PART 4: ‘Luminous Colours of Dusk’ Author Q+A

 

Here we are again, part 4 of the Luminous Colours of Dusk Q+A. here are all your questions about writing –

When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve had storylines going around in my head for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until 2009 when I finished my university studies that I decided to sit down and try fiction. It took about another 18 months before I decided to publish a novel. If you want to do something, just do it!

Where do the your ideas come from?

My warped mind! For my Canna Medici series, the people and their scenarios are all totally fictional. Once I start writing, it all comes to me. For my series based Valencia, there is so much more work to be done – interviews with people in Spain, were in Spain, fought in the war, along with natural disasters, current news events, all come together and work around a group of characters I put together myself. Each type works well, though writing about Spain is important to me, as is its accuracy, and using real timelines of Valencia’s history with fictional characters is so much fun. Whereas with Canna, it’s all made up and my imagination can run wild.

If I knew, maybe I could make it stop.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Each of my five published books have taken different times to developed. Night Wants to Forget took 18 months. Violent Daylight was eight months from first word to publication. Luminous Colours of Dusk only took six months in total, but the schedule has been brutal. Blood in the Valencian Soil was a tough one, I spent ten months working on it, tossed the entire lot and wrote something else, then started again and it took a year for the finished product to be released. Vengeance in the Valencian Water took six months of writing time, and another two months to edit. My next two books have eight months each allocated to them.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I proofread and edit, and I have also have others do it as well, different people for different series. I can’t thank those people enough for all their help. Being edited can be really hard, so sticking with an editor/proofreader can be tough and you need to trust them. The first person who helped me with Night Wants to Forget was terrible. The book was a disaster. I would like to pretend the first edition doesn’t exist.

Do you think that the cover art is important?

I think so. You can make your own cover art, or get someone on fiverr to whip something up, but first impressions are really important. My personal preference is for a photograph, or a ‘real-life shot, as opposed to a plain cover or designed/drawn covers. For all the books in the Canna Medici series, I had an artist work on the books, so that they followed a theme and had the same fonts and designs used. The artwork was secured by the designer and she took care of everything for me from the United states. The Secrets of Spain series has a simpler design, and all photographic backgrounds are taken from the Valencia area, specific to the storyline. Having them all designed in the same style helps match as a set. Cheap-looking cover art can suggest a poor quality story, so why sell yourself short?

Do you write every day or as and when you can?

I plan my life, my family, my work and then working writing around it all. I aim for 3-4 chapters per week, slipped in where I have free time. If I don’t feel like writing, I just give up. I can skip weeks of writing and then spend two weeks catching up, and the work is always completed. Trying to keep to a strict timeline only stresses me out. With my last book, I fell nearly a month behind, so the next month meant I wrote a chapter nearly every day. It’s not a schedule I would recommend.

 Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

When I write, I write a chapter from start to finish, regardless of how many words it needs to be. My chapters can run from 2,500 to 4,500 words, depending on the book, and I always finish a chapter when I get started. Obviously, some planning is required to achieve this.

For example, Luminous Colours of Dusk is 155,000 words long. That’s not a 200 page chit-chat. Maybe I should write shorter books. I can’t guarantee that I will ever master the art of the 70,000 word book. In fact, I already know I won’t, I have some epic sagas planned.

Do you get a lot of support when writing?

I always have my lovely twitter followers to push me on when things get rough. For my Spanish wiring, the #wabas group, Writers and Bloggers about Spain, are always helpful, with tips, encouragement, promotions, editing, whatever I need, someone can appear and help. I’m a lucky woman.

Do you get writers block?

I usually start with a huge burst of enthusiasm with every book, then get to the middle, worry that I’m not getting to the point fast enough, spin in circles for a month or so, then kill off loads of people and end the story. It’s less writer’s block and more mass confusion about where I’m going. I write a list of what each chapter has to achieve, and then just ignore my own advice. If I just got to work, my problems would probably solve themselves.

What are the highlights and lowlights of writing?

I’m one of those people who don’t like birthdays. They are normal days, but you expect more, and then get let down (at least I do, anyway). Book release day is much the same. There should be excitement, but instead it’s mostly just relief the work is over. It should be a highlight and it isn’t. You may see an increase my use of exclamation points in an attempt to make the day a highlight. Likewise, small moments can make themselves into highlights, like coming up with a plot twists. The day I figured out the plot-twist connection between Luna Montgomery and María Medina in Blood in the Valencian Soil (won’t share – spoiler), I literally jumped for joy in public. Probably looked mental.

Is being edited/ editing other hard?

I sulk after every chapter of edited work comes back o me. Then I see why changes have been made and I move on… to sulk after getting the next email. Editing others can be hard too, because I don’t want to hurt their feelings, but don’t them suffering with typos or mix-ups either. It’s okay to hate editing and/or criticism – just don’t get the two confused.

~~~

Phew, that is all the answers given. Part 5 of the Q&A will be chapter one of Luminous Colours of Dusk, free to read. Also there is a free promo on for Night Wants to Forget and Violent Daylight, go HERE for details.

Click here to read PART 3: ‘Luminous Colours of Dusk’ Author Q+A – All about Spain

Click here to read PART 2: ‘Luminous Colours of Dusk’ Author Q+A – all about me

Click here to read PART 1: ‘Luminous Colours of Dusk’ Author Q+A – all about Canna

thanks to writingmemes.tumblr.com

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