A Day in the Writing Life of … Beverley Eikli

Welcome everyone to another Day in the Writing Life. Today we feature Beverley Eikli who writes romance, adventure and intrigue — some with an erotic slant.

Warning : Some content may not suitable for under 18.

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.     Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk a bit about my writing life. I write erotic historicals as Beverley Oakley and Regency Romantic Intrigues as Beverley Eikli. I’ve always been a passionate reader of social histories, particularly the years between 1750 and 1900, and of the novels written during that period, too. I love to include lashings of intrigue in my books together with strong sensuality – or, sometimes, more explicit sexuality (although its generally sweet erotic) depending on the theme and characters, which is why I took the pseudonym Beverley Oakley.

What time of the day do you write?     As the ‘trailing spouse’ of a pilot whose taken me to live in 10 countries, routine is not something I allow myself to get used to for very long. Life’s always chopping and changing, especially now with changing rosters. Therefore I’ve become an opportunist and I’ll grab whatever window I can to write. I try to meet my daily quota of 1000+ words and will generally succeed if my husband is away for a few days. Often I’ll write all evening, however when he comes back from flying I like to spend that time with him.

Beverley Eikli and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Homer

What’s the first thing you do before you begin to write?     The routine question again! Nothing’s ever the same two days running. My thoughts are usually all over the place though the iPhone’s calendar and message alert have been huge boons to my organisation, particularly my promo schedule since I do quite a lot of blogging. Well, I’ve found that in order to get the words flowing I need to have thoroughly thought about what’s happening in the next scene before I sit down to write it. Therefore before I go to sleep I brainstorm the scene I want to write in the morning, and when I walk our Rhodesian Ridgeback, Homer, I plan the following scene. I try to get an hour’s writing done in that blissful silence before the girls wake up.

Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work?      ‘Turn off your internal editor’ has been great advice which I’ve tried with some success to follow. I therefore read only from the beginning of the previous scene to orient myself into the headspace of my characters. Occasionally I’ll put on the kitchen timer for a 20-minute speed writing session if the words are just not flowing. That often works wonders for kick-starting a lagging scene.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser?     I used to be a pure pantser but after having to rewrite the second half of my first three published books I realised I had to change my modus operandi. I now start with a set-up, allow my characters to reveal themselves and their hitherto unknown devious motivations (my books are full of intrigue) and then I stop for a big brain-storming session. I guess I’m influenced by Charles Dickens’ amazing plot twists and turns and his characters’ often extraordinary backstories and motivations but it’s too easy to get caught out by trying to be ‘too clever’ so I have to plot quite carefully before writing to ‘The End’.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time?      I’m more of a goal setter than I used to be. It’s taken many years but now my entire income is related to writing or teaching writing at university and in the wider community. In the early days it was just so exciting to have one book published, but there wasn’t much income coming in. Now that I have a backlist of seven books with more releases this year, it’s a case of the stone gathering moss, but I have to be strategic. I have to write, but I also have to get my name out there.  My latest project combines my love of writing with my love of history and of costume. This year I have a number of author or library talks lined up on “The Influences behind the changing silhouette between 1750 and 1810″. When I was 18 I spent a year at the London School of Fashion studying pattern cutting which has stood me in good stead my whole life. For my talk I wear 1780s stays over a linen chemise with hip “improvers” multiple petticoats and finally the polonaise, all made according to patterns of the day.

Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals?     Seeing the book out is my reward but I’m very creative when it comes to coming up with an excuse to reward myself on an ad hoc basis. My reward next year for having two releases in January is going to the Romantic Times conference in Kansas City in May. My husband is flying me to LA (as in, he’ll be the pilot) two weeks beforehand and then we’re setting off on the back of his motorbike to go camping in the Nevada Desert before whooping it up in Las Vegas, and then off to the RT conference.

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc and if so do you do any exercises at your desk or between sessions?     I find it hard enough getting enough time to sit and write when there’s so much to do around the house and with young kids and my husband away such a lot. The messy kitchen is reproaching me even as I write this. But you live your life according to your priorities and I’ve decided I’d rather say, “I’m glad I managed to kick-start my new series by writing three novellas in six months” rather than, “My kitchen is always spotless but I wish I’d written at least one novella in the first six months of last year to kick-start the series.” (I guess it would help if my writing space wasn’t actually part of the kitchen.

