Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer Short Story Spectacular, Season 1, Episode 12 - VALERIE DOUGLAS

Today I welcome multi-published author and friend, the very versatile Valerie Douglas. I first met Valerie, as most authors meet each other these days—online—but I can say that she's become a friend. 

Valerie is a prolific writer and a genre-crosser, much to the delight of her fans. A fan of authors in almost every genre she writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and, as V.J. Devereaux, erotic romance.

Happily married to the love of her life and her best friend, she's also companion to two dogs, four cats and an African clawed frog named Hopper who delights in tormenting the cats from his tank.
Here is her guest blog post which I'm sure you will find interesting. 

It’s weird, there are times when I look at the words on a page, and I don’t remember writing them. I know I did, but I’m a pantser – I write by the seat of my pants – so I just write, transcribing what’s happening to these people and how their world works. There are times when these characters who have become as close as friends, if not closer, make me laugh or smile, and times when the tears pour down my face even as I type.
But I always say, ‘if I’m not feeling it, my readers aren’t feeling it’ and that seems to be true, judging by my reviews.
An old canard of the writing profession was that you had to write and publish short stories before you could get a publisher to take you seriously. Unfortunately for me, I could never quite manage to write short. Every time I tried, it would get longer and longer – and in some cases, very long. 
Some characters stay with you, though, and in some cases they stay with readers. In this case, beta readers.
I had written one novel – The Coming Storm - with a prologue detailing the events that would lead to the main story, but I quickly realized that the prologue was mostly what writers call back-story, and not necessary to the novel. 
Being a smart writer, though, I wasn’t silly enough to delete it, I just cut and saved it under another name.
However, my beta readers asked how two of the characters got together to precipitate the events that followed. I wanted to know, too… and suddenly, I found the ability to write a short story that explained how that relationship came about. That novel became Not Magic Enough.
That brought up another question – in The Coming Storm, three of the main characters clearly have a history. Although it’s mentioned in the main book, like any memory, no one goes into any details. I wanted to know how their unlikely friendship developed.

I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to write more short stories – there’s this story based from another series that I thought would be short, but it already looks like it will go longer than I anticipated. *laughing* Not exactly a bad thing….

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  1. Fascinating, Valerie. I've noticed a lot of prequel short stories cropping up, and if I loved the book, I always thrilled to see this little bonus.

  2. Glad to hear someone else doesn't remember writing certain words. Good to know I'm not alone. Great post. And such versatility! Best wishes for continued success. Gail

  3. Your lapses of writing memory make me laugh. I can relate in my own way, particularly when I re-read a line or paragraph that plays so well that I'm stumped at how I managed it and wonder how I can do it again...

  4. Along the lines of not remembering the words you wrote, sometimes a great line for a story will pop in my head and I'll run to the computer only to find I had already written it. Too funny.

  5. Or - I'll come up with what I think is the perfect character name, only to Google it and find out it's already in a book somewhere and written by someone else! I'm a pantzer, too, Valerie, although trying to become more of an outliner.

  6. Really? You Google your characters names? I've never even thought of doing that. I just try to avoid throwing the name of someone I know into a story by accident.