I'm pleased to host author Josee Renard today. Be sure to leave a comment at the end of the post for your chance to win a copy of Navid...
The Sunshine Coast Exception
I’ve been writing and publishing for what seems like a very long time but it’s really only recently that I’ve figured out how stories work for me. And, of course, like everything about writing – once I figured it out, I quickly realized that there was an exception to the rule.
I call it The Sunshine Coast Exception (and thanks to The Big Bang Theory for the title).
Let’s begin with the 99.9% of my writing that has nothing to do with the Exception. I begin stories, always, with a phrase or a line. It might come from a magazine or a book or I might overhear it in a coffee shop or on a bus. It might be a bit of graffiti or the name of a restaurant or a store. I never know what kind of story it’s going to be but the words somehow lead me to a feeling – might be sad or erotic or funny or nostalgic. Could be anything. And that’s pretty much how the story begins, the feeling and the phrase. And then I begin to write, not knowing what’s going to happen in the next sentence, let alone at the end of the book.
And then there’s The Sunshine Coast Exception.
This is the Sunshine Coast. It’s a peninsula that juts out from the coast of British Columbia but – because of those mountains – you can’t get there by road, you have to take a ferry. Over the years, I’ve been to the Sunshine Coast many times, especially for the ten years my dad lived there. It’s beautiful, it really is much sunnier than Vancouver, and some of my women’s fiction books (the ones published as Kate Austin) are set there.
A few years ago, my partner and I went to the Sunshine Coast for a weekend. We spend a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon sitting in this pub, looking out over this view.
And we got started talking – fueled, of course, by a little alcohol and a whole lot of sunshine. Now, I don’t often write paranormal (either as Kate or as Josee) but because I read it all the time, I wanted to take a shot at it. By the end of the afternoon, I had the idea (see paragraph three above – I never write from an idea, I never plot, and I never know what’s going to happen next) and I went home and wrote The Demon Next Door: Ali.
And I guess this is the moral of this blog. Never believe you know it all. Never believe there’s only one way. Because if you do? Something’s going to come along and show you just how wrong you are. I’ve now written about three demons: Ali, Morteza, and Navid. They’re pretty much like you and I with a few exceptions. They’re all drop-dead gorgeous, they have a few special powers, and they’re really, really good in bed.
DND: Ali is the only book I’ve ever thought out before I started writing, so The Sunshine Coast Exception is just that – a singular exceptional event. But there he was – Ali, once lord of all the demons, giving up his power for sex. And love. And then Morteza came along. I wrote a short story about him called The Demon, and then realized I – and Morteza – needed to know what came out of the sexual encounter he’d had in that story. He got his own novella. And so did Navid, the last, so far, of the demons next door.
You never know what’s going to happen, do you?
And thanks to Ella for letting me share her blog for a day. I’ll be looking forward to seeing her over at my blog (www.joseerenard.wordpress.com) on July 28.
Thanks so much for joining us today. Remember to leave Josee a comment for your chance to win Navid.
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