Stories, news, writing tips & other fun stuff
A week ago, I was interviewed by the local newspaper. One of my co-workers set it up for me. (Thanks Michelle!) She sent an email to the reporter, and within a couple hours, that reporter was messaging me.
I had no idea what to expect. Sure, it's a small town, but it's definitely a BIG deal! To me, at least. What would I say? What would she ask? There were a thousand worries running through my mind, but my family and friends have been so supportive, they helped me relax. Instead of the intense anxiety I would normally experience, I was actually looking forward to the interview.
The interview took only about 30 minutes, and was very pleasant. She asked great questions, and some funny ones. My favorite was when she asked if I was a vampire! Just because I write about them, doesn't mean I am one. I got a good laugh out of that, and the rest of the interview was very relaxed.
My first experience with the media has, so far, been great. She has continued to communicate with me, and the first online version was released today. I look forward to seeing the print copy. As much as I love the things technology has given us, I still love holding paper in my hands. That goes for books too. I love my Kindle, but sometimes it's nice to just grab a book off a bookshelf, crack the spine (gently!), and read.
So, if you ever find yourself being approached by a reporter, just RELAX! And be thankful for the gift they are giving you, of getting your name out there! I, for one, am very thankful to my great little town!
Follow link to read the article.
People always ask how I get my ideas. That’s a hard question to answer, because I get them from so many places. Sometimes I wake up with an idea in my head, or a fragment of a dream that turns into a story. Other times it’s a twist on something happening in the world. For the Isabella Howerton series, the idea came about several years ago when there was a string of strange flu viruses. There was the bird flu, then the swine flu, and a stream of media frenzy surrounding them. Vaccines were created with lightning speed, and I wondered how these brilliant scientists could come up with vaccines so quickly.
I don’t have anything against vaccines in general. I’ve been vaccinated, my kids were vaccinated, but when the swine flu vaccine came out, I had reservations. How reliable could something be that was created that quickly? How safe was it? This wasn’t the MMR vaccine that’s been around for years. This was something new.
I had all these questions, as many people did, but my creative side took it to a different place… a fictitious place. Forget about pigs, birds and the mundane. If vampires existed, what could they do with this? I immediately jotted the idea down and wrote about five pages. Inevitably, life happened and I got busy. I set it aside… for five years!
When I decided to dedicate time to this passion of writing, I pulled out all these old story ideas. Several appealed to me, and these will likely turn into full-fledged stories later on, but this one was at the forefront. I wanted something fun and exciting.
I dusted the story off and continued from where I left off, letting the story just flow from scene to scene. After about 30 pages, I went back to my outline and revised it into three major parts for books. Then, I went back and wrote some more. Over time, the story has evolved and changed, and I’ve updated my outline repeatedly. When I get stuck on an idea, or I worry about what to do with a character or scene, I sleep on it. When I wake up, usually the answer is there.
The main thing is just to write. I waited far too long to follow my dream. So, if you aspire to be a writer, do it! Whatever it is, wherever the idea came from, write it down! The world is full of ideas and fascinating people. Observe. Dream. Write. Then do it all over again!
People who have seen my piles of sticky notes may know I have a slight obsession. I wasn't always like this, and I am truly trying to contain the cute little post it notes. I used to use them casually, like most people do. Then came The Accident...
That day began with a simple trip to a friend's house to ride horses. Add in a cougar spooking the horses, and you can imagine how it all went down. Running horses, slipping saddle, and two very injured riders.
My memory of the events is hazy. I remember the horse running at full speed, the saddle sliding sideways... then nothing. I woke some time later lying on the ground, bleeding from a head wound. I was sore and ached all over, but it didn't truly hurt. Adrenaline is an amazing thing.
After stumbling toward my friend, and hearing that help was on its way, I promptly stopped walking and slumped to the ground to wait for the ambulance. Again, things get patchy in my memory here. I remember the medic saying he'd have to cut my shirt off, and me agreeing. The shirt was already ruined anyway. Then, in a moment of panic, I remembered! "Wait, don't cut my bra! It's new!" Yes, I said those words to the medic. I can't remember much of his reaction, except a chuckle and his assurance he wouldn't cut it.
At the hospital I got stitched up, stayed a night, then went home to recover. The injury to my head was the worst part, and the blood had matted my hair so badly my husband had to cut chunks of my hair out. That was a sad day.
I went back to work about a week later, and quickly realized I had more injuries than just the physical ones. Physically I had constant headaches, lungs so bruised it hurt to sneeze, laugh or cough, and the cuts and scrapes of course. The real damage was to my memory- particularly my short-term memory. I would work for the first part of the day on auto-pilot, then go to lunch and come back staring at my desk, wondering what it was I was supposed to be doing.
That's when I brought out the sticky notes. Each day before lunch, I jotted down the things I needed to do after lunch. After about a year the headaches finally went away and my memory returned to almost normal. But those sticky notes remained. They had become a lifeline, and a reminder. Those notes had gotten me through some of my roughest days. So, now I keep a stash of sticky notes for when a book idea hits me, or any other random thought. I'm slowly transferring to a journal, because let's face it, sticky notes can get lost easily. But those assorted little notes in their vibrant colors and shapes will always be with me.