Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.
If you’ve arrived from Jeanna E. Mann’s blog, hi and thanks for clicking! This week’s questions are brought to you by Jeanne McDonald, whose amazing new book The Certainty of Deception will be published this week!
1. How did you go about choosing the names for your characters?
A funny story about this. I’ve been writing ever since I was a child (Enid Blyton was my go to writer in those days. I used to dream of lazy days by the tennis court and midnight feasts by the pool!) And in every single one of those stories I wrote as a kid I called my heroine ‘Claire’. Why, you may ask? Simple – that was my best friend’s name, and who better to cast in every story than the person I liked the most.
Hopefully my more recent characters are slightly more sophisticated than those multitude of Claires, but that doesn’t make naming them any easier.
My go-to resource when choosing names nowadays is to look at the most popular names for the year of the character’s birth. The lists tend to have a choice of 100, which is more than enough for me.
I also take into account where they are from, the names of the supporting characters (it would be a little confusion to have an Ella and an Emma), and finally (perhaps most importantly) whether the name ‘suits’ them. It isn’t always easy as you can see!
2. Where did the inspiration for your current book come from?
My current work-in-progress is set in the same ‘world’ as the book that’s due to be published in the fall of 2014. The first in the series is called ‘Coming Down’ and the second has a working title of ‘Breaking Through’.
Coming Down was only ever supposed to be a stand alone, and it certainly has no cliff hanger or unresolved story. But two supporting characters–friends of the heroine–stood out to me so much that I felt they deserved their own book. Breaking Through is about the strains that a change in direction can put on a marriage. The couple start out strong, but then they have a baby, and the band the husband has been playing in for years suddenly breaks through and becomes famous, taking him away from his family when they need him most.
Where did I get the inspiration for both these stories? I guess firstly I wanted to base a book in the part of London I love the most–the East End. Where this was once a run-down part of the city, nowadays it is up and coming. Plus there have always been the more salubrious parts–Islington springs to mind–but places like Shoreditch and Hoxton have become our equivalent of Greenwich Village in NYC.
The second reason for writing the book was that I wanted strong female characters. In both books, they are fighting against circumstances, but they get through their trials by working hard, not by leaning on a man for support all the way. That doesn’t mean there’s no romance involved–quite the contrary–but they don’t expect the men to solve all their problems.
3. What methods do you use to ensure you have no plot holes (journal, storyboard, outline, editor, etc.)?
Ooh, good question. I tend to be a plotter, rather than a pantser (although I’m trying to be less anal about it) which means I can try to iron plot holes out before I even start. But this isn’t the whole story. I also revise religiously (about three or four times before anybody else even sees it), then have beta readers who comment with their thoughts. The next step in the process is sending it to my editor, and finally before I ever hit ‘publish’ I let my husband read it.
To say Mr E is anal is an understatement. He writes policies and speeches for a living and has a keen eye for holes. When I give him a galley copy of my book, it’s always given back covered with red pen. And his little comments never fail to make me laugh.
The writers of romance weekly are celebrating our 6 month anniversary with a MASSIVE rafflecopter giveaway. If you haven’t entered already, please hurry and do so. You can find the link here: ROMANCE WEEKLY RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY.
Thank you to Jeanne for these questions, they were a lot of fun to answer. And now to read more Romance Weekly Blog Hop go to http://scmitchell.wordpress.com/ and read S.C. Mitchell’s answers!