Congratulations to my site winner, chosen using RANDOM.ORG. Mary Jo has won a gift certificate of her choice-Amazon, B & N, whatever strikes her fancy. But don't dispair, We have another visitor on Thursday-Wendi Zwaduk, and another chance at goodies.
Today I want to welcome Sara Reinke to My World. Sara's new release is Dark Passages, a story of the Brethren. I asked Sara a few questions and her answers are below.
1) The purpose and importance of research in paranormal romance:
You’d think it would be easy to write in the paranormal genre. By definition alone, the term encompasses whatever you can imagine. But personally speaking, I have a hard time presenting something as a writer if I first can’t buy into it as a reader. For me, this means having a strong back story in place before I even begin to type out a word. And that requires research. History is full of rich and diverse mythology and legends, and I find myself drawing frequently from these as I develop ideas for vampires, werewolves, demons and other paranormal beings.
2) What six things are most important for a writer to be successful and why.
Have faith in yourself and your abilities as a writer. This is a challenging industry, and it can definitely take its toll on your ego in any number of ways. As long as you truly believe in what you’re doing and work hard to continuously improve your craft so you’re presenting your best stories to the world, you can steer yourself in the right direction, success-wise, despite rejection letters, contest near-misses, stinging reviews, etc.
Surround yourself with positive influences. Friends, family and fellow writers who are supportive of your efforts and empathetic to your struggles are worth their weight in gold.
Write as much as you can whenever you can. I don’t advocate for having a set time and place where you must make yourself write a set number of words each and every day—primarily because I’ve never had time for such a stringent schedule, and don’t know many people who do. But if you’re serious about writing, then you need to make time whenever you can reasonably do so to do it. Sometimes this means even when you don’t feel like it, or when you’d rather be doing something else. It’s only as much a priority as you make it, and I personally strive to keep it a high one in my life, despite my other responsibilities and distractions.
Throw away your rejection letters. If you can take some constructive criticism or suggestions away from them, great. If not, toss them. Who needs that kind of negativity, not to mention clutter?
Contact your favorite authors and pick their brains for career advice. You might be surprised by their responses. I have been, pleasantly so, more often than not.
If you want to be a writer, you have to know how to write. This means knowing basic rules of English grammar, which should be a big DUH. You’d be surprised how many aspiring writers don’t have a basic grasp of spelling or grammar, however, and will tell you that’s what an editor is for. Uh, no. That’s your job as the writer. Learn how to do it correctly.
3) World building
Have I mentioned I really like world building? Researching the back story and setting for my work is a blast for me, the chance to really let my imagination run wild, and to learn something while I’m at it. As I mentioned before, I love basing a lot of my world building on real or historical events, including mythology. The internet is a terrific place to begin your research and world building, but you can take it even further at your local library, or by talking to experts in different fields such as anthropology, forensic science, etc.
Karen has always felt an inexplicable attraction to Tristan. More than just the fact he's strikingly handsome, it's as if being with him is something natural, comfortable and right. But soon a brash choice on his part leaves her heartbroken and confused, and a sadistic new enemy will put their tentative love -- and their lives -- to the ultimate test
Excerpt from Dark Passages
From the darkness, a muffled digital ring drew Tristan from the depths of sleep.