Archive for March, 2014

Bubbling up in the stew.

One of the great things about developing an alternate universe that runs through a series of books is the opportunity to resurrect past characters. And there are a plethora of interesting personalities for me to choose from.

I did that on purpose. I love all the aspects of creating a place for my readers to escape to. I love describing the environment, the cultural nuances, and building suspense around whatever devious act is taking place to complicate Bernice and Agent Wyatt’s already complicated relationship. But my favorite aspect of writing is creating memorable characters.

I want them to feel real to the readers. I want them to have personalities that resonate, leave a mental mark if you will. Good, bad, ornery, beguiling, seductive, arrogant, melodramatic, self-absorbed, manipulative, sweet, compassionate, driven, sadistic, deranged, delusional, self-righteous, sexist, racist, charismatic, annoying, self-deprecating; these and many others are descriptions of the human condition. And our big, bloated brains give us the ability to possess all of these traits in various doses.

Whether by fault or design, however, some aspects of our personalities shine brighter than others. For the sake of the story, it may be those aspects that I focus on for a character that only makes, say a 5 or 6 page appearance. Characters that make a more prominent impact throughout the story get to be more rounded. But that doesn’t mean “lesser characters”, for lack of a better term, don’t make an impression. It is that impression that I rely on to reintroduce them into the continuing story.

I’m no longer a spring chicken as it were.  And I naturally write from a place of life experience. My main characters have been around for a bit as well in their own universe.  They’ve rotated  in and out of enough relationships to create friends, enemies, rivals, as well as conundrums that remain unsettled.

That’s what gives the story its richness, like flavors that build up in a stew.  Life simmers on, and sometimes old crap bubbles up from the bottom. You have to deal with it in whatever form it presents itself. Bernice is probably not thrilled with that. Her creator is having a blast!

Finding that Place

For someone who is supposed to be a wordsmith, it can be difficult to explain the state of mind, that “place”,  required to make the story come. Because it doesn’t always come in any sort of natural order. I won’t lie. I don’t always know how my books are going to end when I start them. I just write and have faith that the structure will present itself as I go along. So far, that has worked.

It’s different with the scripts. I’m not sure why. Maybe because they are much shorter, and the discipline of the structure forces me to think under more limited terms. The scene outline is already complete for the pilot that I’m going to be sending in to It’s just a matter of fine tuning everything and making sure the formatting is as perfect as my very human brain will allow.

For some reason, Sundays have been working well for me, writing wise. I work two jobs the rest of the week. Sunday is a day off, for both me and the husband. Perhaps I’m not hampered by a sense of other obligations as much on that day.

I have this great little bump-out in my dining room with three south facing windows. I have a love seat in there and a couple of flowering houseplants. It’s been quite the refuge this VERY long and cold winter. Usually, if I sit still for a minute or so, I have at least one cat settling in on top of me, so I try to have my notebook and coffee ready.

Other times, I am robbed of sleep because that “place” decides to show up right after I crawl into bed, and what is emerging can’t be left unchecked until morning, or it will no longer resemble its original form. I’m seriously thinking of checking out Amazon for a little pen light that I can attach to a notebook. That way I can write without getting out of bed or waking the husband.

I’ve created quite the conundrum for my characters, relationship-wise in Book 5: Blonde in the Backwater (copyright 2014). There’s a lot of tension flowing: self doubts, mistrust, knee-jerk emotional reactions and misguided loyalties. And all this is going on while these same characters are entrenched in harrowing situations that leave them feeling trapped and forced to examine what really matters to them.

What if you have to lie to survive, but that lie will destroy all you hold dear if it’s ever revealed? How much damage are you willing to incur to maintain the lie?

…And that’s the place where I write…


The reality of making Dairyland Murders into a TV series..

The reality of sex scenes on the big (and little) screen. Hmm. Enough to kill even Agent Wyatt’s fictionally colossal boner.

Check out this link.