Friday, February 17, 2006

Author Q&A: Marliss Melton

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Marliss writes Navy Seal romantic suspense, and her books are a wild ride of romance and thrill! Here's the cover blurb for her current book:

Sara Garret thought the military lawyer she married would be the perfect husband and father. But he has become her worst nightmare. Now one vicious act has driven Sara to take her ten-year-old son and flee. Yet the only thing more frightening than running trusting a stranger to help her.

Chase McCaffrey is a damn good sniper, and an even better SEAL—but he’s no knight in shining armor. His impulse to help Sara is as puzzling as the subtle way she steals into his heart, resurrecting emotions he thought he didn't have. Concealing mother and son at his remote, Oklahoma ranch, Chase dares to hope the past will never find them. Yet there are sinister forces afoot, threatening to expose them. And a calculating husband tracks them down, if only to prove that Sara is his, forever--even in death.

Danger is right behind you.

Click here to read an excerpt

Instead of doing a Q&A where I hound Marliss with my random questions, she wanted to post a response to a question she constantly gets, so here it is!

Question: My life is so busy, how can I make more time to get my writing done?

Answer: Take it from me, I know exactly what it means to be busy. As a mother of five children (four teens and a toddler), I have learned to make the most of my time so that I can write effectively 3-5 hours a day. Here’s what I do. Take what works for you and run with it!

1) Wear earplugs when you sleep. This ensures a good night’s rest and you won’t be exhausted in the morning.
2) Close your e-mail program when you’re writing. If you’re like me, you’ll be distracted by e-mail. Instead of writing on your manuscript, you’ll be making your friends happy, but you won’t be happy with yourself.
3) Shop on weekends. This way the husband or children can help out and you won’t use up all of your writing time.
4) Push naps. Quiet time for everyone. Mother is writing.
5) Do laundry in the evening in the presence of your children. Make them help. Better yet, when they become teenagers, make them do their own laundry (supervised, at first). You will find this tremendously liberating and you won’t get blamed for losing their socks!
6) Hire a housekeeper. If you can’t afford one, break housecleaning chores into chunks, twenty minutes per day. Or…
7) Join on the internet. This website will help you get organized and stay that way. It’ll create a shopping list for you, so that your weekly meals are planned and you have all the ingredients you need to cook that week.
8) Lastly, try writing in your sleep. Okay, I’m kidding—sort of. The conscious mind is most closely attuned to the subconscious mind (where your stories are manufactured) right before you fall asleep. Use this “merging of the minds” to your advantage. When you tuck in for the night, close your eyes and envision the scene that you have just written in your work-in-progress. While doing this, you may realize that you overlooked a dialogue or forgotten a nugget of information that you need to go back and fill in. While still in this semi-conscious state, pan forward and envision what will happen next in your story. If your characterization is on track, your mind will supply the next scene. Often, you will be able to envision this scene in perfect detail, complete with the dialogue and setting. Hold that scene in your mind. Tomorrow it will flow off your fingertips and you’ll marvel at how much you accomplished. If the scene refuses to come, however, there’s a reason, and it must be addressed before you can move on. You may need to work on characterization. If you don’t know your characters and their motivations well enough, it’s hard for your subconscious mind to supply the next scene. You may need to devote more time to your characters.

So, there you have it. These are my secrets to becoming a prolific author, even life is in total chaos. I’m sure you’ve heard of “keeping the night oils burning”? Forget that. An author writes best following a good night’s sleep. Rest easy!

Visit Marliss on the web


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