Bright Lights #5 - MV Freeman - Incandescent



It's always a nice surprise when conversations turn to something other than writing (you know, just for a brief respite) and it turned out that MV Freeman loves movies! This was great news because I'm kinda partial to them myself and that was the way MV and I got talking on Twitter. 

However, further discussions of the Dark Knight will have to wait for another time because MV is here to talk about her new novel, Incandescent, and answer some questions about her writing craft.

And just for the record, anyone who can throw a comic book reference into the conversation is fantastic in my book! lol. 
  



MV Freeman



Q - Hi MV, tell me a little about your Incandescent series.

Here is the basic concept: Three races vie for supremacy as humans and half breeds are caught in the crossfire. Each book will have a different Hero/Heroine but move the arching story forward. Incandescent focuses on a Russian Mikhail Petrov an Elemental who will do anything to gain his freedom including using the ignorant, but feisty, Laurie Hudson.
 







Q - Was Incandescent planned as a trilogy or did that idea come as you wrote the first book? 

It initially started as one story-but I kept building on the original concept. By the time I was half done with the book I knew I’d have at least three books. (My imagination kept running amok)


Q - What have you learned from the writing Incandescent that helps you most as you write the second book: Illumination? 

I learned everything with Incandescent—down to flow, character, and dialogue. Incandescent is my first book and it is invaluable to me. Illumination is flowing better, and there are more twists and turns.


Q - How do you make the time to write? Do you set a schedule or grab the moments when they come? 

Both. It’s the whole “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em” mentality. Life happens and sometimes I don’t get time—I take bits and pieces. Although, I do find I write consistently at least 5 days a week. I work a day job and have a family—so you have to get creative and you have to want it.


Q - Do you have a favorite place to write? 

My office. It’s dark. It’s quiet and far from people. I know many who write at Caf├ęs but they distract me and I don’t like putting ear phones in because I need to know who is around me.


Q - What kind of story interests you? Do you read the same stories you like to write? 

Hmm. This is hard—because there are many things that interest me. I like historical, fantasy, urban fantasy, Sci-fi. All must be character based with an arc that interests me. (I admit that I go toward Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella stories). Ultimately—all books I read or write have to have the Good Wins or Happily Ever After. Some of the stories I read are what I write, but many are not because I can learn a lot from other genres and story types.


Q - Where do your ideas stories and characters come from generally? 

Everything! Sometimes it’s a movie, a book, or just a conversation. Incandescent is based on my inspiration from the movie “Eastern Promises”. Illumination—well, my secondary characters from the first book inspired this one.


Q - The common mantra given to writers is "write what you know", does this apply to your writing in any way? 

Sort of. There are things that I have to know (like location), but let’s face it I was never in the Russian Mob (which I allude my Hero is, in Incandescent), but this is where fiction comes in—and the ability of a writer to put themselves in someone else’s shoes (as well as research). If I write what I know then it would be pretty darn boring….. (and here is a secret—in Incandescent my hero drinks Vodka. I am not fond of Vodka, do you know how hard it was to write that?)


Q - When you're writing, how much do you feel you have to adhere to certain limitations based on the genre you're writing in? 

This depends: With Urban Fantasy I have a large amount of leeway. My personal feeling is if you can justify it and make it seem plausible you can do anything—even if it’s straight contemporary. I like pushing the envelope because that’s what makes the story and the writing interesting.


Q - Could you talk a little about the process of working through a Literary Agency? Do you enjoy it generally? Is there a downside or a part of it that doesn't sit so well with you? 

I can’t say this with any great authority—because I obtained my Agent after my book Incandescent was published. But, so far it is positive. A good Agent will help guide you, run interference for you, and submit to publishing houses you can’t get to. It is supposed to be a “team” effort. So far there isn’t a downside for me—but I will say this, a bad agent is worse than no agent at all. I have heard some very scary stories. That is my opinion. I know I am lucky because I think my current Agent is fabulous. The main thing is my Agent loves my writing and that is worth its weight in gold.


