Monday, August 18, 2014

Does Your Spouse Read Your Writing?

I'd like to welcome author, Vicki Crum to my blog today. She has been coerced agreed to share a little about her writing journey, her new release, some writerly camaraderie, inspiration, and (with much arm-twisting) some husbandly humor.

Suzanne -- Tell us, Vicki, what INSPIRES your writing creativity?

Vicki -- the oddest things will inspire a storyline from seemingly out of nowhere. 
Loving Luc is my first published novel, and the idea for it came as I was taking out the trash one day and saw a string of crows eyeing me from atop the electrical wires. 

There was an odd stillness in the air, an eerie feeling of déjà vu that I couldn’t quite explain. I saw my heroine clearly in my mind, along with the first few lines of the story, and I knew I had to write it. 

Suzanne -- how interesting. It's so true that you can find inspiration in the simplest of tasks. I don't think I'll take back the trash chore from my teenage son, just yet. :) 

You've been writing for a while, Vicki. Where did your first inspiration come from and how do you keep it going over the years?

Vicki --  my writing journey actually began in my late teens when a friend loaned me her copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and the Flower. 

I became a voracious reader of romance novels from that day forward. It was several years later, when I was married with young children, that I found myself mentally rewriting various scenes I had just finished reading. This usually happened when I was out jogging, and my thought process went something like this: I wish (insert hero) would have said this, and (insert heroine) would have done that… Oh yeah, I would have liked that much better! 

Eventually I decided that instead of mentally rewriting other people’s scenes to suit myself, maybe I should try writing some of my own. I quickly learned it is much, much harder to create interesting characters and put together a cohesive plot that will keep the reader tuning pages late into the night than it is to write a few random scenes here and there! 

As for where I find the inspiration to keep writing year after year, I attribute that to my wonderful critique group and their constant encouragement, as well as that of my family, whose advice has always been ‘do what you love’. 

Suzanne -- you know I love famous author quotes, are there any that inspire you?

Vicki -- I have lots of favorite writing quotes. Here are two. 

        “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” 
                                                                Richard Bach 

        “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; 
                                it’s who’s going to stop me.” Ayn Rand 

And I read a terrific quote a few years back that has stayed with me, though sadly I can’t remember to whom it is attributable. It goes something like this, 

“I can’t imagine how many truly great writers the world will never know because they simply gave up and went away.” 

This has been a great reminder to me to never, never give up!

Suzanne -- thanks so much for those wonderful quotes. Let's move on to where you find your writerly camaraderie?

Vicki -- Belonging to an excellent organization like Romance Writers of America has also helped tremendously. It is an organization filled with professional writers, some published, some not, who are always eager to help and support fellow writers. I've been a member of the Orange County Chapter (OCC) of RWA since 1997 and have served on the board of OCC as Programs Director, co-chaired the Ways and Mean Committee, and worked as a co-oordinator for the special OCC author receptions.

Suzanne -- that sounds like a wonderful way to support and share the writing journey. Now, tell us your hilarious humor story.

My husband has always been supportive of my writing, but he has never read any of my manuscripts. He’s not a big reader, unless it’s sports-related. My husband’s best friend, Dave, who is a voracious reader across all genres, wanted to be the first to buy and read Loving Luc. My husband and Dave went to our river house to take care of some repairs, and one afternoon, sitting out on the dock, Dave was relaxing by reading Loving Luc on his Kindle. He decided to read a passage from a particularly intimate scene to my husband. Now, I feel that my sex scenes are fairly mild, certainly not what I would call overly-explicit. But apparently upon hearing what I had written, my husband’s face turned beet red and after a paragraph or two, he said, “Whoa—my wife wrote that?” His discomfort brought a quick end to the oral recitation. I guess that’ll teach him to pay more attention to what I’m writing!

Suzanne -- thanks so much for sharing that bit of husbandly humor. And now here's how we can all read Loving Luc by Vicki Crum --A contemporary romance with futuristic elements

Available on Smashwords, Create Space, and 

Maggie McAllister’s short, troubled marriage ended in tragedy the night her husband splintered his sailboat on a submerged reef. Remnants of David’s bloody clothing were found in the wreck, but his body was never recovered. Now, six months later, Maggie has come to terms with her shock and grief, but guilt over the contentious state her marriage was in at the end still haunts her. 
When a beguiling stranger from David’s past shows up on her doorstep and then manages to insinuate himself into her life, Maggie is forced to deal with an intense, unwanted attraction to the man, and worse, she can’t shake the feeling that Luc is hiding something, that he knows a lot more about David’s fate than he’s willing to admit. Despite Maggie’s best effort to remain indifferent to Luc, she finds herself falling in love with him. Little does she know that the very act of loving Luc sets Maggie up as a pawn in a battle between good and evil---a battle being waged by entities from another world---with Maggie as the ultimate prize.

Thanks again, Vicki for being so willing to share with us your writing journey. Good luck with your release.

As always, feel free to comment. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Visit Anne Lange's Blog for My Favorite, Easy, Yummy Recipe

Come visit Anne Lange's Blog where I share a little about my writing, my newest release, and my favorite Football Party recipe--an easy, delicious Buffalo Chicken Dip.

A couple photos from my summer travels.

Along the Douro River in Portugal

Hope you'll hop on over to Anne's and feel free to comment.