I honestly had not expected to do a part three of behind the scenes of Ice Gladiators, but I received so many more questions, I felt that I had to answer. I am thrilled to have so many people interested, and everyone knows I aim to please. However, these questions were more general in nature than previous questions, and many of the answers are shorter. Therefore, this is more like a Blitz question and answer, which I found quite fun answering. That being said, let me hop to it and get this party started.
- What character was hardest to write and which was the easiest? I find that my lead characters are always the easiest to write. The more complex a character and the more time I spend writing them, the more they develop. The more a character is developed, the easier it is for me to write. I tend to write from a deep-person point of view. Some authors would say this is a very complex and complicated way to write. However, I find it the easiest. When I sit at my computer and begin pounding out the words, the scene may be difficult to make work the way I want it, and that becomes a struggle. But the characters I have down at that point. I’m in their heads. I know what they are going to do and say. What I don’t know is how the plot is going to pan out at that point. Yes, a plotter would, but everyone knows I’m a proud self-proclaimed panster, and that isn’t changing anytime soon. In Ice Gladiators, Taz was the easiest. The hardest was Pernell. The reason he was difficult was that he had a minor but important role. I did not want him to come across as one-dimensional, which is hard for any character that is only being shown for a limited time in a narrow role. In Ice Gladiators, there was no space for Pernell’s backstory or a glimpse into his home life. I dislike when a reader is left wondering why a character behaves a certain way. However, in life, some things are left unexplained or ambiguous. For others, there simply isn’t an answer. It is what it is.
- Which character is my favorite? If I consider this question to include all of my works, it is very difficult to answer. I enjoy developing characters. In fact, all of my stories are character-driven. I guess it I had an area of “specialty”, it is diving into the psyches of the characters I write. I enjoy complex characters that are diverse and have unique personalities. Not all are pleasant, but each is well-rounded. Sometimes, their complete backstories aren’t written in the text, but they each have one in my head as I develop and write them. With all of that being said, I believe in Ice Gladiators, my favorite character is Liam Jolivet. He’s such a good-hearted character with a streak of bad boy. His bad-boy persona does not fully emerge, but one gets a glimpse of it and can see he can truly mischievous. If considering all of my sports romances, the answer is far more complicated. I love characters, such as Nicco Bale and Semien Metoyèr, who steal the scene any time they are around. But I also love the characters who are a bit angsty and on the edge, such as Aidan Lefèvre and Brighton Rabalais. Then again, I’m a sucker for the sweethearts, such as Christophe Fortenot. However, by far the favorite character I’ve ever created cannot be named, yet, because he hasn’t been introduced anywhere, yet. However, he’s coming soon, so, just hang on for him a little while longer. I’ll give a hint, though. He’s in the project I not-so-lovingly referred to as “beast”. And no, the name has nothing to do with the subject matter and everything to do with editing.
- If I could be any one of my characters, who would I choose? Again, if this is a consideration for all of my stories, this would be difficult. Maybe impossible, decision. I think it would be easier to answer which character I would not want to be. I’ve created some vile ones in my day. They were good for the story but not anyone I would aspire to be. Yuck!
- What is the ship-name for Taz and Liam? I have no idea. I was thinking it would be Lata maybe. I couldn’t decide on a good one. I’ll let the readers come up with one.
- Are the characters modeled after anyone? Maybe very loosely some characters share some characteristics with persons I’ve encountered or met in the past and that I have shoved into my subconscious. Honestly, though, if this is the case, it is so convoluted I can’t tell you who any of the real people are. On the flip side, I sometimes see a photo of a person who is the physical embodiment of the character in my head. This is a chicken and egg moment for me. Did I see the photo and create the physical characteristics of the character, or had I created the character first? I think more often than not; it is the latter and not the former. But even if it is the former, due to my tendency to change my stories, by the end, the character becomes unrecognizable from the muse.
- Which do I prefer to write, the protagonist or the antagonist? I enjoy writing both. But I’ll confess, some of my antagonists after I’m done writing I’m thinking “Eww, that’s a person I’d like to shove in a black hole.” Some of them are not nice at all, but they are fun to read. And since I don’t like having characters with no redeeming qualities, I usually try to sneak in at least one. It doesn’t always work, but I do give it a genuine shot.