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Beverley Eikli writes Regency Romantic Intrigues. She writes erotic historicals as Beverley Oakley. Her racy Regency romp Rake’s Honour has just been shortlisted for an Australian Romance Readers’ Award. Recently she won UK Publisher Choc-Lit’s Search for an Australian Star competition and her winning entry, The Reluctant Bride, will be published in September. Saving Grace, part of the Momentum Hot Down Under collection was released on Jan 15 and her next release, Her Gilded Prison, will be published by Ellora’s Cave in April. 

 Website: www.beverleyoakley.com

Blogsite: http://www.beverleyeikli.com.au

 Amazon – A Little Deception                   

Saving_Grace_Beverley_Oakley

January 01, 2013  Momentum: Saving Grace                           

                                                      HerGildedPrison

Coming Soon from Ellora’s Cave: Her Gilded Prison

 

Thank you Beverley, for sharing a day in your writing life. We wish you every success.

A Day in the Writing Life of … Keziah Hill

Welcome back everyone to the start of another bright and shiny new year. I hope 2013 brings good health and the culmination of your dreams.

Today, we have as our guest blogger, Keziah Hill who writes in the genres of erotic romance and romantic suspense.

Warning : Some content may not suitable for under 18.

 

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.     Crime has always been my first love but when I first started writing, I seemed to want to write erotica. That’s been my focus over the last few years, but crime is calling to me. So 2013 will be my year of focusing on crime and romantic suspense.

What time of the day do you write?      I’m definitely a morning writer. I find as soon as I let the day in, my head gets too easily distracted. I don’t think it’s good to be so wedded to a time of day to write so 2013 is also a year of breaking bad habits.

Where do you write?      I write at my desk which is in my dining room. I live alone and have a small house, so I’ve been able to set it up the way I want to. Sometimes I sit on my couch with the lap top to mix it up, and sometimes I sit at a little table I have near a window and hand write.

Is there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?     Not really, but the one habit that works the best is to disconnect the modem and deposit it in the spare bedroom before I go to bed. That way in the morning I have to make a conscious decision to break my concentration and get on the net.

What’s the first think you do before you begin to write?      In the mornings, have a shower and breakfast. In 2013 I want to add a walk to that.

Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work?      I tend to go with the flow. I might read the last page.

Keziah Hill photo Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser?      I’m a planster. I’d like to be more of a plotter. I write the first few chapters then fall in a heap and have to start from the beginning. It’s an inefficient way to write. But I’ve found writing like this is the only way I can get to know the characters.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time?      No schedule, no goals. Much guilt, much anxiety, much self-doubt. This writing gig is perfect for someone raised as a Catholic.

Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?     I scribble with post it notes, get enthusiastic at the latest mind mapping app, then ignore them all and just write. Although Scrivener is great for organising a manuscript. When I start to loath writing I stop and garden and read poetry.

Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals?      Nope. How could I wallow in guilt if I recognised I achieved goals?

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc and if so do you do any exercises at your desk or between sessions?     I’m really bad at this and as a result contribute to my osteopath’s wellbeing.

Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?     I have an RWA cup with pens in it, one of those tall jotting pads, my snazzy faux antique document holder, a rather tasteful lamp and my glasses case.

Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between?      It’s tidy. That’s because the dinning room table is a tip. Keziah Hill desk

What is your favourite form of procrastination?      Sigh. The interwebs. The only thing that works for me is disconnecting the modem or use Freedom http://macfreedom.com

What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session?     On the days I have to go to the day job, look at the clock and curse; on the day I don’t, look at the clock and curse.

http://www.keziahhill.com

http://www.deborahtait.com

wpid-9781743341278_Business-with-Pleasure_cover6Keziah Hill’s next erotic short Business with Pleasure is out with Momentum http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/business-with-pleasure/  on 15 January 2013 (actually available on Amazon now).

Deborah Tait has a short novella in Moonlit Encounters from TWC Press http://www.twcpress.com/books.html

Keziah, thank you for sharing a day in your writing life. We wish you well with your writing career.

A Day in the Writing Life of … Jennie Jones

Welcome everyone for the last Day in the Writing Life for 2012. Today we have Jennie Jones, contemporary romance writer, joining us to share a day in her life.

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.     I write contemporary romance and love using humour and I seem to have evolved into finding-home stories where my characters are challenged by new towns and countries. I was a professional actor for many years, and when that stage of my life ended, I needed another artistic outlet. I found it in writing.

