Posted in Between the Pages, Meet an Author

Love Your Story

Today’s guest on the blog is MC D’Alton, author of Iron Heart, a steampunk novel written in collaboration with Melanie Page. MC is here today to tell us what it’s like to love what she writes. Welcome to Book Love, MC!

As a writer most of us are asked and answer the same questions all of the time. What inspires you? What do you do when you have writers block? And so on, and so on… But the question I’d like to answer today is, what is it like to write a story you believe in so much it haunts your every waking moment? For those of you who will read this blog and who are not writers, I sincerely hope I can convey the intense emotions and sacrifice that goes into any serious storytelling, whether it be a short story, or an epic novel which treks across space and time.

To me, the first hints of a story come in a prophetic dream. What I mean about this is not that I am some prophet who sees the future, (or I might have already won the lotto 😉 ) only that it is so vivid I am almost convinced it happened in real life. Most every story I have ever written has come to me in a dream. For instance, Epona, my contemporary romance novel with paranormal elements and a dollop of suspense, came to me in a dark dream. In an old library in Scotland stood a man with long dark hair… and then I stood in a field of Heather beside a blue roan mare. I was the heroine, but I was also an onlooker as the heroine told me her story… creepy? Nah, its bloody awesome!

It’s also a bloody wonder I’ve not given my husband a heart attack, because I usually wake up in the darkest hours of the night and run to the study to scribble the dream down on paper. (No, I no longer keep a pad beside my bed, not enough space beside my TBR pile.) For me this burst of inspiration compares to the moment I found out I was pregnant. For the next few months I walk around hiding the fact I have an entire universe coming to life in side my head.  Characters will tell me things at the most inopportune times; like the middle of a shower, or while I’m driving, or even in the midst of a conversation. Hours are spent at my desk with fingers that don’t type as fast as my brain would like them to. Life takes on a rhythm all its own as I drag my way through the motions of everyday, with one foot in this reality and the other in my story world. Once, when I had to pick the boys up from school I was so deep in thought I drove to the centre of town instead – now that’s a little bit freaky.

But this, my dear readers, is how we writers live, or at least this writer does. I toil for months over chapters, words, and phrases. I ask my characters a thousand and one questions, allow others to peek at my soul’s creation and cringe when criticized (when its delivered in a harsh way). I curl up in a ball when the hundredth ‘Thank you, but no thank you’ letter arrives in my inbox from a publisher, and question my belief in my writing, and storytelling. Rejection is a bitter and painful pill to swallow because you know what you have breathed life in to is more special, more beautiful, and wonderous than anything else you’ve created (besides one’s real life children of course).

I cried when my heroine cried. I grieved for her loss and fought beside her when she faced her darkest enemy. I sighed when my hero finally found his way into her heart and fell hopelessly in love with the broken beauty. Honey coated my lips for days after they shared their first kiss. I felt the chill of the highlands and smelled the damp earth beneath their feet. When I write a story for you, I remove the armor from my heart, so it may open, and I may gift to you, my dearest reader, a story which will remain with you always and forever.

This is what it is to love what you write.

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Posted in Between the Pages

The Writing Process Blog

The Writing Process Blog Tour

Here’s me, on tour again, and as my lovely friend,  Claire Boston tells us: “What Goes on Tour…”

Mmm…well on this tour, I’m happy for you all to tag along with me and bring a few friends too. This blog is played like a game of tag, so stay tuned because at the end, I’m going to introduce you to some of my writerly friends who also happen to be brilliant authors 🙂 Consider yourselves tagged!

We authors love sharing the love and you get to discover authors you may not know about. So don’t be shy, come along and chat to me in the comments. I’m going to tell you a little about what I’m working on right now. Here goes:

1. What am I working on?FB Banner

A romance filled with magic, set on a beach in Mykonos, a Greek god or two and finding the ‘perfect’ man.

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

Normally, I write romantic suspense, but now I’m taking some time out from the Tag Raiders series to lighten the mood a little. Finding Paradise is a mix of romance, magic, fantasy and comedy with a little suspense thrown in – that’s if you count the element of surprise as suspense!

3. Why do I write what I do?

There’s more to love than romance, roses and white picket fences. These are simply the sweeteners that make it all worthwhile. The real test of love is how far you will go together to achieve your goals. It’s about team effort, loyalty and dedication in fighting for what you believe in, and overcoming the obstacles you stumble across as partners. So I write feisty heroines who don’t make it easy for the hero, and heroes who aren’t afraid to meet the challenge.

