Thursday, April 28, 2011
Don’t we always write what we know?
I write vampires. I like writing vampires. Some people say write what you know. Well, not knowing any vampires (of the undead variety, that is) The Champion Chronicles needed a baseline in reality. I chose redemption. Not only did it sound intriguing, the hero’s journey to redemption is also a classic “Can he pull it off or revert to his old, evil self?”
My vamp had to pull it off. Sounds risky, huh? You bet, and even more so for an inexperienced novelist. Although I’d written educational pieces, to pen a tale with a cast of characters was way out of my comfort zone. The redemption concept began with a specific scene in mind: a commanding, mysterious creature of the night steps through a portal to end his existence, but instead, he is thrust back into the world with the ability to know right from wrong. Jeez. Wish some humans could do that. Of course, he had to have motive, a good one readers could relate to. I let him father a (mostly) human son, but fall in love with another woman. That said, after 110,000 words, Retribution! was born. Two years and a few rejections later, The Wild Rose Press offered me a contract for Book One as well as Consequences, Book Two. Another year passed before the end of the trilogy, His Soul to Keep, was contracted.
To be honest, I didn’t know a damn thing about writing a full-length book when I began the first story. I’d never heard of critique groups, professional organizations like LSFW or NJRW, a query letter or all the detailed ‘stuff’ that follows. I read a variety of genres. Why this particular one jumped out and threw my imagination into overdrive is a very personal reason I can’t share, but it worked. Hooked on learning more about the craft of writing, I networked with other authors and hung on their words of wisdom. By the time Book Two was in edits, I knew much more about my author voice. RT Reviews gave Consequences 4 STARS; called it “a compelling read, a very enjoyable story,” which proved I had grown. Every workshop, conference, and writers meeting still teaches me something new.
His Soul to Keep comes out in July, and chatter about The Champion Chronicles’ final installment is positive. In more ways than one, I’ve gained the confidence to move towards a different genre – YA. The WIP is a thrilling tale of adventure with a dragon and an obsidian dagger. Might even throw in an evil sorcerer…
Back to the saying “Write what you know.” Think every emotion under the sun. Take apart the spectrum of feelings to experience. Pick a genre. Pick a theme. Then go for it! What you breathe into your characters is writing what you know. The way the story’s told is your author voice.
One last thing. As M. Flagg leaves the sensual vampire behind, author Shela Sky now takes up the cause of bringing new romantic tales to readers. We’re both proud to be with the Black Rose Line at TWRP. Please visit http://paranormalpassion.blogspot.com and take a peek at the gorgeous hunk on the cover of The Vampire’s Touch. Shela’s novella debuts at the end of 2011 in e-book format. So get your Kindles, Sony e-readers, and iPads ready.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Chris.
Happy writing to you and all writers everywhere ~ Mickey
Named a Distinguished Music Educator by Yale University, Mickey Flagg is and always has been a strong advocate for the arts in education. She didn’t set out to write about a heroic creature of the night, but the process became a thrilling journey, full of insights to nourish her creativity and vivid imagination. Blessings in her life are many, and she’s eternally grateful for her supportive children, a loving family, and a close circle of friends. Her novels can be purchased at on-line book stores including Amazon and www.thewildrosepress.com
The Champion Chronicles: Book Two by M. Flagg
Every action has a consequence. And some are harder to face than others. A mystically enhanced vampire survives the wrath of three evil sorcerers. Rescued by Alana Ciminio, a Guardian of Souls, and members of the Georgian Circle, Michael Malone is taken to Portofino for an unprecedented healing. When brought to consciousness, nothing in Michael’s undead life is familiar. Unwilling to face what he’s done, he doggedly rails against every essential truth until he is forced to accept his actions. His dream of survival had revealed every deep desire. As the most difficult part of this journey begins, he realizes his destiny is with Alana and his troubled mortal son. Salvation lies in their unconditional love. And Michael’s road to redemption will lead to a destination never thought possible—by him or anyone else.