Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Dawn McClure

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! Today's featured guest is fellow Samhain author Dawn McClure. Enjoy!

Dawn, thanks so much for stopping by today. Can you tell us about your latest writing project or published title?

Asmodeus, now available from Samhain Publishing, is about Brianna, an aspiring witch who accidentally summons a demon from the Abyss. Immediately Brianna realizes she must send him back, yet she’s not quite certain it’s possible with her limited powers. When four death angels arrive unexpectedly and give her a mission to kill Asmodeus – or face the Abyss – it’s no longer a matter of if she can send him back, it’s a matter of how. Deciding the best course of action is gaining Asmodeus’s trust, she does exactly that. Only she begins to see the man he is, not the demon she thought him to be.

I had so much fun writing this novel. Brianna is hilarious as she tries to outwit a demon whose powers are so much greater than her own.

Sounds like a great read! How do you go about developing your characters?

The first thing I do is write the first draft, so I can get a solid feel for them. I concentrate on the character’s personalities as I’m writing, and I keep an index card for each character that lists their features and quirks. Very often, by the end of the first draft, I find that the characters have grown and changed. When I go back for my first revision I take a look at the index cards and ensure I stay true to their individual personalities. I keep the characters goals in mind, and the motivation that propels them to do what they do.

What do you find most difficult about writing? What do you find most exciting or rewarding?

The most difficult aspect of writing for me is finishing the last chapter. Obviously, if you write romance, you need that happily-ever-after. Some of my first drafts are so corny I cringe when I re-read them. Thank goodness for revisions. It’s hard getting that perfect balance of HEA without getting too mushy. My characters tend to be assassins, vampires and demons. Mushy and demons don’t go together so easily. I find that the most exciting aspect of writing is when a story starts coming together, and the muse kicks into high gear. All of a sudden doubts fly out the window and you type as fast as you can. There’s something magical about it – and I wish it happened more often.

It is a fun experience, isn't it? But do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

Actually, this just happened to me. I was fresh off of my first contract with Samhain, and I sat down to write…and nothing came to me. It took me a few weeks to figure out the problem. I was looking at the big picture – writing the entire novel, the revising, the editing. I criticized every word I wrote. I had to push those thoughts aside and focus on a paragraph or a chapter. The writing started flowing after that. If I sit there and think about the entire process of creating a story I get blocked. Writing a novel can be daunting, but writing a page or two? I can do that.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
This question is easy. I like to read. My favorite genre is paranormal, but I truly like all genres of romance. Right now I’m reading Hot Wheels and High Heels by Jane Graves. Excellent book.

What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

Don’t quit. Think of rejection letters as a step in the right direction. I know that sounds odd, but we all have to start somewhere. Even the best writers had to deal with rejection. Stay motivated and keep writing. All of my rejection letters are framed and proudly displayed in my office. Many of my family members ask me why I do this. I respond by telling them the rejections remind me of how hard I worked to get that first contract. I never got so discouraged that I quit writing. I consider rejection letters as the stepping blocks that will get you to where you want to go.

I think that's terrific advice! Dawn, I'm so glad you were able to share your experiences with my blog readers today. You can find out more about Dawn and her upcoming work by checking out her website.

Have a great day!


Liz said...

That isa terrific cover

Dawn McClure said...

Thanks Liz! :)

And thanks for having me, Allie!

Diane Craver said...

I want to read your book! Sounds awesome!

I liked reading the great attitude you have about rejection letters. I've received lots of them.

Thanks, Dawn and Allie, for an enjoyable interview!