What time of the day do you write?      Morning – no question. I get up at 5.30am and I’m at the keyboard with my first cup of tea five minutes later.  I like the peace.  I have two hours before the day starts with school runs and work.

Where do you write?      I write in my study, it’s my ‘place’. I’ve had to teach myself to write using my laptop when I’m away from my ‘place’ but basically that’s it.  I can’t write stories in workshops, I can’t hand-write stories (although I make copious notes), but I do wish I could write whilst driving – I get lots of ideas when I’m driving.

Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work?      I like to edit as I go (except on first draft write-outs), so I will go over the last chapter worked on, then get the plot lines straight in my mind before I start on the next chapter or scene. Once the flow begins (and I never know how to actually find it) it stays until I’m either finished or interrupted.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser?      I began as a pantser, until I discovered that I had very little conflict in my stories – now I plot a lot and still manage to pantser my way through the plot-line, so I’m happy.

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Are you a goal setter with your writing?     This is a good question – earlier this year I did a month of Boot Camp and learned how to write, write, write without worrying about editing or even filling in gaps.  I wrote 50k in that month (it’s not easy but surprising how much comes out of you when you push yourself).

Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?     I’m never far from my Roget’s International Thesaurus, 7th Edition. Oh, and I have a note on my computer for character and story inspiration:  If you build it they will come. Other than that I tend to let fate lead me to what I need and if you actively look for inspiration – it will find you.

Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals?      No, I just love writing and if something goes well, that’s reward enough.

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc?     I suppose so, if you call emptying the dishwasher and hanging out the washing ‘time out’. Seriously, I do have to be careful because I’m at the computer during my day job too.  During Boot Camp my posture was horrific.

Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?     My mobile. My current How To book. My Elizabeth Arden lip salve.  My Ylang Ylang candle. My note book (the paper kind).

Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between?      It would look messy to most so I’m not sharing a photo, but it’s thoroughly organised to me.  I know where every slip of paper is, what it refers to and when I might need it.  I like a pot plant on my desk and other little treasures that are pertinent to me, whether it’s a note from my daughter or husband, a business card from a new writing buddy or a photo of the town or country I’m writing about.

What is your favourite form of procrastination?      Worst procrastination for me is saying that I’m leaving writing alone, putting it away, forgetting about it so that I remember to live my other life, and then not doing so.  All tips gratefully received.

What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session?     I wonder if I can get up at 5 am and get an extra half hour in (it’s so peaceful and I get work done).

I am stunned and delighted with my progress in competitions – in reverse order:

November 2012 – I was shortlisted in the Choc Lit Search for an Australian Star competition for The House on Burra Burra Lane. Thanks Choc Lit readers for taking my story there. It sat next to some wonderful writers.

October 2012 I placed third in the Contemporary section of the Rebecca competition for The House on Burra Burra Lane.

November 2011 – I won First Place in Romance Writer’s Ink Where the Magic Begins competition for my Single Title romantic comedy Captivating Ella (now titled Don’t Tell Ella).

My website is up and running but new – I’m learning the ropes: http://www.jenniejonesromance.com

I can also be found alongside three museful and dedicated writers of romance on The Romantic Muse blog: http://theromanticmuse.blogspot.com.au

Thank you RWA for the opportunity to answer your questions! Love being an RWA member.

Jennie thank you for being part of the RWA blog today. We wish you well with your writing career and congratulations on your recent contest results.     To everyone else, have a wonderful holiday season.

A Day in the Writing Life of … Peta Crake

Welcome everyone to another Day in the Writing Life of one of our members. Today we are featuring Peta Crake who writes in the genres of urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.     I write urban fantasy and paranormal romance because I can’t help it. Whenever I try to write something about normal people they always start wielding magic, suddenly turn into furry critters on a full moon or discover they are the long lost relative of an ancient god.

What time of the day do you write?     I am an “anytime” writer due to the unpredictability of kids. I used to write a lot in the evenings but lately I have found the middle of the day is a lot more productive for me.

