Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! Today I'm talking with fellow Samhain author Tricia Jones. Sit back and enjoy!
Tricia, thanks for being here today. When did you first begin writing? Was there an event or moment in your life that triggered your desire to write?
Although I’ve always made up stories in my head, for years the day job in adult education took up most of my energy. Then in 2000 I had one of those milestone birthdays and asked myself “if not now, when?” That’s when I started to write seriously for publication. I finaled in a couple of contests and that spurred me on to start submitting.
That's terrific - tell us about your latest writing project or published title.
Satin Lies, my latest contemporary romance, was released by Samhain Publishing on 3 June. The setting for Satin Lies is romantic Tuscany, one of my favorite places. It's a story about a woman who tries to protect the man she loves and ends up alienating him. Pregnant, she enters into a marriage of convenience with his brother. But when, years later, an accident claims her husband and leaves her with temporary amnesia, she is forced to confront the past and suffer the consequences of her deception as her former lover takes his revenge.
My first Samhain title, His Convenient Affair, was released in print just yesterday, so it’s been a pretty exciting month.
Wonderful news ~ congratulations! So how do you go about developing your characters?
First I get the germ of an idea for a story and the characters come from that. The characters develop as I write the first draft, by the end of which I know them pretty well. The second draft is when I really flesh them out. At a seminar, years ago, the speaker said that the creation of the characters should always come first and the plot should centre around them. That never seemed to work for me. I just couldn’t figure out how to “get” the characters first and then develop a plot for them. It just didn’t flow right. It took me a long while to trust my own process, thinking I was doing something fundamentally wrong. Now I go with what works for me.
What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?
Believe in yourself – first, last and always. Listen to the more experienced writers and take advice, but learn to trust your own instincts and do what works for you.
Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?
Not sure I’d call it writer’s block but I do stall from time to time. Those days when things just won’t happen no matter how hard you try. What works for me is taking time to do other things—physical stuff like gardening or even, heaven forbid, that pile of ironing that’s been waiting forever. It’s amazing how many times I’ve gotten unstuck while negotiating a particularly difficult drain that needs unblocking, or a stubborn weed that refuses to be pulled.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book(s)?
That sometimes you just have to trust the process. While I always have the theme, the black moment and the ending in mind when I start a book, I’m basically a seat of the pants writer and don’t always know where I’m going when I sit down to write. That can be scary, especially when the ideas don’t flow, but if you just keep writing magical things often happen. A book my editor is considering right now started out from a very specific idea, but somehow in the middle it morphed into something completely different and, I hope, better. I don’t begin to know how this works, but someone once said that life’s “magical” processes should never be questioned, just accepted. As long as the words keep flowing, I’m more than happy to go along with that...
Anything else you’d like to mention?
Just to say thank you for having me here today, Allie.
You're welcome! Readers, help Tricia celebrate her awesome release month by visiting her website and her blog, and make to check out her books, too!