Heartquake by Terry Newman Genre: Paranormal Romance
Coffee shop owner, Charlee Lightheart, views corporations with contempt. She believes her father died at the hands of the pharmaceutical industry. When she's approached to run for city council on an anti-fracking platform, she's reluctant. She's not sure this movement is her cause.
Billionaire Riley Brockton has given up on love. Then he walks into Charlee's shop. All he wanted was coffee and muffins. From that first electrifying touch, he knows he needs more. He withholds one piece of vital information: he's a lionshifter.
A rogue reporter sets out to reveal the one secret that can destroy the anti-fracking movement and the couple's relationship. Can their love survive the truth and public exposure?
Charlee leaned with her back against the front counter, her elbows resting on the flat surface. As she faced the coffee pots and watched as Mel idly wipe the counter and arrange the accessories, she confessed, “I’m a bit disappointed Mr. Impervious hasn’t been back. I guess there really wasn’t anything there but—”
She stopped talking suddenly, when she saw Mel making slashing motions along her throat with her index finger. Every muscle in her body froze. As quietly as she could speak, she said, “You’re trying to tell me he’s right behind me, aren’t you?”
Even though Mel hadn’t seen him, she must have recognized him from Charlee’s description.
Mel gave her a slight nod and then looked at Mr. Impervious.
She did the only thing any respectable woman would do who got caught talking about a gorgeous man within his earshot. She dipped down immediately below the counter and hyperventilated. Her breaths came faster and faster. She sat for several seconds, trying to will her body to control itself.
“It’s no use hiding,” Mr. Impervious said. He leaned over the counter and gazed down at her. “I can still see you.” She smiled weakly and gave him a timid tiny wave with her forefinger.
“There’s no way I can get out of this one with my dignity intact.”
Mel extended a hand to help her get to her feet and beelined to the kitchen. Heat radiated off of Charlee’s cheeks. She knew her face turned a bright red. She stammered an apology to Mr. Impervious.
The man stood with both palms down on the counter but said nothing. She involuntarily squirmed as her words were met with silence. Without thinking, she touched his hand. The electric surge occurred again, just like it did the first time. Before she could pull her hand away, Mr. Impervious took his other hand and placed it on top of hers.
This surge of electricity—no, now she knew it was more, much more than electricity, static or otherwise. It was, without a doubt, a sexual surge. A bonding of sorts. As hokey as she knew it was, it was nature’s way of alerting her that she just experienced what others would call love at first sight.
As soon as that thought popped into her brain, her mind rejected it. Holy Heavens! Where did that come from? She didn’t even know his real name and her mind is jumping to “love at first sight.” Ridiculous.
She looked him in the eye—his amber eyes—as she sized him up. The longer she gazed into those eyes, the more ensorcelled she grew.
She marveled at how the track lighting above the counter elicited every nuance of color in his eyes. His hands seemed more like paws. Not destructive mauling paws of a feral beast, but the large loving ones of an animal dedicated to protecting those he loved. She feared if he kept his hand on hers too long, she would start to think about love at first sight again. Yet she didn’t move it.
When he did remove his hand from hers, she felt an immediate and crushing disconnect. She fell back to earth and experienced the gripping weight and limitation of the force of gravity. Did an astronaut experience this remorse and loss of freedom when he re-entered the earth’s atmosphere and found himself bound by gravity?
“I apologize,” he said, as he shook his head slightly. “I think I’ve overstepped my bounds. That’s not at all what I intended to happen. That was uncharacteristic of me.”
“Don’t be,” she said. She couldn’t take her gaze from his eyes.
“Don’t be sorry.”
Terry Newman has always loved words. As the editor-in-chief of a national natural health publishing company, she has written books on a variety of topics, as well as writing direct-mail advertising.
She’s also worked as a reporter, a communications specialist and a freelance writer. She’d had clients worldwide, and researched and wrote hundreds of eBooks and print books as well as ghostwrote novellas and short stories.
One day she woke and decided to make her dream of writing her own novel come true. She sets all her stories in fictional towns in northeast Ohio and writes about things she loves—like coffee.
Terry has led workshops on writing and character development.
She has a daughter, a son-in-law, and a grandpuppy, and lives in North Lima, a real town in northeast Ohio.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I have this inexplicable love of words. I love the way they sound and what you can do with them. If you use just the right words, you can bring people to tears. Or, use other words and you have them laughing.
