things in the night than Bade ... but few are better looking or more interesting to talk to. I've always loved bad guys and Bade is certainly bad.

I've been published a little over a year now. The first three books in my series are published with New Concepts, along with a fourth book unrelated to the series called Brain Dead. Brain Dead was just released this Wednesday and I'm really excited about that. I've also just signed contracts for three more books, one of which is the fourth in the Werewolf Hunter Series.

Readers might also be interested to know that 10% of all my royalties will be donated to St. Jude Children's Hospital. This goes for every book I will ever write.


1. What should I call you? The name's Bade Garren, but you can call me Bade.

2. Tell me about yourself. I'm an alpha werewolf for one thing. I'm also next in line to inherit the local wolf pack if anything happens to its current leader Marco Barak. But that might never happen and quite honestly, love, I don't want to wait that long.

3. What do you want? I want the wolf pack. But I also want what Marco is afraid to claim. Her name is Lilith Mercury and she's part werewolf herself. I believe there is enough of the wolf in her to appreciate what I have to offer.

4. So you have a good reason for what you do. What is it?

My reasons are my own. No offense, love, but I do think the end will justify the means.

5. Do you have a family and friends? I have a few friends, but no living family. At least, not that I'm close to. My mother died several years ago. She was a nurse, working at a clinic in our hometown of Sydney. They treated werewolves secretly. Lycanthropy is much more wide spread in Australia than most people are aware of. She was attacked by one of her patients. I found her. I was eighteen. Her car was in the shop, and I¢d gone to pick her up that night. The same wolf attacked me, only I survived.

6. Why would you be called a villain? I suppose people who disagree with my motives might call me that. Perhaps those who are afraid to accept their own beast, their own dark side might do the same. To each his own. I make no apologies for what I am.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another villain from Greyson Reyes-Cole

We're here with Greyson Reyes-Cole author of Bright Star to be published by Lyrical Press in October 2008. This is Grayson's second novel. The Chemist was the first in her Delicious Dark Side series. Now let's hear from her villain.

1. What should I call you?

Please call me Bright Star. I was born Elizabeth, people have confused me with the goddess Burn, but I am just Bright Star.

2. Tell me about yourself.

There is nothing to tell about me. There is nothing to know. Jacob Rush would argue that my name is Elizabeth and I was born almost twenty-five years ago. He would tell you that when my High Energy manifested and I was given to visions, I became a charlatan, a psychic for money, until my visions led me to him. I would tell you that I was born the day he dragged my dying body from a fountain and breathed life into me.

3. What do you want?

I want Rush to save the world.

It's what he was born to do. You can't imagine how much Talent he possesses. You can't imagine what he can do. But I have seen it. Just last week he saved a train full of the faithful from certain death, all from a distance, all with just a tiny bit of the High Energy he possesses. No one in this world or the next can do that. No one.

4. So you have a good reason for what you do. What is it?

I do what I must to get Rush to realize that he has to share his gift with the world. If one has the power to save each man, woman, and child on the planet, one's duty is to use that power. Is it not? I do what I do to force Rush to take responsibility.

5. Do you have a family and friends?

My family in Rush. My family are the Followers that believe in him the way I do. I find I am closest to Point and Monk and even Jackson when he is not trying to change me.

6. Why would you be called a villain?
I don't know why anyone would consider me a villain. Who told you that's what I am? Was it Rush? He cannot deny me. I'm not a villain--I'm not. I am a believer. I am a Follower. Do you hear me, Rush? I know you do. I am your Follower.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Interview with the villain from Obsessions

I'm here with the villain from Obsessions by Janet Lane Walters published by Hardshell Word Factory. Sir, what is your name?

I'd rather not say. I don't want those people to know.

Though I can understand your desire for secrecy, I would like to call you something.

Then Fred. Mommy called me her delight and her sweet boy. It's because of her that I have to do these things.

And why is that?

When I was a boy, my daddy died in a hunting accident. He was not a nice man. Then the neighborhood bully died and a man who was nice to Mommy but mean to me. Mommy liked the gifts I gave her. She gave me a promise.

And that was?

"I will never leave you. They'll have to kill me first."

Who are they?

Mommy was in the hospital. She coded. Before they chased me I saw them gathered around her bed. They killed her. Her doctor didn't come. He sent his nephew. Mommy didn't like them. There were a lot of other people there. They killed Mommy.

Did they?

Yes. If they hadn't she would be alive. She promised she would never leave me. They would have to kill her first. The practical nurse stole the bracelet I gave Mommy. Everyone at that code was responsible for her death.

Even Susan?

Yes, though she was Mommy's favorite nurse she didn't keep Mommy alive. I liked Susan, too but I had to act.

How many people did you kill?

I'm not sure. But they all deserved to die. For a long time, no one suspected the deaths were murders. They looked like accidents, except the first one but then I just happened on her.

Do you have anything more you'd like to say?

They had to die. "I promise I will never leave you. They'll have to kill me first." That's what Mommy said.

