Author Interview from Words in Sync

My full tour schedule and links can be found at Dark Minds Book Tours (<–highly recommended).

The following interview was part of my bumper post for Day 3 of 7 on the BLOOD LIFE blog tour courtesy of on her personal blog. I am extracting the interview portion only here in case you missed it, but for the full experience and to read her impressions of my book, or to enter a giveaway, visit Words in Sync.

Otherwise, here’s the get-to-know-me-a-little-better part of it. Enjoy!

The Interview


The Personal Questions

  1. What’s your idea of total happiness?

Riding a horse bareback through the woods on a clear spring day.

  1. Which trait do you most deplore about yourself?

Sometimes I can be very indecisive, and I don’t like it at all!

  1. What do you consider to be the most overrated virtue?

Chastity!  haha

  1. What’s your worse vice?

Probably impatience.

  1. What do you most value in your friends?

Loyalty.

  1. Do you have a mantra or motto?

Don’t ever be afraid to make sure you’re happy, too, regardless of what that may mean.

  1. Which living, and which dead person, do you most admire and why?

Living: my mom. She is the strongest person I know and I love her and look up to her with all my heart.

Dead: Marilyn Monroe.  She was beautiful and tragic.  Intelligent and talented.  Never afraid to speak her mind, and despite her addiction and her past, she tried her hardest and gave everything her all.

  1. What is your greatest regret?

I guess I’m supposed to say I don’t have any, but that would be a lie.  I have a few regrets in my life.  But I’d say the greatest one so far was giving an ex a second chance that didn’t deserve it.  It ruined a great flow I had built in my life, and it was a mistake.  I lost things because of it.  One of those things being my horse.

  1. When are you most likely to lie?

When I might get in trouble if I don’t.

  1. What is your favourite (song) and why?

I have so many favorite songs!! This is a very hard question for me to answer because I really love music.  At the moment, it is Conjure One – “Extraordinary Ways.”

  1. What is your favourite cuisine?

Veggie burritos!!

  1. Have your personal experiences (or situations) influenced you, creatively? Give us an example.

Oh yes.  In all of my writing, there are personal experiences past and present scattered through the text.  For instance, Devendra, my witch/vampire heroine, is loosely based on me.  Her looks, her actions, her strengths/weaknesses, her favorite things.  She’s my inner witch.

  1. How much of your creative ability do you think is innate and how much is   learned?

Most, if not all, of my creative abilities are innate.  =)  Though, I always pay attention and learn things from others.

     14.  How often do you read? What are you reading now?

I read as much as I can.  Sometimes, I’ve just got too much work and life things that get in the way.  But I love to read.  Right now I’m reading: Possessing the Secret of Joy: A Novel

15. What other interests do you have?

Health and fitness, eating and cooking healthy vegetarian/vegan cuisine, horror films, animal advocacy, yoga.

16. What was the last movie you went to see?

Cabin in the Woods.

       17. Do you have a favourite genre?

HORROR!  =)

The Writer Specific Questions.

  1. What got you into writing?

My lifelong love of words, the paranormal, and storytelling.

  1. Are you an indie or traditional author?

Indie.

  1. Did you publish the first book you wrote?

Yes, I did, under my own imprint: Bright Eyes Press.

  1. What is your biggest problem with the writing process? How do you tackle it?

Finding the time. I do my best to put aside at least a couple of hours a day for writing, whether it is in a story I’m working on or blogging. Also, stress slows me down creatively, so making sure I’m taking care of my whole self is important.

  1. Do you feel writing is something you need to do or want to do?

Writing is hands-down something I need to do. It nurtures my soul like nothing else can.

  1. Whose writing inspires you most and why?

Edgar Allen Poe.  He was my first ever inspiration and will always hold that spot in my heart.

