Creative Madness Guest Post I think you have to be a little bit mad to be a writer. By its nature it’s a solitary occupation. For hours at a time you cut yourself off from everyday life and lose yourself in worlds of your own devising: living amongst, conversing with and directing the affairs of imaginary people. Within those worlds, you have complete authority to do as you will; as the creator, you possess power without limit. In my case, the world I inhabit when I sit down in front of the word processor does at least have some grounding in reality. As a historical novelist, my powers are constrained to some extent by known facts about the past. My current series of novels – of which The Splintered Kingdom is the second instalment – is set during one of the most traumatic periods of British history: the Norman Conquest. . .
Instead of the usual author interview, Margaret gave me the option of discussing some of my own “Creative Madness” and sharing one of my favorite hobbies with you. I couldn’t resist. Especially when I saw that Margaret herself shares my passion not only for reading Christian historical fiction but for cross-stitch.
*This is a guest post from author Karleen Koen.* I wish I were creatively mad. Perhaps then I wouldn’t worry so. But when I think about it, creative madness does have me. Why write about a family in the early 18th century and become so engaged with them that you take the story backwards instead of forwards to write about the grandmother? Why take the story backwards instead of forwards? Why spend your days imagining what a character might have said or how she/he would react? Why read biographies and social commentaries and memoirs and funny old almanacs and recipe books? People around me rise at 7 am, go off to work in a cubicle. I can stay at home in my pajamas and daydream about other centuries and people who aren’t real, or who were real but now are gone. That’s crazy, that’s madness. That’s creative…………….. The best part. . .
I love the phrase “creative madness!” It describes me when I’m digitally scrapbooking and have to finish my page, or plotting out a scene in one of my books, or my husband’s recent approach to visiting Disneyland. 🙂 But I’m coming to realize that fervor of creative energy, in any area of our lives, can’t be the same all the time. We need time to rest, to muse, to breathe, to slow down. Some of my best ideas for my writing come when I’m not at the keyboard, but rather doing regular day-to-day tasks. This really hit home a few weeks back, when filled with “creative madness” about my upcoming book and other projects, I stopped for a time to watch my daughter playing in the sprinklers. Watching her joy at getting wet reminded me of the importance of doing less, instead of more. What might have felt at first. . .
Thank you, Margaret, for having me as a guest today. I love the title Creative Madness Mama! Here is a little of The Creative Madness of Darlene Panzera: While I use charts, templates, and index cards to map out my story ideas, the way I put it all together to create a finished novel is a bit of madness. I start with a mental image of a story I want to write. Usually a scene with a couple lines of dialogue. Then I come up with everything else in the story from there, moving forward or backward or anywhere inbetween. A poster board helps with the brainstorming process because I’m a visual person who needs to see things laid out in front of me. I draw a big line down the middle and insert dots depicting the various turning points that must happen. I know there’s a beginning, middle,. . .
My debut novel, Wings of a Dream, released this past September. After the excitement over that book died down, people began asking about my upcoming book, which releases this September. When the question arises, I usually hesitate for a moment, trying to quiet the flip-flop of my stomach. “It’s about a girl who is passionate about missions and auto racing—in 1916.” Blank stares. Or confused ones. It’s obviously not the missions part that throws people. It’s the auto racing. The first question I usually hear is, “They raced cars back then?” “They sure did,” I reply. “And at speeds near 100 mph.” Eyebrows usually shoot sky high about now. How in the world, you might ask, did such a story come into being? To be honest, I’m not really sure! While doing some general research in the time period of 1910-1920, I ran across an article about an. . .
When I was writing Highland Sanctuary, Phelan, the village wolf dog appeared out of nowhere. Of course, the name is Celtic/Scottish for male and actually means, wolf. In my mind, I imagined a white wolf with yellow eyes. He looks fierce, but is gentle as a lamb. With Phelan around, few people worry about their safety. Most think of him as the village protector. Whenever there is danger, Phelan always senses it and alerts the villagers. He’s loyal, a companion, and a friend. The reader gets a glimpse of Phelan’s playfulness, his seriousness, and his vulnerable side. Throughout the book, he becomes as much of a character as any of the other people in the story. For those of us who are animal lovers, don’t our pets become part of our family? We worry when they don’t feel well or act bizarre. We grieve when they’re in pain and die.. . .
Elizabeth Camden makes an impressive debut in The Lady of Bolton Hill. Set in the 1880’s, the author adeptly moves us from the squalor of a London prison to the machinations of the New York Stock Exchange and the power-brokering that was an unfortunate foundation of railroad-building in America. It is refreshing in a novel set in this period to read of a woman who follows the dictates of her own conscience and suffers the consequences for it. Clara Endicott, sent to London by her parents, unearths the abuse of children in the coal mining industry. She publishes relevant articles in the Time of London while a journalist there, only to find herself imprisoned. Eager to remove her from their country, Parliament rules she be sent back to America. Once back in Baltimore, she reunites with her childhood friend, Daniel Tremain. In her absence, he rose from the poor working. . .
Originally from my blog, A Book A Day. Too Rich For A Bride by Mona Hodgson I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah through their Blogging For Books program. I am under no obligation to write a positive review, just an honest one. Too Rich For A Bride is the second book in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series. I have not read the first book in the series, and while one can still read Too Rich For A Bride without reading the first book in the series first, I personally wish that I had started from the beginning. I feel like there are aspects of the second book that would have been more complete. Too Rich For A Bride mainly follows the story of Ida Sinclair who has just finished business school (though it was a really shaky ending when her professor tried to push. . .
I absolutely love to read historical fiction so anytime a favorite historical novel is brought to life on the small screen I’m thrilled especially when they are Hallmark movies! Every movie that I’ve ever watched on Hallmark I’ve really enjoyed but two of my very favorites are Love Comes Softly based on the prairie romance novel by Janette Oke and Hidden Places, the Depression Era novel by Lynn Austin. I’m sure most of you have read Love Comes Softly and a lot of you have probably read Hidden Places and hopefully enjoyed them as much as I did. When Hallmark announced that they were going to make these classic books into films I was so excited. Of course I knew that they weren’t going to be quite the same as the books themselves and they weren’t but I still enjoyed them. ********************************************************************* My favorite will always be the first Love. . .
Upon reading a question posted by author Colleen Coble, I did a lot of thinking and came up with this reply. “I love US historical books. I’ve read some set in WWII, which are great for historical facts. I’ve read some Regency, and enjoyed them. I’ve read the Scotland ones, enjoyed a couple. But I always go back to 1800s civil war or wild west era. Is it maybe because we know the terrain and history of USA, and can’t imagine the other countries/eras as well, no matter how well the author describes (or over describes-and takes away from the story) their settings? If I do read a “different” book, it may have come from a recommendation, favorite author, or even the popularity of the book/author. Many times it takes me longer to read it, usually because my mindset is in 1800s USA, and I need to flip the switch. . .
ACFW BAY WRITERS KICKOFF MEETING JULY 24, 2010 American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) is proud to announce the kickoff meeting for fiction writers from the San Francisco Bay Area. This first meeting will be held in the South Bay, and future meetings will float to other locations. Our first speaker is Camy Tang, who writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is her humorous romance series (Sushi for One?, Only Uni, and Single Sashimi) and her romantic suspense, Deadly Intent. Formula for Danger releases in September. Originally from Hawaii, she worked as a biologist for 9 years, but now is a staff worker for her San Jose church youth group. She also leads a worship team for Sunday service. Camy has coordinated the ACFW Genesis contest for 5 years and runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service, which specializes in online classes and book doctoring. On her blog,. . .