To learn how many deaths Fred caused, check out Obsessions.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Villains and Villainesses

Villains and villainesses are among my favorite characters to create. They come in many guises. There are those whose goals are merely in conflict with the hero or heroine. They often have motives that are logical. There are among these characters ones whos motives make sense only to themselves. Then there are those who are truly evil, men and women who worship the dark powers. Villains want many things. Some look for power, some for wealth, some for vengeance. During the month of September and maybe beyond, I'll be posting interviews with some of my own creations and hopefully those of my fellow writers. There may be a download prize or two of my books to the visitors who comment on what they have read. The first villain will be the one from Obsessions.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What keeps me writing

Celebrated my 72nd birthday the other day and realized 40 years had passed since I published my first short story. There were a number of years when I didn't write because I went back to work as a nurse to put children through college. Nursing is exhausting work. Once I retired, long before I was 65. I began writing again. One of the reasons I keep writing is because putting words on paper and watching characters change and grow better or worse makes me happy. I have had a number of friends who began writing. Some of them were much better than I am, but for some reason, there was nothing to keep them going. I'm throwing this out to my friends. What keeps you writing. Janet

Friday, April 25, 2008

A sudden writer's block

I do not have writer's block. Now I admit I've sometimes procrastinated when faced with a difficult scene but this seldom lasts longer than one of my self lectures, such as "Look at this from a different angle," or "Stop playing games with yourself." I've written in the middle of chaos when I had four teenagers and their friends crying for attention or seeking advice. I even wrote two chapters while spending a night in a hospital waiting room while my husband had the part of his aorta where it leaves the heart replaced.

My recent experience told me I'm not immune to the curse of many writers. My son was undergoing bilateral knee replacement. I wasn't worried about his surgery, though his scheduled surgery was for noon. He didn't hit the OR until 3PM, but that's the way things go in the hospital. Knowing we would be a long time, I brought a book to read and a notebook where my latest novel is being penned. I'm one of those people who hand writes their first few drafts. At noon, I had written close to 2000 words. He had to be at the hospital at 8AM.

After a lunch break, I sat down to write. The waiting room was full of other people waiting for their loved ones to return from surgery. I opened the notebook, took out my pen and stared at the paper. The time had come to write a love scene. Mine are usually spicy. Suddenly, I knew all those people who were talking to each other, reading books and magazines were looking at me. Did they know what I was about to do? I was sure they knew. My pen stayed poised over the paper for an hour and not a word written. I knew I suffered from writer's block and none of my self lectures worked. This block lasted until 8:30 when I returned home. Now I know how other writers feel when this affliction occurs. I also learned that one doesn't write about sex when other people are watching.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dee Lloyd

Dee is another of my Jewels of the Quill friends. We've met several times at EPICon and have enjoyed talking about many things.

1 Which comes first the characters or the plot?
Because there’s a mystery in most of my stories, I usually start with a plot idea. Once I have the crime and the perpetrator’s method and motive, I have to find a way to mislead the reader about it. Then I have to find the right couple to solve the mystery. Of course, the victim’s life is usually the focal point of the mystery plot. In TIES that blind, I had great fun with the interesting men she’d had affairs with.
Of course, in CHANGE OF PLANS, I started with the setting. I love cruise ships. I’ve cruised on more than 25 of them and wanted to use a ship for my story. There’s an appeal in having the characters confined in a single location except for the ports they stop at.
2 How do you create your characters?
Somehow, they are just there without my having to think about creating them. In CHANGE OF PLANS, Mike is in a honeymoon suite alone. Jilted by his life-long pal, he’s determined no longer to be Mr. Nice Guy and ready for a fling. Strong, angry, disillusioned, he just leapt into my mind.
The gorgeous twin government agents in CHANGE OF PLANS cried out for stories of their own. Bret, the more serious of the two needed stirring up, so I had him meet a ghost in the first scene of GHOST OF A CHANCE. Bart, the one with irrepressible sense of humor, plays bodyguard in UNQUIET SPIRITS. 3 Do you make a plan or go with the flow?
Once I have my crime, its solution and my characters, I pretty much let the characters take me where they have to go. I like strong-willed characters and find it hard to make them follow a rigid plan.4. How much research do you do? It depends on the story. I like to write what I know about, for example, the cruising situation. In MINE, the story involves a major gold discovery in an unexpected location. My father was a mining engineer and I had a pretty good idea what was possible but I did a lot of research to make sure my facts were accurate.
5. How do you select the characters goals and the reasons they want to accomplish them?
Actually, I have something I call the IMPOSSIBLY RUDE INTERVIEW I submit my main characters to. It takes a long time (almost as long as writing a chapter) but I find it’s worth it. I ask them things like, “Which of your siblings do you get along with best?” “What have you done that you are you most proud of?” “What are you most ashamed of?” “How many times a month do you get laid?” There are about 50 questions. Once they are answered, there is little I can’t predict about my characters.
What are you working on right now? Do you work on more than one thing at a time?
At the moment, I’m working on a story, TELEPHONE TAG WINNER, for the Jewels of the Quill 2009 Valentine’s Day anthology, MAGICAL KISSES. My heroine leaves a message canceling a blind date on the wrong answering machine. What a lucky mistake!What's in the pipeline, contracted but no publication date? Actually, OUT OF HER DREAMS, the paranormal romance contracted with Awe-Struck eBooks, has just been given a publication date of this coming November. I had a lot of fun writing this ghost/reincarnation story.
I usually work on one story at a time but at the moment I’m also tinkering with an idea for another paranormal/suspense novel involving being able to read minds for 48 hours after being injected with radioactive fluid for a medical test.8 What's on your back list?
I have three Romantic Suspense novels, TIES that blind, MINE and CHANGE OF PLANS with Amber Quill Press http://amberquill.com/ . Two paranormal mysteries, GHOST OF A CHANCE and UNQUIET SPIRITS, also with AQP.
With Awe-Struck eBooks, I have one Romantic Suspense novel, IN THE RUNNING.
If you would like to know more about me, my writing or see my favorite recipes or my take on the current handheld electronic reading devices, just visit me at .

