Who’s afraid of the big bad agency?
May 23rd, 2011
It’s getting to be about that time . . . time to call the FBI and ask if they’re willing to speak to me about research for my book. I read about ten books on the subject, but when creating a character and having her move through the plot, scenarios will present themselves that aren’t in any nonfiction book about the Bureau.
I’ve waited because I knew questions that only a special agent could answer would continue to arise as I wrote my way through the first draft. I wanted to work up the most comprehensive list as possible before contacting the local office.
Plus, the nerves I get from cold-calling people always result from my lack of published credentials in fiction, and my questions themselves – that I’ll forget to ask something important or that my questions will come across as dumb or strange. Usually I strike a confident and respectful tone in my voice and dive in, because that’s how I’ll get the information. But I’ve never called the FBI. Whoa. Imagine how this sounds to them . . . “I’m not published in fiction but I’m writing my sixth novel . . .” Oh yeah, they’ve never heard that one before.
I’ll just have to be one of the “stable” crazy wannabes I guess, until I have those credentials. This my family already knows . . .
May 20th, 2011
The semi-annual Nordstrom sale starts next week, which for many women equates to one word – shoes. (Two ladies actually got in a cat fight over a pair in Fairfax County, Virginia.) As a female I was late to the feminine footwear swoon. It wasn’t until I was living in Okinawa, Japan and I saw the shoe selection there that I started to appreciate the variety of styles we had back in America. When I was writing Inflatable Men I garnered a lot of inspiration from walking through the shoe department at Nordstrom and ‘people watching’ there. This made sense since my protagonist was a fashion designer. But even years later, whatever I’m writing, I still draw energy from the Nordstrom shoe department, and I confess I’ve found some great deals myself – literal and literary.
So . . . now what?
May 18th, 2011
I’ve come up for air from my first draft of Blind Conviction, catching up on some author housekeeping, such as blogging . . . But if you’re not into imagination and creative thinking you’ll want to skip this entry, because it’s about to get a little strange.
Okay, I’ll admit it . . . I don’t know what happens in the next two chapters of the book. Yes, I get the pacing, the character development, but the actual specifics – no. Usually when I hit a speed bump like this it’s because there are hidden nuggets I’ve not paid enough attention to in the characterization or various conflicts. As a professional I’ve had to learn this isn’t a negative trait, only that other ideas had to be shaped into the story first, and now it’s time to get more clay. But it can get frustrating when all I want to do is sculpt, sculpt sculpt, and no figure will emerge. It’s very important not to have a lot of chocolate in the house when this happens . . . I must be strong, otherwise it will be my form that shifts.
But seriously, doesn’t everyone wish for a little more attention from certain people in our lives from time to time? Don’t we all feel like total wallpaper at one point or another, even to significant family members? Okay . . . so here I am, perched on the edge of my seat as my characters’ forever therapist, BFF, and cheerleader, wanting to discuss “them” and their lives which are supposed to be a lot more exciting than our own, and they’re like – “Whatever, lady.”
Maybe the fact I write murder mysteries makes them reluctant to share . . .
It took me three weeks to get an important secret out of one character and she finally coughed that up yesterday. Now that I know, if you ask me, she’s the one who needs the chocolate.
Until next time, I hope whatever your occupation, your frustrations and speed bumps are few . . .