Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Romance Writers Weekly: Six Word Memoir

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors?

Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all... About our writing of course!

Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride!

I hope you joined me from Raine Balkera's page, and big huge thanks for this week’s questions from Beth Carter!

Here we go!

1.What’s your favorite aspect of novel writing? Dialogue? Setting? Conflict?Narration? Explain.

You know, I have always had a hard time deciding. Even when I'm choosing between two blouses or two different candle scents, etc., I struggle to chose. Believe me, this character trait drove my parents
and grandparents crazy when I was a kid!

My initial response to this question is that I love all aspects of novel writing, and it's completely true. However, if forced to choose, I'd have to say that developing my characters is the best part. My ideas for a story usually start with a character who comes into my mind as a living, breathing human being with a complicated history and a burning desire for something. In other words, they usually come to me with their motivation and conflict set. And the more I listen to them, the more they "tell" me. I complete character questionnaires and detail information about their childhood, preferences, dislikes, and beliefs that often don't even make it into their story. However, knowing my characters in depth makes them easier to write, and easier for me to fall in love with each and every one of them.

One little revelation about my writing inspiration is that often I will see an actor's performance in a movie or television show, and their looks or mannerism will spark a character idea for me. Recently I watched a British television series called Breathless on PBS, and was completely enamored with English actor Jack Davenport's performance. I'd seen him in other films, but something about his performance in Breathless sparked a story idea, a character, who I've been thinking about for days. I have to get the story idea written down or it will distract me so much I won't be able to work on my current work in progress. New characters are so persistent!

2.How do you choose the setting for your plot? Are they always similar settings or does it vary? (i.e., small town, big city, castle, etc.)

Setting usually comes when that character shows up in my head. He or she know exactly where they live, and, for most of my stories, that's in England. My current historical romance series, Whitechapel Wagers, is set in the East End of London in 1888. I have spent lots of time researching the history of the area and have a map of 19th century Whitechapel tacked to the wall next to my desk. Grounding myself in the geography of the setting I'm writing about is important to me, and I never mind devoting time to researching setting. One of my favorite aspects of writing historical romance is the notion of transporting readers (and myself!) to another time and place.

In future stories, my settings will vary. One of my current projects is a historical romance that is mostly set on an estate in Berkshire, England. Another future project is a historical mystery series set in Gilded Age Chicago. I love researching the 19th century, whether it be on the U.S. or British side of the pond.

3.I’m a big six-word memoir fan. (Hemingway even wrote one.) Describe your writing day using just six words.

Ugh! Six words? Seriously? Challenging!

Okay, here goes...

Amid quiet and coffee, characters meet writer.

I can't wait to see Ronnie Allen's six-word memoir. Follow me to her blog!


  1. Now that's editing. Given only 6 words and she does it in 5. Good on you, Christy!

    1. LOL! I actually spent way too much time on those five words, and thought it was six. That's the quality of my writing at 6am. I'm fixing it. Thanks for the heads up, SC. :)

  2. New characters are persistent and intrusive and rude wanting to get their stories told!

    1. Aren't they? But I love them, and I am so excited when a new one pops up!

  3. Great post! I absolutely love what you said about developing your characters! And your memoir is fabulous!

  4. Your six word memoir rocked!!! Great answers!!!

  5. 1888 Whitechapel is fascinating. Can't wait to read more. Loved your answers xx