Where do you write?     I write my first drafts longhand (I can hear the gasps of horror already) so the location where I write varies – kitchen table, front porch, on my bed, out and about – I write everywhere. As long as I have a pen and paper with me I am happy. Sometimes I even manage to write in my office.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser?    So far I have been a complete pantser. I get a rough draft down first then as I edit I add layers to the story until I am satisfied. That being said, I surprised myself with my latest WIP and planned it by writing a synopsis and a beat sheet. There were too many factions hassling my main character for me to deal with them all without having a basic plan. Of course I have now deviated away from my original synopsis but it served its purpose and allowed me to move forward with the story at the start.

Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?

Peta Crake photoI don’t use any visual aids as I tend to be inspired by songs and feelings. For example, many of my characters have theme songs as do some of my scenes. I will research places and climates but rather than having a picture of them I write a description of them for my notes. I have a feeling or emotion I associate with each place and person and think of that when I write. If a song was the inspiration for a story I will sometimes play it to get me in the right mood to write or to remind me of the overall atmosphere I want throughout the story.

 

Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals?     Just the great feeling and peace of mind that comes with achieving them. My favourite reward is to sit down and read a book or watch a movie I have been longing to see.

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc and if so do you do any exercises at your desk or between sessions?     I have an ab-glider in my office to use in case of writer’s block, which is probably why I rarely get blocked. I am also very creative at re-categorizing writer’s block as “research” time. I try to take my dog for a walk at some stage during the day too, especially when I have plot issues to deal with.

Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?     My cat (on the modem), my dog (on the floor behind me or under the desk), notebooks, my iPad and a cup of coffee.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What is your favourite form of procrastination?     My worst form of procrastination is probably working on a project that isn’t the one I am supposed to be working on. I now have a number of stories in various stages of completion which I keep adding to little by little when I need a break from my current WIP. I also have a very distracting crit group (a.k.a. The Boas) who never fail to make me laugh and lighten up a little. I like to think of them as a source of therapeutic procrastination.

What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session?     If I am using the computer I save my work and then I write a note to myself about what scene to start writing the next day.

My debut novel, Harbinger, was released by Penguin Australia’s new Destiny Romance imprint in August 2012 and is available through the Destiny website, Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Google and other e-book retailers.

Harbyhighres

I can be found at the following places:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/PetaCrake

Website: www.petacrake.com

Darksider Blog: http://darksidedownunder.blogspot.com.au/

Destiny website: www.destinyromance.com

Thank you, Peta, for sharing a day in your writing life. We wish you all the best with your writing career.

A Day in the Writing Life of … Cathleen Ross

WARNING : Please note some content may be unsuitable for those under 18 years of age.

Today we welcome, Cathleen Ross, writer of contemporary, fantasy and romantic suspense erotic stories, to our blog.

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.     Erotic romance. Most of my story ideas seem to centre on romance but the heat level is always high. At the moment I’m obsessed with medieval knights and crocodiles though not for the same book. My Forbidden Fantasy line is doing well, plus I am still targeting single title publishers, but only the larger ones. I find I sell easily when I write erotic romance, so I guess it chose me, rather than the other way around. I love the romance genre, read widely and write in both historical and present day settings.

What time of the day do you write?     I try to write six days a week because I can keep the flow better. I write whenever I can. Mornings work well because my husband is at work and my daughter at university. If I have the house to myself I can get more done. For some reason my family still find me fascinating. I have no idea why, except I’m a good cook and my daughter enjoys my psychic predictions. She likes to do her study by my side but sometimes I think I’m getting a degree in law. I already have two degrees and two diplomas so I don’t feel I need anymore.

I try to write until lunch, have a quick break, then go on until the afternoon, then stop to make dinner. After dinner, I usually do editing for clients because I can do it while my husband watches whatever sport he is interested in on TV and he’s happy because I’m in the same room. Mentally I’m not with him, but he doesn’t care if the sport is on.

Where do you write?     I lost my office when I sold my last house. Although I have a desk, I use the back sitting room and write on my laptop. I also just bought a county house, which has a lovely view. I prefer to write up there when I go away, though I seem to come back to a lot of housework that is not of my own making. I can’t write when the house is a mess, which means I’m constantly doing jobs and writing.

Are there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?      I always check my emails but I try not to spend too long on it even though I enjoy it or an hour or two can slip past when I should have been writing. Sometimes, I try to leave blogs, book reviews etc until the weekend. It’s important to me to support other writers, so I try and read at least one of each RWA author’s books. I only leave a review if I like it, which is why my reviews are often 4 or 5 stars.

What’s the first thing you do before you begin to write?

