Today my guest is Barbara Monajem, who writes historical and paranormal romance. Her words flow so easily, you'll be drawn into her stories from the first paragraph.
The concept of “God helps those who help themselves” has been around since ancient
, and I’m convinced that it applies to that most enigmatic of deities, the Muse. Greece
A few weeks ago I was mired halfway through a manuscript, wondering how (as a writer friend aptly put it) I would pull the rabbit out of the hat once again. This bog in the middle of the book is a familiar stopover in my writing journeys. In the interest of efficiency, I’ve been striving to find a path around it -- with limited success. Try as I may, I can’t think the whole story up ahead of time. I have an idea of how things will go, but it usually morphs into something else and something else and something else again, until at the end its origins are lost. I can dream up a hero and heroine with suitable motivations. I can think up scenes that might take place. But none of these make a good story.
Sometimes the Muse gives me an opening scene, something I just *have* to write down, but it’s only a teaser -- a peek into the world of the story. I have to pay in real work to get any genuine understanding of the characters and their journey. The Muse wants to go for a ride, and then another ride and another, and unless I oblige her by writing, writing, and writing some more, regardless of whether I can see where I’m going, she won’t play her part. Somewhere in the middle, I end up in a sort of Slough of Despond where I wonder if I should chuck the whole thing and start over.
Not at all! I just have to do a bit of thinking and then a lot more writing to get through it…plod, plod, plod, and zing! Now the muse takes me for a ride, and this is when the truly wonderful stuff emerges – the deepest motivations, the awesome surprises, the “duh” moments when everything that’s buried in the story comes out.
Because amazingly, the story is all there right from the start! Stuff that showed up in the beginning magically fits with other stuff at the end. Missing pieces of the puzzle lock into place, and at last there’s a coherent whole. It’s an astonishing process, and at the end of each story I can’t help but believe in the Muse, because I couldn’t possibly have done it all on my own.
After writing a number of books, I’ve begun to have confidence that this is how story works for me – and to look forward to the plodding, because I’m so eager to see what the Muse will surprise me with next.
Barbara Monajem wrote her first story in third grade about apple tree gnomes. After dabbling in neighborhood musicals and teen melodrama, she published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. Now her kids are adults, and she's writing historical and paranormal romance for grownups. She lives in
with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays. http://www.barbaramonajem.com/ Georgia
Ellis's Note: I confess to sneaking this photo in--it's probably my favorite author photo ever. This woman is a writer!
Rose Fairburn is on the run. Her vampire nature can’t protect her from everything, especially not herself. Now, when she should be worried about escaping her past, she can only think about one thing. Her kind can’t live without blood or sex. Love they must forego.
Jack Tallis can slake her thirst. Tall. Handsome. Trustworthy. And not a man alive can resist a vamp’s allure. But…Jack can. And he has other secrets, like why underworld hit men are on his trail, and how he can vanish into thin air. Love suddenly seems possible, but the shadows hide mysteries darker than Rose can even dream, and all will be revealed in the fetish clubs of one strange