Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Karin Salvalaggio--Waiting for Buses



DEBORAH CROMBIE: Where do writers get their ideas? 

This is the questions readers most often ask (and I am endlessly fascinated by the answers, because they are always different.) 

The second is, "How exactly do you get those ideas?" (Meaning is there some magical process by which those ideas are delivered.) 

Well, my friend Karin Salvalaggio (and her friends) are here to tell exactly how those ideas come about.  And Karin should know--here's what the Richmond Times-Dispatch has to say about her fourth Macy Greely novel, SILENT RAIN:  
"Salvalaggio, whose trademarks include intricate plotting and stark but affecting prose, scores another triumph."—Richmond Times-Dispatch


SILENT RAIN has been all the buzz on the crime writing scene the last few weeks, and with good reason. It's fabulous!

Karin, I might add, is my polar opposite. I live in Texas and write books set in London. Karin lives in London and writes books set in Montana. But we both have to come up with a method for getting those words down on paper. (She is also my best London research pub crawl pal, and, yes, there is such a thing.) Here's Karin to reveal her secrets!

KARIN SALVALAGGIO:  'Eighty percent of success is showing up’. – Woody Allen



Most people seem impressed when I tell them I’m a published author. I’ve noticed that the words ‘crime novelist’ are an added bonus, but more on that later. It’s rather nice that our profession is still held in such high regard. I therefore believe it’s important to maintain a bit of mystique. When asked where the motivation to continue writing comes from I nod sagely and say silly things like: The ideas come and the next thing I know I’m swept away’ or ‘There is a bit of a struggle until I find that all-important tipping point. After that the book almost writes itself’.

All of this is, of course, a load of bollocks. There is nothing mystical about motivation. Much is down to establishing good habits and setting realistic goals, but sometimes even that fails to get the engine turning over. A writer’s life isn’t glamorous and mornings can be cold. Most days I’m home alone in my dressing gown clutching a bowl of muesli as I sit in front of a laptop. I subscribe to the notion that ideas are like buses––you wait for hours and then three show up at once. You’re not going to get very far if you’re not there to catch them. But it’s not always easy to find the motivation to stay ‘seated’ when your deadline is months away and sunshine is pouring through your office window. Cue the sound of the neighbors having a cheeky early afternoon glass of wine. It’s all I can do not to leap out the window.

Thankfully, there are many ways to jump start the process. I belong to group of writers on Facebook. We occasionally have ‘word races’. Participants publish their word counts at the end of the session. I’m highly competitive so will crank out in excess of 2000 words an hour if focused. Not all of it will be usable. In fact some of it will go straight to the bin, but remember what I said about ideas being like buses. There’s something I forgot to mention. You not only need to be sitting in that seat to catch them you also need a lot of buses.

I asked some of my author friends what they did when they were struggling with motivation.

Claire Fuller admits to having a big problem with motivation, especially with first drafts, whether that's novels or articles. She often has to trick herself – ‘Claire, you only have to read the paragraph you wrote yesterday’. Hopefully reading it will make her start writing. Or she resorts to bribery: ‘when I've written 500 words I'm allowed to stop and have lunch’. Claire’s debut Swimming Lessons is published by Tin House in the US.

Dinah Jefferies experienced a devastating lack of motivation as she wrote her fifth book. ‘It was truly uncomfortable and lasted three months, during which time I sat at my desk and continued to write my first draft. Once it was down, I then had something to play with. Since then the edits are proving really rewarding and I'm glad I stuck with it’. Dinah’s earlier book, The Tea Planter's Wife is published in the US by Crown.

Considering her legendry output it would be wise to listen to Louise Beech’s heartfelt advice. ‘I motivate myself with chocolate digestives. Fantastic for my words - fatal for my figure’. Louise’s second novel is entitled The Mountain in my Shoe.

Kerry Hadley sets aside 90 minutes and just writes. ‘That's it. No phone, no FB, no talking or daydreaming, just door-closed-leave-me-alone-I'm-writing-time ... I don't word count - that's not important. If I fancy doing more, I do, if not, I don't. Apparently, according to Oprah, it takes 7 days to form a habit like this (and 30 days to overcome an addiction.) I've found this to be a much more satisfying way of producing something than, say, a daily word count, or sitting in blank hope for the day.’ Kerry’s novel The Black Country is published by Salt Publishing.