I always have the scene in mind. At the moment I can see a burning castle set in the north of Scotland, a young terrified woman from the enemy clan cowering from the Douglas knight coming into her bedroom to kill any of the clan who haven’t escaped. Fortunately for her he can’t kill a woman and he’s hot. My knights are always gorgeous.

Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work?     I edit my work on the next day, filling in scenes or taking them out. I find it helps me get into the story better. If I’m organised, I try to aim for a thousand words. If I do that consistently, then the work builds quickly. If I’ve reached my word count, I move on to editing a client’s work or preparing my cover for the next Forbidden Fantasy. I also have a couple of books from my backlist to get up. They don’t make money sitting in a drawer.  I’m mindful that this is a business and I treat it as such. I’ve become very careful about the clauses in publishing contracts, especially reversion of rights clauses. There are authors making a lot on money publishing their backlist now. I’m also working on a single title Australian romance set both in Sydney and in Cairns. Plus I’ve just finished revisions for my agent for a paranormal romance set in New York. I’m used to juggling and having a lot on. With self-publishing, I give the publisher a certain amount of time. If I haven’t heard, I self-publish the work. I’ve had offers after waiting two years but for me, that’s too long to get back to an author. This is a business and I’m not prepared to wait that long.

To learn more about Cathleen, please visit her web site : www.cathleenross.com

Thank you Cathleen for sharing a day in your writing life. We wish you all the best with your new releases.

RWA – A Day in the Writing Life of … Larisa Anderson

Warning : Some content not suitable for under 18.

Hello everyone. Well summer is well and truly on its way this week with some hot temperatures. Today we welcome Jacinta Anderson who writes under the name of Larisa Anderson and is sharing a day in her writing life.

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.     I write paranormal erotic romance. I love the freedom building your own world allows. I used to write just romance but a friend turned me on to the fun of creating truly steamy scenes and I haven’t gone back.

What time of the day do you write?     Unfortunately I do have a full time day job working as a librarian for the government. When I don’t sneak in a few minutes of writing at work, you can usually find me curled up on the lounge after dinner typing out a few chapters. I am in no way a morning person!

Where do you write?     I am about to get my own apartment and will be setting up a designated writing area but for now my lap top on the lounge is where I do all of my writing much to the protest of my poor knees.

Are there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?     I love writing with a good show on in the back ground. Castle, NCIS and Avatar: Last air bender, are my favourites at the moment. I have to have noise to keep me awake and the pretty flickering images for inspiration.

What’s the first thing you do before you begin to write?     Check my email and blogs. Reading about others writing is great inspiration to stop looking at blogs and start writing!

Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work?     Not really I’m sorry to say. I read maybe a paragraph at the most just to remember where I’m at then I go with the flow.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser?     I tried to plot one time and got maybe one chapter in before the plot went out the window. I find that plotting restricts my flow, my characters dictate where the story goes so it can’t be planned before they get there. I also prefer to edit at the very end. That way I can go back and check for plot holes and tense issues.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time?     I don’t have a set word count for my writing. Some days I get more out than others. My biggest goal motivation is submissions. If I find a good publisher or submission call then I get motivated to get it done.

Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals?     Sending a story in for submission is reward enough.

Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?     Not really. As I don’t have a writing space as I live in a share house, I can’t really put up posters although I love looking up images of people or locations to give me inspiration.

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc and if so do you do any exercises at your desk or between sessions?     I tend to get very distracted so rarely sit for more than half an hour at a time anyway. Having said that I do have RSI so have to make sure that if my wrist starts getting tired that I close the laptop and leave it for another day.

Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?     TV remote control, coke zero, my phone, usually a magazine like House & Garden so that I can look at images of what I wish my writing area looked like.

What is your favourite form of procrastination?     The TV is my friend and enemy. Turn off the Internet! If you get stuck start a new story or make your characters do something really odd: like getting chased by a rhino is my fave. It gets me interested again even though I know I will delete it later.

What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session?     Realise I have been watching TV for the last ten minutes and give up. Hit SAVE.

Her new website will be up & running very soon : www.LarisaAnderson.com

Larisa’s books are available from the following sites :

Egyptian Secrets https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/207903

Siren’s Captor https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/151059
Scholar’s Forbidden Lesson https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/160571

Thanks you Larisa for sharing your writing life with us and we wish you all the best in your writing career.