I’m not sure when I discovered this and certainly don’t know why this happened to me. My parents weren’t English professors (in fact, my mom didn’t learn to speak English until she entered the first grade), so I must have been gifted the elusive word-DNA. I suppose it was only natural I become a writer, then.
It should come as no surprise either that I love puns or, now, Dad jokes. I’m not a dad, I’m not even a guy (despite the way I spell my name) but I never tire of them.
I’ll share one of my favorites: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter? Pumpkin pi.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I have an Alex Trebek story. It’s also my daughter’s Alex Trebek story. But it starts with my love of the game show Jeopardy! and my lifelong crush on the long-time game show host. I received two tickets to attend the taping of the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament one year, at the Philadelphia Convention Center. We were living in Newark, Delaware at the time. My husband worked out of town and spent most of his time on the road. So, my daughter and I went. She was about eight.
Our seats were on the second tier of seating. All the families of the teen participants had the closest seats. But as the contestants were eliminated, families left. Which meant the bottom tier, which was the one the viewers saw when the camera scanned the audience had partially emptied. Those seats needed to be filled.
A producer came by and choose my daughter and a young boy we had met in line and befriended to move downward. Not me. Not the boy’s mother. Just two young kids together unsupervised at a Jeopardy! taping.
Alex took questions in the space that would be filled with commercials when the show was aired. My daughter raised her hand. I cringed. Alex called on her. I cringed again. What was she going to ask?
“Mr. Trebek, may I kiss you?”
And, of course, he said yes. And she did. After, I asked her what she thought of the kiss. “He needed a shave.”
I had never been jealous of an eight-year-old before. Did I say I had a lifelong crush on Alex?
Where were you born/grew up at?
Born in northeast Ohio, I grew up in a small town called Hubbard. I had the classic middle-class childhood, though, I didn’t know that at the time. When I graduated high school, I couldn’t wait to leave town. I headed straight to The Ohio State University and thought I was getting a degree in journalism.
Turned out, I ended up a history major and went off to earn advanced degrees at Ohio University in Athens. Yeah, I studied there, but didn’t get any more degrees in history. But I learned a lot.
I came back to the Hubbard area (which is a suburb of Youngstown, by the way) and eventually took a job as editor-in-chief for a small natural health publishing company that sold books nationwide.
That was just the start of my circuitous route of how I ended up as a romance novelist.
What are you passionate about these days?
Of course, my first love is writing. And I’m obsessed with proper grammar. But beyond that, I’m on a crusade to fill the world with more kindness. I don’t know if I’m actually accomplishing this, but the way I look at, even one random act of kindness has the potential to have ripple effect. It could lead to another which could lead to another and before you know it the world could be flooded with kindness.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
“Some people are lucky enough to know early in life what they want to do,” my high school friend once told me. We were in our 30s by then and he was talking about me.
I guess I’ve always thought about myself as a writer. Whether I thought of myself as a good writer is another story altogether. I knew in junior high school (yes, I’m that old. It’s middle school, today) that I wanted to write. I would write odd short stories about characters like Penelope the Pencil and her husband Percival.
In high school, I would cull the phone book (yes, again, I’m that old. I remember a time when every home needed and used the phone book.). I was searching for names for characters. The search did yield one last name that I remember even today. Zurkey. I thought it was hilarious and knew that family needed a turkey farm. And of course, it would be called Zurkey’s Turkeys.
Do you have a favorite movie?
You mean just one favorite movie? Don’t make me choose. Let’s start with What about Bob? with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus. One of my favorites and lately I’ve been telling everyone about it. One of the many great lines in it is spoken by Bob Wiley (Murray). He explains to Dr. Marvin (Dreyfus) “there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who love Neil Diamond and those who don’t.” (And just for the record, I love Neil Diamond.)
I also love National Treasure, with Nicolas Cage. My favorite character is Cage’s sidekick, Riley. Oh, look, he has the same name of the hero of Heartquake. What a coincidence.
And if we’re talking Christmas movies, well, It’s a Wonderful Life wins hands down.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Every writer dreams of their novel being turned into a movie. While Heartquake would make a great one, I think the manuscript that’s with my editor now would be an awesome movie. The manuscript’s working title is Rewrites of the Heart. A romance novelist wakes up to find the characters from her work in progress sitting in her home office. And they’re on a mission to find her the man of her dreams. The man she met at the bookstore the day before and can’t stand.
