Between the Covers with Terra and Chris PART TWO!!

That’s right boys and girls, there’s a sequel! A sequel to what, you say? Nice to know you’ve been paying attention. Fine, here’s the recap: last month I participated in the Orangeberry Summer Splash and came across a stunning author, Terra Harmony. I reviewed her book; she dropped a lovely post for all you wicked little readers. While all that was going on, I discovered that Terra’s a pretty cool chick and we had plenty to discuss about the writing process and writing series in particular. So we turned our conversations into a behind-the-scenes, DVD-extras-style set of posts and here we are.

You’re joining our conversation already in progress. If you missed Part One, you can check it out on Terra’s blog.

Lil Ol Me: Did you plan the entire series out before you wrote it?

Terra: No plans. No outlining – just free writing. I think this was good and bad in a way. I tend to let my characters lead the story. Sometimes they take a turn in the plot that I myself didn’t see coming. When I start a chapter, I have no idea where it will end. The pro is I never really seem to get stuck. I don’t get writers block because I am not bound to an outline. I don’t have to ‘make’ certain things happen. The con is I really have to work hard at pacing, character development, etc. It doesn’t seem to come naturally in my writing.

I hope to do it differently in my next series (I am planning a mermaid/werewolf series – w/ eco issues of course). I really would like to write the entire series, then release them a few months apart. Right now, I am getting hounded via e-mail, facebook, etc. from fans asking when the next book is out. Don’t get me wrong – this is great! But it creates pressure that takes away from my writing a little bit.

Back to Your Boy: I can feel you on the pressure to push the next one out: I hear the same things and, while it’s cool there’s interest, I’m concerned about not putting the best book out I possibly can, you know? Writing a story that resonates with people is magic; you don’t want to mess it up.

For me, I planned in broad strokes. Like I said, the Bible gives me some pretty clear plot points so I decided what major periods of time I wanted to cover and who’s point of view I wanted to write from. I know where things to end up and as I move through each book, I get a sense of the emotional milestones I want my primary characters to hit.

Terra: When do your best ideas come to you? What invokes your muse?

It’s Me!: My best ideas come when I’m not looking for them. When I’m doing mundane things like cutting the grass, folding laundry, taking a shower. In a meeting with people I don’t like on subjects I could care less about. I daydream, play out the scene or push it around in my head. How about you? When do your best ideas come?

Terra: Showers are my best source of ideas, too! I am really, really clean when I am in need of inspiration. I talked about this with my critique group a little, and for them it was the same – mundane tasks. For one his best ideas occur when he is shaving in the morning. I guess this is when our subconscious can be accessed. “The subconscious mind is never idle,” said someone, at some point – probably.

When I really have to work a problem through, connect pieces in the storyline or whatever, I’ll go for a walk. We live by a lake and I’ve discovered that twice around (about an hour) is usually enough time to come up with a solution. I have to work to stay focused, but I have learned to trust that I’ll eventually come up with an idea. Writer’s block isn’t a thing for me anymore.

And Back to Me: “I am really, really clean when I am in need of inspiration.” Yeah, I can get that. My grass looks immaculate too when I’m writing.

I’ve also learned taking the WonderDog for a walk is helpful. I doubt he really appreciate me asking him the intricacies of my plot, but he does like being outside. Win-win.

You can check out the next installment on Terra’s blog later this week. And, as always, there’s more villainy goodness on the way! See ya!

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GOOD INTENTIONS? PSSSHHT! THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH CHOICE

It is said, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, but Heaven is full of good works.” And the biggest difference between the two is choice. That’s what this book, The Road to Hell, is all about.

The cost of choice. The consequence of choice. The power of choice. These were the themes I played with in the book and Lucifer gets the ball rolling early. He starts it all with a simple choice, with a want for something greater. He wants something for himself. He sees what he is and what he can and can’t do and wants something that belongs to him. Something just for him. It’s a small thing, really, and, as I was writing the story, it was the most personal of the choices I wrote about. Who doesn’t want something for themselves?

Now, you have the choice to read the rest over at Debbie Brown’s Amethyst Eyes blog. Swing by, check out the interview and the guest post, and leave a comment.

Also don’t forget, there’s a brand new Facebook page for the Heaven Falls series. Stop by, give us a Like and join the discussion.

And for my wicked little readers who are wading through these posts for more villainy goodness, Mommie Dearest will be gracing Crooked Letterz later today.

Still Talking: Orangeberry Summer Splash Author Interview

So friends and foes, you may not know it but August is the MONTH OF PROMOTION! I’m trying to do it like Visa and be everywhere you wanna be so I’m participating in the Orangeberry Summer Splash–hence the lovely badge in this post and on the site. The Summer Splash is a blog tour of 100 magnificent authors and 106 books. I strongly, STRONGLY (this is me saying Pretty Please With Sugar On Top!) encourage you to check out these folks and their works.

Tomorrow, I’ll be haunting My Seryniti with another interview, a guest blog post (still all about villains) AND a book review by Seryniti herself. But wait, there’s more! There’s a TwitterView on August 8–a TwitterView is an interview via Twitter (yeah, I never heard of it either) sponsored by the Hostess With The Mostest, Pandora Poikilos, bestselling author of Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out. And there are more stops along the way: On August 12, I’ll be breaking down Page 99 of The Road to Hellover at Mommy Reviews. If you haven’t, start reading now! On August 18, I’ll stop by We Fancy Books to deliver my Top Ten Heroes (I like a couple of the good guys). And on August 22-23, Pandora will blow me up on Twitter and plaster my pretty face all over her site at Peace from Pieces.

But the party starts today with an author interview by lil ol’ me over at The Bunny’s Review. Check me out!

And if you wanna learn more about the Orangeberry Summer Splash and the authors in it, check out the press release!