Author Rachael Lucas finds it almost impossible to write without a deadline, so she asks her agent to give her one ("I want four chapters by next month"). ‘First drafts are the worst thing for me. Once I have something to play with, I'm much better.’ (The State of Grace will be published by Feiwel and Friends in the USA in 2018)

Vanessa Lafaye finds editing much easier than writing, so she tricks herself into getting started by thinking that she’ll just read the last thing she wrote. ‘Usually that works, but not always. I like to read the book reviews in The Sunday Times. The reviewers' comments always spur me on, hoping I won't make the same mistakes they criticise in others' work - I'll make different ones!’ Vanessa’s debut At First Light was published by Orion in 2015.

Christine Breen also finds editing much easier. She thinks her training as a copy editor is a double-edged sword. ‘When I'm stumped I turn to some of my favourite women writers like Elizabeth Strout, Alice McDermott, Ann Patchett, Deborah Levy and Anne Tyler and reread passages to jump-start the stalled engine.’ Her Name is Rose was published by St Martin's Press.

Author Kerry Fisher tells herself that it's like having a huge piece of homework hanging over her and that she’ll feel so much happier when she’s done it. She also has a minimum word count of 1000 words a day and forces herself to do them. ‘Sometimes I'll be there on a Friday night at 7pm with the wine waiting downstairs, thinking '73 more words'...I write the expected weekly word count on my calendar, allowing a few days off here and there for impromptu family crises. If I fall behind, I make myself work weekends to catch up. The one thing I cannot face is a deadline panic (teens leaving revision till the last minute puts the family under enough stress without me joining in.)’ Kerry’s novel The Silent Wife is published by Bookouture.

DEBS: I'm so happy to see that I'm not the only one who struggles with that daily word count. I love the Woody Allen quote, and I LOVE the buses. "Waiting for the bus" is my new mantra.

And all very useful advice from Karin's writer friends, although my favorite bit is definitely the chocolate digestives... (Brit-speak for chocolate-covered-sort-of-graham-crackerish cookies. There really is no American equivalent. But they are delicious, and perfect with tea, and very inspiring.)

Here's more about SILENT RAIN--

Grace Adams has spent three years trying to move on—mentally, physically, emotionally—from the traumatizing events of her past. But it’s not easy when the world is morbidly curious about the crimes that shaped her childhood, when despite her changed name, people still track her down for the sensational details. Now in college in Bolton, Montana, the one person Grace has trusted with the truth about her past has betrayed her. The bestselling novelist Peter Granger wants to use Grace’s story in his next book, regardless of how desperate Grace is to keep the details to herself. And then, on Halloween night, Peter Granger’s house burns to the ground and his and his wife’s bodies are found inside.

Montana state detective Macy Greeley is sent to Bolton to handle the investigation into the fire and deaths…which soon appear to be arson and murder. It doesn’t take Macy long to realize that Grace isn’t the only one whom Peter Granger has betrayed, and there are no shortage of others in town who took issue with him and his wife. What at first looked like a straightforward investigation is poised to expose some of Bolton’s darkest secrets, and the fallout may put more than one life in danger.

KARIN SALVALAGGIO received an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck at the University of London. Born in West Virginia and raised in an Air Force family, she grew up on a number of military bases around the United States. She now lives in London with her two children. Silent Rain is her fourth novel.

REDS and readers, what do you do to get motivated?

 

















80 comments:

  1. Karin, I’m looking forward to reading “Silent Rain.”

    Motivation is one of those always-elusive things for me since I tend to be the queen of procrastination . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Joan, thank you. I hope you enjoy Silent Rain. I wish I could be queen of procrastination once in a while.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Karin. Like the title a lot-and the cover. Did you choose those yourself, or were they more or less pushed in your direction? Naming has become a mystery of its own to me. I try to avoid cute, but cute is persistent. I waste a lot of time with such things.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I believe in long lead times because I hate that last-minute panic. Deadlines give me a set-in-concrete goalpost for the professional projects, and years of freelancing have given me an understanding of when I'm most likely to be productive. A daily schedule of research in the morning and writing in the afternoon seems to be the best way to catch at least one of those busses. It's a little different on projects I write for the fun of it. If I have an idea, I carry it with me everywhere, playing out scenes in my head during my long daily commute, so I'm ready to write when I get home. I promise myself just a few words--just a sentence, maybe. Then, if I'm too tired to write more, or the dogs need walking, or some other thing pulls me away, okay. Usually, after a day of mind play, that sentence will lead to a second, and before I know it the dogs have given up on me, and I'm another scene deeper into the story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gigi, it is also true for me that I'm constantly thinking about my work while I'm going about my day. I don't even realise it half the time but it is churning away in the background. Thankfully, I have two very patient children but my dog will not be put off by a laptop. He will be a total pest so it's easier to get the walk out of the way first. I use voice dictation to put down ideas into my phone as I'm walking my dog. I am one of those crazy people walking around talking to themselves!