In addition, the fictional pair try to make various attempts to get back to their own love story, but can’t seem to find the right method. I also love the local hangout where some of the scenes take place. It’s called the Physics Café, where all the menu items are named for some scientific event—like the Philadelphia Experiment Cheesesteak and the Higgs-Boson Bison Burger.
Don’t you agree it has the makings of a great movie?
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? I’m changing this question into one about my muse and inspiration.
Every author always gets asked about inspiration. What inspired you? And I’m sure every reader wants to hear that the author goes to their muse, who endows them with this great idea, fully formed, and we are merely the conduits and we write it down.
My inspiration doesn’t work that way. My muse doesn’t work that way. Heck, my muse, whose name, by the way, is Moose (get it? Moose the muse) doesn’t work that way. Instead of inspiring me, Moose teases me. He dangles a character’s name in front of me and smiles wickedly. The name floats in the tense air between us. Then, he dares me to do something with it. Quite frankly, he has the upper hand, because he knows all too well, it’s a challenge I can’t resist.
From there, he parcels out shreds of ideas for scenes and expects me to complete his thoughts. What’s most annoying about Moose, though, is his timing. He never gives me anything good while I’m sitting at the laptop. No, it’s when I’m lying in bed at night, just about ready to fall asleep that he gives me his best stuff. He’s a mischievous muse.
What inspired you to write this book?
I used Heartquake as the vehicle to fulfill a friend’s request to write about the fracking industry. Several years ago, the hydraulic fracturing industry, better known as fracking, discovered Youngstown, Ohio (the area where I grew up) was rich in natural gas.
So, the drilling began and so did the earthquakes and more. I had several friends who were anti-fracking activists. I went to several meetings. While I could understand their concern, it wasn’t a cause I wanted to get that involved with. And perhaps, that’s where Charlee’s reluctance of getting involved comes from.
But their fight went international. I attended one meeting that was covered by a Japanese television news crew. That was so fascinating to watch. I also thought it weird that the Japanese had an interest in what was going on in the middle of nowhere, Ohio. It did get me to thinking about the implications of what this group (mostly women, like in Heartquake) were doing. And that event inspired Charlee’s city council campaign to go international.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Heartquake contains so many characters I love. In addition to Charlee Lightheart and Riley Brockton, some of my favorites include Jared Sparrow and the two regular customers only known as Ed and Fred.
I love them so much, I hated to say goodbye to them. I’m working on a romance involving Jared. He had a secret that I wasn’t even aware of while I was writing the book. But looking back on his actions and characteristics, I see it so clearly now. I can’t wait to share it with you. And Ed and Fred hold secrets of their own.
But before you learn more about any of those characters, I’m hoping to reintroduce my long-time friends from another novel. The romantic comedy, Rewrites of the Heart, is awaiting approval from my editor. I want you to love JJ Spritely, Kennedy King Cooper, Alex Zurich and Blake Teesdale as much as I do. And I want you to come to the love the place they go to unwind, as well, the Physics Café. Every item on the menu is named after something scientific, like Fission Chips (for fish and chips) or Schrodinger’s Steak (it comes in a black box)
I guarantee you’ll love everyone who lives in this book.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Heartquake?
People often categorize books as plot-driven or character-driven. I believe that if you don’t have strong characters, you don’t have a strong plot. I hope I create characters who readers can relate to.
Charlee Lightheart, the heroine of Heartquake struggles with life—just like all of us do. She’s still mourning the death of her father who died from side effects of the overuse of arthritis drugs that the pharmaceutical companies knew were harmful. She blames herself for not fighting hard enough when she suspected the damage the drugs could do.
So, when she meets Riley Brockton, CEO of the eastern division of Brockton Enterprises, and is immediately attracted to him, she’s horrified to find out he’s a billionaire. He’s one of “those,” who make their money off the health and wellbeing of others. She finds herself conflicted, to say the least.
Riley Brockton, has had one too many bad love affairs. The last one left his inner lion badly wounded. Riley has a brother he’s close to, Quinn. The two look remarkable similar, even down to their mannerisms. This bond is demonstrated throughout the struggles he goes through in the book. Quinn advises Riley not only with business acquisitions, but in his personal life as well.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
Names of characters are important to writers. Riley’s name is taken from the movie National Treasure, who is Nicolas Cage’s sidekick. And I loved the character. While my Riley is nothing like the one in the movie, I still loved the name. I made my Riley different from the character in the movie, but hopefully still loveable.
