Tuesday, March 4, 2014

More Answers

I remembered I still hadn't answered all the questions from several months ago:)

Advice on how to start a story? Advice on how to end a story?

"Begin at the beginning...end at the end'.  I think that's from Alice in Wonderland.  Anyway, if you have a lot of words cluttering up your brain, just start writing.  Chances are the correct ones will come out.  When I wrote All She Ever Wanted (Kenzie Michaels), the first thing I heard in my brain was Amber saying, 'Don't get your knickers in a twist, Marc.  I'm only filling in for one night."  And the argument went from there.  I got to the computer as fast as I could, and started with that conversation until I had time to write the back story.  And even when it was finished, my editor suggested a prologue.

As for and ending to that book, my editor didn't like mine and suggested I come up with something else.  I wracked my brain for an hour, coming up with zilch.  So I wrote him a snarky 'and they lived happily ever after', hit 'send', then got up from my desk.  Three steps and I 'heard' Amber say, 'Does this mean we finally get that happily ever after?', spun around and typed up a 'never mind; I've got it.' and sent it off.

The main point?  Listen to your characters.  90% of the time they will tell you where to start and how to end it.

Where is the craziest place you have ever set a sex scene?

I love the hot tub scene in Kenzie's Teacher's Pet:)  And Marc and Amber were caught in the men's locker room at the country club.

If you could choose… which celebrities would you choose to act out a sex scene from one of your books? Which book is it from?

Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling in any of the Teacher's Pet ones, esp that hot tub scene!

What are you afraid of (regarding writing)?

I still second-guess myself anytime I'm giving an opinion on a hot button topic, or one I think will be controversial. I'm non-confrontational, and a little passive-aggressive, so when I dive in KNOWING it's going to be potentially explosive, I either don't promote it or stay away from the article until much later in the day.  That is why last month's RB4U post only had four or six comments.  I was happy I didn't piss anyone off!

In my own books, I was a little worried about book #6 and its subject matter, esp when posted on FB about my views on gay marriage, just to balance the look of my news feed.  And got slammed by it.  I tried to smooth things over by saying I'd written an F/F 'bi-curious' book, but it backfired on me.  So I don't promote it a great deal.  I wrote it; friend BG, whom it is based on, is happy with it; end of subject.

What books have most influenced your life?
It's no secret that Little Women is my all-time favorite book.  I wanted to be a mixture of all the girls, with Amy's name, Beth's musical ability; Jo's writing ability; and Meg's looks.

I fell in love with the way Lavyrle Spencer, Norma Klein, and Judy Blume wove social issues into their stories, and I strove to do the same, even though I began writing my Arbor U books three years before ever picking up a LS book.  I patterned AU after the teen romances I'd loved in junior high, only set them in college with the 'gimmick' of the social/relationship aspect.

My college years were a huge influence in my writing.

I also try to live my life by biblical principles, though I never try to shove my beliefs down anyone's throat.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I credit at least three:  Judy Blume, Danielle Steel, and Anny Cook.  As previously mentioned, I loved the Judy Blume books, and even patterned book #3 after First Love.  I learned my head-hopping habit from Danielle, but Anny is the one who really encouraged me when I first began putting my work online.  I also can't leave out Bronwyn Green, Brynn Paulin, and Kelly Kirch, who also encouraged me back in 2007, and are to blame for my Kenzie persona (lol!).

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