      Delete
  5. Reine, you're seeing a book cover that was designed by the team at St. Martins Press. Generally speaking they get it right. Initially I wasn't too pleased with the cover but after some tweaking it became something I felt I could get behind. It's even glossy this time, which is something new. Very posh. I still feel that my character Macy, who is a special investigator in Montana, would never wear a red trench coat, but I had to let my reservations go. Give and take is key. I came up with title before I wrote the book ... a highly unusual way to go about things but given I struggle with titles it was nice to have it out of the way from the start.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karin, Great explanation. I feel for you with the red trench coat. My mother gave me a London Fog for my 16th birthday. Definitely not red. I still have it. If it were red I'm sure I would have lost it on the ferry long ago. Posh cover, though, will make all the difference.

      Delete
    2. Oh, I love the red trenchcoat! It is such an icon on mystery covers… I have one too, and I think it is terrific. I think it looks powerful, and mysterious, and focuses on the character. I think that cover is terrific. And remember the creepy character in… What was the Donald Sutherland movie? Don't Look Now?

      Delete
    3. "Don't Look Now" was and is my favourite Daphne Du Maurier short story. Film was fabulous too. I actually think I wrote a piece for Jungle Reds on this very subject a few years ago.

      Delete
  6. What a great collection of comments! Good morning, Karin - we of the early-commenter crowd rarely have the guest responding so promptly - fun.

    As others here know, I'm under contract to write three mysteries a year, so I'm sitting at that bus stop every day but Sunday. I check in with Ramona DeFelice Long's Facebook sprint group at seven every morning, and then work away without interruption for an hour (plus subsequent hours, of course). It's great motivation to know there are bunch of us scattered around the world doing the same thing - although we've never (yet) had a word count race. By the end of the morning I'm often out of creative steam, so I go for my power walk - during which the plot for the next day reveals itself, or I work out the sticky issue I was stuck on.

    I haven't read your books yet, clearly an oversight on my part! Off to order number one. Best of luck with the new one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Edith, I live in London which means I'm up early by US standards. It's already 11.16am here. I also know that the comments come thick and fast on this blog so you have to get stuck in to keep up. Three books a year is incredibly impressive output. I am in AWE though I do think it's in all of us to write more. It's simply a matter of creating good habits and you certainly seem to have done that. I'll have to check out the Facebook sprint group. Thank you in advance for having a look at my novels!

      Delete
  7. Karin, I discovered you as an author while attending last year's Bouchercon. Your moderator, Kristopher, has praised your books on his BOLO blog, including "Silent Rain". This one is on my TBR list. Fascinating to hear how different authors deal with getting the words on the page. Thanks for sharing their insights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Grace, I love that you were at my panel at Bouchercon. Kristopher was such a good monitor and my fellow panelists- Yrsa Sigordardottir, Kristi Belcamino and Rachel Howzell were superb. Now you're making me long for another trip to NOLA. That was such fun!

      Delete
    2. Karin, yes NOLA was fantastic! And I agree that Kristopher was a great moderator. I hope you are coming to Bouchercon in Toronto (my hometown)!

      Delete
    3. Yes, I've booked Toronto. I've never been so looking forward to exploring the city. I only hear good things. It's like a big reunion every year. I remember when Deborah Crombie insisted I go to my first one in Long Beach. I had no idea such a world existed but now I can't get enough.

      Delete
    4. Great, Karin! Yes, there is a lot to see in Toronto. This will be my 23rd(!) Bouchercon so I am a veteran. See you there!!

