Margie Lawson

Romance Weekly #LoveWriteChat

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Welcome!

Thanks to Amy Jarecki author of the Highland Force series for the invitation to land here on the Romance Weekly blog hop.

These questions are from author Jeanne McDonald, who releases The Certainty of Deception today. (Join her facebook release party—Woot! 3p.m.-11p.m.Eastern Standard)

 

How did you go about choosing the names for your characters?

 

images-2Sometimes I go on baby naming sites, like http://www.20000-names.com/ or http://www.sheknows.com/ Most of the time, however, the names just come to me along with the character. Sometimes a main character begins with one name and changes names on the third or fourth re-write. Ruby in Stolen Kiss started life as Vero (pronounced the French Canadian way- rhymes with arrow). Arabella in Stolen Heart began as Annika. But the character that developed in the story didn’t match the name and kind of insisted on switching. People I know can influence name choices. Tukie Cohen was inspired from awesome women in my town with unusual names like Twinkle, Honey and Cookie. The names of the hero and heroine in my WIP came to me very quickly. Dane and Eva. They are such opposites and so much fun!

 

Where did the inspiration for your current book come from?

7784174530_e8da0fc255_mNineteen years ago in March I was holed up in a Norwegian hutel (not a hotel) during a white out, while my husband skied the tops of the Jotunheimen mountain region. After failing the “check-out” I was unable to cross-country ski the distances to go hut-to-hut and stayed put. My newly weaned (for aforementioned trip) ten-month-old daughter (home with grandparents) and I cried about our separation. The story poured out over three days and I tucked the notes away for posterity. (19 years—that’s a generation, right?) P.S. It has nothing to do with snow.

 

What methods do you use to ensure you have no plot holes (journal, storyboard, outline, editor, etc.)?

 

Unknown-1I’m too superstitious to use a word like “ensure” regarding no plot holes, but the method I follow is three fold. The story kernel gets a page. I run this page through the Late and wonderfully generous Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat 15 Beats system. At this point, I usually spin a journal or two for my main characters, so I get to know them, their voices and their problems better. Lastly, (my most recent development) I use Lisa Miller’s Plot Safari guidelines (from the Margie Lawson school) to really develop the plot. By this time, I have a good solid 40 pages to use as a guideline. At any point during this process, I may send off notes to my incredible Critique Partner, the inimitable Sarah Hegger for eyes, Yeas, and Nays. I also have two other really talented CP’s who I hope to continue working with who tell me where I went wrong after the ms or parts of it are completed: Brenda Margriet and VC Monroe (Vicki Mixon). I’m extremely fortunate to have their input. And am open to new ideas to help keep the writing organic and fresh.

 

UnknownI am really curious to see how Regency Romance author Collette Cameron answered these questions. (especially if she reveals how she came up with the hero and heroine’s names for The Earl’s Enticement – swoon) Join me in checking her out by clicking here:

http://blueroseromance.com

 

Romance Weekly #LoveWriteChat

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thursdaysatcoconuts400x600Welcome!

Thanks Beth Carter for the hand-off. (Watch for her release of Thursdays at Coconuts—don’t you love this cover?—in August)

Happy you landed here. It’s the Romance Weekly blog hop where twenty plus romance authors answer the same 3 interview questions and you get insight into the (sometimes) zany minds behind the stories you love. Thanks to Tessa Gray for this week’s questions.

Do any characters you’ve written into your books remind you of yourself? Explain which ones and why?

Ruby the main character in Stolen Kiss reminds me of my inner people pleaser. Like with Ruby, people pleasing was a good coping strategy for a chaotic childhood, but in her/my twenties became the biggest roadblock article-2161071-13AABF42000005DC-283_306x341to mature (lasted longer than a couple years) love. Arabella, the heroine in Stolen Heart is a manifestation of my inner geek. Though I love sciences, I went into arts. Ara took the other direction and became a renowned shark biologist who doesn’t see how she could ever balance a long term relationship with her work. Also, something I struggled with. And Mari, the heroine of Stolen Love is my nurturer, who must draw clear boundaries (like I have to with kids, husband, expectations of others) or lose her sense of herself to love.

 

Was there a teacher or mentor in your life who helped nurture your writing?

 

Apart from the hundreds of published authors I’ve read and the tight clutch of critique partners who inspire me by letting be part of their own process? Yes. I’m learning now from Margie Lawson how to revise my images-5work using her incredible (patented) Deep EDITS method. It’s really helped the anal plotter in me have a security blanket of techniques to trim, tailor and tighten my finished product. She’s going to be at the RWA conference in San Antonio and I’m doing an Immersion class with her in October in Colorado. Can’t wait!

 

Every author has the moment when they doubt their ability to write. When that happens to you, how do you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and continue? What do you do to inspire yourself?

 

images-30Read the work of others. If it’s good writing, it inspires me to emulate. If it’s bad writing (and we’ve all know that’s out there), I’m motivated to create something better. Sometimes I take a movie or Netflix break and absorb the stories of others. Having had success as an actor helps because I really believe in transferable skills, especially when the subject matter—capturing human emotion and growth—is the same. Connection with others, with life and nature (especially water) all help build the fire and itch to plot and stitch words together.

 

661f92_ff2541fde8b1431982d0f47354f3954e.jpg_srz_156_234_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzWhat fun questions! Please keep the blog hop going. Next stop, the award winning (and very loveable):

http://veronicaforand.com

 

 

(This is Veronica’s October release)

 

Romance Weekly #LoveWriteChat

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Unknown-3Unknown-5This week I follow Victoria Barbour, who just released Against Her Rules, set in Newfoundland, one of the loveliest places on Earth. Welcome to my corner of Romance Weekly, where we hop from blog to blog answering the same questions in  different ways. Today’s round comes from Joanne Guidoccio, author of Between Land and Sea.

Scenario: A Hollywood producer is interested in your book. Can you come up with an enticing logline (plot summary of 25 words or less)?

Loglines–the obligatory evil. I like the Save The Cat logline template and have used that in the past. Right now I’m taking an online course from Margie Lawson’s school, which suggests a simpler format.

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So in my WIP it’s: After drug smugglers endanger her life and cutting edge shark study, Dr. Arabella Beaumont agrees to let ex-marine Gus MacIsaac, her nemesis from her awkward teen years protect her to secure her place in the global marine scene. That’s 38 words. Sorry. Seems I can’t do it with less.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

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Already picked them out. Gus MacIsaac is inspired by a slighter younger Michael Fassbender tempered with Damien Lewis. And, if I could cast anyone to play Dr Arabella Beaumont it would be the inimitable Jennifer Lawrence (slightly older).

Does the storyline of your novel compare with any films out there?

Not really. The banter between my socially insecure brainiac and her proud, but wounded ex-Marine is similar to Bones and Booth, but situation is different. Gus wouldn’t act on his crush on Ara when they were young because she is his best friend’s sister. 9/11 happens and Gus enlists. 3 tours with the Marines later, he seeks her out. It’s about a second chance at love that never made it off the ground the first time, mixed with drug runners, mobsters, voodoo and sharks. Ooh. There’s another logline. And yay. 25 words.

Next up? Darling J.J.Devine. You can read her responses to these questions at this link:

http://definingjjdevine.weebly.com/ramblings-of-a-writer.html