My love-affair/stalkerish mentality started for this author a few weeks ago when I downloaded the first two episodes of the Lion Kings Series!! I wrote her shortly after I started episode 2 and told her how much I loved her writing style. She is extremely witty and so original! I enjoyed her series and reviewed it too. I then started reading her Midnight Shift series!! Brilliant!!!! Click on the pictures for my reviews!
I hope you enjoy this week’s installment of the INDY AUTHOR TALK SERIES!!
♥ Gladys #XOXOtheNerdGirl
Imagination and Old Friends: Why I Became a Writer
On my personal FB page, I have a quote from Albert Einstein, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” It really epitomizes how I feel about fiction whether it’s in a book, an essay, a television show, or a movie. Telling a story, bringing it to life in a way that allows the reader/ viewer to become a part of that world and really care about the characters, well, that’s what drives me as a writer.
I have been driven by my imagination since I was a little girl. I can remember walking a mile down the gravel road to the bus stop when I was eight, trying to figure out how to fly, wondering what the secret to reading minds were, and believing if I wanted it badly enough, magic would be real. My dad retired from the Navy, and we moved to Missouri. Those first few years, we were poor. Like, “no indoor plumbing” poor at one point. My parents, along with my four siblings, lived out in the woods in a small two bedroom trailer. We didn’t have a TV during those years, and we all became masters at entertaining ourselves. I can remember creating families from sticks with my younger sister. We’d dig squares into the dirt to make their homes. Use wild puff ball mushrooms for furniture to poke them in. My family was fortunate to have a vacation home on a nearby tree stump. It was my first attempt at world building. There is an old proverb that states, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” But in my case, it was boredom that got the creativity flowing.
My father, who was a flawed man, loved to read. He owned every Louis L’Amour book written, and he encouraged us to read. I loved mysteries and high fantasy. My first attempt at writing a book was a high fantasy novel, influenced by David Eddings’ Belgariod and Mallorean series, the first book Pawn of Prophecy written in 1982. I worshipped David Eddings’ writing style. He created a fantastic world and dragged me from one end of it to the other with his brilliant cast of characters on epic quests to save all mankind. Over the years, I’ve read all ten books in these two series more than a dozen times each, and I have a brother and a sister who love the books as well. When we get together, we talk about the characters we love in these tales like they are old friends. We are passionate in our discussions to the point that anyone around us will think we are talking about real people.
When I began writing, I really wanted to write characters and stories like those heroes. I wanted to write characters who stick with the reader long after they’ve put the book away, and stories they want to revisit again and again. I wanted people to one day talk about my characters like they were old friends.
Multi-published, award-winning author Renee George has been a factory worker, an army medic, a nurse, a website designer, a small press editor, an artist, and a teacher, but writing stories about sexy alpha men is the BEST job she’s ever had. When she turned thirty, she went back to college and earned her BA in creative writing. She has been married to the love of her life, a wonderful man who supports in every way, for over half her life (and that is a VERY long time!). She happily lives in a small, Midwest town with her husband, two needy dogs and a very independent cat.
Q. Where are you from? Does the area you live in influence you writing?
I lived all over the place when I was young. I went to four elementary schools and four different high schools before I graduated. Luckily, my adult life has been a lot more stable! I have been in Missouri for most of my life now (because I’m THAT old!), and yes, it really does influence my writing—at the very least the location of my stories. Most of them take place in Missouri or a Midwest setting. I lived in the Missouri Ozarks for several years, and my husband and I like to go to the lake in the Arkansas Ozarks. It makes the Ozarks my favorite setting for my paranormal books.
Q. Tell us your latest news??
The Lion Kings – The Novel just released a couple of weeks ago, and my latest serial novel Midnight Shift will have its third episode out this coming week.
Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
I started with bad poetry in my elementary years and graduated to bad prose in my high school days. *grin* My opening paragraph explains some of my inspiration. Of all the things I’m grateful for (and the list is many), I am most grateful for my imagination. It has gotten me through some really awful times in my life.
Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
David Eddings, Charlaine Harris, RA Salvatore, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, Nancy Collins, and Agatha Christie. Also, my best friends Michele Bardsley and Dakota Cassidy. Those two inspire me every day!
Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
I generally get an idea of setting and storyline before the characters come in, but when the characters do show up, I think about them almost 24-7. I focus on them until I know what motivates their every sentence and action. I know their favorite foods, their high school crushes, how they got the small scar on the back of their knee, what their parents were like, their favorite color, music, what makes them sad, and what makes them happy. I think about them until they feel real to me. I don’t write about 85% of the stuff I learn/ develop about my characters. However, when I’m writing them, I know that all the stuff that went into creating them motivates their actions and reactions. Sometimes I’ll write a line of dialogue and think, no, this character wouldn’t say that because of…. and I change it to be more reflective.
Q. What motivates you to write?
The stories! I have so many stories in my head, and I want to tell them. Also, I’ve made writing my job. I have an English degree in creative writing, and like with any job, making a living motivates me as well. I’m in an uneasy alliance with my muse, who often walks out on me in the worst possible moments. During those times, the occasional fan mail or positive review really goes a long way toward motivation as well.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing?
The writing. *grin* I wish there were magic elves who would type out my stories for me. It is long days of planning and typing. My arms, hands, low back, and neck are in constant pain. Unlike a regular job though, there is no work comp or insurance! Most writers work 10-16 hours a day without breaks to get their books written, revised, edited, and promoted. It’s not glamorous. We tend to look a hot mess most of the time—hair pulled back in a haphazard pony tail, sometimes greasy and messy, pajamas with coffee stains, and occasionally we have to be reminded to jump in the shower. The truth is, writing is work. It is a profession like any other profession. There are going to be high highs and low lows. Anyone who thinks the job is easy hasn’t ever tried to turn it into a career! *grin*
Q. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’ve been a published author since 2005. My first story was published by Changeling Press in April of that year. I’ve had over 35 novellas published since then, and I can honestly say there has been a lesson in ALL of them. This past year has taught me how to be more introspective with my characters. Allowing the reader inside the character’s thought process, well, it’s an important part of romance.
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
This is going to be cliché, but honestly, EVERYWHERE! The Lion Kings started because I was watching two hand acrobats on America’s Got Talent one night, and I thought, Oooh, what it they were shapeshifters? The dudes were super strong and coordinated. The rest of the world grew from there. I set it in the 1960s because travelling carnivals still existed, and animal rights were non-existent. It was the perfect era.
Q. What does your family think of your writing?
My husband is very supportive, I have a sister who beta reads ALL my work, and the rest of the family is proud as well, whether they read my work or not.
Q. What is the best advice you would give to aspiring authors?
I was an editor for a small literary press for ten years. I’ve read a lot of “new writer” manuscripts, and can honestly say that most aspiring authors should cut the first 15 pages of their first book (because more than likely it’s 15 pages of unnecessary background) then revise, revise, revise. After, ask three or four people who will be brutally honest with them to beta read the book. If more than one person sees something as a problem, fix it. A writer’s willingness to improve their story is what separates a professional author from a hobbyist. (I won’t lie, sometimes it hurts! But it’s worth it to make the story even better.) I was lucky enough to have honest readers who didn’t spare my feelings. Even after a decade of writing books, I still need that honest feedback. After the story goes to publication, it’s too late to make a big change. Also, know the business. Read up on it. There is more to writing than just writing.
Q. What book are you reading now?
Right now I am writing! So the reading is sporadic. I am poking my way through Dragons of Autumn Twilight, the first book of the Dragonlance Chronicles when I have an hour here or there to read. It was written in 1984 by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. It’s still one of the greatest adventures ever!
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rene%C3%A9-George/e/B009MGCL9Q/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorreneegeorge
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+ReneeGeorge_author/posts
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