- What inspired me to begin writing? I have talked about this briefly in other posts, but I get asked this a lot, so I’ll give a quick synopsis here. I’ve always found writing as a therapeutic outlet for creativity. I was raised mostly around adults, and all I had for play was my imagination. Writing was both a time-consuming and solitary activity. My elementary school didn’t offer much in the way of the arts. Well, they did, but by the time I had come of age to participate, they had begun to fade away those programs. Plus, my parents were too busy to take me, and I wouldn’t have been able to participate anyway. I think that may be one reason as a parent, I have moved heaven and earth to be the parent that is always there and finding a way to make time for extracurricular activities.
- How long have I been writing? I can’t remember exactly, but I know I was young. In grade school, I would write short notes on holidays. These actually were poorly received by my family and led me to writing in secret and not sharing any stories. I was about fifth grade I believe when I wrote my first novel. It started out as a short story and turned into a trilogy. I still have it—all handwritten. I haven’t looked at it since I tucked it away all those years ago. Sometimes, I think I should revisit it as an adult and just see what I could do with it now. It’s a thought.
- What is my guilty pleasure? People closest to me probably would say milkshakes or ice cream. Some may even say chocolate. A close third would be makeup. I agree those are vices for me. However, I think perhaps my biggest guilty pleasure is Dooney & Burke purses. Okay, I’m going to need this company to block their website from my viewing. I love that brand. People used to say to me that I only like them because of the name, but no, that isn’t true. No joke, I can walk into a department store with no monikers above the brands and no insignias on the products, and my eyes immediately zone in on the D&Bs. It’s like I’m magnetically drawn to them. I’ll be across the aisle and see a purse on display. I’ll comment on how much I like the design, and when I inspect it closer, it’s a D&B. I went through a period when I refused to buy any just so I would have diversity in my purses. What ended up happening is that I didn’t purchase any purses for two years because I didn’t find any others that appealed to me. Finally, I admitted defeat and gave up. What really did me in was the D&B collegiate line. It was just pointless fighting it at that point.
- How long was I writing before I was published? I would guess about ten years or so if I count back to my grade school years. I was first published in college when I was a sophomore. I had a short story published in the college literary magazine. A few years after that I had works published in a professional organization in the poetry and short story section. My first novel came several years after my post-graduate studies, but I took a break from writing for personal reasons. When I returned, the industry had changed a lot in that time. Talk about snoozing and losing. But the break wasn’t a bad thing. When I returned, I felt I had better direction as a writer and was willing to explore more. Not only did I feel my work had matured in technique but also in content and style. So, it all worked out for the better.
- What’s my next project? How do I answer this? Honestly, I don’t know, and here’s why. I discussed this some time ago when I used to publish my quarterly goals. It was a fairly in-depth discussion, and nothing much has changed since then in regards to my plan. Several years ago, I had to shelf projects to meet other obligations and deadlines. I also had computer crashes that prevented me from completing some projects. In late 2017/early 2018, I made the decision that I would not take on any new projects (haha for wishful thinking) and would complete everything on my to-do list once I had fulfilled current obligations. My “beast” and “megabeast” were two projects on that to-do list. I decided to tackle “beast” first. I don’t know how wise that was, but I did. It took far more time than I had anticipated getting through it. But it is done. So, I guess that should be my next project. However, I have another project that is completed and ready to go. Only I don’t know how I want to approach it. It’s a shorter work, but I really enjoyed it. It is different than anything I’ve ever written before or since and completely transported me out of my element. The reason it was written specifically for a special collaboration event publication. The publisher decided to postpone the release and later canceled. Since it was promised to a publisher, I held onto it, because there was discussion to reconsider the project. In short, that may be the next project. But wait, there’s more. There is a third completed work that I was set back for such a stupid reason that I won’t even get into it. As with anything I allow to sit for any length of time, I will update. I would say I’m done with the possibilities, but nope. There’s a fourth WIP that was set aside. And if you think I’m finished, you’d be wrong. I know I said I wouldn’t take on any new projects, but another opportunity opened its door. So, there you have it. I have no shortage of what to do next. It may come down to a flip of a coin (or a couple of coins).
- What would I do if I couldn’t write? Besides, drive those closest to me insane? I’d probably adopt several dogs and play with them all day. Or maybe I would try my hand at flipping a house … or not. If I did a remodel, I probably wouldn’t sell once completed.
That’s it for this Q&A. If you have any more questions fire away. Either comment below or shoot me an email and I will be happy to respond.
- Coming February 2020… Ice Gladiators… Hockey so hot it melts the ice.
- Preorder: www.books2read.com/icegladiators
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