      Delete
    5. I might have to get some advice from you on both Toronto and Bouchercon! #protips

      Delete
  8. You had me giggling with this line Karin: 'The ideas come and the next thing I know I’m swept away.’

    I was so relieved to hear it is baloney! Goals are good--I need to reset mine pronto. Talking things out with my writers group or my husband or another writer pal is my best bet when I need to get unstuck.

    Tell us more about the writer in this new book--I'm fascinated with that idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lucy.

      I agree with you with regards to soliciting advice from those who know our writing best. My brilliant writer friend Fiona Melrose lives in South Africa but she and I Facebook message on a daily basis. Most is just gossip and catching up but a lot is about writing. I ignore her advice at my peril.

      The writer in question is named Peter Granger. He's had years of writing best selling literary fiction but has now moved to Bolton, Montana where he is most definitely the biggest fish in a very small pond. Picture a narcissist whose ego has grown to larger than proportions and you have Peter. He's good at disguising it though. It is only the people who are closest to him who see him for who he really is.

      Delete
  9. LOVE the waiting for a bus metaphor. You do have to be looking for it to find it.

    Getting motivated? A deadline helps. Research helps, too. (Do research and buses you didn't know you were waiting for show up. I set a timer, too. Sometime printing out the last pages I wrote and editing and adding longhand works. Sometimes not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Research certainly helps! If I'm fascinated with a setting or subject it's easier to put in the hours required. I do think there are times when we have to walk away from a project in order to see it more clearly. Deadlines are helpful but they can also be problematic. If you're writing a book a year there is little time for reflection.

      Delete
    2. Hallie, I love that line "Do research and busses you didn't know you were waiting for show up"!

      Delete
    3. True story: the call for stories for the next Malice anthology went out - Mystery Most Geographical. I was talking to my roomie for last Malice and mentioned I'd lived in Puerto Rico for a few months working when I was just out of college. She said, "Oh, I bet there's a story there."

      So I started looking at web pages of things I remembered from my time there. I swear I just wrote the first few paragraphs of the story and thought of some of the plot!

      Mary/Liz

      Delete
    4. I completely agree. I always tell my children that it is important to have goals in life but to not get so focused that you're blind to what is happening in the periphery. If you read widely and live fully all sorts of opportunities will present themselves. I find the same notion applies to writing. If I'm too focused on one idea I'll miss others that may be better. I'm really enjoying this conversation.

      Delete
    5. That looming deadline is the best motivator for me too!

      Delete
  10. Oh, welcome, Karen so great to see you! And I'm motivated! I'm motivated-- but right now there is nothing to be motivated to write. And that is the problem. ! I am at that moment, the very one you all are talking about, where I have no idea what my next book will be. I fully believe, fully, but the ideas appear when they are ready to appear. ( it would be much nicer if the buses had a schedule… ).
    I know what will happen next… I'll go through writhing throes of terror and fear, worrying that I will never think of something. It kind of turns out that you can't just " think"of a good idea. Somehow something has to happen that tips over the dominoes.
    So for the next period of time I will be saying to my husband things like: what if she opens the door and no one is there. What if someone shows up at the door? What if the delivery man is a bad guy? What if the delivery man is delivering… no, that won't work.
    Congratulations on the new book! Cannot wait to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know exactly what you mean but instead of talking to a husband, I talk to myself. 3am conversations are the worst but sadly that's when some of the best ideas seem to make an appearance. I call these night buses.

      Thank you for all your support. Jungle Red Writers have been cheering me on from the beginning.

      Delete
  11. But when I am writing, I have a word count, and I relentlessly pursue it. And yes, just like Kerry, I don't leave my desk until I make it, or more. That way, inevitably, my first draft will be done and I can get to the fun editing part .
    I also set a timer! I say: for the next 53 minutes I will do nothing but write-- no getting food, no getting the mail, no doing the laundry, no looking at the Internet. I make a hard and fast deal with myself, and keep to it. It really works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Managed to flub the reply. Please see below!

      Delete
  12. Kerry Fisher is quite something, so disciplined. I can't say I'm as organised as you and her, but I have a system that works for me so won't jinx it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that the cool part? How we all learn what works for us..and then we can be fascinated by the decisions of others...

      Delete
    2. Exactly! That's why these 'How to write a novel' courses don't really work. Your system is something you have to work out for yourself over time. Craft is different. That is something that can be taught.