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Interview with Karen Wiesner

I met Karen years ago in Omaha at an Epic conference. When I first heard about the Jewels of the Quill, I hoped one day I'd be considered a member. And I have. Karen is a real go-getter and is great a promoting not only her own books but the books of the group. As you can see, not all her back list is listed but if you go to the Jewels of the Quill website, you can see more.

Karen Wiesner is an accomplished author with 49 books published in the past 10 years, which have been nominated for and/or won 67 awards, and 17 more titles under contract. Karen’s books cover such genres as women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense, paranormal, futuristic, gothic, inspirational, thriller, horror and action/adventure. She also writes children’s books, poetry, and writing reference titles such as her bestseller, FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS, available from Writer’s Digest Books. Karen has also sold a second offering to Writer’s Digest Books. FROM FIRST DRAFT TO FINAL DRAFT {A Writer’s Guide to Cohesive Story Building}, a companion to FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS, will be available September 2008. It'll also be a Writer's Digest Book Club Main Selection. Check Karen’s website for more information and to register to be notified of releases. Her previous writers’ reference titles focused on non-subsidy, royalty-paying electronic publishing, author promotion, and setting up a promotional group like her own, the award-winning Jewels of the Quill, which she founded in 2003. The group does two anthologies, edited by Karen and others, together per year. Karen is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), EPIC, Sisters in Crime Internet Chapter, BooksWeLove.net, and World Romance Writers. In addition to her writing, Karen enjoys designing Web sites, graphics, and cover art.

For more information about Karen and her work, visit her Web sites at http://www.karenwiesner.com, http://www.firstdraftin30days.com, http://www.falconsbend.com and http://www.JewelsoftheQuill.com. If you would like to receive Karen’s free e-mail newsletter, Karen’s Quill, and become eligible to win her monthly book giveaways, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KarensQuill or send a blank e-mail to KarensQuill-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

1. What comes first: characters or plot?

Truly, it depends on the book. I write a lot of character-driven books...in fact, I would have to say all of my fiction is based on characters first and foremost. Without amazing characters, it doesn’t matter how fantastic your plot is because the book won’t work. Usually, a character comes to me first, many times with a plot already attached. Other times, a character will come and I’ll have to brainstorm to conceive of a plot for them. Rarely, a plot will come first, and then I have to backtrack and figure out what kind of person fits with the character.

I believe that character, plot and setting must be absolutely cohesive for a story to work on all levels. My upcoming writing reference, FROM FIRST DRAFT TO FINAL DRAFT {A Writer’s Guide to Cohesive Story Building}, coming September 2008 from Writer’s Digest Books, goes over the importance of this and how writers can create an unbreakable trinity with these three elements.

2. How do you create your characters?

Through daydreaming, brainstorming, researching, outlining, story plan checklisting (a new, almost foolproof method I’ll be unveiling in FROM FIRST DRAFT TO FINAL DRAFT), writing and revising the book. Each of these steps are layers that bring the character to flesh-and-blood life.

3. Do you make a plan or go with the flow?

Considering the number of genres I write in, the number of series I’m working on, and the number of publishers I write for, I'm extremely disciplined. Everything is planned well in advance, and I keep tweaking my schedule to make it as productive as it possibly can be. For my novels, once a story has been brewing in my creative coffeepot for a considerable amount of time, I start with an extremely detailed outline, which is, in essence, the first draft of the book. The outline can take anywhere from a day to a week to work out, depending on the complexity of the book. Because of the way I’ve worked my schedule, I’m able to set my completed outline aside for a month or more, then come back to it and make sure it’s as solid as I thought before I set it aside. As soon as I’m ready, I can begin writing. In general, I’ll write 2 scenes per day (regardless of how long or short—this and the outline itself inevitably prevent burnout and/or writer’s block). My annual goal sheet can then include accurate timetables for writing and revising outlines and novels. I also use project goal sheets, so I can know down to the day how long it'll take to finish a book. Completing a 100,000 book generally takes me 2 weeks to a month. Once that “second draft” (since I consider my very detailed outline the first draft) is completed, I again set the book aside for a month or so before I begin revisions. Depending on the project, revision amounts to minor editing and polishing. In this way, I alternate my time between novels in various stages of completion, and I can write quite a bit per year. To show how well this works, look at my progress over the last several years:

2005: -wrote 3 novels and 6 novellas-wrote proposals for 2 novels, 11 novellas, 1 series, and 5 Jewels of the Quill anthologies-outlined 4 novels and 3 novellas-revised and edited 10 novellas, 5 novels, and 3 JOTQ anthologies
2006: -wrote 5 novels, 6 novellas and 1 writing reference-wrote proposals for 2 novels, 1 writing reference and 2 Jewels of the Quill anthologies-outlined 2 novels and 4 novellas-revised and edited 8 novellas, 8 novels, 1 writing reference, and 4 JOTQ anthologies
2007: -wrote 5 novels, 2 novellas, 1 writing reference-wrote proposals for 1 writing reference and 2 JOTQ anthologies-outlined 4 novels and 8 novellas-revised and edited 4 novels, 3 novellas, and 3 JOTQ anthologies, and 2 writing reference
2008: (so far)-wrote 1 novels-outlined 1 novels and 2 novellas-revised and edited 3 novels, 2 JOTQ anthologies, and 1 writing reference
As you can tell, I believe momentum is a powerful force in any career. If I stall because I have done a good job of juggling my tasks, I can only blame myself. And, lest anyone wonders, I do plan my vacations from writing carefully, too, to help avoid burnout or writer’s block. I keep track of my works in progress here: http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/WIP.html. You can find my list of books here: http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/genres.html and here: http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/jewelsbooklists10.html. FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS and FROM FIRST DRAFT TO FINAL DRAFT are the secrets to my success.