4. How does my writing process work?

1 part wine, 3 parts chocolate and an active imagination 🙂 Seriously, I’m a pantster. I might have a basic plan and plot out scenes to keep me on track but mostly, I let the characters speak for themselves and edit them later. My stories are sparked by places, dreams or thoughts and usually it’s the title that comes to me first.

Enough about me! It’s time to meet those authors I told you about earlier. First up is the lovely lady who invited me along on this tour:

Belinda Williams:belinda

Belinda is a marketing communications specialist and copywriter who, after spending more than a decade writing about financial services, IT and hospitality, allowed an addiction to romantic suspense and chick-lit to get the better of her.

Belinda was named a finalist in The Romance Writers of Australia Emerald award in 2013 for her novel debut, Radiant, and again in 2014 for her upcoming contemporary romance, chick-lit novel.

When she’s not obsessing about writing, reading or social media, Belinda works as a freelance marketing consultant.

Her other obsessions include music and cars. Belinda is a music lover and her eclectic taste forms the foundation for many of her writing ideas. Her healthy appreciation for fast cars means she would not so secretly love a Lamborghini. For now she’ll have to settle with her son’s supercar Hot Wheels collection and the occasional drive in her much loved MX-5.

Belinda lives in Sydney, Australia.

I’m tagging:

Teena Raffa-Mulligan:Jimbocrop1-251x300

Teena is an Australian children’s author who has figured out some unusual ways to get rid of wrinkles, the fuel to launch a grandpa into space and a trick to help an elephant lad remember not to go with strangers who pretend to be friends. (She also sells Mad Dad’s and Dresses God!) Teena is also an accomplished speaker and talks to children of all ages in the school environment about writers and writing. Sessions are tailored to individual requirements and Teena’s approach is relaxed and informal, with a focus on inspiration and encouragement.

Jennie Jones:BB Print Cover_FULL 9781743567746

Born and raised in Wales, Jennie loved anything with a romantic element from the age of five. At eighteen, she went to drama school in London then spent a number of years performing in British theatres, becoming someone else for two hours, eight shows a week. Jennie wrote her first romance story at the age of twenty five whilst ‘resting’ (a theatrical term for out of work). She wrote a western and sent it off to Mills & Boon in the UK who politely and correctly declined. She put writing to one side after that and took a musical theatre job. Which brings Jennie to her favourite quotation: “Fate keeps on happening.” —Anita Loos. When Jennie’s life changed and a new country, marriage and motherhood beckoned, she left acting and the UK. She now lives in a log house in Western Australia, a five minute walk to the beach that she loves to look at but hardly ever visits due to there being too much sand. (Sand is like glitter; once it gets between your toes, you keep finding it in the house for months.) Jennie returned to writing three years ago. She says it keeps her artistic nature dancing and her imagination bubbling. Like acting, she can’t envisage a day when writing will ever get boring.

Lily Malone:HBOB

Lily Malone is a journalist and freelance writer who discovered, after years of writing facts for a living, that writing romance is much more fun. She wrote His Brand of Beautiful after the birth of her second son, taking inspiration from the once-in-a-century-floods that filled Lake Eyre in outback South Australia in the summer of 2010-11. Lily juggles writing with the needs of a young family, and when she isn’t writing, she likes gardening, walking, wine, and walking in gardens (sometimes with wine).

Nora James:Dark Oil

Nora James started her working life at age 14 in a bakery in Paris. She held a number of other jobs before studying law at the University of Western Australia and becoming an international resources lawyer and translator. She has travelled extensively, both as a child and adult, for family reasons, work and pleasure. She now writes novels and screenplays from her home in coastal Western Australia, where she lives with her husband and daughter and a menagerie of furry friends.

Nina Blake:Forget Me Not

Nina Blake didn’t learn English until she went to school but that didn’t stand in the way of her love of reading. Unlike other authors, when Nina was growing up her house was never full of books, and as a teenager her mother told her she read too much. As if such a thing were possible. After university, Nina worked in public relations managing publications. She still loves publications—both hard and soft copy—and was delighted to have her first novel published through Escape. She lives in Perth, Australia, with her husband and son.