Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Step inside my fantasy...

Those of you who were lured over by my sultry voice and come-hither title, shame on you! This isn't one of THOSE kinds of blogs. But just to keep everyone satisfied, here's a crumb for any first-time naughty visitors:

Today I want to share the fantasies that keep my publishing dream alive, and also find out what you do to keep the faith while you wait. Because as we know, it's all about waiting in this biz.

(And no matter what you hear from Kalen, he SO did not think of this post first. Rookstar can attest that I emailed her with this idea the night before he posted on a similar subject. All I have to say to that is: collective consciousness.) Hee ;-)

When the writing well runs dry and the patience runs thin, I have to find an escape. But because I live and breathe my characters / stories, even my fantasies revolve around them.

I have a wonderful program called Adobe Fireworks that allows me to blend and doctor photos to fit any motif I choose. I used it to make the pictures for my Splintered Book Trailer, as well as my Writing is Like trailer.

And I also use it to make mock-up book covers.

This is for one of my early dark fantasies. Inspired in part by the movie, “Memoirs of a Geisha”, Nocturnus introduces a powerful clan of female halfling vampires who dress as geishas and hold galas to entrance men and siphon small amounts of blood, curbing their thirst without resorting to murder.

And this is the imagined cover for my YA Alice in Wonderland spin off about Alyssa Gardner, the great-great-great granddaughter of Alice Liddell (real life inspiration for the heroine of the famed Lewis Carroll novel). This is what Alyssa looks like after she stumbles into Wonderland. And everything in the above mock-up plays a part in the actual storyline: the bloody roses, the sparkles in the distance, even the mutilated teddy bear. But you'll have to read the story to understand. :)

Your turn! What do you do to feed your writing dream and keep it alive while you wait? Do you think up character questionnaires or interviews? Maybe you sketch your characters, or the settings they inhabit, even draw maps. Could be you're one of the lucky few who actually gets to travel to the locale of your story. Daydreaming of your characters also counts! I even met a writer once who made "movie posters" for her novels.

I shared my secret playground. If you're willing, share yours. I'd love to hear about it!


  1. Love that picture of Splintered. Very creative. I play scenes in my head, imagining the characters going through their ordeal. I also play music I think fitting to the scene.

  2. Hahaa, now you've really proved that you're a tease. lol
    I think it's cool you know how to use Adobe. I don't know what I do to keep my dream alive. Daydreams? I don't have any visuals for my books.

  3. Hey it's the lamp from A Christmas Story! I love that scene (Fra-jee-lee!)

    Hmmm...I definitely like to listen to a variety of music to get into the emotions of my characters and what they are feeling for a particular scene. I have a playlist on my iPod of songs that remind me of my book.

    I also like to just sit (or lay) down and imagine scenes like I'm watching a movie. Or a fly on the wall, or whatever and let the scene play out in my mind.

    That's all I can think of!

    Love you goat lady! :)

  4. You saw a peek into my writing inspiration folder last week, that thing feeds my dreams. Only seems fair considering I feed it multiple times a day. Speaking of, I feel the urge to organise said folder coming on. . .



    Anyway. The short fiction blogging actually came about as a way to put my work out there so that I could feel like a "real" writer. LOL! I guess that's my biggest tool to keep the dream alive. Also, imagining what actors would play the characters in my novel is a fun game.

  6. I sleep.
    I really do take naps and try to envision my characters as realistically as possible. I'm not joking...I'm just weird that way :)

  7. I have that lamp!! Haha! Let me tell ya, that thing wasn't cheap! lol. My entire family is obsessed with "A Christmas Story" (we even visited the house in Cleveland where the movie was filmed).

    Enough about that. Your bookcover mock-ups are soooo cool! LOVE them :o)

    I'm not really sure how I keep the faith alive . . . Hmm, that's a good question! Oh, I do like to do fun things like imagining my book being made into a movie. I imagine which actors would play the characters in my book, what the soundtrack would be, opening scenes . . . Even camera camera angles and special effects, lol (yep, I get a little carried a away).

