Curse my friends. Especially the ones who are sisters of each other.
She did this despite my dire explanation about the consequences of breaking chain letters.
Families torn apart.
Alien overlords landing.
Mayan prophecies, no matter how objectively stupid, coming true.
I don’t need that kind of responsibility right now. I’m several episodes behind on Awake and Castle, dammit.
But since it is the fate of the entire world resting on my shoulders…
1. What snack (if any) do your prefer when writing?
Something I can eat without using my hands. Or having to move my eyes too far from the screen. So, grapes hand-fed to me by adoring coed interns.
The missus feels threatened by this mode of snacking, for some reason, so it has been some time since I’ve been ‘allowed’ to eat while writing, Most distressing…
2. What is your next major writing goal?
I could say, get my second Marlowe book through the last round of edits, but that would be a lie. In all honesty? My next major writing goal is to start writing again.
Life hasn’t been handing me lemons, it’s been firing them at me, with extreme prejudice, through a modified super-sonic potato cannon.
While I admit that this is extremely inconvenient, I do have to give props to Life for the off-the-charts awesome looking super-sonic potato cannon. As soon as I’m done dodging this one, I’m gonna get me one of those.
But weapons envy aside, until someone comes up with a high-speed lemonade mixer/Kevlar™ catcher’s mitt, I’m keeping my head down and my butt in the fox hole.
3. How would you feel about your book being made into a movie?
Meh. So many of my books have been made into movies.
Oh, wait, you mean movies not just in my head? I’d be bouncing off the walls, screaming my head off, and then, when I found out they didn’t cast Stephen Fry as the voice of House, I’d get very, very sullen.
Yes, I know, Hugh Laurie plays Dr. House on the TV show. My House is a different House, and in my head, he’s voiced by Hugh Lau-, er, I mean, Stephen Fry. If that confuses you, join the club!
4. What is your dream writing space?
Bomb shelter with a secret entrance, grainy black-and-white video surveillance of the outside, and wall-to-wall bookcases stuffed with survival guides.
The only source of illumination, besides my hamster-powered OLPC computer? A naked bulb swinging from a cord, flickering as I laugh maniacally at my computer screen. Flickering because it’s a mercury-infested compact fluorescent, mind you, not some energy-sapping incandescent bulb.
This is a modern writing lair.
Did I mention my chair rests on a trap door over a pit of disinterested cats? A trap door with a fidgety locking mechanism? I know, it doesn’t sound very horrible, but I’m deathly allergic to cats, so it adds a sense of drama, not to mention urgency, to my writing.
I’ve found there is no better way to keep your book’s pacing on track than the threat of plummeting into a mound of hungry yet still disinterested cats.
5. Where do you go to scope out ideas for characters and dialogue?
I go to the dark places in my mind. Sometimes I bring a flashlight, but I can never get it through my ear canal. But flashlight technology is getting smaller, so it’s only a matter of time. Until then, these trips cause major headaches.
I also go through a lot of gauze.
A lot of gauze.
Actually, I get the most interesting ideas hanging out with friends, or reading people’s twitter feeds and blogs. But I can’t act on those ideas, or the people who inspired them might get the wrong idea about me.
I’m already on thin ice with most of them, and can’t risk any more trouble.
6. What are you doing to become a better writer?
I’m trying to get back into the habit of reading an excessive amount of books per year. I’ve recently managed to claw my way up to ‘a non-zero, but still unimpressive’ number.
It would help if my kids didn’t grab at my books and eReader. Or color in the books and on my eReader.
My Nook Touch is now a Nook Touch Color. But not in the good way.
7. Do you outline before you start a novel?
Yes. I used to be a pantser, but found that writing Book 2 in my Marlowe and the Spacewoman series, Balloons of the Apocalypse, went amazingly well with an outline to guide me. The damn thing practically wrote itself.
So yeah, I’m totally an Outline Man™ now.
8. What was the last book you read?
A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Definitely the sort of book to appeal to a teenage boy, but I still enjoyed it.
Hmm, what does that say about me? I’m young at heart?
Speaking of which, John Carter was a fun movie. More people should go see it.
9. What is your biggest distraction when you write and how do you deal with it?
The internet. And my writing groups. Especially my online writing groups. We totally don’t stay focused on writing when we meet. So far, I have not dealt with this very well because…
…as mentioned above, I haven’t been writing lately due to that lemon-hucking bastard, Life.
If I had any will power, I’d quit Humanity cold turkey, build myself a shack in the woods, and
mail bombs to academics write the next twelve Great American Novels.
Scratch that, why limit myself? The next twelve Great Human Novels.
I want my books to be the ones our alien overlords read to understand us after wiping us out. I want to be the author our alien overlords point to when they tell the cloned-from-frozen-samples new humans, “This, this is why we brought your species back. Live up to these books and we will make you gods!”
Sadly, we’ll be extinct again six years later. No one can live up to my characters. Even the flawed characters.
And the aliens’ language is very complex, and the humans won’t understand the instructions.
Self-fulfilling prophecy, really.
10. What is your favorite sentence you have ever written?
When French gourmet chefs go insane, they’re exiled to Belgium.
But that’s a short sentence, so how about one more?
Even Marlowe felt himself moved by the graceful, haunting sounds arising from Finch’s throat, rich notes that were neither words nor instruments, but something a thousand times more effective than either.
11. What should the title of my YA paranormal romance be?
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. I’ve Only Got Poltergeist For You
No, I will not apologize for that title. You asked, so suck it up.
Time to spread the pain around. You guys wanna lob flaming lemons at me, in the form of chain letter internet memes, well, then, right back at ya!
These questions are directed at poor Marj (because I’m always hitting innocent bystanders while targeting the guilty) and Kit and Audrey and, what the heck, Anne Marie and Tamela too. Now I’ll see who reads my blog amongst you, and who doesn’t!
1) What is your favorite color, and why?
2) How many hearts have you broken in the course of your cold, heartless life?
3) What is your favorite vacation spot, and why isn’t it the Poconos?
4) Do you buy lottery tickets? Explain the reasoning behind this choice.
5) What is the next book you want to read, and why, if it isn’t mine, isn’t it mine????
6) Favorite grade in school? (Year, not letter grade – no bragging, smarty pants!)
7) What is the best dream you remember having?
8) When in Rome, how do you act? If you’ve never been to Rome, how would you act? Penalty for going with the obvious answer.
9) What are: your first pet’s name, your mother’s maiden name, and the last four digits of your social security number? If it helps you remember, you may provide the entire social security number.
10) What is your earliest memory of music?
—And now, a word from our sponsor: me! My book, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, is now available!