Today I’m over at Crystal’s Many Reviewers as a Spotlight Author for Beyond the Last Page! Thank you, Crystal, for your awesome interview questions! I actually did this interview several months ago, so you’ll find that I talk about the process of writing Training Complex as an ongoing thing rather than a completed event. I’ve sampled a few of my favorite questions/answers below, but be sure to follow the link to read more and see the books she’s chosen to spotlight!
What is the most intense scene you have ever written? Did you find it difficult writing that scene?
There are some scenes in Training Season that were pretty intense. I didn’t find them difficult to write so much as unnerving because I felt sure readers wouldn’t like them. (I’m having this same reaction to a scene I wrote for Training Complex, the sequel to Training Season.) As it turned out, some people liked the scene, some people hated the scene, but most reacted strongly to it one way or another, and that was probably good? It struck some kind of chord for sure. Someone once told me to write into the fear. Whatever you’re afraid of doing in the scene, write into that. I’m trying to take that advice a bit with Training Complex.
Author addition: Now that the book is out, I’d like to say that I’m pretty pleased with how much I wrote into the fear. It was risky and it was a little scary, and I guess I feel like I’m doing something wrong if I’m not scaring myself with my writing sometimes. Gotta leap off cliffs in life, you know? Gotta take a flying leap into what makes you sweat a little!
Who in your personal life was the biggest supporter of your writing?
There are different kinds of support, I think, and I’ve been lucky enough to receive a lot of support from a lot of people in my personal life. My husband takes my writing seriously and makes it easier for me to find time to do it by taking up more than his portion of household duties and childcare. Several of my closest friends aren’t very interested in gay romance in general but they still buy and read every single book I put out. That’s support for you. My parents are also quite supportive in multiple ways, as is my daughter who even gives me suggestions for new books. My best friend has always been supportive and helpful, giving up hours of her time to listening to me ramble about imaginary people, and helping me to solve their problems so they can get a happily-ever-after. There isn’t really anyone in my life that isn’t supportive and I’m lucky that way, I know.
Author addition: I really am incredibly lucky to have family and friends who support me. I haven’t had a negative outcome from my writing in terms of social issues…not yet anyway. There may come a day and we’ll see how I handle it then. But for now I want to give props where they are due. I can’t write in isolation. I depend on my family and friends for so much support and I am grateful beyond belief at how they never let me down.
What is one thing you wish your readers could understand about the writing process?
I can’t speak for other authors, and in fact other authors have indicated that what I’m about to say is not true for their writing experience, but one thing I do think readers don’t always understand about the way I write is how little I experience choice in the process. For example, I’ve had people say, “Why did you choose to make X character do/say that particular thing?” And my experience of writing is that very little of it is my choice. I experience the process as the characters bossing me around, not vice versa. Characters very rarely do what I want them to do and will balk if I try to force them. So, sometimes I’ll read something where a reader has said, “I wish Ms. Blake hadn’t decided to make the characters do xyz,” and I think, “But that wasn’t up to me. That was their choice.” I’ve had people tell me that I’m crazy for saying that, though, so…perhaps I am.
Author addition: So true. So, so, so true. I’m their slave, basically.