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