4. How much research do you do?

While I’m outlining a novel, I do a ton of research about basically everything that could ever come up while I’m writing the novel (though some novels—genre-wise—just seem to require more than others). While writing, I may also do some research to fill in those rich, wonderful details that turn a lifeless book into a realistic one.

5. How do you select the characters’ goals and the reasons they want to accomplish them?

Again, this is many times an organic process that comes about while brainstorming, outlining, researching and writing. My best way—the most solid, never-fails way—is through the use of my story plan checklist (coming soon!). Basically, this worksheet develops the major characters through each phase of the book, outlining goals and motivations, internal conflicts and paired to the external plot conflicts.

Whether a character’s goals and motivations are strong enough will be highlighted boldly on this checklist. If there’s weakness in any of my major character’s goals and motivations, internal conflicts, and the external plot conflicts, I’ll know it before I ever write a word of the story—and I can fix the problem before I commit it to hundreds of pages.

I’ve also used this checklist after I’ve completed a draft of the book—when that draft isn’t quite strong enough. As I said, the worksheet pinpoints the problem areas, the areas that aren’t cohesive... It’s really a lifesaver!

6. What are you working on now? Do you work on more than one thing at a time?

I’m always moving between books that are being outlined, written and revised, so, yes, I definitely have more than one thing going on at a time, but the process is very focused and disciplined, not sporadic or because I get stuck or bored. I believe a book is best if you give it time to “breathe” between these three stages. I complete what I need to for each step, and only then move on to something else (whatever’s on my annual to-do-list currently available here: http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/WIP.html). So, for instance, this year, I finished revising SHADOW BOXING, Book 2 of my Family Heirlooms Series; revising ROMANTIC NOTIONS, Book 4 of the Falcon’s Bend Series I write with Chris Spindler; outlined “In Cahoots With Cupid” (coming in MAGICAL KISSES, A Jewels of the Quill Valentine’s Day Anthology, February 2009 release) and “Behind Amethyst Eyes” (coming in TALES FROM THE TREASURE TROVE, Volume V, A Jewels of the Quill Anthology, September 2009 release), Books 2 and 3 of my Kaleidoscope Series; outlined FOOLISH GAMES, Book 3 of my Family Heirlooms Series, completed editor revisions for FROM FIRST DRAFT TO FINAL DRAFT and BABY, BABY, Book 1 of my Family Heirloom Series (coming June 24, 2008); and wrote UNDERCOVER ANGEL (coming October 2008), Book 7 of my Incognito Series.

In April and May, I’ll be writing both “In Cahoots With Cupid” and “Behind Amethyst Eyes”, revising UNDERCOVER ANGEL, and writing FOOLISH GAMES.

7. What's in the pipeline, contracted but no publication date?

I haven’t sold SHADOW BOXING or FOOLISH GAMES, but those are in the pipeline. I’m also trying to sell RETIRED AND ON THE ROCKS, the first book in a new romantic cozy mystery inspirational series, which my agent is currently shopping around to New York publishers. Plus, I plan to write the second book in the series this summer. Also in the pipeline are WHITE RAINBOW, Book 6 (the final) of my Wounded Warriors Series. I also have another idea I’m playing with for Writer’s Digest Books, plus getting to work on Books 8 and 9 of my Incognito Series (both of which *are* contracted and scheduled for release March and October 2009, respectively). Finally, I hope to finish writing all the novellas for FALCON’S BEND CASE FILES, Volume II this summer.

8. What's on your backlist?

Romantic Suspense:

NO ORDINARY LOVE, Book 1 of the Incognito Series
UNTIL DEATH DO US PART, Book 2 of the Incognito Series
BOUNTY ON THE REBEL'S HEART, Book 3 of the Incognito Series
DEAD DROP, Book 4 of the Incognito Series
UNDER THE SPELL, Book 5 of the Incognito Series
RENEGADE’S ROSE, Book 6 of the Incognito Series

Friday, March 28, 2008

Dame Topaz -- Carrie Masek

Carrie is a fellow member of Jewels of the Quill and a past rival. We were finalists last year in the Dream Realm awards for YA fantasy. She was the winner and rightfully so. Jane

1 Which comes first the characters or the plot?

I usually start with a character. Often, the character will jump into my mind and nag me until I sit down and write his/her story. I usually have a sense of the beginning of that story and where it will end up, but I learn the path the character will take to get from the beginning to the end while I’m writing.
2 How do you create your characters?

I’m not sure “create” is the right word for the way my characters evolve. I start with a general feel for my characters and get to know them better as I write. A really good example of this happened while I was writing my vampire thriller, TWICE DAMNED. I was three quarters of the way through the first draft, around page 180 in the published book, when I discovered that in addition to the survivor’s guilt, my main character was driven by a need for vengeance. His guilt was a passive emotion; it was the call for vengeance that kept him going in the face of despair. That’s one thing I love about writing, the way I discover things about my characters and their stories as I go.

3 Do you make a plan or go with the flow?

As you can probably guess from my answers above, I tend to go with the flow. I’ve tried to plot out books, to outline and structure the story before I start writing, but that has never worked well for me. The story goes along the way I planned for a while, but inevitably one of the characters will decide to take the story in a different direction. When that happens, I can either, “go with the flow,” or I can try to force the characters to stick to my plan. The last time I tried to force a story, the characters went on a four week sit-down strike and refused to do anything until I threw out the outline and gave them free reign. Now, I don’t even try.
4. How much research do you do?