Charlee? If you haven’t noticed, I spell my name like a guy. When I was young, I read a book who had a girl character named Ricky. The idea of giving females names that are traditionally associated with guys appeals to me.
Pretty boring? Right? Let’s talk about Myron Whiffler, then. As you’ll discover, he’s the incumbent city councilman who Charlee runs against. His last name means “a person who is vacillating or evasive in an argument.” Love that word!
And another city council member is named Throttlebottom. The definition of this word is “a harmless incompetent in public office.”
Naming characters can be very satisfying, indeed.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
A large part of the fun of writing a novel is the unexpected turns characters give to your story. Before I wrote a novel, I would hear writers say that their characters took control of the story. I thought it was bull. But it’s real.
It’s hard to explain how it happens. You’re writing the words when they take you down a path you never seriously thought about before. Next thing you know, you’re giving your character dialogue that triggers a whole new direction in the story. One that’s better than what you originally had planned.
It happened to me with the manuscript I’m working on now. I was writing a scene, when a character popped out of nowhere and made a snarky remark. Wow. Where did she come from? Not only did it turn out to be a great addition to the scene, it gave me the idea for the next book.
It is one of the most exciting parts of the writing process and it springs from some creative well that you never knew existed. It’s what keeps me writing.
Who designed your book covers?
The cover art on Heartquake is awesome. I want to give a shout out to The Wild Rose Press artist, Kristen Norris.
She did an amazing job of capturing the essence of the story. There’s Riley in his suit looking very billionaire-like and his shadow that shows his “inner lion.” And I love the saying on the chalkboard mount, “Coffee makes everything possible,” which is, of course, a nod to Charlee and her coffee shop.
Kristen captured the essence of Charlee and Riley perfectly. Thank you, Kristen!
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
Every author has a favorite portion of the book. While I have several, I can only really talk about one of them. If I tell you the others, it would probably come under the heading of spoiler alert. It’s when Aunt Lilac, the aunt one of Charlee’s employees unexpectedly drops the F-bomb when Charlee announces her city council candidacy. I hadn’t planned for her to say this, she decided this piece of dialogue all on her own.
I’ll give you a hint about my other favorite part. It’s towards the end of the book and, surprisingly, it was added during the editing process. It involves a girl about eight or nine years old. She’s being interviewed by Gretchen Carlyle, the reporter who has been out to ruin Riley and Charlee throughout the story. But that’s all I can tell you.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Oh my God, are you going to make me choose favorites among my creations. The horror. You know I want to spend more time with them all.
If I had the chance to spend the day with Riley Brockton, the hero of Heartquake, I think we’d go to an art museum. I believe Riley is the type of person that loves Van Goghs as much as I do. And he appreciates the abstract art of Jackson Pollock (I love a good Jackson Pollock painting). Afterward, we’d go to an open air café and have lunch and drink coffee. Wow. Sounds like we might be spending some time in Paris.
Maybe it’s time to think about a sequel of Charlee and Riley in Paris.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Some of my characters are based off people I’ve met. Surprisingly, the Charlee and Riley are uniquely their own—or as much as any creation of mine can be. I got the inspiration for the minor characters, Ed and Fred, from people I knew in real life.
And in what will, hopefully, by my next work, Rewrites of the Heart, the character of Blake is patterned after a very good friend I knew in graduate school. (I hope you get to meet him and love him as much as I do).
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I’ve only finished two novels. And I was lucky enough to get them both published. But I have at least a half dozen that are partially finished and another half dozen ideas waiting to be written.
I have romances that I’ve started and I even have a cozy mystery series I’m dying to do (pardon the pun).
I’ve always loved the idea of an author’s character from one novel making a cameo appearance in another. Jessica Bird is the master of this, in my opinion. That’s my goal. I plan to set all my books in three northeast Ohio fictional cities. Prague is the setting for Heartquake. Bell Wyck is where my heroine, the romance writer, discovers her fictional characters have jumped out of their novel and into hers. And Zen is the setting for my Cassidy Kelly cozy mystery series. And, yes, she does believe in the magic of the Universe and uses crystals. It should be fun.
What did you edit out of this book?
