Today I'm very happy to welcome the vivacious Vania Rheault to this venerated blog. As usual, I've vigorously asked ALL the vital questions in the hope for some valid and vivid responses.
Okay, I'll be quiet now.
Are you scared of running out of ideas?
No. If anything, I am the complete opposite. I have so many ideas right now and it’s so frustrating writing takes so much time! Right now I am writing a naughty novella series I plan to self-publish. I’m also working on my NaNoWriMo project from last year. Incidentally, that project spawned a sister that I am 12,000 words into. I don’t want to waste a 75,000 word manuscript, but I don’t have the heart to fix it right now. I wrote a short story some time ago that I would love to see written into a full length novel or trilogy. I have two YA novels bumping around in my head. I also would love to start a tart-noir series about a female detective. Everyone talks about growing up Nancy Drew, but I would really like to try.
Oh, for sure. I have kids, so it’s so easy to say, my daughter isn’t feeling well, I need to stay home. Of course, I kind of see this as tempting fate, and I don’t use it very often, thinking I really don’t want to make her sick! Of course, I also say I’m sick, or I forgot about other plans. I know I’m not the only one guilty of doing this!
Absolutely. Only where I would write would change. A cabin retreat in the mountains anyone? Sounds a lot better than my kitchen table with my cat in my face. Okay, I would still bring my cat.
Which writer has influenced you most?
I would like to say Ernest Hemingway, just to sound snobby. No, I do read him a lot, but I’ve read Nora Roberts for longer. She taught me how to turn a character into a real person. She writes characters you wish you knew, you want to help, hang out with. Characters with pasts, with flaws, but who can be kind, caring, strong. She writes villains with the same flare, characters you love to hate. Characters you maybe even feel a little bit sorry for. She brings her characters off the page and I try to do that too. That’s one of the big issues with my NaNo project. I wrote it so fast, I feel the characters are flat, uninteresting. Breathing life into them takes time and it’s frustrating.
Paper. I read at work and I work in a call center where electronics are not allowed due to confidentiality issues. Being I have a lot more time at work to read than at home, I always buy a paperback version when I can. If I do read at home, I save that time for beta-reading for friends or small editing projects. I’ve been reading a lot of Indie authors lately, and I love looking at their books. How did they format the inside, how did they do the cover? Who did they thank in the acknowledgements and do I know them? It’s a lot of fun to tweet their books “out in the wild.” It wouldn’t be the same taking a picture of my iPad.
The beginning. I can pull characters out of thin air and plop them down somewhere and just let them run. The middle is the hardest part for me. I’m a Panster and I’m always worried about word count, and how much “filler” or “fluff” I’m going to need to come up with before I can start the ending. The “fluff” has to be meaningful to the story, make the story move toward the ending, so it’s difficult for me to keep the middle relevant.
None of them. They’re all schmucks. That’s why they’re miserable.