I love digging through books, surfing the internet, etc. It’s fun, interesting, and a lot easier than writing. To avoid the temptation to research my writing time away, I do the bare minimum research necessary to start a story and then do spot research as needed. Referring back to TWICE DAMNED, for instance, before I could even begin the story, I needed a time-line for WWII, including the date for the fire-bombing of Dresden. That was enough to get me going, but once I reached the scene where Dresden burns, I went back to my books to learn details like the pattern of damage, specific areas and buildings that were destroyed, facts about the people in the city (including refugees fleeing the invading Russians), street names, landmarks, etc. When I’m deep in a story, I find it easier to resist the urge to sit down and read the whole research text.
5 How do you select the characters goals and the reasons they want to accomplish them?

I don’t so much select my characters’ goals as uncover them. Writing the first draft of a story is a process of discovery for me. During it, I learn what a character’s motivations and goals are. I use the revision process to sharpen and clarify those goals and to find ways to reveal them to the reader in the course of the unfolding story.6 What are you working on right now? Do you work on more than one thing at a time?

In addition to polishing my contribution to the upcoming Jewels of the Quill Valentine’s Day Anthology Magical Kisses, I’m finishing the first draft of one novel and seriously thinking of going back to two others I have waiting in the wings. I would like to be one of those focused people who can tune out distractions and give all their attention to one project at a time. Unfortunately, I’m not. Unless I’m writing to a deadline – deadlines are wonderful focusing agents – I tend the write the story of the character who’s yelling at me the loudest. Rarely, the other books’ characters will stay politely quiet until I finish the story. More commonly, they all start demanding attention and I find myself trying to write two or more novels simultaneously. 7 What's in the pipeline, contracted but no publication date?

I’m working on stories for both of the Jewels of the Quill 2009 anthologies, Magical Kisses and Tales from the Treasure Trove, Vol. 5. I’m also finishing sequels for two of my published novels, TWICE DAMNED (Mundania Press, 2005) and A DRAGON’S TAIL (Double Dragon Publishing, 2005). 8 What's on your back list.

Mundania Press put out a wonderful pair of anthologies in 2004 called Beyond the Mundane. One volume, Flights of Mind was full of fantasy stories. Unravelings, was an anthology of horror and mystery. I was delighted when my story, “Cybergeist,” was selected to be included in Unravelings, and very sad when the anthology went out of print last November. If any of your readers run across a copy of either anthology, they should grab it. The stories in both are excellent.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dame Tanzanite -- CJ Winters

1. Which comes first, the characters or the plot? Usually neither. I choose a setting and the time frame, because I use the setting as a major character in the plot. Once those factors are established, I develop the plot beginning, the ending, and a couple of incidents or plot points.

2. How do you create your characters? Once I have the setting and time, the characters sidle into the story, first by telling me a little about their astrological patterns. For instance, Autumn in Cranky Otter, the final book of my series featuring the love stories of four generations of mothers and daughters, began because I wanted to set a story in the beautiful, contemporary Arkansas Ozarks. I decided the heroine, Autumn, was saddened by the recent losses of her husband and her mother (heroine of the previous book), and looking for a new start in life. I also wanted her to be psychically gifted, though unaware of it in the beginning. So Autumn became a Scorpio, perhaps the "deepest" of the astrological signs. For love interests, I discovered two very different men wandering around in my head, one happy to take up the challenge of wooing and marrying Autumn, the other only lusting for her --

3 Do you make a plan or go with the flow? As I said, I need the security of knowing the beginning, the ending, and a couple of points in between. From there on I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer. To my astonishment, a plot unfolds–albeit very slowly at times–in chronological order, usually giving me no more than a peep around the next corner. My subconscious knows that if it gve me the whole story in a gulp, I’d be too bored to write it. I only work when I know very little about where the story is going.

4. How much research do you do? It depends on the story, particularly the time frame. My first novel, Moon Night, is a time-travel romance set in the Ozarks in 1894. I was raised on a farm so many primitive rural aspects of the location and period are familiar, partially through my mother’s tales of her childhood. Other details required only light research. The sequel, A Star in the Earth, however, takes place in 1906 Boulder, Colorado, and required a good deal of research. In addition to books, a librarian in Denver was a tremendous help in establishing the setting. I don’t get trapped in research; once I locate the nugget of information I need, I move on.

5 How do you select the characters’ goals and the reasons they want to accomplish them? It’s an organic process, stemming from the skeletal plot and the characters’ astrological patterns. I began studying astrology in the '70s, so that understanding is part of my knowledge.

6 What are you working on right now? Do you work on more than one thing at a time? 60% of a romantic suspense novel. A lengthy short story about the Busybodies, characters from Deadknots, my new anthology of short paranormal mystery stories with Jennifer DiCamillo. I work on one thing at a time, though I may set a project aside for months or years and tackle another.

7 What's in the pipeline, contracted but no publication date?Princess and The Tanzanite Necklace, a short story contracted for the Jewels of the Quill anthology, Tales of the Treasure Trove, Vol. V.

