Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Questions for Clara

As promised, I will be posting three separate short stories for you to read in the next two weeks. But in the meantime, I thought I'd answer a few of the questions I often ask my guests on this blog.

Why do you choose to write about demons?

Demons, I find to be fascinating subjects. As I've mentioned before, they provide the perfect opportunity to reform the main character. Often demons have the biggest sense of personal growth, the biggest shock when their demeanor changes and they fall in love. Not to mention they're damn sexy! Who doesn't love a primal alpha male? I know I do!

How long did it take to do the research for these pieces?

For the stories soon to be shown on this blog, the research for each took about a month, give or take. It went through phases. First, I had to research lore about the specific demon I wanted to showcase. Then I had to decide which parts to build in and which to leave out -- hence how I created my own world for each of these three series. But now that I have the notes, the research for the next works should go a lot smoother.

Why did you choose paranormal romance?

I think, rather, that the genre chose me. I've always been fascinated by worlds just a little different than our own, worlds with a supernatural twist. These were the types of worlds I wrote as a child and young teen. Once I discovered erotic romance, my works took a more...wicked twist. In the future, I'd like to explore sci-fi and fantasy romance, but in the meantime, paranormal has me enthralled with the possibilities.

What is the best (and worst) part of the writing process?

Well, seeing as (at this point), I'm unpublished, that would be all the rejections. They can be very disheartening at times, but I've got friends who continue to encourage me to revise and submit elsewhere, sure that I'll hit it big any time now. They're probably the best part of writing, aside from losing myself in a new story as I write it out. Although the waiting can be pretty nerve-wracking. And I despise editing my work (although it is a necessary evil). Why did I choose to pursue this again? But I suppose, like many, for me writing is a disease. I have to get it onto paper and my friends will continue to encourage me to share it with the world. You can make your own judgement as to my skill when I post my stories in the upcoming weeks.

How long does it typically take you to finish a story?

Forever. Honestly. I write the first draft. Then I fix the plot holes in the first draft. Then I more or less scrap every single sentence and rewrite it to make it perfect and sparkling. It's a time-consuming, agonizing process, but ultimately, I think it's worth it.

Do you have any favorites out of the characters you've written?

I do. When I'm writing a new story, my favorites tend to be whoever features in that story. But that being said, I love Lucky, from my Shadowman series. I love Aglaeca and Kirin from my Legion series, although they are complete polar opposites. Kirin is brusque, whereas Aglaeca is rather gentle. And my favorite heroine is Anna, from my Haven series. She's kickass and awesome. In my opinion, at least. But each of my characters has a special place in my heart.

Which writers inspired/influenced your work?

Sherrilyn Kenyon has probably been my biggest influence. My first introduction to romance was through her Dark Hunter series. Through reading her books, I decided to switch to paranormal romance instead of fantasy.

Was there ever a point in your career where you said, "Yeah, I can do this!"?

I'm not so sure that point's come to pass yet. I mean, I have embarked on this crazy journey of writing and submitting, but it hasn't become quite real to me yet. My first acceptance—seeing my first cover—that will make it real. Right now? I certainly don't foresee giving up any time soon, but there's a part of me that still feels like I'm in a dream. Nonetheless, I hope to get that "Yeah!" moment soon!

Was there ever a point in your career where you almost gave up writing?

Writing? Never. But for years, I hid my novels away in a drawer after writing them, letting only a few privileged friends ever read them. Thanks to their encouragement, I'm now starting about the task of sharing my work with the world. But even if that never happens, I don't think I'll give up writing. I love it too much. Like I said, it's a disease.

How do you come up with your stories?

For me, there's always a "What if" moment. It can come from something everyday, from something I'm reading or watching on TV, or even something I'm researching. But from that what-if, I build a world, and from there, I eventually build a story. I have written the first drafts of quite a few novels, and revised even less of those. But that's where you come in. After I post a short taste of each of these worlds, I want your vote! Which would you like to read? That's how I'm going to focus on future stories.

What do you do to overcome writer's block?

I set it aside and come back to it when the magic returns. If I'm editing or revising, I take a week off. Eventually (because writing is a disease), it comes back to me and I can finish the story.



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