Surprisingly, I didn’t need to edit anything out of Heartquake. I was asked to add chapters. (I know. Every writer’s dream.)
I added three chapters. Two of them were in the beginning to add more context to Charlee and Riley’s relationship and one at the end. I enjoyed writing the additional ones at the beginning because I got the opportunity to give Riley more of a background. (Hint: he knows his way around an espresso machine.)
And the chapter toward the end, gave me my favorite line of the book, spoken by a little girl of about eight. But I can’t reveal it without spoiling the ending.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?'-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
Here goes. I wasn’t going to share this piece of trivia about the book, but I think it sends a positive message. I queried the publisher, The Wild Rose Press, while I was in a nursing home recovering from a three-week coma. Yes, I was on oxygen—this was pre-pandemic) and the doctor wasn’t sure I would be able to breathe on my own, if they took me off it.
Well, I did breathe on my own. Surprise! But I spent a year and three and half months there (who’s counting?). I asked my daughter for my laptop after I got well enough, several months into my visit. And I worked on editing the manuscript for Heartquake. I remember sitting in bed one day and an aide looking over my shoulder, reading what I wrote.
The moral of the story: Never, ever, ever give up. If you have a dream, continue to pursue it, even if it looks hopeless.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
Top 10 authors?
My list changes a lot, so here are the ten authors that are my favorite at this point in time and who’ve inspired me to become the writer I am today. Remember, these are in no particular order.
1. Gore Vidal. Really popular in the 1970s, his historical novels showed me another side of public figures, notably George Washington and Aaron Burr. After reading him, I acquired a love of history and renewed my desire to write fiction.
2. Janet Evanovich. Love her Stephanie Plum series. I learned from her that comedic writing has value. Her novels gave me the courage to write a romcom, Rewrites of the Heart, which is with my editor right now.
3. Jessica Bird. You may know her better as J.R. Ward, the author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Her romances are truly wonderful and her style was a huge inspiration for Heartquake.
4. Charlaine Harris. And it’s not because of the Sookie Stackhouse series. If you’ve never read her Midnight Texas trilogy, you’re missing out on endearing characters. I highly recommend it.
5. Madeline L’Engle. Oh, my goodness. I love A Wrinkle in Time. I didn’t see the movie because I didn’t think it would be as good as the book. I know it’s a children’s book. I read it in when I was in the sixth or seventh grade. I couldn’t wait for my daughter to love the book, so I read it to her when she was a child.
6. Dan Brown. Yes, I said it. I love his intelligent plots. I started with The DaVinci Code and soon made my way through all of the books. I highly recommend his non-Langdon books as well. If Deception Point and Digital Fortress aren’t on your TBR list, make a note now.
7. Brandon Sanderson. Fantasy. This man is a master of worldbuilding. He draws you in and you don’t want to leave. If you’ve never read him, start with Mistborn. It has a female protagonist. That’s a plus.
8. Jim Butcher. The Dresden Files. Harry Dresden is the only opening practicing professional wizard in the US. It’s a great series and really introduced me to paranormal novels.
9. Agatha Christie. My favorite character: Hercule Poirot. Her knowledge of how to kill people is amazing and, just a tad, scary.
10. Jack Kerouac. I read the beat classic, On the Road, in college and it has stayed with me. Excellent, evocative writer. Highly recommend.
What book do you think everyone should read?
George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984. You probably thought I was going to recommend some romance or a biography, didn’t you? I’m fascinated by politics and think these two classics tell you everything you need to know about human nature and politics. And they are timeless. You can see parallels to the events in these books all over the world.
How long have you been writing?
Ever since I learned how to read. Yes, I was a weird kid. You know when you’re in grade school and you have a list of ten spelling words? And the teacher told you to use each one in a sentence? I was that nerdy kid who would make a story out of them.
I remember I really fell in love with writing when I was in the sixth and seventh grades. I loved endowing inanimate objects with live. I wrote a story about Penelope the Pencil and her husband Percival.
I also spent weeks on a short story that involved two girls being chased by a UFO. I have to tell you, I had many dreams about UFOs growing up (I still have a few to this day.) I think it stems from the fact that I read Chariots of the Gods? By Erich von Daniken. If you’ve never read it or have never watched Ancient Aliens on the history channel, it’s about the visitation of aliens to our planet as recorded in the Bible.
Do you see writing as a career?
