Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I've been tagged!

Right, so I was recently tagged by fellow author and friend Anna Walls. Be sure to check out her blog here. In any case, it's a sort of game, I suppose, where we get 'tagged,' have to answer a bunch of questions, then we tag three others who must also answer these questions and tag three others and so on and so forth.

It's taken me a while to get around to it as, well, I've been trying to blog about writing stuff. Since I have no news, though, this quasi-interview seems a good way to pass the time.

So without further ado....

1. What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?

I've just finished book one of a new project entitled Seraphimé. It's a tale about how one woman becomes the embodiment of the land in which she was raised (the Tundra) and thus ascends to godhood all with the aid of the ancient Lord of the Wilds (who is a male triple deity, his other two functions are the God of Death and Master of the Hunt). There's a love triangle in there too. Book one is done, but I'm waiting until after the Christmas period of craziness before I start book 2. Hopefully there will be only two books this time!

The first thing I wrote that I still have would be some pieces of poetry I wrote in High School. Not very clever stuff, but dear to me all that same.

2. Write poetry?
Yes. Though less now that I've started novelling, I do write poetry.

3. Angsty poetry?
Some of it. I'm a pretty angsty person when it comes down to it, I suppose, and I can get into some very dark moods. There is light, however! Not all my poetry is dark and depressing. Some of it is amusing.

4. Favourite genre of writing?
To read and write, my favourite genre has to be Fantasy. A good Fantasy will draw you in and beat you relentlessly until you come out enriched by imagination. I love it.

5. Most annoying character you've ever created?
Good question. I'm not really certain I've ever written a truly annoying character. There are traits of some characters which would be considered annoying, I suppose. Things like bad grammar, or a tendency to make everything into a joke, or being particularly daft.... but nothing that is on the whole really irritating.

6. Best plot you've ever created?
I'm so biased about this it isn't funny. The Great Man series has to be my best plot ever. It took me a long time to write, the main character is very close to my heart... and it's very, very dark. And a little twisted. That said, I've only written two plots thus far in five books (four books for The Great Man series and one completed one for Seraphimé).

7. Coolest plot twist you've ever created?
The guy who is supposed to save the world, becomes the major force behind the ones who are trying to destroy it. From The Great Man series, of course.

8. How often do you get writer's block?
Now that I've surrendered myself to the creative process and abandoned all pretence of a structured outline, never. See, I had a revelation - all I needed to write was the protagonist and the ending of the story. How I got to the end was, by and large, happy chance. I arrived at this epiphany during the writing of The Great Man. For almost six months I tried to force the story to stick to the outline I had developed. They story wouldn't budge. Writer's block plagued me for close to six months. Then, one day, I decided to give it up and just write. Now I have four completed manuscripts of a story I can't wait to share.

9. Write fan fiction?
No, though I often develop little stories in my head surrounding the characters of any given show.

10.Do you type or write by hand?
Type. I can type faster than I can write, and my brain moves so quickly, I need to do everything in my power to keep up!

11. Do you save everything you write?
I would be a damned fool not to! (That's a yes, incidentally)

12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?

13. What's your favourite thing you've ever written?
The Great Man series by far.

14. What's everyone else's favourite story you've written?
Well, they've only ever seen The Great Man, so it'd have to be that.

15. Ever written romance or angsty teen?
Now this is tough, as my main character in The Great Man series spends some time being an angsty teen (you would too if you'd been through the horrible rubbish he's been through), so I have written an angsty teen. I haven't, however, written angsty teen fiction. I'm just not into that, so I don't write it. As for romance, while there is a fair amount of romance in my writing, the genre I write is not romance.

16. What's your favourite setting for your characters?
Tough question. Battles are cool places to be in, but you can only get real character development in quieter places, like the home. Thus, I cannot choose a favourite setting for my characters. They're all great!

17. How many writing projects are you working on now?
One at a time.

18. Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Not yet! Fingers crossed!

19. What are your five favourite words?
"You made me cry!" I know it's only four, but those are my favourite words. I love to hear them because it means that my work is having an emotional impact on the reader. Love, love, love it!

20. What character have you created that is most like yourself?
They are all like me in some way or another. How could they not be? I'm writing through the lens of personal experience. I suppose Julian represents my inner world most clearly. It's a dark, scary place sometimes!

21. Where do you get your ideas for your characters?
I don't. The characters come to me from somewhere beyond conscious thought, and they each have a story attached to them. My only task is to relay their stories faithfully and accurately on the page as the characters relay them to me.

22. Do you ever write based on your dreams?
No. Most of my dreams are really trippy and make no logical sense at all. For example, last night I dreamt that I was part of a competition run by my Kung Fu school. One guy was racing another on some sort of skateboard using only his hands for propulsion, the other was on a bicycle which turned into a horse when it reached the bottom of the hill. Then, after the race (which the guy on horseback won, but only just), we were all attacked by ninjas. Battle ensues. We win. Myself and two others were called out by our Sifu (who wasn't actually my SIfu in real life) to his "office" and then the alarm went off and I woke up. I could write a story from that, but everyone would assume I was on LSD or something!

23. Do you favour happy endings?
No. They are completely unrealistic. How on earth does one simply return to normal life after going through unspeakable horrors? It doesn't happen. Even if the good guys win, there has to be some talk of the repercussions of the decisions that lead to that victory. Happily ever afters just don't exist in life. I think it's unbearably corny if they do in fiction (unless it's really, really well written).

24. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Not even a little bit. I have to get the story out first. I'll worry about that stuff later.

25. Does music help you write?
Yes. Undoubtedly, unequivocally yes. Music has the power to affect my mood in the most profound way. Music is always on when I write. Always.

26. Quote something you've written. Whatever pops in your head.
“I am but two hundred years old. I have three hundred or more years of life left, and I am now condemned to live them all, alone. Countless thousands of nights spent in solitude. My sons, my wife, are taken from me. There is none of my kin left. When I die, who will paint the sacred symbols on my body? Who will light the fire so that my soul may find its way to the halls of my kindred? There is no one. So when at last I die, after three hundred long years alone, I am bound to remain, separated forever from my kindred. Is this not sufficient reason to mourn?”
- Xavier, Sammonishy'i warrior. Prince of Darkness, Book 4 of The Great Man series.

And my tags:
Paul Mitton of Dark and Secret Writes
Jenn of Don't Publish Me
Rita of Rita's World


David A. Bedford said...

I found myself relating strongly. I have written a book of fantastic short stories (in Spanish, called Liliana y el espejo). They come from an Argentine tradition and that's where I grew up. In my latest book, Angela 1: Starting Over (in English for the US reader), I turn to a completely realistic setting: high school in costal Texas. The first book has a satisfying ending sort of, but the series of three as a whole will turn out more ambivalent. You're right: happy endings are not realistic. To learn more about Angela, just click on my name and follow the link to my website. I also invite you to read my blog at Thanks!

S.M. Carrière said...

Hello David!

I'm glad you can relate. It's nice to see others who feel the same. I'll certainly check out your blog. Do take care.