      Delete
  13. Kristopher from BOLO Books here. Lovely to see you on Jungle Reds again Karin. As you know, I loved Silent Rain and hope that the idea buses continue to arrive at the station for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristopher, lovely to see you here too! Our Bouchercon panel in NOLA got a nice shoutout earlier on in the thread from Grace Koshida. Thankfully, there are lots of buses in London!

      Delete
  14. Karin, I have your books somewhere on my TBR pile and it sounds like I need to find them post-haste (I'm so woefully behind - it's more like a TBR mess at this point).

    I have a full-time job, so I have my lunch hour. I take my personal computer to work and eat lunch while I pound out that day's whatever it is (sometimes new words, sometimes editing). In general, that's all I get, that five hours a week. With two teens, the weekends are usually spent doing stuff.

    I love the bus image and the Woody Allen quote.

    Mary/Liz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary/Liz, I am FULL of admiration for writers that manage to get the job done while dealing with what Dru Ann likes to call the 'daytime situation'. My children are older (20 and 22) so it's easier to carve out time and quiet in the house now. Thank you for having my books in your TBR pile. My TBR pile is basically a bookshelf now! Karin

      Delete
    2. Mary, you are in for such a treat with Karin's Macy Greeley series. Yes, find them and move them to the top of the pile!

      Delete
  15. This is such a thoughtful, well-written piece. Timely too as I am gearing up to actually start the next book. I could research forever, and love Hallie's comment about the unexpected bus, but eventuality, it comes down to gluing the fingers to the keyboard. In other words, just showing up. I once heard a much better writer than I will ever be say a first draft is like quarrying rocks with bare hands. I find that very encouraging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quarrying rocks with bare hands?! That's quite an image. Thankfully, I get far more pleasure out of writing a first draft than that. I'm not even bothered by all that the writing that is discarded as I like to think that it informs the final narrative. A reader can't see the mistakes and dead ends, but they have the sense that they are there. I think it was Donna Tartt who said a good book is like a iceberg. The reader only sees what's poking out from the surface but there's still a hell of a lot going on beneath the waterline.

      Delete
  16. Karin, what lovely comments. I think we're all inspired this morning. (My two uninterrupted hours waiting for buses starts at 10, so I'm watching the clock here:-)

    Hank, I find that when I'm in your place, it helps to read really good books (and sometimes not-so-good books because they tell you what you DON'T want to do,) to watch movies, and to brainstorm with writer friends. Write down every little thing that interests you about setting or character or plot, and you will find your bus. It helps if you remember that you always do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOh. Sounds lovely--books, movies, brainstorming--and hey, can't hurt, right? Plus, I dreamed about you . last night--you were appearing with (it was a dream, remember) Reince Priebus (sorry, but that was the dream) and there were thousands of people. And you and I were in some anteroom, looking at phone cases, and trying to decide whether they were gifts for us. Usually I can understand my dreams, but his one eludes me.

      Delete
    2. And maybe you could do a non-fiction how-to-write book--maybe authored with Karin?--and call it "Finding Your Bus."

      Delete
    3. Debs,

      Thank you again for inviting me to Jungle Red Writers. It's a yearly pilgrimage I look forward to. What you just said to Hank about remembering that 'you always manage' to find the ideas for your next book/sentence/paragraph/scene is hugely important. I no longer panic when I'm stuck. I now trust that the ideas will come eventually. I just have to keep plugging away at it. The same goes for the times when I'm looking at the mess I've created and can't think how I'm going to turn into a structured narrative. It all makes sense given time and hard work.

      Karin

      Delete
    4. I think Debs and I are far better suited for co-writing a book called "Finding Your Pub"!

      Delete
    5. Except that it was the pub we didn't find that turned out to be useful:-)

      Delete
    6. or better title maybe, THE BUS STOPS HERE.

      Hank, that's a wild dream! Our Debs with Reince Priebus??

      Delete
    7. How about "The Bus and the Pub: A Story of Discovery"?

      Delete
  17. Once again, my admiration for authors is beyond Ananda. If not for people like you, what would people like me do? Karin, I've not read your books yet, but I will remedy that very soon. Welcome and thank you for some great insights.

