For each writer their genre is the one they’re comfortable with. Why did you begin writing within yours? First, my primary genre is a hybrid between suspense and romance. There’s two reasons that a big alpha male would even try to do anything with romance: First, I think in modern society love and relationships have been maligned by the media. You see signs everywhere, especially in youth that treat relationships as a throw away commodity. Why not do something to convey that there is a reason God made men and women bonded at their heart. It’s how I feel on the inside, its what I believe in. Second reason, I’m a Wussy when it comes to love, always have been, always will. No, I don’t write pure romance, rather I create stories that deal with how the bond between a Man and woman can give them the strength to overcome adversary. In other words, I write about relationships from the male POV. Why add suspense? Because I have so many images and scenes of an intriguing nature floating around in my warped mind, why not write about ‘em.
What was your initial reaction when you got that first contract? Have you had anything else contracted and if so what was your reactions? Did you have the same emotions? After two years of climbing that steep mountain, I finally got my first novel (TAINTED HERO) published in 2007. Hard journey, but there's something special about seeing your story released by a publisher and appearing on amazon and BN.com. Then the real work begins. Writing the second (FORGOTTEN CHILDREN), and the third (BLIND CONSENT), and the fourth (VEIL OF DECEPTION), etc. I’m now working on my sixth novel. Here’s what is the same across all of ‘em: The thrill of seeing the book covers the artist comes up with, the high of holding the first copy of the paperback in your hand for each release, the excitement each time I get a five star review. What’s different? My energy level is decreasing. I find I have to force myself to sit down for the first 3 or 4 chapters. Yet, once my muse starts stroking me in just that right way, I’m good to go for 90000 words. The promotional effort consumes so much more time than I ever imagined and wears on my creativity more and more.
Do you have to do a lot of research to write the books you do or do you write within the fields you know? I do a lot of research on places, environment, and the way things work. If there’s any science involved, I make sure it’s realistic. When I reference objects, houses, tress, animals, everything that exists in the world, I try to make sure I describe it with words and imagery that makes the story real to the reader. There’s a happy balance between too much and too little detail and I use my wife as my barometer (she reads about a book every two days). I’ve gone so far as to take a trip to a new area just to absorb the environment of the story. Fort example, my seventh novel will be a romantic thriller partially based in the Outer Banks of NC.
What would be your one piece of advice for anyone interested in getting a book published? I post the lessons I’ve learned about what works and what doesn’t with 24 other authors at TheWritersVineyard.com, and also post a series of articles every 3 months in the Brass Spectacle magazine. In terms of the best advice I can give to someone aspiring to write, here are a few of the axioms I’ve learned across almost four years struggling to become a published author and trying to improve my skills with each story:
a. Find someone, hopefully two or three, that will read your scripts and be brutally honest, I mean brutal. Then listen to their comments with an open mine, and don't make excuses why they aren't reading it right. Be prepared to learn and grow with each story. Listen to all pre-reviewers, editors, and the publisher. You'll learn a lot.
b. The big five and agents are interested in established commodities where their risk is minimal. A newbie doesn't fit that category, unless you're a politician, actor, or have major connections. The small publishing houses are more open and can provide a higher probability entrance into the field, but it is still hard.
c. The query letter and synopsis really means the difference between success and failure. One small house said they received 23000 submissions a year. How are you going to float to the surface of that queue if you don't grab them on the query letter before they even get to the manuscript?
d. Get accustom to rejection. I received over one hundred rejection letters before I got my first contract. And from what I’ve read at the writer’s forums, I was lucky
How did you family/friends react to your decision to become a writer? My wife is unbelievable. Never complains about the time I spend in the backroom. My two sons (both who write fiction) have contributed so many great insights. I have about half a dozen friends/family that bug me about my next script so they can read it and help catch typos and offer ideas.
Places that I contribute/post articles about writing – TheWritersVineyard.com, RomancesSuspesneNovels.com, Brass Spectacle magazine
My website – Davisstories.com
Five star reviews – See the review page of my website
Excerpts – See the excerpt page of my website.
Book trailers – I have two videos that discuss the origin behind where the stories come from and their connection to me on a personal level. You can find both on my website.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Good morning everyone, welcome to Candace's moment in the spotlight. I hope you'll find some useful and entertaining insight into her writing and being an author.
She was kind enough to answer all the questions rather than the five I asked for. Without further ado, here she is:
What writing style do you use and why? I write by the seat of my pants. A story is never fully developed until it’s done because the characters tend to take it in new directions.
When did you begin writing? When I was about 7 years old – my first book was entitled “Mr. Fathead Goes to the Moon”, about a character who looked suspiciously like Mr. Potato Head.
For each writer their genre is the one they’re comfortable with. Why did you begin writing within yours? I’ve always been a sucker for romance. When I was a teenager, it was away to go somewhere other than reality – a place I could imagine I was beautiful and popular and my knight in shining armor was just a coincidence away.
What was your initial reaction when you got that first contract? Have you had anything else contracted and if so what was your reactions? Did you have the same emotions? When I got my first contract, I was excited beyond belief. I whopped and hollered, sending my son running out to the back patio to see what was going on. After five contracts, the thrill isn’t there in quite the same intensity anymore.
Do you have to do a lot of research to write the books you do or do you write within the fields you know? Both – I tend to write about things I know, but I also do very intensive research for historical because I want them to be as authentic as possible. Suspicion of Love is the one book I’ve written that really stretched my abilities in both ways – the location was a place I’ve never been and the Edwardian era was one that required a lot of research.
What would be your one piece of advice for anyone interested in getting a book published? Have a lot of patience. The publishing industry moves at a snail’s pace compared to the rest of the world.
How did you family/friends react to your decision to become a writer? They were supportive, to some extent. The family liked the idea but didn’t like the fact that I spent so much time on the computer. Friends still think it’s neat.
What sort of goals do you set for yourself with each project? To finish and to sell it – that’s it. Finishing is the most difficult for me. I tend to start at least a handful of projects at once, then get stumped and move on. Eventually I go back to all those others manuscripts waiting to be finished, but it can take a good long while.
What sort of music do you listen to while you’re writing? I love country western, which really puts me in the mood for writing contemporaries and westerns. When I am writing a historical, I go for classical music. Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro is a favorite.
What promotional avenues would you recommend to those who are newly published? That’s a tough one. Out of all the promotion I’ve done online, I’d have to say the most effective is still face-to-face interaction. Some will disagree, but readers rarely select a book from all the millions out there by an author they’ve never heard of – so it is important to establish relationships.
How do you feel about the difference in e-book and print publishing? Have you noticed a difference in how readers respond to your work? I love e-book publishing for its ability to offer my books throughout the world. E-publishers are also more daring; more willing to try new authors and break away from the tried and true plot lines New York publishers are so insistent upon. Since I’ve only been published in small press, I can’t speak to anything else, but I do love my publisher, her vision, and her ability to grow her company when others are failing.
What are you reading right now? I’m reviewing a book for Reading New Mexico called “Woman Who Glows in the Dark”. It is a New Mexico curandera and curaderismo in general, which I find fascinating. After that, I am ready to delve into New Mexico author Sabra Brown Steinsiek’s romance novels, Annie’s Song and her Time trilogy.
For more information you can contact Candace at her website: http://www.candacemorehouse.com/