Q - Do you use Beta Readers? If so, could you explain what you're looking for from them? 

Yes, I do use Beta Readers. What I want is honesty. I want to know if the story and characters are interesting, if there was anything left unanswered, and if there was something that stopped them from reading.


Q - Do you enjoy working with an editor? Is it difficult to hand over your "baby" to someone else and have them go through it like that? 

I love working with a good editor—because their job is to bring the story together. And it is always hard to hand over your story to someone—but a good editor makes your story stronger.


Q - What do you think are your particular strengths as a writer? Dialog, action, description...what are you most comfortable with? 

I think it's action and description. I’m a visual person so I try to paint a picture. I also love characters…love them! Dialogue is the hardest for me, but I am getting better. I originally wanted to be a comic book artist back in the day—so it tends to show up in what and how I write. (Gus says: This is very cool...I wanted to be a comic book artist too but couldn't draw very well. Marvel sent a nice letter though. lol)

Q - What compels you to write, drives you to keep going, even on the days you'd rather just throw in the towel? 

Two things: A driving need to create, and sheer stubbornness. I know that if I stop the only person I am failing is myself and that is not acceptable.


Q - When did you start writing? 

Officially 2007, but I really started writing in 1998. With the birth of my oldest child—I wanted to write what I liked reading. I began with short stories—and ended up here.


Q - Did anything or anybody inspire you to write? 

Actually, my late father. He always encouraged me to write, even as a teen. Later, I met a friend who started writing with me. She pushed me and I pushed her. Because of these influences I gradually moved forward. For me writing has been a process and journey—always something interesting.


Q - What is the reaction to those around you, family and close friends, about your writing? 

It is fairly positive, but for a long time before I was published it was more indulgent. Now that I am published it proves that I am serious about it. I don’t get mad with this attitude, because I understand it. It is the way it is.


Q - Now that you have some experience in the field, do you still get nervous about putting your work out into the world? 

Absolutely. Writing reveals a bit about you and when someone rejects you it hurts no matter what. With anything-- you shake it off and keep moving forward. There will always be people who love your writing and those who hate it.


Q - What are your thoughts on the uses of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter etc) for writers. Has it helped in your development as an author? 

Social media is imperative for marketing, you can’t escape it. It is the *only* reason I was able to get my book out there. It’s frustrating, because it takes so much time, but at the same time invaluable. But how you use it is important. I use it to engage people—not constantly sell my book—because then it becomes spam. The key is moderation, too much of anything, even social media is a bad thing.


Q - You also have a blog. Do you find blogging to be a useful tool for writers or something that eats up valuable time? 

Yes and No. Yes it is valuable, if you write about your books, characters, and what YOU like. But there are oodles of blogs about writing craft, industry and so on. The thing is not to blog every day because it becomes a time suck. When readers want to know more about you they look for you and a blog helps. But don’t let it detract from your overall mission: Writing.


Q - Do you have any current favorite authors/books? 

Stacia Kane -- “Downside series” , Ilona Andrews-- “Kate Daniels Series”, Jeanine Frost --“Cat & Bones Series” , Brandon Mull --“Fablehaven Series”. Moriah Densley –Song for Sophia I only named a few off the top of my head. I seriously could list a dozen.

Q - Have you ever suffered from writer's block? If so, any quick cure advice? 

Yes I have. My solutions vary—my goal is to jar my subconscious into working for me. I may nap, make coffee, go for a walk (or swing a kettle bell), call a friend, read for a bit (Not always the best solution because I may get sucked into a story). But I look for things that bring out my imagination. The thing is keep pushing forward and do not panic!


Q - How important is it for a writer to also be a reader? 

Incredible—because you have to remember what excites you as a reader. The authors I listed above have helped, because I get a feel for language and what makes me turn the page. If I hear that a writer doesn’t read I get nervous. I am at the point I even listen to Audio books (awesome by the way)—anything to read.


Q - Library or Bookstore? 

BOTH! They both make me pause, breathe in and think “I’m home.”

