1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?
I bill myself as the eclectic writer but lately I’ve realized most of my stories are romances but they fit into subgenres of romance. Except for some of the YA stories but even there, there are boy/girl relationships that can be developing. Even my mysteries hold a bit of romance for the heroine that takes five books to lead to her marriage. Some of my romances are contemporary, some paranormal, fantasy, historical and suspense. They range in heat level from sweet to spicy.
My reading choices are just as different. I read most everything but not all books are enjoyed as much as others. With the number of books floating through the internet and my Kindle handy, I read a lot. I do not read horror.
As to what I wouldn’t attempt to write. Anything with hard science. I know nothing about technology and while I admire people who do I’m not going to try. I don’t see a horror book in my future. Though sometimes I can write dark horror is beyond dark to me.
2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Does one of these come easy and why?
There are days and days. Sometimes I have difficulty reining each of the three into form. I’m usually more able to identify with the heroine and her emotions. The heros often give me trouble, especially when they speak. They don’t always come across as male but a sort of neuter kind of person. Now villains usually come easy because that allows me to let some of my evil nature escape.
3. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
I turn to Astrology to develop my hero. After the idea for a plot comes into my head, I begin to look at what kind of hero I need. Turning to my many Astrology books, I find a sun sign which will show my character’s inner nature. This may be different from the face he shows the world. For that I look for an Ascendant that fits what the character is becoming in my head. For the emotional quality, I look at his Moon Sign. This usually gives me how his emotions differ from the two other elements. This makes for a complex character. And often tells me what his interior conflict will be. The outer conflict can also be found in the three elements of his character. Once this is in place, I develop the other characters, though one or both of them may have entered my imaginary world before.
4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
For my heroines I also use the same process as I do the hero. There are times when the heroine appears before the plot and I must find a hero and a story for her. Using the what if can bring a heroine to life. Many of my heroines are nurses or have other skills that are somehow medical. Here I can pull things from women I knew when I worked as a nurse. Something will remind me of a trait or a worry one of these former colleagues displayed. Also in my heroines, there is a little of myself. Not myself as I am but myself as I wish I was.
5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?
Villains for me are the easiest to write and they aren’t necessarily the bad guy. In my latest release in both paper and electronically, the female lead begins as a villain. To make her human meant she needed lessons to be learned. She did love her land and her parents but she performs an act that makes her seem not to be a good person. Through the first four stories in this collection, she remains unknowing of what she must do. She needs to learn how to love. Each story gives her a small hint about love and the final two stories show what lessons she has learned.
The trick with making villains is giving them traits that make them human. This is easy with the opposing character who isn’t a true villain but one who has his own ideas about the lives of the hero and or heroine. This person can have good reasons for their feelings and can be made while not likeable at least interesting. The character who is truly evil is harder to find a reason to make them seem less that evil. The trick here might be to develop their degree of evilness in increments through the story. At least that’s the way it works for me.
6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?
Actually, there are two. The Amber Chronicles is the latest released in electronic and also in print. Here the heroine, Emme is also in the beginning the villain. This is a series of short stories that tell of her quest to learn about love, how to give and receive so buy the end of the story she is the heroine. Since these are short stories and novellas, the heroes are varied. This was a fun set to write and did not begin with the first story in the book but that was the last one written since I had to figure why she’d been banished from her world.
Code Blue has just been released in print and has been in electronic form for a long time. The heroine is Susan who is a nurse with a dead and controlling husband. She’s finally recovered from his death and has known the hero Patrick for a long time. He’s divorced and has two children who he wants custody of. Susan fears he is another controller. The villain will remain unnamed but he is my favorite villain of all time. He is a man with a deep love for his dead mother and blames the hospital personnel for her death. He is relentless in his quest for what he believes is vengeance and in his obsession with Susan.
7. What are you working on now?
My current WIP is called Toth’s Priest and is the third of a fantasy Trilogy set in an ancient alternate
Egypt. In this book the hero is
Namose, a young man kidnapped by the villain and forced to translate some
ancient script giving the villain some powers belonging to the priests of Toth.
The heroine Amara is a young woman who escapes to this land to avoid being
taken by the nephew of a drug lord. She has much to learn and her payment for
the rescue is to rescue Namose and return the stolen scrolls to the Toth
temple. The villain is one Hebu, a priest of Aken Re who has schemed to bring
his god to the Two Lands. He has been the villain in the other two books but
has escaped the other times. Can Namose and Amara defeat him using the same
powers he has stolen.
8. How can people find you?
Always fascinating, Janet, author of so many stories. I've learned so much from you. Thanks for leading the way.
Nice post Janet--from an old hand at spinning a compelling yarn.
Excellent post, Janet. I especially liked where you mentioned that writing "villains" is easy for you. I, too, have fun with them, while trying to see through their eyes. It's fascinating when they always feel they're doing what's right :-)
Charmaine, Juliet and Kathy, thanks for stopping by. Kathy, I really love villains.
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