  1. If I gave you a license to brag, what would brag about? Give us the links.

Well, myself, of course! ;-)  I am a writer (obviously), so my first book should definitely be looked at, as well as my website: http://www.giannaperada.com – and I am also a proofer, light copy-editor, and book interior layout designer for small publishers and indie authors. I’ve been doing that for several years: http://www.brighteyes.org

  1. How does your creative process benefit you?

It allows me to write my stories with my own unique voice. I sit down at the computer and channel the muse. My fingers move to their own rhythm. I’m just along for the ride.  😉

  1. Do you believe that creativity and genius go hand in hand?

I think it depends on the person, but mostly, yes.  =)  You are your own creative genius.  Each and every one of you.  Whether you use it/see it or not.

An Excerpt from DEVENDRA

The prequel to my debut novel, Blood Life, is Devendra, which I am working hard on at present. I decided, just to test the waters a bit, that I’d post a few excerpts until its release. Things may change a little, but these excerpts are very close to final form, if not final.

My planned release date for Devendra is Halloween. Of course, life gets in the way sometimes, so that hopeful date could be pushed. However, if I can help it, Halloween it is.  I’ll keep you posted either way. For now, an excerpt of Devendra. Please feel free to post your thoughts! They are not only welcomed but encouraged. And, above all else, ENJOY!

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“Nooo!” she screamed, the tone reverberating off the stone walls, vibrating in her chest. “Leave him alone!!”

The sound of jingling keys echoed down the hallway as footsteps drew close to her cell. There was a moment of hollow silence before a burly, iron-clad guard moved swiftly in her direction. He unhooked the keys that dangled at his side, used one of them to grant himself entry to her cell, and moved squarely in front of her. Without warning, he raised a powerful arm into the air; she had only a moment to think to lift her hands to guard her face before the back of his right hand landed hard across her cheek.

Devendra saw a white flash behind closed eyes before she lost her footing and fell to the side. In the eerie silence of the strike, with ears ringing, she fought to pick herself up from the ground as quickly as possible, to show him a semblance of strength. Devendra ignored the enclosing darkness and tiny dots of light in her vision, struggling to steady herself in front of him. Her head spun gently as she fought the urge to faint, lifting a cool hand to comfort her injured cheekbone. It felt good resting against the swelling, a cool and cold palm to soak in some of the heat.

In her magical mind’s eye, she willed the fluid of the swelling to be reabsorbed by surrounding cells as quickly as it had risen. But, as bad luck would have it . . . nothing happened. She swallowed rising fear, feeling naked suddenly before her jailer.

The man they called Stoughton towered over her, a shadow of evil, threatening to strike again. His hair was short but full against his head, peppered with grey and black, collecting at his temples in white cotton wisps. If not for his malice, he was quite a handsome man, strong and lean standing at what she gauged at about a foot and a half above her own five-foot-four stance. But he was infused with evil. He carried a scent of it that sickened her. It hovered around him like a dense fog, suffocating to those with an ability to sense it.

Releasing her incapacity to conjure up the protective magic she needed to resist another strike to mere happenstance, she tried again. She reached inside her soul and called up a force, a mystic shield to protect herself so that his hand might just fall asleep and he would merely decide not to hit her again.

Devendra found that mental manipulations worked well when a quick, secret summoning of magic was necessary, but this didn’t work either. He repeated his attack with even more vigor than before. Reeling as she picked herself up a second time from the hard stone ground, she realized she was empty. Her magic, usually responding with vibrant force at her cue, made no attempt at all.

She panicked, quietly, fighting to maintain a mask of calm before him. Once maybe, but twice? Her magic refused to move two times in the matter of seconds. Instead it whirled within her solar plexus, the eye of a great storm, watching and waiting. For what?

Quickly coming to terms with the newfound failure to call on her gifts, Devendra made the decision to ignore the stinging vibration of the hit. The will of a mortal was strong, but the will of a witch had to be stronger. At least strong enough to will away pain. Strong will demanded no illusion, only focus and determination. But even this didn’t work. A new little sack filled with fluid under the original tingling warm spot left behind on her face. She could feel it rising, throbbing with her heartbeat.