8 What's on your back list? The generational series of love stories I mentioned above include Foredestined Summer (1920 upper Midwest), Fires of War and Winter (1943 Denver), A Dazzling Spring (1961/2 New York City and Colorado), and Autumn in Cranky Otter. Moon Night and its sequel, A Star in the Earth. Sleighride, time-travel romance (1811 Vermont). Right Man, Wrong Time, time travel romance (1859 Missouri). Mai’s Ties, contemporary romance, my only novel without a psychic twist. Show-Me Murder, cozy mystery trio. Deadknots. Other short stories: The Tanzanite Curse, The Tanzanite Return, and White Elephants, in Jewels of the Quill anthologies.
C.J. Winters--Paranormal, Romance & Mystery-- http://www.cjwinters.com/
Novels and New Deadknots anthology-- www.hardshell.com/

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dame Jade -- Barbara Raffin

Barbara is one of the Jewels that I've met. She was a very enjoyable and funny person. Janet

1 Which comes first the characters or the plot? Actually what comes first for me is a what if? In other words a situation. I suspect that's plot, but since my next step is to wonder what kind of character would find themselves in that situation, I'd say I really start with character. Plot then come from exploring how my characters are affected by the situation. Is it a good place for them to be or not? What conflicts them about the situation and gets them in trouble?>

> 2 How do you create your characters? Sometimes I'll fall in love with a movie character and use him as a basis for my hero. In one of my yet to be published books, I had a heroine who was an eternal optimist. I based her on a friend of my who has the most wonderful child-like enthusiasm for everything. However I pick them, I create them by first knowing their greatest strength and greatest weakness. I look for traits that separate the characters, yet draw them together in spite of their best efforts. I love details and little jokes like the one TIME OUT OF MIND where the heroine has just had the scare of her life and frantically runs through her botanist father's house seeking something to ground her. What does it is a coffee mug given to him by one of his grad students. On the mug are written the words "Botanists have stamin Power." Not only does this give the heroine and the read a chance to take a breath after a harrowing sequence, but it makes the heroine think differently about her father. She'd never before thought of him as a sexual being.>

> 3 Do you make a plan or go with the flow? I definitely go with the flow...or should. In my current work in progress, I had a strong idea who I wanted the heroine to be. She fought me and fought me and fought me. I finally gave up and said, "Honey, if you want to antagonize a murderer, go for it." The book took off and I eventually realized this new heroine was who this hero needed. Listen to your instincts. Believe in them. But most of all believe in your characters. But I do like to know my turning points and definitely my ending before I start writing the story.>

> 4. How much research do you do? That depends on the story. THE VISITOR, which is set practically in back yard, didn't require a lot of setting research. But when it came to the hero seeing auras, I read everything I could get my hands on about auras and what their colors meant. THE INDENTURED HEART took a lot more research because it was set in mid 1700 colonial America. I needed to know everything from mode of dress and travel to politics (there was a juicy scandal that worked perfectly into the plot). I was amazed to learn slaves of the period had far more rights, like reading and gaining their freedom, than they had later after importation of slaves was banned. Since my heroine was building a ship, I needed to learn what woods were used, how to shape wood for a hull if the right angle couldn't be found in the natural bend of a tree, not to mention the superstitions that went along with building a ship. And there was more, much, much more>

> 5 How do you select the characters goals and the reasons they want > to accomplish them? I love psychology and am fascinated with why people do what they do. The character who has the most to gain or lose by fighting or giving in to the set up situation is the easy one to start with. In WOLFSONG, Walker has been deeply injured by a 'city' woman who'd found his American Indian heritage trendy. He vows never to trust a woman again. Now he's forced to take in a housekeeper for the wolf study headquartered at his cabin and damned if she isn't another "city-bred" girl. Which brings me to how I pick out the second main character. Bring in a character who is going to challenge and nettle the first character to know end..even if she doesn't mean to as in WOLFSONG. Madison has come to the camp to search for a rapist which requires she get real close to all the guys. How do you think that goes over with Walker, the only one she doesn't come on to? He doesn’t' know he doesn't fit the general description of the rapist.> >

6 What are you working on right now? Do you work on more than one > thing at a time? I generally work on one thing at a time. Right now I have a hero who's the latest trend in new age TV, a psychic in the vein of John Edwards, and who's on trial for murdering his wife. Do I hear murmurs of OJ Simpson?>

> 7 What's in the pipeline, contracted but no publication date? Nothing contracted for at this moment. Though I'd love to find a worthy publisher to re release my TIME OUT OF MIND.>

> 8 What's on your back list. Wolfsong, Time Out of Mind, The Indentured Heart, The Visitor. I'm also in two of the JOTQ anthologies" Treasures of the Heart and the EPPIE winning Tales from the Treasure Trove, volume I.> --Barbara Raffin (Dame Jade) www.BarbaraRaffin.comThe Visitor www.awe-struck.net

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dame Turquoise

Here's the first of the promised interviews. Jane Toombs is Dame Turquoise and a long time friend. Since I'm Dame Amber, we do compliment each other as we discovered when we wrote Becoming Your Own Critique Partner, 2003 EPPIE winner.
1. Which comes first, the characters or the plot?For me, an idea leads to a plot. Only then do I find characters who will fit the plot, Occasionally I may feel a need to write a story about a certain type of character--say a vampire whose only wish is to die. In a case like this, the character would come first--but that's rare for me.

2. How do you create your characters?I have no real plan for them. They just take on life as I write about them. After I write about three chapters I know them well enough to understand how they'll act and react. So I guess I'm a pantster when it comes to characters.

3. Do you make a plan to go with the flow?I'm definitely a plotter. I first write a long, rambling outline, some of which gets condensed if I'm forced to write a synopsis. But outline or synopsis, I deviate from it when I write the story, though I do start where indicated and end where I thought I would.

4. How much research do you do?Usually more than necessary. Since I've been writing for a long time, though, I have a lot of material stored to refer to.