  8. I simply keep writing...keeps my mind from wanting to do anything stupid, usually :) lol

    I love your cover art, Anita...makes me wanna be a first reader! Ahem! Ahem!

  9. Wow, you are so artistic! That cover for Splintered is AMAZING. MUST READ.
    I sometimes draw maps. I drew a pretty complex one for my MG novel so I could visualize the directions in which the characters were moving.
    I also like to lie abed and picture the book's cover, with my name on it, in my head. I can see it as clear as day. But I haven't attempted to actually design it...yet.

  10. First of all: A CHRISTMAS STORY is on my top 10 movie list, so the nod to the sexy lamp is appreciated.

    I have a 35 minute commute each way to work. This provides ample time for all of my interviews. Most recently, Ellen interviewed me about Cricket, the m/c in SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS. I'm sure I look like a complete freak show talking to myself (I hope people just think I'm blue-toothing it. Hands free only in California!) but the truth is I make HUGE progress w/my characters when I hash them out verbally. Stories unfold that way--plots change direction--major writing blocks are destroyed. Do I look like a moron? Yes, yes I do. Does it work? Yes, yes it does!

    I haven't done my post best-seller-turned-blockbuster-movie Oprah interview yet...maybe today... ;)

    Great post, Lovely. And yes, I'm still interested in reading that novel we talked about.

  11. Love the Christmas story lamp. Be careful. They easily break if you are cleaning and bump them over. Oops.

    I like to walk and listen to music and then I get into the head of one of my characters, and voila. (Don't ask me what VOILA means in this case...could be good, could be bad.)

    Fun post, Anita!

  12. Hmmm. I do write a lot of character interviews and maps etc. I've always thought of them as more of a writing exersize or warm up than a writing fantasy feeder but maybe they serve both purposes? Also I like to make play lists based on my outlines.

  13. Wow, I want to read both of your books SO bad!! That Splintered cover is super creepy. Well done, lady, well done.

    I haven't done anything to feed my writing dream besides just dream. I'm still new at this :). But, I'd like to make character playlists and find photos for inspiration. Someday I will, and when I do, I'll share them.

    Great post, as always!

  14. Gorgeous cover. Makes me want to read it all the more! While I am writing the story, I look up at my poster I made that has my cast of characters, setting details, words about the story--the things that made me fall in love with the idea. I also LOVE my playlist. I burn a CD for my car and for the bathroom so I can listen while I take a shower and get dressed.

    Fun post!

  15. Oh man, those are awesome!

    I do that sometimes, make mock-ups. My absolute favorite thing to do--well, it costs a few bucks, but a lot of times you can talk people into drawing character sketches for you. Artists offer to make a little extra $ oftentimes on deviantart, so I'm into that. It's cool to see them. (Er, yeah, blog posterboy, again! He's one, but that was an art trade. Rather, she did the art, I'm sending her a copy of my book.)

    I also draw them myself, but god, I am terrible.

  16. Love the covers you created! I do a whole bunch of different things, depending on my mood. Sometimes I'll make a video query for visual stimuli, once I created a book cover, sometimes I create soundtracks for the finished book, and sometimes I drink...okay, okay LOTS of times I drink. #LooksOverAtCocktailOnTable :)

  17. Miranda~ Thanks! It surprises me how many writers do the playlist thing. More than I realized!

    Jessie~ Your new pic is SO PRETTY. Yes, daydreams are perfectly acceptable. :)

    Mare~ Love you, too, my dear! Hahaha ... Naddafingah!

    Sophia~ And remember how much I coveted your inspiration folder? If you need help organizing, I'm your girl! Heehee

    Michelle~ Thank you! I WANT you to read it!! Writing short stories is an awesome way to keep the dream alive. And I do the same thing with "actors". It's an awesome escapism.

    A.M.~ Nope. Don't think it's weird. It's CREATIVE GENIUS. :)

    Angela~ Haha! You're awesome just for owning that! "The soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window." SWEET.

    Justin~ So glad you dropped in! Ha, you mean stupid like making book cover mock ups?? Hee. Thanks for the compliments. :) Hmm. So are you offering to be a #betafish? But you're so good at being a goat!