“Stoughton!” a voice rang out, ricocheting off the walls, causing Devendra to flinch. Their eyes remained locked for a moment before he whipped his head in the direction of the call. “Give me a moment,” he yelled over his shoulder.

Turning his head to look back down at her, he said, “I’ll deal with you later,” and turned to walk away, leaving her to as much peace as she could find in her current situation.

Sobbing in whispers, Devendra closed her eyes and lowered her head, muttering, “Oh Viktor.” Lifting her head once again and inhaling deeply, she curled her right hand into a fist and pounded hard on her chest once, twice, leaving behind a pink mark. She pounded a third time, hoping the action might begin to calm her racing heart. Her heart muscle responded by palpitating fiercely in her chest.

Moving on, she reached down with both hands and clutched at her dirty ivory chiffon dress, pulling on it fiercely, feeling crazed. She wanted desperately to ease the anxiety by ruining something beautiful. She ripped and tore at the dress until Stoughton returned to her cell, his eyes ablaze, lustful even. She stared back at him, defiantly, daring to challenge him in silence. Her hatred hung in the air between them like stagnant tobacco smoke, seemingly connecting them in the space.

“Don’t look at me like that, Witch,” he warned in a dangerous tone, moving so close to her that she could feel the heat rise from his body. His pheromones tried to seduce her, unseen tendrils daring to reach out and request an audience. Repulsed, she averted her eyes slightly, just enough to ease his stance, but not to indicate submission.

Stoughton reached down for her arms, lowering his face in line with hers, and clutched her wrists viciously. He squeezed them until she looked up into his face again. Her sapphire eyes burned bluer than they had ever been, but there was no lust there, only pure, unadulterated hatred. His eyes held hers confidently for a moment before tossing her wrists away with a snarl. Satisfied with the moment, feeling in complete control of his witch prisoner, he smiled wickedly before leaving her once again to herself.

When Stoughton was gone, Devendra exhaled dramatically, shifting her thoughts to her magic, or lack thereof. Since it was somehow blocked in that awful place, she could not use any spells to release herself from captivity. She could only watch and swallow the rage. She chewed on her nails, looking once again to Viktor’s cell across the dark stone-tiled hallway from her own.

Devendra’s sad eyes traced over her battered lover, caressing him. Viktor sat in a slump against the stone wall. His torso hunched over and his legs slayed out in front of him. He was completely motionless in the corner of his musty cell, half hidden in the shadows and light that crept in through the small window above, reflecting onto the walls around him.

She didn’t need much light to adore his beauty. His chocolate brown hair and olive skin lived bright and beautiful in her memory. She craved the morning look she received each time she opened her eyes for the day to his vibrant hazel eyes. Even in captivity, Viktor was magnificent. Pulling her hand from her mouth, she moved slowly to the bars and extended it across the empty void that separated them, longing to touch him, to save him.

Book Review: INSIDE THE OUTSIDE by Martin Lastrapes

In addition to writing, I also love to read! They do go hand-in-hand, after all. And I just finished reading this fabulous debut horror novel by Martin Lastrapes about a teenage cannibal living the first 15 years of her life in a cult in the San Bernadino Mountains of California.  It was easily a 5-star rating from me. I had trouble finding anything really wrong with the story that was worth mentioning. It read like a dream and any teeny tiny slights were easily overlooked. See my full review below. And if you get a chance to pick this one up, DO IT! You won’t be disappointed, especially if you enjoy darker fiction varieties, tending toward cult classics.

REVIEW: 5 out of 5 stars!

“Hold on a minute… you hear that? That is me taking a nice, deep, refreshing breath. Why, you ask? Because I just finished reading something truly new and exciting! I’m a huge horror fan, both to read and to watch, and seldom lately do I find myself as anxious to review something. INSIDE THE OUTSIDE had me hooked from the first page. The author, Martin Lastrapes, has successfully written a debut novel with an exquisite voice that expertly paints an effective picture of his characters and their surroundings. You feel their emotions. You fight their inner battles along with them. You identify with them. You even feel like you are speaking their words. You really get inside. Martin has done this with rare expertise and I applaud him.

