Aphrodisia Authors

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rocking And Rolling

Good cloudy morning folks. Would someone please explain this to me. A week and a half ago it reached 81 degrees here in the Northwest. Then it snowed over the weekend, and this morning I'm looking out at a cloud filled sky.
Ah well, can't do nuttin' about it except hunker down and write. Yesterday I was playing email conversation with our own Kate Douglas. She said she was dealing with the cold in her neck of the woods by getting to the getting of a new book. Sounded like good advice so I kicked out about 2500 words.
Hey Kate, I'm further along in this writin' a book business than you are. I'm into chapter four of the middle book in a three book contract. It doesn't have a title and I don't want anyone giving me a hard time about it, because the rest of it's starting to come together.
Interesting thing about growing a story, at least for me. I start with a blip above nothing and start adding fertilizer until something pops to the surface. In this case, I've been holding onto a well-illustrated booklet about Canyon de Chelly in Arizona, a place I visited and fell in love with. The Anasazi once lived in this land of canyons and sandstone, and the dramatic vistas grabbed me around the throat the moment I entered it. Setting is vital to me. I need an emotional hit from an area (real or imagined) or my characters won't thrive in it.
So step one became keeping the terrain but moving it to a fictional spot so I could play around with reality. Then I needed some characters. Hok'ee was just waiting for me to pull him out of the muddy backwater of my brain. A cougar shapeshifter, he's a restless and savage soul, wild and primal. There's nothing politically correct about him. There's a core of me in him, or perhaps I should say Hok'ee represents a don't-give-a-damn side to this law-abiding middle class writer I try to keep under lock. He has no need for or interest in money, running water, political campaigns, or even whether he has any clothes. How did he get that way? It took a couple nights of insomnia for the answer to emerge, but I love it. A hint. If you know anything about the Navajo or Tony Hillerman's writing, you've heard about the chindi.
Hok'ee needed a woman, specifically one with a reason to enter his primal world. More insomnia. More ranting to myself. More considering and then rejecting options. Then one morning while I was in the shower, Kai stepped in and started talking about the psychic gift that sets her apart. What's that you say, psychics are a dime a dozen? True, but how many can tap into the souls of animals? Hot damn but do I love that idea. And her.
Next came the plot, or rather the need for one. Not so much insomnia this time but a lot of sitting at the computer with my eyes closed while I threw down everything that came to mind. Minor characters, check. Theme, check. Goals, check. Twists and turns, check. I'm still working on getting all that to mesh, but I trust that thing called creativity enough to know the minor characters and the direction things are headed will eventually make sense.
Maybe what I've written has bored the you know what out of whoever tried to wade through it, but I got a kick out of trying to explain the creative process, at least how it works for me. I'm deliberately not saying more because I lose momentum and interest if I say too much about what I'm doing. I need to be surprised and a bit scared every time something comes out of my mind, through my fingers, and onto the computer screen.
One more thing before I fade off. Last week's mail brought a couple of great packages. I have a novella in Sexy Beast V which should come out in Sept. and the cover flats arrived. OMG that's one hunky hunk!!! Only With A Cowboy (another anthology) will hit the stands on April 29 which means I now have a box filled with copies to use for promotion. The cover: another hunky hunk wearing nothing except a trashed pair of jeans and a rope slung around his neck. I can hardly wait to read P.J. Mellor and Melissa MacNeal's contributions.

p.s. Given what little I've told folks about what I'm working on, if anyone has an idea for a title, I'd be eternally grateful. In fact, I'll send you a copy of Only With A Cowboy.

Posted by Vonna Harper :: 12:06 PM :: 8 comments

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