Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2fer Tuesday: Val Conrad

Blogging.  I learned a great deal about the history of blogs (short for Web Logs) and other Internet marvels in a Jeffrey Deaver audio book while driving south across Texas to a Christmas Festival where my publisher is featuring some of its authors.  In case you’ve never driven across Texas, imagine going from New York City to Atlanta, Chicago to Oklahoma City, or Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco – minus most of the traffic. Megan now resides in one of my favorite places in the country in the Pacific Northwest (because I now live in West Texas, where there are about as many trees and hills as your dining table), and I’m not-so-secretly jealous of her for that.  I miss green.  I even miss the rain.  And I miss there being something visible above the flat horizon – but hey, in my part of Texas, we do have some fantastic skyscapes and sunsets.
Geography aside, back to Mr. Deaver.  With the first book of his I read, I was hooked on how subtle he was in leading the reader to think something happened that did not.  Kinda like how you watched the whole movie The Sixth Sense, believing that Bruce Willis’s character was alive and trying hard to be helpful.  Praying for Sleep (1994) was what I considered to be the ultimate in suspense.
So I opened a file and started typing one day in 1995, hoping to find that breathtaking feeling in my own novel.  I had no idea writing it would take me ten years, and getting it published with an independent press another five, but it is now a book.  (And here’s there shameless self-promotion that it’s available through Amazon.com, and its sequel should be listed there mere days from now.)  My first scene isn’t even in the book now when 180,000 words got whittled back to about 110,000. And I realized, explaining the story to another legendary author – Jodi Thomas – that I’ve known my protagonist longer than I’ve known my husband.
I don’t know if Megan’s had characters rattling around in her head that long, or if she’s ever had one tap her on the shoulder and say, “Nope, I won’t do THAT.”  Apparently this seems absurd to my friends who don’t write, but those who do write understand.  I’m not really suffering from schizophrenia. The world in my novels is fictional and it’s all in my head, but it’s real to me. Most of the time, I even know the difference.  Now if I could just find a way to imagine I was back living in the Northwest... 


Val Conrad, RN, BS, BSN
Author:  Blood of Like Souls
...and coming soon - Tears of Like Souls

I met Val a couple years ago through a mutual friend.  She's right about the Pacific Northwest you know, I wouldn't live any where else (well, I might like to take a few weeks in AZ in the winter).

And yes, my characters are constantly rattling around in my head telling me what comes next, almost to the point of annoyance because many times I am so far away from my computer (work, driving, hell, okay, maybe not that last one) I can't get it down.

Thanks Val for being part of my Tfer Tuesday.  Check out her book, Blood Like Souls, paperback or Kindle, it sounds great (haven't read it, going to order it today) it's got some fantabulous reviews. 

Oh, look, and here's the sequel. 

Thanks for reading.

Catch you on the flip side.

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