5. How do you select the characters' goals and the reasons they want to accomplish them?The goals have to fit the plot, but my characters pretty much let me know as I write how they're going to get there.

6.What are you working on right now? Do you work on more than one thing at a time?I just finished a possible H/S Nocturne Bite (electronic novella) and sent it to my agent. I've started #2 --there are 8 proposed in the series. I'm also working on my JOTQ Valentine story "The Third Kiss." And I have several novels with the first three chapters written--I plan to finish at least one of them before the summer's over. I generally, but not always finish one work before starting another.

7. What's in the pipeline, contracted but no publication date?Mischievous Music Duet, two rights-back Regency novellas--Mischievous Match maker and Music Of The Heart--bought by Amber Quill Press. Forsworn, the fourth book in the Temple Of Time series has been sent in again (they lost it) to New Concepts Publications.DiskUs has two of my rights-back short stories, Snakeskin and My Brother, My Brother listed as upcoming.

8. What's on your back list?My back list is too long to post. I did just get my print rights back from NCP for The Moonrunner Trilogy and plan to have Lulu print them. Karen Wiesner is helping me with this project. A lot!Jane

Monday, March 3, 2008

Self Interview

Every writer has their own way of "making words," as my granddaughter said when she was three. "Grandma's making words. Be quiet." I've talked to other writers, read volumes on writing, and taken writer's courses. I've taken a bit here and a piece of advice form there and worked out my own system. So have most of the writers I know. I'll be inviting friends to answer the questions, but first I'll start with myself.

1. Which comes first, the characters or the plot?
For me, an idea occurs and that develops into a plot. I jot notes or have them running in my head for a time. I put myself to sleep at night telling the story and the only characters are he and she. No names, no physical description. Once I decide on the plot I go looking for characters. When I wrote The Temple of Fyre (New Concepts Publishing) a spicy fantasy romance, the idea began with opals that turned into fyrestones. Gems capable of starting fires if the user had the talent. Then I had to consider the temple and the priestesses arrived, but in general now specifics. Finally, I decided there had to be a rebellious priestess and a man who could help or hinder her and an evil priestess. Now it was time to create the characters.

2. How do you develop your characters?
I've written a bit about this in an earlier blog.

3. Do you make a plan or go with the flow?
I'm a planner. Once I have the idea firm, I develop my characters, explore the setting, decide on a time line and do any research that will jumpstart me. I'll do more research later as I need to refine what I'm writing. I answer the questions,
Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. This becomes a short synopsis. Then I write a chapter synopsis and on to the rough draft. I do several drafts and revisions. Though I have all the elements planned, the story remains fluid until all the drafts are done. Revision is where the story comes alive.

4. How much research do you do?

I happen to love research but I also know how I can be led easily from one fact to another and one book to another. Then I lose sight of what I'm working on. When I begin writing I do a general research, close the books and move on. While researching All Our Yesterdays (New Concepts Publishing) I made the plan and then researched each place only looking for what I needed to know. I slipped up a few times but managed to remain on track. I needed customs, dress, significant periods, jewelry, food and housing. Most of all I needed to stay on track. While doing the research, I often find the where and when of a story. When I'm tempted to look up something I don't need, I tell myself that research is a siren tempting me.

5. How do you select the character's goals and the reasons they want to accomplish them"

Most of my characters have several goals. These goals and their reasons for wanting them for me add pivot points to the plot. There are goals that they want in the world and inner goals to satisfy themselves. In the beginning the goals are general and this becomes more narrow and personal as the story progresses. A romance begins with the general wish of the hero or heroine for love and moves to the specific goal of a particular man or woman. The reasons are contained in the particular traits they have been given with both positive and negative traits, the obstacles they face and the secrets they hold inside. The secrets are a reason they believe their goal will fail. In On Opposite Sides (New Concepts Publishing), Jenessa, a widow, knows her marriage was less than wonderful and admitting this is hard when everyone believes otherwise. For Eric, his secret is that he was the supervisor in charge of the ICU where Jenessa's husband died and he was responsible for the short staffing. Jenessa believes this is the reason her husband died. Admitting he was at fault for his accident is another secret she must face

6 What are you working on at the present time? Do you work on more than one thing at a time?

The Dragons of Fyre is my current project. This is a spicy romantic fantasy. This is where I'm concentrating but I am doing a bit of work on another Seduction story, the third story in The Henge betrayed story and researching one with an Egyptian background. Since I write my drafts in pen and then type them into the computer, once I finish a draft of a story until all the chapters or scenes are typed in, I will work on a draft of one of the other stories. As well as being eclectic, I'm also a fragmented writer.

7 What's in the pipeline? Books that are contracted but not released yet.

A Silken Seduction coming from New Concepts Publishing

The third in the Jewels of Earda series coming from DiskUs Publishing

8 What does your backlist look like?

The latest is a short novella in Tales of the Jewels IV -- Woman Cast In Amber from Whiskey Press

From Mundania -- The Henge Betrayed -- Flight

From Zumaya -- Becoming Your Own Critique Partner written with Jane Toombs EPPIE winner in 2003

From Clocktower -- Shortcut To Love

From Hardshell Word Factory -- Obsessions and Come Into The Light

From DiskUs Publishing The Jewels of Earda -- The Quest For the White Jewel and The Brotherhood of Mages, Whispers Out of Yesteryear and Prescription For Love

From New Concepts Publishing -- Murder and Mint Tea, Requiem Murder, The Midas Murders, On Opposite Sides, A Minor Opposition, A Double Opposition, All Our Yesterdays, Gemstones, Heartthrobs, The Doctor's Dilemma, A Marriage --Inconvenient, A Savory Seduction and The Temple of Fyre

