Tuesday, February 17, 2015

On Seeing

I'm told my scenes are very visual, the description full yet subtle and I believe that's because I really see what's around me, all the time, and that translates back onto the page. 

The clinking of cutlery, trying to wave down a busy waiters, the laughter from a booth not far away--all these things tell you're in a busy, perhaps loud restaurant. That's what show, don't tell means. I think that is the reason why, as an author, it's so important to get out there into the world with eyes (and ears) wide-open. Boring things I'd been forced to watch or go to, even years ago, have come back into my mind as the perfect addition to a scene. People watching, curiosity, even a bit of nosiness is the food of good scene writing. Also, I often find myself looking at paintings, such as those by Norman Rockwell, and try to figure out what's really going on. If I'm bored or have time, I make up a story about it in my mind. Check out the ones below. Norman actually makes it quite easy if you look close enough.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

People along the way

I was thinking the other day about how I got here; a published author, I mean. It was a long solitary haul, hundreds of hours cooped up in my office alone, thinking, planning and typing.

But was I really alone?

No. There were hundreds of people with me every day. The jerks I've met over the years became inspiration for the jerks in the book. Strangers I saw on the street become background players. Places I'd been and things I'd seen came back as I needed them, slotted perfectly in just the right place. And the thing is, these influencers almost always go unrecognized, or are oblivious that we even crossed paths. As an example, many years ago when bestselling author Chevy Stevens (author of Still Missing) was still an unknown, she did a interview in the Globe and Mail newspaper. I happened to read that interview--by chance, destiny or fate. In it, she mentioned the name of the editing company she'd used and within a week, I contacted them myself. Long story short, I found an amazing editor and their company ended up doing all the book pre-production for me. I thought of that the other day and emailed Chevy and thanked her. Of course, she had no idea about me but to her, I owed gratitude but as I said to her, I doubt this book would be here had I not read that interview.

Remember who your influencers are and if you remember, and are able, thank them when you can.