RWA – A Day in the Writing Life of … Dy Loveday

Welcome everyone to another Day in the Writing Life post. Today we have Dy Loveday who writes dark fantasy romance and short horror stories.

What genre do you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling?      I was lucky enough to have my first fantasy romance novel picked up by Liquid Silver Books. And I do think luck has a big part to play in being published.  The release date for ILLUSION is end October 2012 and is the first in a series.

As a writer, I describe issues that are personal to me and hope the reader will relate to the story. I worked in the trauma field for 20 or so years, so my stories reflect the reality of these situations.  The emotions are dark and the characters have feelings and thoughts that might not be popular in our culture.  I try not to be a slave to the fantasy conventions and look for an original take on the genre.  Right now I’m writing a post modern gothic horror with fantastic and romantic elements set in Adelaide.

Are there any particular rituals you do to set the mood/harness the muse?     I’m a messy, idiosyncratic writer.  It’s the bane of my existence.  Right now there are so many pads, books and sticky notes crowding my desk that there’s only a tiny space for the mac keyboard. My walls are covered in texts I need to purchase, writing tips, maps, charts, storyboards, photos of places or people and other research for the manuscript.  Eventually, I’ll decide I can’t work anymore in the mess I’ve created and will stack everything into lopsided piles.  Then I’ll hunt for one tiny scribbled-on piece of paper with a terrific idea on it and the piles collapse into untidy heaps.

I can write morning, noon or night, but I need my mac and the long narrow room of my study to ground me.  My partner can’t understand why I don’t take the laptop outside to work in the sunshine.  But if you write like me, the walls and desk are as much a part of the manuscript as the words on the page.

Are you a plotter/planner or pantser?     I wrote my first novel in 6 months with no plot outline, then spent 18 months fixing the god-awful structural problems.   I swore I’d never do it again.  This time I’m trying (with some success) to find the right plotting tools to help organize my writing.   I write in bursts of energy and time and plotting isn’t a natural process for me.  But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it.  There’s a fine balance between following your instincts and innovating by pushing boundaries.  I know I’m growing when I feel uncomfortable and it’s then that I have to fight the urge to protect myself.  Writing can be a lonely, unpleasant existence, but it feels liberating once you stop battling with yourself.

Once a story is on a roll, I don’t edit.  I could spend hours nitpicking previous scenes, which is a waste of time because I might cut them during revisions anyway.

Right now there is a big sheet of paper on my wall describing the character and events for an upcoming scene. I usually know the character’s goal and the major turn (causal chain) of the next chapter.  I find if I plot one scene at a time it’s more accurate and less labor intensive.  I draw my characters for inspiration, create storyboard montages, sketch maps, take photos and use Lego to block difficult action scenes.  So I guess I’m a converted plotter who prefers to fly by the seat of her pants.

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc.      Not sure I should admit this, but some mornings I’ll go straight to the keyboard and write for 8-10 hour stretches of time.  For me, writing is an intense, crazy obsession.

Objects near my desk when I write     Pen, journal, Cup of tea, storyboard of my current manuscript, pictures I’ve drawn for inspiration, funky desk lamp (which is on, even during the day).

The last thing I do …Before finishing my daily writing session is to read it through, make final changes or additions and ask myself if there is some truth in what I’ve written.  If the character’s voice has made it to the page with some depth and meaning, I’ll celebrate with a cup of tea … or a glass of wine or two :-)

Her latest story / book Illusion is available this month, October, from Liquid Silver Press.

For further information on Dy and her writing, please visit her website :

www.dyloveday.com

Dy, thank you so much for sharing a day in your writing life and we wish you all the best with your writing career.

A Day in the Writing Life of … Kylie Scott

Warning : Some content not suitable for under 18.

Today we have a day in the writing life of …Kylie Scott who writes erotic romance with a post-apocalpytic flavour, usually with zombies. Welcome, Kylie and thank you for joining us.

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.     When I started reading erotic romance I was instantly hooked by the emotional and physical layers it added to the hero and heroine’s (or hero and hero or whatever…) story. Also, the way erotic romance authors could move between genres from contemporary to sci-fi, say, really appealed to me.

Where do you write?     I have a corner of the house I’ve dubbed my office. It has a window looking out onto the garden that lets in the morning light. It’s a lovely spot though it’s usually quite a mess.

Is there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?     My muse works for coffee. Anything less than two cups is unacceptable.