    Pony Girl~ Thanks! You're awesome to say that. And I can't wait for you to read it. ANd wow! You're one of those brilliant authors *cough*Tolkien*cough* who makes maps? BTW, here's me drooling to read your story, too. We might have to do something about this mutual longing thing. Hee

    Rookstar~ YES. I love the Christmas Story marathons! Haha. That's spectacular that you interview your characters aloud. Oh, and did you get that interview w/Oprah today?

    Mary~ Heehee. Yes, no dusting around the sexy leg lamp. Music gets me in scene mindset, so I totally know what you mean.

    Taryn~ Another map maker? That ROX. I like play lists, also.

    Keriann~ Awww, and I want you to read them. Hopefully one day soon! At least for Splintered. ANd dayreams are just as good as anything else!

    Rachel~ Thank you! Wow, you actually have a poster? That's so cool! Sounds like your office looks a lot like mine. :)

    Katey~ Thanks for the compliment! And here I thought you drew your muse. Heehee. I, too, love sketches but I STINK at drawing. Great idea about hiring someone!

    Kerri~ Hey there, twinkie sistah. Thanks! Cool! A video query. Never heard of that but I like! LOL about the cocktails. Save some for me!

  18. You are talented - those are great!!!

    My characters mostly just walk around in my head and knock on my skull. :)

  19. great post is nice to see that I am not alone in doing these creative inspirations.
    For my YA Fantasy I made a story board with pictures of my characters, and certain important objects. It was inspiration while I wrote, i always had it visible so keep me inspired. i also like to write with low instrumental music that sets the tone for what I am writing. this book I had low celtoc/irish music playing.
    For my MG adventure I took pictures of the things that inspired it and composed a slide show. every time I watch it I get very excited about the story. the music i listen to for this one is classic piano pieces.

    Thanks for sharing with us a little bit of how you are just like all the rest of us - writer's.

    Oh and I LOVE the splintered cover.

  20. I really, REALLY need to read your books. You are SO talented, their make-believe covers are amazing! And now I'm in the mood to watch Memoirs of a Geisha...

    Ok, confession time: I craft. Right now, my WiP is about these nice Gargoyles, so everything I do and think has to do with them. I seek pictures on the net to inspire a fimo project at the moment - what's the fun in buying already made sculptures if you can make them yourself?

    Happy writing, Anita:)

  21. You are so freakin' talented and I worship at your feet. Not kidding. How do you make those covers? They are so cool ( and you know how I love purty covers!). I really should make one for my own.

    Thanks for being such an inspiration to me! I mean it.

  22. Jemi~ Hey, thanks! Knocking on your skull is a good thing. Unless it keeps you up all night. Mine have been known to do that, too. :)

    Jessica~ Wow, a collage of story elements, what a spectacular idea! And thanks. :) They're fun to make.

    Kelly~ You're so nice! Thank you. :) And wow, Gargoyles! I LOVE those. I've actually started a WIP about a shapeshifting one. Something tells me we have more in common than we already suspected. :) The more I hear about your work and read excerpts, the more I want to read you books!

    Cherie~ Awww, you are so sweet! I use a computer program. It makes it pretty easy. And YOU'RE the inspiration, Ms. Blog Hopper. How many did you hit today? We should all be as social as you!

  23. You are amazingly talented, woman! Have you been trained in Graphic Design? If not, you should consider looking into a couple classes! You are a natural!

    I do the same thing, particularly when I get stuck in writing. I've designed a number of fake covers for Pendomus. I've even played with my characters using actors. It's a lot of fun!

    So when is Splintered coming out already? I want to read it!

  24. Aw, thanks Carissa! Nope, I haven't ever had any design training, but you're so nice to even ask that. :)

    I loved the cover / pic you had up on your FB. I do the same thing w/actors, too!

    You'll be one of the first to know when I sell, my friend. LOL

  25. Like a lot of people, I'll have certain songs that I listen to that inspire the WIP I'm working on. Something else I'll do, if there's an actor who might resemble a character in my mind, I'll watch something they're in, to help get some blood pumping through the brain in that character's direction.