December 27, 2014

Starting A New Book

fire2I've recently started work on The Fire Dancer, which will be book five in The Night Songs Collection. Book Five! Can you believe it?

I'd meant to start this book months ago, but it didn't work out that way. I was a mentor in the Pitch Wars contest, which took a lot of time. I got to work with some great manuscripts, and I learned a ton along the way. Then the movies came along, and while I still managed to get a lot done this fall, movies have a way of taking over my life. Something about setting my alarm for three thirty in the morning four or five days in a row will do that.  Then I wound up writing some other stuff. Lion and the Doe spoke pretty loudly to me, and Chloe in Doe and the Hunter was right on its heels. As I started to get things ready for the next book in the Spotlight Series, Too Many Reasons to be released, I realized if I was ever going to tell Bree's story from Secondhand Heart, the time was now. The Trouble with Bree needed my attention.

I hadn't written a vampire book in almost a year. I hadn't written a full length book since the summer. I needed switch gears and change directions.

It's been much harder than I expected. My vampire books are much darker and grittier than my contemporaries. Secondhand Heart and The Trouble with Bree are both set in my hometown, and there's a comfort to writing something so familiar. For the Colorado Shifters, I had to do a ton of research. I didn't know anything about lions or deer, and my research was pretty fascinating.  I climbed a mountain as research, and got into cooking vegan meals.  I needed to understand my characters.

The Fire Dancer brings back many characters you're already familiar with. It's told from Holly Octane's point of view.  She is a fire dancer,and I had to really find a way to get into her head.

I needed to figure out what made her tick.

I reread The Night Songs Collection. Holly's story overlaps what happens with Callie, and I needed have my shit straight. Also, I needed to look for clues to what her story was. I've been watching American Horror Story Freak Show.  Le Cirque Macabre is vastly different from Fraulein Elsa's House of Curiosities, but it's been great for inspiration. A couple weeks ago, I went to see H.I.M. and discovered a band called Motionless in White, who were like my vision of Immortal Dilemma come to life. Yes, I realize how behind I am in life. I've had their newest CD, Reincarnate, pretty much on repeat.

motionless in white

Still, I was struggling. Every I write is so different, but somethings stay the same. The beginning is always the hardest. I don't know the characters yet, and we're not exactly on the same page.  I wasn't used to having to fight for words anymore.  Now I'm about ten thousand words into Holly's story.  We're getting more comfortable with each other, so I can anticipate what she's going to do. The story is starting to tell itself. All I have to do is record it.  I pants stories a lot, just sit down and write whatever happens, but with this one, I needed a plan. I don't have an outline, per se, but a list of things that should happen.

Now that I'm getting to know Holly better, I'm excited for the rest of you to get to know her, too.

How do you get in the mood for a new project?

kristenstrassel

George M. - December 28, 2014

Sometimes when I start a new project, it’s on a whim. I usually don’t have a plan. I’ll write whatever comes to me. A week ago, I decided to write a story about a typical morning from a cat’s point of view. I didn’t plot anything out or have the notion of writing this story; I just wrote it.

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