What’s the first think you do before you begin to write?     I check out email, twitter, facebook etc before settling down to work.

Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work?     I try not to get distracted re-reading too much or I get lost fiddling instead of pushing forward with the story. Usually I try and restrict it to the previous two pages.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser?     I’m trying to learn how to be a plotter. I wasted a lot of time and words pantsing so a simple plot structure works best for me. Just a few sentences about each scene stops me from straying off the story path and into the wilds. Mostly I try to edit at the end. Or that’s the plan.

Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?     I like to make up a collage of images and save it to a file on the computer. Often I’ll have it open to the side of the screen while I’m writing to try and stick to a certain mood. It really helps me to cast my hero and heroine. Pictures of the landscape, their home etc are usually there too.

Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between?     Yes, but my mother would be appalled. Everything I don’t want to immediately deal with or might need later gets placed behind my computer screen. It’s starting to get a bit scary back there. There’s also part of my TBR pile gathering off to the side at the moment. I’m not sure how that started.

What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session?     Save everything twice–once to dropbox and once to my computer. If I’m feeling especially paranoid I’ll also email my WIP to myself. 

For my information please visit : http://www.kylie-scott.com/    

Flesh is available from 1st October from… http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/flesh/   

And Kylie’s Hot Down Under short story, Room with a View, is available 1st November from… http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/room-with-a-view/

Kylie, thank you so much for sharing with us a day in your writing life and we wish you every success with your current and forthcoming releases.

A Day in the Writing Life of … Daniel de Lorne

Today we feature Daniel de Lorne who has kindly agreed to share a day in his writing life. 

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write and why.        I write paranormal male/male stories with romantic elements. Ever since I can remember I’ve had a fascination with the gothic and otherworldly. And for probably just as long, I’ve known I was gay so it’s just a natural synergy.

What time of the day do you write?      While I’d love to write early in the morning, I’m just not able to focus until after I’ve had a shower and breakfast and by that time there are other things to be getting on with. Because I work during the day, most of my writing is in the evening. If it’s a weekend, I’ll write during the day.

Where do you write?      I’m lucky enough to have my own study, complete with book shelves and a couch, a desk and a computer. It’s not particularly inspiring but it’s a place to go and get some words done. Occasionally I’ll relocate to other parts of the house on a laptop but I find there are more distractions (like, when was the last time I cleaned the oven?).

Are you a plotter/planner or a pantser?     I’m a bit of both but I lean more towards a pantser. I’ll start with a general idea of what’s got to happen when and scribble down a few notes (or make cards in Scrivener) and then write to that. I find, however, that as I go new ideas pop up which must be explored so I go off in another direction. I usually don’t regret it.

Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?     Definitely edit at the end. When I write I have to get the words down as quickly as possible so my first draft has big patches of dialogue, some description and some action (and then a lot of exposition trying to explain some tricky logic about why the character would do such a thing). If I edited as I went, I’d agonise over the tiniest things and that would cripple me. Consequently, my first drafts – and my second and third – are pretty scrappy but with each revision it gets closer to something I’m proud to call my own.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time?      At the moment I’m not all that disciplined with my writing time. I have a habit of booking myself up with other things. When I do make the time, usually the only goal I set is to write for five minutes. If I tell myself that’s all I have to do, then I feel it’s not such a big deal and just do it. Of course, I usually don’t stop at just five because I get in the zone pretty quickly so I’ll clock at least twenty or thirty minutes before I have a break. I find saying to myself, “Just write for five minutes” is a useful mantra if I’m ever procrastinating from writing. Who can’t write for five minutes? I find that the pain of not doing something usually outweighs the pain of doing it. I wish I was a bit more scheduled and could stick to a routine.

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc?     Often I’ll stop writing when I get to the end of a scene because I don’t want to interrupt the flow of ideas. That could be about twenty or thirty minutes. I’m a fast typer and because I don’t care about a clean draft I can get down at least a thousand words in half an hour. Once that’s done, I’ll stop, flick through Facebook or go and grab a drink or watch TV – depending on how I feel I’ve gone for the day.

Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?

  1. The cat – often she’ll sit on the desk in front of me or lie on my lap. A bit distracting, particularly when she attacks my arm.
  2. My phone – bad to have so near. Shouldn’t do it.
  3. Computer – always there and ready to go
  4. Pen and paper – sometimes I just have to scribble things down
  5. Shelves full of books – I’ve read them all but rarely open them now. They look a bit cluttered but they’re nice to look at (just not too closely because of the dust).

Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between?      I’d say it’s in between. It depends what mood I’m in. If I’m stuck on something, I’ll blitz clean the desk and clear it of everything. This is both a positive and a negative. Positive because it’s clean and clear. Negative because I end up spending time filing and paying bills when I should be writing.

What is your favourite form of procrastination?      The internet. Such a pain. Honestly, Facebook doesn’t change that much yet I check it often. When I’m suitably annoyed with myself, I shut down everything except Scrivener and find I can focus.

What’s the last thing you do before you finish your daily writing session?     Check the word count and post it to Twitter. I was wary of doing this at first. I’m not expecting praise back or want people to think I’m good but I find the public affirmation makes me focus on what I’ve achieved rather than on how much I haven’t done.

To learn more about Daniel & his writing please visit : www.danieldelorne.com

Winner – Stroke of Midnight 2012 (paranormal/time travel) – The Beckoning Blood

Thanks you, Daniel, for participating on our blog and congratulations on your recent win with Passionate Ink writing chapter contest. We wish you all the best in your writing career.

A Day in the Writing Life of … Maggie Mundy

Its DWL Friday time and this week we have Maggie Mundy, who has kindly agreed to share a day in her writing life with us. Please make her welcome.

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.        Epic fantasy, urban fantasy and horror. I was even told this week that one of my short stories is horrotica. I didn’t even know that genre existed. I like to have a bit of romance in there but just can’t stay away from the chopped up bodies and sacrifices. I would love to have a go at a murder mystery as well.

Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work?         Not really. I like to keep going when I am writing. I just let it flow and try not to censor myself. I tend to get to the end of the manuscript and then go back. I found early on in my writing journey that it is easy to slip into the trap of going over and over things and never moving on.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser?         I have tried both and believe I am coming back to be a plotter. I wrote an epic fantasy and planned it out. I even have chapter plans for book two and three.  I sometimes think people feel its cooler to say you are a pantser, but to be honest I like to know my characters before I start writing them, and they still surprise me along the way regardless. The muse still comes to me at odd times even I if like to plan things out. Plotting gives me more of an insight into how my characters would respond to things. I am trying to use the goal, motivation, conflict tools  of Debra Dixon to help my work as well. Like most writers I need some control to stop me going off on a tangent.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time?        I wish I did have a specific time but being a shift worker it just doesn’t work out that way. I tend to turn my computer whenever I get a chance, even if it’s an hour before work or after a late shift. I love it when I get a day off and often have great plans for sitting down all day and writing but life gets in the way. I have recently bought a to do book which is helping. As far as long-term goals go I certainly do have some and I am trying to work towards them. I found Bob Mayer who spoke at the RWA conference last year helpful, he said you should look at writing as a business and do something each day no matter how small to get you closer to your goal.

Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?        With all my works I tend to find picture of my heroes and heroines and the main characters in my books. I usually get these from magazines or online. This really works for me and I can look at the picture and get into my characters’ headspace. It also enables me to see how the other characters would respond. I have done background lists of what food and music they like. Two other things I have found useful over the years is to imagine what they have on their bedside table. This can tell you a lot about them. The other one is to interview your character and see what their answers would be. I found this to be quite revealing.

What is your favourite form of procrastination?        Checking emails, just in case there just happens to be one giving great news about publishing. Facebook, to catch up on what family and friends are doing. I love op shopping.  Walking the dogs at the beach, but I think that is therapeutic and helps when you are having problems with a manuscript. I find the whole concept of procrastination interesting because we want to write, we want people to read our work and we want to be published. I can only speak for myself but I think it is a fear of it not being good enough or being rejected. What we should remember and keep telling ourselves is that we are being courageous having a go anyway and just keep on trying.

My website is new and has only gone up in the last week or so but can be found at www.maggiemundy.com

I have a story on Antipodean SF called The Thirteenth Dome at the moment. I also have a story His Other Life on Alfiedog.com. I finaled in the Selling Synopsis Competition in 2010. I had a story in The Little Gems Anthology in 2010. It was called Sea and Vines.

http://alfiedog.com/

http://www.antisf.com/

http://www.romanceaustralia.com/littlegems.html

Thank you very much, Maggie, for participating on our blog. We wish you every success with your writing career.

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