Friday, February 29, 2008


This is about beginnings as in writing and came about when I was talking to my friend and co-author of Becoming Your Own Critique Partner published by Zumaya Press. I had just finished reading her novel Nightingale Man which I enjoyed very much, We talked about the beginning part which I wasn't sure she needed. She agreed with me. We talked about starting in the middle of the action a good rule in general. Sometimes this can become a very confusing opening if there is too much action or too many people. The trick then is to begin a moment before the action or a moment following the action.
Sometimes writers think a cute or exciting first sentence or paragraph is what will catch the reader's attention. It will but only if the action continues or the cleverness follows along.
I often start a book more than once until I find the right opening scene. A cast in point is my current project, The Dragons of Fyre. My first attempt began with the hero escaping from slavery and traveling through a mountain tunnel to reach his home. A sort of exciting moment, but then nothing was to happen for a year. I could have used this as a prologue but I sort of don't like prologues. I think I've written maybe one or two in the nearly thirty books I've written. So I began again, this time with the heroine. That read well until my critique group thought the villain was the hero. Not a good idea. So once again, I tore up the pages and began for a third time. This was from the hero's viewpoint. A better start but I got involved in the writer's need to know cycle and threw in too much backstory. I tore up the first three pages of the scene and wrote them over and with some tweaking, the beginning works and reads the way I wanted.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I've seen things on other lists about dragons and how they're depicted. I happen to like dragons but until recently I haven't written about them. I've begun a new book called The Dragons of Fyre. Here, the dragons are of three types, red, blue and green. As the green ages, he becomes yellow. At this point these dragons speak to people who are called speakers. These communications are mental. Those speakers who do not need a tea made from fyrethorn berries can speak to any and all dragons. Those who must take the tea can only speak to one dragon. So far, the main speakers are the Old One, a yellow and Verde, a green. The hero Drakon and the heroine, Arana have both been slaves and have escaped. But back to the dragons. The yellow because of his age speaks more adult like and so does Verde, except when he's excited.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Crossword puzzles

I must confess I'm addicted to crossword puzzles. Every Sunday morning my husband and I do the NY Times one. I'd like to say we complete it every time but there are a few times when we haven't. But I've learned a number of things from these puzzles that have been of use in my writing. The villain's name in The Henge Betrayed -- Flight was found in a puzzle. I also learned a word I adapted for a male harem used in The Temple of Fyre. The puzzles also keep my mind active and I learn new meanings for old words.

Friday, February 22, 2008


No astrology today. I've been enjoying the snow. We're had more snow today than we've had for the test of the winter. The world always seems quieter when there's snow on the ground.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Astrological characters

While wondering what happens when Astrological opposites meet, I developed three books using this idea. On Opposites Sites pits Jenessa against Eric. She is an Aries signfied by someone who charges in sword in hand. He is a Libra, a man who weighs everything and looks at both sides of a situation. She is union and he is management, but in the end they find a fight they can both take on. In A Minor Opposition, Laurel is a Taurus. She wants a home and a family. Alex is a Scorpio. Family is important to him. He has been divorced but his wife is now dead. She was wealthy and spoiled and Alex has problems with people who have money. Laurel does and she is nothing like Alex believes she has. Through Alex's son, they make a connection. In A Double Opposition, Liz is a Gemini. She has twin sons and is a widow. Jeff is a Sagittarius and often puts his foot in his mouth. He is a widower who had a perfect marriage and isn't looking for another wife. Sparks fly between he and Liz and her runaway sons bring them together. All three books are available from New Concepts Publishing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Astrology and Characters

In my latest release The Henge Betrayed -- Flight, the characters are based in Astrology and my grandchildren. Each of the children belongs to one of the four elements. Fire, Earth, Water and Air. Instead of giving them a moon and ascendant different from their Sun Signs, these characters are tripled. Ashlea is Air and has an affinity for all things pertaining to Air. She plays a flute that allows her to use her affinity. Brandien, her twin, is Water. His affinity allows him to hone in on the emotions of others. He bears a scrying bowl. Kylandra is Fire. She carries a sword that can produce flame to aid her. Jaydren is Earth and has a staff of living wood. He can use all products of the earth. These four must flee their home and find a safe place, hiding from Dom Senet. an evil man who desires to use the four to gain power over the land. During their flight, they meet with Alizand, the son of the prince of Wesran. Like the four, he is a half-breed and he fears the dom, too. They reach what should have been a safe place in Cedris only to find this place isn't safe. This book is available from Mundania Press.

Monday, February 18, 2008


As promised, I'm back to speak about characters. When creating characters, I often use Astrology, assigning the character a Sun sign, a Moon sign and an Ascendant. This gives me many characteristics to determine what the character desires, what drives them to seek their desires and what traits could prevent their obtaining their goals. Then I do one more thing. I run that character through myself. I wonder how many writers put a bit of themselves in their characters. Of the characters I've created, Katherine Miller, heroine of Murder and Mint Tea, Requiem Murder and The Midas Murders is closest to being me, except she's a fabulous cook, and a former church organist. Her stories are available from New Concepts Publishing, one of my many publishers.
I'll talk about some of my other characters on other days. If anyone chooses to talk about how and why they create their characters or comment on the characters of mine they know, feel free, but no bashing. Janet

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Newly established

I have just begun this and will return later to say more. I am a writer of fiction with a number of books available at the present time with more being created every day. I will begin talking about my books, the books of my friends and inviting them to join me here.