Timber, the main character, is both endearing and creepy. You love her in her strengths and in her weaknesses. You want to protect her (at least I did) from the world at large. You agree with just about every single thing she does. You feel elated when she wins and heartbroken when she loses.

Martin also teases you throughout the book. He throws out reveals but you feel like you never get to them and it’s maddening!! In a good way, mind you, because it keeps you hooked. You finish a chapter and think you can put the book down, but NOOOOOOO, he tantalizes you and forces you to keep going. That is part of the genius in his writing style — the way that he strings you along but doesn’t necessarily provide until later on or until the very end. And speaking of the end: NO HOLLYWOOD ENDING HERE. Well, partly, but not fully. You get some, you lose some, and you want more. I highly recommend this story to anyone that likes dark fiction or cult stories — or even drama! There’s a lot of drama that pulls at the heart strings and anyone/everyone can identify with. Horror fan or not. I absolutely loved this book!”

So there you have it. Great book, amazing new author, impeccable writing, creepy storyline. Enjoy!

Growing Pains (of life and writing)

By now, if you are following my blog at all, you’ve learned that I am a writer. Duh, I say it constantly (haha!). Also that I wrote and self-published my first full-length, horror fiction novel, Blood Life. In case this is your first visit, the book is about vampires, witches, magic, violence, and sex. It is set in a fictional world (which was designed to be forgiving of language style and surroundings). It is much different than Twilight, and there is no sparkling Edward Cullen. There are, however, weak protagonists, like Bella Swan, but mine become much stronger with time, aging like fine wine.

Character interactions are vast and intriguing, maybe even infuriating at times. There is Roman and Devendra, Roman and Alexandria, Roman and Alethea (he sounds a little slutty at this point, but when you read it, you’ll see how that works). There’s also Lokee and Lorien. Seth and Lorien. Lillith and Silas.  Just throwing names out there because I love these characters and their crazy relationships.  My point being, there’s a lot to this book. It is a deep, multi-faceted thriller adventure in disguise. It’s magical and unique for a debut, but also true to form, there are some issues with the plot and I’m not too proud to admit that or to point them out.  It’s part of becoming a better writer, after all!

Although I pull everything together nicely in the end, I’m prepared for heavy critiquing from some readers, and just plain love of the story from others who are just reading and getting hooked (and not reviewing, per se). I let the book out there knowing this full well. I had to release it, because I had been writing it for such a long time, and until I finally let it go, I could not focus on anything else.  It was almost therapeutic to do so. And if you read it closely, you might see the 15-year span of growth in me as a writer peppered throughout in rewrites.  If I’d tried to revise any more of it, I may have just scrapped it, and it was too good of story to do that.  😉

Why am I saying all this? Well, because the prequel, Devendra, is coming out so well! It is written completely in my present frame of mind. And I don’t think it would have been channeled from brain to fingers quite as deliciously had I actually written it first.  As I write it now, I’m moved in a way I cannot describe, and moving yourself is key (moving others is the ultimate goal, but you catch my drift). And I have so much more to come: two more vampire/witch books, a female serial killer by the name of Z (you’re gonna love her), and a phantom ghost lover of a girl living in a place much like hell on earth.

So as the reviews are rolling in for Blood Life, I’m feeling motivated and fulfilled. I’ve heard things from “It reads like a movie!” to “I don’t read this genre normally, but the story really hooked me!” to “I love your mind!” to “Please keep writing!” All of those bits of feedback have really satisfied my ego. And not in a conceited way, but in a pleasing, humble way. I’m very proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished. And most of all, I thank you, the reader, for reading my story and giving it a chance! Whether you love it, like it, or hate it, I appreciate you for taking the time to look at it and consider it. Hats off to you. ❤

Free download of BLOOD LIFE!!