    Ann in Rochester, a reader and another raison d'etre for great writers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Anne. I love meeting a potential reader. Deborah Crombie has been a huge support to me since I started out a few years ago. Crime writers are the friendliest people in the world which is somewhat funny given we spend our days imagining all kinds of horrendous crimes! I hope you enjoy.

      Delete
    2. Ann, Karin's books are amazing!

      Delete
  18. Karin, thank you for this wonderful post! I love hearing about other writers' processes and what works--or doesn't work.

    I am always motivated but I am constantly struggling against time. Edith mentioned our morning sprint club. This is my salvation because many days, that one hour first thing in the morning is my only time to write. Also, the mental benefits are terrific. No matter what else happens or if the rest of the day goes south, the hour of writing still happened and can't be taken away. But the hour at a time only puts words on the page. I've found I need to get away from home in order to focus and put it all together into a sensible story. I am always on the hunt for getaways. I've spent a month (4 times) at an artist colony. I've gone to every retreat or Seascape type event as possible. Now I've found a local venue that's perfect for small retreats, so I invite a few writer friends and we hole up for a week at a time. It is a lifesaver!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is lovely. I have a support group of writers here in the UK as well. We don't see each other on a day to day basis but are very supportive online. We have writers retreats at a place called The Gladstone Library, which is in Northern Wales. I get so much done when I'm there. Highly recommend if you ever fancy coming this far afield.

      Delete
  19. The Gladstone Library sounds fabulous. Hmmm....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it is! Maybe you should apply to be writer in residence!

      Delete
  20. I would guess that a deadline would be a huge kick in the pants, motivation-wise.

    It helps me keep focused when I have to read books and get reviews done to send in.

    As for Hank's trouble figuring out what to do for her next book, perhaps a thriller writer stuck for ideas and goes out to do some killings to give themselves material to write about? Nahh, that's not a Jane Ryland novel...but a really good idea for a serial killer novel. :D

    I once wrote a post about being ticked off at the rudeness of children of a certain age when it comes to Halloween. But I was having trouble with how to start what became a list of rules if you expect free candy at my house.

    Then I watched V for Vendetta and used one of the long monologues from V in the movie (appropriately reworded to tie into my topic) and it came out rather nicely. Freshly motivated by that amazing scene.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jay, all wise words and some good examples about how ideas come from the surprising places!

      Delete
    2. Jay, love that! Keep those ideas coming!

      Delete
  21. Karin, doll, nice to see you here! Happy book launching!

    I was in dire need of reading a post like this today! I'm between books, struggling to get an idea going AT ALL. Once I get going, motivation is just a matter of the habit of writing ... But when I'm pre-first-draft? I can noodle around for weeks, even months, with nothing to show for it. (Except I am revamping my office right now -- it's gonna be awesome!) I don't have a lot of ideas, and I agree that they often show up all at once. But how to get the ideas when you want to be into the first draft, but ... just aren't (yet)? That's my struggle.

    Here's what I've decided to do to motivate myself: Write 500 words per day around topics that interest me generally -- is there a story within these topics? -- or about interesting things I hear about. Like, yesterday, I heard about a horrific Mother's Day murder here in Oregon and I wondered what could cause such a thing -- well, that's something to brainstorm, for sure. So that's what I'm going to do!

    The thing about ideas, for me, is that I generally get them *while* I'm writing. It doesn't work well when I stare out windows with notebook in hand. Is anyone else like this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi sweetie! So lovely to hear from you! It's evening here in London and pissing down with rain. I have to go to an event in a few minutes so this will be my last response until I get back.

      It's interesting how each of us has found their own way into a manuscript. I tend to picture a single scene and go from there. I really have no idea where but I will have mapped out some themes I'd like to explore be it PTSD, drug abuse, domestic violence etc. I have a tendency to fully immerse myself once I'm in the zone so it doesn't matter if I'm actively writing or walking the dog I'm always mulling it over. I dictate notes into my phone but a lot I keep in my head. There's never any staring though. Like you I write it down and see where it takes me next. Off to Crimefest tomorrow. Wish you were going to be there too.

      Karin x

      Delete
    2. Yes, yes, exactly. If I am writing, ideas (crossing fingers) come. Staring? Not so . much. Sometimes in the shower, though...

      Delete
    3. Oh yes, showers are great for ideas. I have a waterproof pad and pencil in there for just those moments!

      Have fun at Crimefest, Karin!

