Indie Author Talk with Felicia Starr
** Indy Talk – Write it down; make it happen! **
I never know what to talk about for these things. I tried to come up with some good ideas, and then boom the perfect topic came to me just before I fell asleep. Guess what I woke up in the morning and I couldn’t remember for the life of me what it was.
This of course opened a new door to the topic I must have been meant to talk to you about. Write it down; make it happen!
Ideas are great and we all have them. Of course, most of mine come to me when I am driving or in in the shower; two of the hardest places to jot down a note.
I carry at least one journal with me at all times. I write story ideas, character traits, random quotes or even full blown scenes in it when I am on the go. If my journal is not handy I use the notes feature on my phone. It is a great way of storing my notes and I can easily just email them to myself and then paste them into a document as needed.
No idea is too small. As a writer you can always build off of the smallest morsel. One important quote can be the center of an entire chapter. It helps to give you a direction and a plot point to reach in your story.
Both a journal and your cell phone (or tablet) are great tools to record observations of the people around you. For example Kaden, a character in my Breaking the Darkness series started with a small one or two liner I wrote about a guy that I passed at Sea World. I never really saw his face but I heard and saw enough to plant a seed that grew into my character.
My character Jack in Jack and Ginger (The Sacred Hearts Coven) his background story came from a conversation I over heard while I was working at Dunkin Donuts writing. Any time I hear or see something interesting I try to write it down and save it.
Of course some material will never get incorporated, but having lots of little tid bits of the world around you combined with your imagination can equal a new world with exciting characters.
Remember, if you have an idea write it down. No idea is too small, you never know where the trail of crumbs will lead you.
How long have you been writing?
It depends on what you consider writing. I have been writing poetry and journaling for as long as I can remember. I still have the first book I wrote in elementary school. It was a tall tale about a character named Abe Washington. I have always talked about writing a book with one of my closest girl friends, probably since we were around thirteen. Life never really worked out that we ever found the time to make that a reality. Now I write almost every day, even if it is only a few lines.
Why did you choose to write in your genre?
I am not completely sure what my genre is. I think that it rides the lines of several genres. I love most things that are paranormal, fantasy, and scifi. I always have. When I was a child and home from school sick I loved to watch re-runs of I Dream of Jeanie and Bewitched. I was a big Star Trek fan, of course my favorite was because of my age was Star Trek the Next Generation. I will give most books and shows in the sci-fi/paranormal realm a chance. I do however draw the line at giant ice spiders.
The funny thing about the genres that I write in is that is that it leaves me with an expectation of the paranormal or supernatural element in everything I read. I sometimes forget that not everyone writes or thinks that way.
The one thing in common with all of my books is the romance element. I love reading and writing about the build up and tension between characters that are, could, or should be romantically involved. I love HEA’s but I can’t guarantee I will always write them, at lease not yet.
Do you have a special place to write?
I do tend go through waves of having to write in the same place. If I am on a roll I try to go back and work in the same spot. Sometimes it is at the dining room table, sometimes in my office, other times the best place to write is late at night in my bed. Most of Taken takes place in dark so writing in the dark worked well for me. I feel that late at night my thoughts are more lucid and I tend to write more and think less.
How did you come up the setting for Taken (Breaking the Darkness book #1)?
There are a few different locations in the book that take place in the Southwest. I spent my summers traveling the region as a young girl. My memories of many of these locations are forever burned in my mind. My experiences in that region had a huge impact on my life and I think that you will see that come through in this series and will probably be a factor in future projects.
What are some things your readers do not know about you?
*I make the best macaroni and cheese. One day I will make it and share the recipe even thought it changes from time to time.
*I am addicted to coffee, I wish I could quit but I am hooked.
*I love astrology; I am a Scorpio and find that most descriptions are spot on.
Do you have any music play list’s that you listen to when you write?
I did not listen to a specific play list while I wrote Taken. Sometimes I needed to write in the dark and be with the silence or what we think of as silence. I had to really heighten my hearing and tune in to what the darkness sounded like.
When I had to write or edit during the day, I would often plug in and listen to Pandora. This is a playlist of a hand full of songs that I either found myself listening to or that resonated with me at the time and the story.
How many books are in the Breaking the Darkness series?
That is a question I am not prepared to answer yet. Right now the series is Book 1 -Taken, Novella 1.5 – Marked, Book 2- Betrayed (Release date October 29, 2014). I can guarantee at least one more full-length novel. Although I am teetering on a 2.5 novella or short, I have started writing it, but I might just incorporate it into book 3.
I really wont know how much more story there is until I have book 3 fully outlined and I am working on several other projects at the same time, so I have not calculated a potential release date for that yet.
Can you tell us about what else you are working on?
Maybe… Just kidding, sort of. I do have another series of stand alone stories called the Sacred Hearts Coven books. They are for a tiny bit more mature audience. They are steamy contemporary romances that are set in motion by a spell cast by the sisters of the Sacred Hearts Coven.
Dark and Stormy and Light and Sweet are both available on Amazon. Jack and Ginger will be releasing November 25, 2014.
I also have an Erotic Romance anthology coming out this winter, it is looking like a February release with some awesome authors.
What is the hardest part of writing?
I think one of the hardest things for me is the time between stories or projects. Sometimes I have a hard time deciding which project I should spend my energy working on next. I also have trouble disconnecting from the characters and find myself accidentally writing them into stories they don’t belong. Of course the get the old editing boot when they try to story skip.
Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas come from everywhere. Some elements of my characters or events they experience come from my own experiences. Sometimes it can be one line from another book, movie, or the person sitting next to me at Dunkin’ Donuts that can spark a tornado of material. I know people say it but it is true, some of my ideas come to me while I am dreaming. I can’t count how many times I wake up and either hope I remember when I get up for the day or I roll over in bed in the middle of the night and jot the ideas down on my phone or a piece of paper.
What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
Don’t think big. The idea of a full manuscript can feel unobtainable, especially if you have never attempted one before. Start small, set your short term goals maybe one scene or one chapter. Then pat your self on the back and know that you did one, so now you can do two and build from there. Daily or weekly goals help too. You don’t have to write fast or slow. There is no right way for you to develop your story. And remember anything can be edited, you can’t edit nothing. A page a day is a novel a year. You can do it, and if you have a question ask an author, most will give you advice.
What book are you reading now?
I am in the middle of reading two books. I take longer to read a book than it does to write it. At least it feels that way.
Damaged By Becca Vincenza
Mine to Take by Cynthia Eden
Author Felicia Starr lives five miles from her favorite Jersey Shore destination with her amazingly supportive family. She loves to spend time creating special memories with her husband and two young boys.
Everyone expected her first publication to be a cookbook, but her love for writing has surpassed her love for cooking.
Felicia graduated magna cum laude from Kean University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a post baccalaureate in elementary education. She is a licensed real estate sales person, a certified yoga instructor, and most importantly, a stay-at-home mom.
Always thinking and dreaming in scenes…
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