I hate to sound so spammy but it’s true! I’ve decided to offer my novel, Blood Life, for FREE at the Kindle store. Good for only a few days this week… Go get it!! And then review it there after LOVING it. Or just really REALLY enjoying it. 😉 hehe

Kindle version can be read on the Kindle, as well as the Kindle App offered to iPhone and iPad users!

Get it here: http://tinyurl.com/8857h9x – and then PRESS THIS or tweet it or facebook it to your own little space to help me spread the word – offer ends at the witching hour (or a minute before) on June 1st. xoImage

The Inner Muse(s)

Last night I got to thinking: How crazy must I sound to people when I try to explain that Devendra, the heroine of my vampire / witch series, kept chattering away at me (picture my arms up next to my face mimicking chattering mouths with my hands and a crazy look on my face), keeping me up at night, until I agreed to write her story? CARRAAZZZYYYYY?! Seriously, when I say it, I feel a little nuts, especially in the moment of silence it produces to the unknowing and understanding person. There’s a look in their eye, a faint glimmer of a question, but it never comes. That action, or lack thereof, causes this curiosity for me.

Do I really care? No, not really. I mean in all honesty, as a writer, I know this is normal behavior. I realize that without Devendra’s constant chattering, I’d have no story. Doesn’t matter how creative I think I am or can be, without her as an inner voice, a character to channel, I’d more likely be a dry well.  I have everything to thank her and the other characters for. They help my stories come to life. I do not write outlines; I sit at my computer, wait for them to make an appearance, and my fingers move to their rhythm. Period.

Also yesterday it occurred to me – aside from a few glorious hours spent with an old friend I rarely get to see – that Z is trying to fight her way into the forefront. She’s resurfacing too soon, as Devendra is at center stage in my mind just now. Z is another character from another world in a completely different story. She is not a vampire or a witch. She is psychic, in fact a psychic profiler for the San Francisco Police Department’s homicide division (specializing in serial killings)… but she is YET TO COME! Her story is only in the infant stages, a whisper in my mind’s eye, sitting in the to-write filing cabinet. And although extremely important and close to my heart, Z needs to wait her turn! What to do, though? She’s being very demanding. She threw out some great ideas yesterday as I was having my eyebrows threaded (nice timing!) and I did not write them down if nothing else but to tell her NOT NOW. And as I sit here thinking about it, refusing to give her that moment to write down her musings only hurt me. I wonder if she will repeat herself? Poo. I still have two vampire books to write before I can get to her story. Unless I take a break after Devendra and piss off my readers by making them wait an extra year before Book 3 comes out. Dare I chance it?

While patience is a virtue, I don’t believe my characters care, much less abide by the thought of patience or virtue. They want out, all at once, caring not for my time or my lifestyle or the money-making priorities. They say, “Eff all that. It’s time to write all the time.” Nice. Thanks, guys. Love you, too. ❤

5 Best Things About Writing Horror and Supernatural Fiction

Since I was seven years old, when my mom bought me a hello kitty diary for Christmas, I’ve been penning stories of the supernatural kind. I didn’t use it as a dear-diary-ramble-fest. Instead, I used it for bringing various fictional characters and ideas to life on the pages in short story form. Driven by my two favorite TV shows: The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Twilight Zone, as well as the dark tales of Edgar Allen Poe and Radio Mystery Theater, a little writer was growing within me. Two of those stories will become novels at some point, because looking back at them, I think they’re pretty darn good! Reading past the adolescent mind, the undertones are chilling and exciting! Almost “creepy-kid” level, but not quite. I like to think of it more as “astounding and intelligent imagination and creativity.”

I’m no expert, but I have been writing in this realm long enough that I feel my opinion on the “best of” might matter.  😉  So, without further adieu…. here’s my list!