      Delete
    4. Thanks Lisa. I have a feeling it's going to be fun!

      Delete
  22. Karin, I am so happy to see you here today! Jungle Reds is where I first met you, when Bone Dust White came out. You are such a favorite author and person, one of the most fun around. And, you know how much I love your Macy Greeley series. I can't wait to see you in Toronto and spend some time with you. New Orleans was a bit crazy, and my daughter was with me, so we missed our time there. What I really need to do is follow you and Debs and Diana C. to find where all the great times are.

    This post about ideas and work process was fantastic. The "buses" metaphor is brilliant. The other authors' comments on their work processes are so interesting and inspiring. It all even made me think that with some discipline, I might give it a go, just to see how it feels. I have no illusions about becoming a best-selling author like you and others here. It would just be interesting to see how the process would work on a fiction piece. I was really disciplined in academic work, but creating a whole new world, characters, plot, and all seems so daunting.

    Enjoy Crimefest. One of these years, I'd love to attend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, you should give writing a try. There's is nothing more fun than that first no-pressure/no deadline book. You can try anything you want. And you'll get lots of good advice from the REDS:-)

      Delete
    2. Sorry, Debs, I just saw your comment. I wanted to say how generous you and the rest of the Reds have always been with other writers, encouraging new ones and ready to help. I am constantly impressed with how you all promote each other and other writers.

      Delete
  23. By the way, while I love how this blog introduces readers to authors that they might not have read before, I find it a little annoying too.

    Now don't take that wrong, I love being able to spend money on a new book, but when not a single Barnes and Noble has a copy of Silent Rain within 50 miles of my house, ARGGGGGGGH!!!!

    Don't worry, I'm going to order a copy online. But still...I am one who actually likes to troll the mystery section at the bookstore for these books that I get introduced to via Jungle Red. Plus on the off chance that the person cashing me out asks about the book, I get to do a little promotion when I say something akin to "Oh, I read about this book on the Jungle Red Writers blog."

    Which I've done twice thus far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jay! We appreciate the support. And you won't be disappointed with Karin's books!

      Delete
    2. Jay, sorry for the delay in answering, but I live in London and had to head out this evening for an event. It's frustrating that you couldn't find Silent Rain on the shelves at Barnes and Noble. If I had my way it would be in every store in the states. I really appreciate that you tried though. Maybe they'll order it now! Thank you again for coming onto Jungle Reds and chatting with me today. I do hope you enjoy Silent Rain. Best wishes, Karin

      Delete
    3. No worries Karin, I'll get the book and dig into the story.

      Delete
  24. Karin, Silent Rain sounds terrific and the cover is such an eye catcher - I love it! Congratulations! And the three buses showing up at once? Brilliant. Looking forward to reading your latest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenn, thank you for coming online today and leaving a comment. It means a great deal to me! I hope you enjoy Silent Rain.

      Delete
  25. Silent Rain will be a must-read for me. Hope, hope, hope the ego-inflated writer gets a huge slapdown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, I have a feeling you're going to be very satisfied with how things turn out for Peter Granger. I hope you enjoy it!

      Delete
  26. Hi Karin, I've never had the pleasure of meeting you, but I heard you speak on a panel at Bouchercon (Long Beach or Raleigh) and remember being so impressed. Perhaps we'll get to meet in Toronto!

    SILENT RAIN sounds fascinating; it's definitely going on my TBR pile. Your post is just what I needed to read today as I struggle with my latest. I love the bus metaphor and will keep it in mind. Do you think that writers are every truly confident that the next bus is coming? I used to think that once I had a few books under my belt, I wouldn't fret about it, but now I'm not so sure. Perhaps the uncertainty is inherent to the process?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ingrid, Long Beach was my first Bouchercon. I felt completely out of my depth so pleased that I left a good impression. Raleigh was more relaxed, which I think was down to our lovely moderator and the fact that I was sitting next to one of my favourite people, Amanda Kyle Williams. I will definitely be in Toronto so we will have to meet properly.

      Confidence that the next idea is on its way comes and goes. Four books in and I've realised it does no good to panic, but it's also not the time to walk away. One way or another you have to find the strength to keep the faith. I'd like to think I've found a nice balance but every book throws up new challenges and then there's that thing we call our lives. You can never be too sure how that may impede your progress!

      Delete