If you don't know Linda, she's the lady who has pictures of camels on her blog every Wednesday. If you do
know Linda, she writes some pretty wild urban fantasy. She graciously agreed to an interview, so let's see what she has to say.
1) Ciel, your main character, is an "aura adapter" meaning she can change into whomever she wants. As a former actress, you know what it's like to step into a different role for 6-8 weeks at a time, and become "somebody else". Did you take that into consideration when creating Ciel's character?
My acting background certainly contributed to my propensity for writing characters who become other people. I guess being just one person has never been enough for me, and acting was a great way to "be" someone other than myself without, you know, going the actual multiple-personality route.
I do like to experience all kinds of personalities—to really get to know other people (the fictional ones, anyway). Preferably from the inside out, as you can when acting or writing. People are fascinating creatures. When I write, I get to explore them to my heart's content. In a way, writers are the ultimate "aura adaptors."
2) Quick Fix, (slated for Aug. 2013 release) is a sequel. When you began writing, had you envisioned a sequel, or was this idea from someone else? Are Ciel and the "FIX" books going to become a series?
As soon as I neared the end of In a Fix, I knew there were more stories to tell about Ciel and her cohorts. Working on Quick Fix kept me busy (and sane) while I was looking for an agent, and again while my agent was trying to sell In a Fix. I was halfway through writing Quick Fix when Tor bought both books. (Moral of the story: Don't be afraid to start a second book before the first one sells.)
Tor is calling the books "an original urban fantasy series," so I'm hoping that means they'll want more. (Well, what I'm really hoping is that readers will want more, because engaging the readers is what writing is all about.)
3) Ciel is such an exciting character -- do you have dreams Hollywood will think so too? (Shades of Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap come to mind.)
Thank you! I'm glad you like Ciel—she's a kick to write.
It would be cool if Hollywood came knocking. A TV series similar Quantum Leap would be ideal, I think, because of the episodic nature of Ciel's adventures. No word yet on any nibbles from that arena, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
4) As a writer, you must have a process. Do you outline? Pantster? Notes? Spreadsheets?
I used to write completely by the seat of my pants, but I'd say I'm maybe five to ten percent plotter now. Due to the nature of writing a series, I find a teensy bit of organization is essential for continuity. Alas. But mainly I still like to sit in front of my laptop, fingers poised on the keyboard, and wait for the characters to start talking. Frankly, I'd rather my subconscious take care of the plotting while I'm doing other things, and then surprise me while I'm tapping away. I like surprises.
5) I don't know which genre to classify your writing -- sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal -- but the question is, do you have plans to write in another? Or are you going to stick with what you know, and obviously love?
The Ciel Halligan series is classified as urban fantasy. Because humor plays such a large role in my books, I call them "light urban fantasy" (aka LUF—don't you just luf it, dahling? *grin*). They're not as dark as the majority of UF books, so I like to make the distinction. I wouldn't want readers to buy the books thinking they're getting blood and guts, only to wind up with giggles instead. Not that there isn't plenty of action and danger, but I tend to see the humorous side of the even tensest situations. Plus, I like the juxtaposition of conflicting emotional reactions—I think the contrast heightens the experience.
As for other genres…well, I'm currently polishing up a paranormal suspense (definitely not ha-ha funny like the Ciel Halligan books), and I've just begun what I think will be a thriller. An idea that I love struck me out of the blue, and I'm running with it. We'll see where it leads me.
Gaah. Which I suppose, when you count the third Ciel Halligan book, means I'm working on three novels right now. And here I suck at multitasking… Watch out—my head might explode. Better stand back out of the splash zone. ;)
Thanks so much for having me as a guest, Anne! I love spending time here at the Piedmont Grill.
And thank you so much for being here. It's great to read about other genres!
Linda grew up in Texas, where she rode horses, embarrassed herself onstage a lot, and taught teenagers they'd have to learn the rules of English before they could get away with breaking them for creativity's sake. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband.
(Quick Fix is slated for an August 2013 release.)