5) People think that horror writers are strange, even downright weird. While I disagree (I think fantasy/sci-fi writers are way stranger), it’s a nice cover, especially if you find yourself in a funny situation. Merely act weird! Works every time and you’re forgiven because, well, they sort of expected it so life goes on without incident.  😉

4) This one might seem a little weird, though, contradicting what I just said in #5, but I’ll say it anyway. Ever get so mad at the human race that you just feel murderous? While it’s most likely just horrid PMS (and men get that too, so it works both ways), here’s your chance to get out some aggression in story form without ever actually harming anyone.  Have a ghost possess and destroy a person’s body, wreaking havoc on their innards like nothing else can.  OR, even better, put them in the path of a killer or let a zombie eat them for dinner. Voila! Problem solved and you’re not in jail.  Did I just say that?

3) If you love to be scared, watch horror movies like they’re going out of style, and totally get off on the thrill, but feel like recent horror has been lacking in the true terror department, here’s your chance to set it straight! Write your best frightening sequences, pull them together into story form, and scare the hell out of yourself (and others) while doing it! It most likely won’t disappoint you, since you wrote it, and it may even get considered by some of the best horror directors looking for fresh, new, raw material.  Maybe they’ll even stop remaking every great horror film in history and just leave them alone while creating new classics. Just a thought.  😉  Oh, and a bonus to this one would be having a super hot horror writer or director with a fabulous mind and mad voodoo skills, like let’s say Eli Roth or Steve Niles or Rob Zombie or Dario Argento (I don’t care how old he is, he’s hot by nature!) approach you, review you, tweet you, or praise you in any way, shape, or form.  That would be honor enough for a lifetime.  To me, anyway. ❤

Eli Roth on the set of Hostel.

2) There’s no limit and there’s no right or wrong in horror writing! You can get as brutal or keep it as clean as you like in your descriptions of scenes or kills. There’s probably a line somewhere in there, but who’s to decide where that line is?  If you’re writing dark fiction of any kind, the reader typically knows what they’re getting themselves into when they pick up your book, so you’re pretty safe either way. Although some of them still break the cardinal rule and say something like, “Oh, it wasn’t my type of story, but I read it anyway and now feel the need to give it an unfair bad review because I couldn’t take the violence.” Um, okay. Thanks for reading it anyway. It still struck a chord and that’s a writer’s goal anyway. :-p

And finally, my number 1 favorite reason for writing at all, especially in the realm of horror and supernatural…

1) You get to turn nightmares into reality. You get to pull them out of your head and throw them out there into the world, thus terrifying everyone else and sweeping your psyche clean. It’s self-hypnosis. Self-healing. Self-therapy! Set it free; it sits right at your fingertips and hovers in the depths of your mind. Pull it out, detox, and terrorize others instead. Pure. Simple. Fun.

Character Intimacy

My cover designer and friend, Myah Frazer, came up with a great blog topic for me to go over. A beautiful, multifaceted question regarding character development and intimacy.

“Character development and the intimacy that you, as a writer, do or do not allow yourself to create with your characters. How do behaviors, quirks, nuances, even notions become full fledged characters – what is the process and how much of *you* does it take over? – with their very own psyches and needs – are they demanding and do you find yourself interacting with them on a more substantial level than character/creator.. and how does that affect you?”

I am VERY intimate with my characters, and each and every one of them (the main ones especially) carry traits and quirks of my own. Anything from my past or present comes alive within them. I allow them free reign of my imagination and never worry about how much of me they are taking, because I am always the stronger one. I always walk away me. And that’s not to say I am perfect, but to say that I am strong and extremely malleable. I can share many parts of my own psyche with them, without losing any part of myself. I can jump in and out of writing. There is only one who remains with me always, and that’s Devendra.