Q - Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to? 

Yes. I listen to Baroque music when I am revising, I tend to listen to a variety of other music when I am going through the first draft. This one, for Illumination I tend to veer toward Halestorm, Five Finger Death Punch and Christina Perri.

Q - How do you choose your next story? 

Well, depends on what needs to be written next. The world I am writing in has plenty of stories I can work with. But say I didn’t have that—I go with whatever idea that just refuses to leave my head. I have another series that is lurking in the back of my brain….


Q - Do you have any advice for newbie writers? Those who are yet to start on their journey? 

Do not give up. Write. Those are the two biggest. A few more important ones are: Take craft classes—learn as much as you can. Learn to take constructive criticism (and develop a thick skin), and in the process you’ll learn what works for you. Writing is a process and you have to put one foot (or in this case) word in front of the other.


And finally - You're are going to be stranded on a desert island (for a wee while) but I'm going to allow you to take 1 book, 1 piece of music, 1 movie, a bowl of your favorite dessert and 1 person you'd like to share the island with for a while (alive, dead, fictional or real...it matters not) What are your choices...and if you want to elaborate...tell me WHY? 

Book: Well. This is hard, I’d probably bring the SAS: Survival Guide. (Gus says: I read this back in the late 80's...it belonged to a friend of mine. Rambo was in vogue)

Music: Baroque music. Why? Because I’m thinking I’m going to be a tad stressed on a desert island. I’ll need something to relax me.

Movie: 300 it’s this or the Lord of the Ring Trilogy. I love movies that motivate me—have strong characters and in the end—the bad guys get theirs. And if I’m on this island, I may need this.

Dessert: Hmm. Ice-cream. But I’m thinking it would melt. If that didn’t work—chocolate covered espresso beans. Caffeine AND chocolate, you can’t go wrong.

Person: Choosing fictional: I’d go for Wolverine. (Gus says: Woot! That's a winner! lol) Let’s face the odds of surviving increase exponentially just by him showing up. Reality: I’d bring my spouse. It would be our first vacation in years where it’s just us.

A big thank you to MV for dropping by and sharing her thoughts. I hope you'll check out her links below and don't forget to leave a wee comment. 



Links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMVFreeman?ref=hl

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16287780-incandescent

Amazon: http://amzn.to/RtcA7a

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/UcdaGp


Author Bio:

M.V. Freeman is a native of Minnesota, but calls North Alabama her home. She is a member of RWA, and the chapters: Georgia Romance Writers and Southern Magic. By day her mind is filled with medical jargon at the local health clinic, but at night she finds herself exploring alternate worlds within our own. Heavily influenced by Slavic languages and culture, you will find she weaves these elements into her stories. Her award winning story INCANDESCENT is the first in a series. She is currently working on the second book. When she is not writing, she's reading, cooking, throwing around kettle bells, or making coffee. www.mvfreeman.com my twitter @MVFree

Comments

  1. Nice interview, M.V.! I think I'd take Aragorn, however :)

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  2. Great interview. I love your advice about blogging. Looking forward to Illumination. Write on!

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  3. Great interview! Incandescent sounds amazing! Congrats on your release, M.V.! I totally agree that a good editor makes your story stronger. Enjoyed this post! Now, I'm off to stalk--uh, follow--you. ;)

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  4. Great interview. Totally understand the person she'd take on a deserted island--because they haven't had a vacation in years.

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  5. Hi Jennifer,
    Aragorn was a close second.... :D A poet king...who could really hold his own.
    Thank you for stopping by!

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  6. Hi Meda,
    Thank you so much! :) I'm having a lot of fun writing Illumination. So awesome you stopped by!

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  7. Hi Karen!
    Thanks so much for you kind words, :) I adored writing Incandescent.
    As for stalking/following you'll find I have an unhealthy obsession with coffee... :D And I complain alot about dust bunnies. :)

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  8. Hi Pat,
    Thank you! I sort of feel sorry for my husband, because I am so not the roughing it type...:)But, It would be an adventure!

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