I see writing novels as my second career. I’m semi-retired now. (Yeah, I’m old.) And writing really was my first career. My very first job as writer was as a reporter in a small town in northeast Ohio. From there, I bounced around being a freelance reporter and eventually landed a job as the editor-in-chief of a small natural health publishing company. I ghostwrote the books, as well as the direct-mail advertising that was sent nationwide. I also worked for its sister company, a natural health supplement firm as a direct-mail copywriter.
Wait, there’s more. I did a short stint as a communications specialist with the Harley-Davidson plant in York, PA, as a temp. My last gig, though, was being a freelance writer in which I wrote articles on just about every topic imaginable as well as e-books. I don’t think there’s a topic I haven’t covered. And thanks to the internet, I’ve written for clients on all the continents (well, except for Antarctica. Those penguins do their own writing.)
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I hate to write in complete silence. While too much noise is distracting, I find complete silence equally so. I like to have some quiet meditation music in the background and sometimes even the news so I can just hear it, but it doesn’t command my attention.
My favorite place to write is a coffee shop, because there’s just enough background noise. Okay, I also like to listen in to conversations. You never know where you’ll find your next novel.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
I’m currently fascinated with every character in Charlaine Harris’ Midnight, Texas series. Midnight is a speck of a town that appears ordinary as you pass through, but really is home to people who live not-so-ordinary lives. If you haven’t read it, I don’t want to spoil the surprises in the book.
Because of the writing style, you get to know each character so well, Fiji, Bobo, Manfred, Chuy and more. And I can’t forget Lemuel and Olivia.
I’m terrible at choosing favorite characters because they all have traits I love about them. And in Midnight, Texas I found an entire town of wonderfully unique people.
Do you have any advice to offer for new authors?
I’m not sure I’m qualified to be handing out advice for new authors. I feel as if I’m a new author myself. There are some lessons that took me way too long to learn. I’ll pass these on.
1. Believe in yourself.
Always. I know there will be days you have that nagging doubt. Should I really be doing this? But the answer is always yes. If you have the desire and drive to sit down and attempt to write, then you have a story to tell. And it needs to be heard. Believe in yourself.
2. Age doesn’t matter.
I put off writing because, well, I had to make a living. Right? The rent or mortgage doesn’t pay itself? Then I had a family. Of course, their needs come first.
So, you’re older now and you think it’s too late. It’s never too late to start. In two years from now, if you do no writing at all, you’ll be two years older. If you start writing today, you’ll still be two years older and possibly be the author of at least one novel. When you look at it that way, the choice couldn’t be clearer. Go for it, regardless of your age.
3. Hone your craft.
If you can’t afford to pay for them, find free ones. You can find them on the internet. As much as you can afford to join organizations. Join or start a local writing group. Talk writing with anyone who will listen. Develop your style. Try to learn from as many people as possible. Even if it’s only learning what not to do.
4. Read, read, and read some more.
All genres, all authors. Classics, the latest releases. When you start to write, you’ll read with a different eye. You’ll discover styles you like and you’ll tinker with in your own novels. You’ll be inspired by characters you discover in those books.
5. Never, ever give up.
If writing is something you’re passionate about, don’t you dare give up on your dream. Please, don’t give up.
What are you currently reading?
I just went to Barnes and Noble the other day and bought Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve never read it and I’m only starting it. One of my goals is to write a dystopian novel and I want to see how she created her world.
On that same trip, I also had my first blind date with a book. If you haven’t heard of that, you have a choice of books to choose from and each is wrapped in brown paper or some type of wrapping paper. In this case, each package had the book’s opening line. I couldn’t wait to unwrap it. Ice Planet Barbarians, by Ruby Dixon. I’ve just started that one, too. It looks like a fun read.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Of course, I’ve experienced. But lately I’ve tried to minimize it by recalling what Brandon Sanderson, the fantasy author, says about it. Often, a writer will get stuck because they don’t know exactly what the next phase of a scene looks like.
That statement is true for me. I don’t plot; I seldom outline. If you would look up the word “pantser” in the dictionary, my name would be there.
I think about Sanderson’s comment when I get stuck. If I can’t make it through a scene, I’ll write something stupid like “I’ll figure this out later,” and move on with the flow of the story. As an author it’s important not to let it overwhelm you. If you do, that small issue can blow out of proportion and you begin to doubt your ability. And writers carry around enough doubts already. We don’t need to add any more.
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