Demanding? Devendra is the most demanding. She resides in me always. She’s my inner witch. I have had Devendra with me for as long as I can remember! It’d be hard to let anyone else play her on the big screen, should that opportunity ever arise, and I think it will be in the stipulations of contract that if I cannot play her role (haha!) then I MUST be in the casting room when her actress is chosen. It is so important to me. She is the only one that I consider parallel with me, or part of me on a daily basis, whether I am writing or not. When I finished Blood Life, she kept chattering away at me, wouldn’t leave me alone to sleep, until I agreed/decided to write her story leading up to Blood Life, a prequel that I am working on now and hope to have ready for release by late October. Halloween, maybe. Seems fitting of a vampire / witch novel.

The rest of my stars, although important, they take smaller parts of me and run with those pieces becoming their own individual characters. Lokee is tricky, as he is the bad side of me. He’s dark and dirty, but also wants nothing more than acceptance and love. Since he does not get it, he strikes out at everyone and exudes hatred instead. Alexandria/Alethea is my weaker side, my inner victim becoming strong with every growing day. Roman is my perfect lover projected… he is every man I’ve loved and want to love. He’s my “Weird Science” creation of a man instead of a woman. 😉

Lillith… she is very special. The mother of the Combined. The Goddess of the vampires and the witches of the Spectrum (the world I’ve created for them to exist among humans). Lillith is my dangerous but controlling side. She is the most powerful character among them all and next to Devendra. She is my own mother in many ways. The strong one holding us all up, the one that remains in control, and the ultimate nurturer and protector.

I allow them all that they need to help me write their stories. I channel each and every one of them into my words and my life as needed. And I hope they decide to stay with me through the bitter end. Maybe even forever after. ❤

And in case you missed it, I recorded a live excerpt reading of Chapter 12. I’ll be reading live, from a different chapter, on May 22nd, at this cute little local cafe that hosts local author readings monthly. Check out the little website… buy the book! Watch the video. What else? Oh, like the fan page or follow me on Twitter to keep updated! hehe

The Writer in Me

I am so much a writer, the blessing (and curse) runs through my veins like nothing else in this world. It’s magical, like a predestined craft, a trade, a calling, even, that no other hobby or profession can satisfy. And I must have time to write.  Correction, in this crazy world, I must make time to write or my life just feels . . . ordinary. Writing is my life. I wrote my first short story, about a crazy cat lady who died and all her cats ate her, at 10 years old. And look, I didn’t become a serial killer!? You’d think, “Whoa, troubled kid!” Nope. Not troubled (in that sense, anyway). But wildly imaginative, and a fan of Alfred Hitchcock, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Edgar Allen Poe shorts, et al. Enough said.

Many authors will tell you they come up with story ideas through occurrences in everyday life or through dreams / nightmares, and then outline them before sitting down to write them out. Not me. In fact, outlining really messes up my flow. I sit down and channel the story.  It just comes to me.  I’ll sit with no idea which story I’m going to write in (since I have five other books in progress at present). It depends on the mood I’m in.  I’ll sit down in my office and place my fingers on the home keys of my Asus keyboard, feeling the firmness of them, waiting for the first words to come to me. And that’s just what happens.

Sometimes I will start slowly and speed up as pictures and ideas invade my mind, or, if I’m lucky, my fingers start smoking across the keys as I pound out a scene or two, even a chapter, in record time.  When the temporary possession ends, I go back to read what I’ve written.  When it’s good, I can’t believe I wrote it. I get humble but excited. When it’s bad, it gets deleted and I walk away.  Simple as that.

I will say, though, that some ideas do come to me through everyday life occurrences rather than dreams.  Dreams do sometimes play a role in my imaginative tales, but being out in society, people-watching, gets me the bulk of my material. I see people, I study their actions and body language; if I make eye contact, I decide what they’re thinking (or their thoughts literally fly out at me – it’s frightening!) and it fuels a character or scenario. Little do they know they’re supplying my story tank in some little important way. I wonder if they’d be flattered or weirded out by it? I’d be flattered, but I’m a writer, so I understand. How about you? How would you feel if you found out the reason for a stranger’s stare was that they were momentarily struck by your presence and that you’re quite possibly supplying ammo for a fictional character’s actions?