Friday, April 2, 2021

Friday Joanie MacNeil is visiting and talking about Panster or Plotter #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Scotland #Australia #Office romance

 Hi Janet, thank you for having me on your blog today.


Panster or Plotter


Day 1


1.    Are you a panster or a plotter or perhaps a bit of both?

A bit of both. While knowing how I want my story to end, I seem to take the longest and hardest path to get there. In my computer files, there are at least two or three manuscripts, unfinished, because I’ve lost my way.


I’ve downloaded Plotter to help keep me on track for future projects. However, I haven’t played with it yet. I’m looking forward to the challenge of giving it a go for my next project: one of the unfinished manuscripts.


2.    Which comes first - characters or plot for you?

It depends on the story. I had a couple of characters/ideas in mind for two books, and combined them into one story–Desperate and Dateless.


A few chapters into Sweet Temptations I lost my way, though knew how I wanted the characters’ journey to end. I wrote the closing chapters and that pulled me through the story. It’s a tricky way to write a romance. It’s important to ensure the developing relationship and emotions are in the right order.


3.    What are you working on now? Is this a book in a current series or something totally new?


My March release, A Traditional Affair–Honorable Men–The Scots: Galen, is a contemporary romance set near Loch Ness, Scotland, and is the first book in my Honorable Men series.


I’m working through revisions for Book 2, A Sense of Duty–Honorable Men–The Scots: Regan. This book is due for release in July this year, and is set in Braemar, Scotland.


4.    Do you have some kind of object or place that figures in most of your books? I use gems a lot, hospitals and caves.


Coastal settings in and around the Sapphire Coast, south of Sydney, provided background for Sapphire Kisses, Loving Nick…Again, and Sweet Temptations. I’ve used the same setting for one of my unfinished manuscripts.


For No Boundaries and The Trouble with Natalie, I drew on my experience as an executive assistant for a backdrop to these office romances.


Visits to Scotland many years ago provided ideal settings for my two Scottish novels.


5.    Do you write every day or just when the spirit hits?


My goal is to write on a regular basis. When I reach a momentum on the project I’m working on, I try to keep that energy going. Commitments on my time can get in the way and zap my get-up-and-go. I don’t always maintain the writing habit every day.


Late last year, I completed two online writing courses through RWAustralia. The courses triggered two projects: the first, a short story, which I’ve wanted to write for two or more years. When the time is right I’ll revisit, and may consider turning it into a novella.


For the second course, I worked on the first five pages of an incomplete novel and that’s in my ‘must finish’ pile for later in the year. The feedback I received contributed to my enthusiasm for the story again.


I believe success with writing a particular story depends on timing. I’ve set aside a few stories, and returned to them much later with fresh ideas, which, previously, I’d never considered.



6.    Where can we find you?


7. Who are your favorite authors? What about a book you’ve enjoyed?

I enjoy listening to audio books, as my eyes are too tired at night to focus on the screen or print books. Of course, there’s always the risk of falling asleep no matter how good the book is. But I can rewind the next night!


I’ve finished three more books in the Icelandic series by Ragnar Jónasson. The descriptions took me back to my visit to Iceland in 2017. I’d love to visit there again.


I’m enjoying Outback Dreams, a contemporary romance by Australian Author, Rachael Johns. I’d like to listen to more of her novels set in Outback Australia. She brings both characters and setting to life.


I have several stories to listen to, including Bridgerton: The Duke and I, by Julia Quinn, plus other authors who are new to me. I did find the Bridgerton series on Netflix very entertaining.


Two on my list to download at some stage are:

Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites and a Barbara Erskine novel–I can’t decide which one yet. I’ve read most of hers, but not for a long time. Two or three are particular favorites: Lady of Hay, Midnight is a Lonely Place and The Warrior Princess.


Of course, I have several novels in my Kindle to read! The list never ends!

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