Winter winds rip across the Highlands, pressing Chief Caden Macbain forward in his desperate plan to save his clan. He’s not above using an innocent woman to bargain for peace if it keeps his clan from starving. But Meg isn’t who Caden thinks she is, and when she kills a man to save the clan, he must choose between duty and her life. For although he captured her to force a peace, Meg's strength and courage have captured Caden's heart.
Wowee, just look at that cover! Now, Heather has a great guest post for us:
Thank you so much for having me today on Flutey Words! I’m thrilled to talk about how I used music, pictures, and snippets of time to write CAPTURED HEART, my newly released16th century, Scottish romance with paranormal elements.
I am a mother of three wild kids and one crazy rescued golden retriever. So quiet is a lost cause in my house. I used to be someone who had to be in total silence in order to write. After I brought my first baby home from the hospital, I realized I would never have that again, or at least not for a very long time. I had to change my writing process.
I began by purchasing some ear buds and learning how to create playlists of music. Now as I start a new project, I create a unique playlist for that book with songs that remind me of the characters or time period. For CAPTURED HEART I have medieval dances mixed with some beautiful bag pipe music, pirate fight songs, and instrumentals from Lord of the Rings.
Instrumentals are the easiest to write to because there are no words to mess up the dialogue already running through my head. But as I became accustomed to songs playing in the background, I was able to mix in some songs with lyrics, especially when those lyrics happened to reflect what my character was feeling.
To help me visualize my book, I create a collage for it. I cut out pictures and words that reflect the characters, setting and important turning points in the book. I either paste them on a poster or in a blank book or folder. I usually create this after I’ve started writing when I get to know my characters better. Whenever I get stuck it’s because I don’t know my characters well enough, and I spend quality time tweaking my collage until I do.
I also try to keep the scene I’m currently working on in my head. So when I’m washing dishes, driving somewhere I’ve gone a million times, walking my dog, or vacuuming my very tired rugs I’m still working on the book. When I ruminate over the scene from different angles or points of view, I often come up with a smoother, funnier, or more intricate way to write it.
I use a Neo II, an electronic notebook, which is a product of Alphasmart. I can turn it on with one touch and start typing. There is no boot up time, no e-mail, no internet, and no games. It is also very light weight. I carry it everywhere because I never know when there will be a snippet of time. After typing I plug it into my computer and hit “SEND” and the words are downloaded and formatted right into my manuscript. It’s easy and quick.
I have very few large stretches of uninterrupted time. It seems that I am always running my kids somewhere, from soccer and hockey practice to school carpool and sleepovers. I wrote my book MAGICK, which was a finalist in the Golden Hearts in 2009, while I sat at swim team practices and meets.
These techniques make writing possible for me, an overly committed, full-time mom. I do prefer to create while sitting on my screened back porch, sipping my hot chai latte. This has become possible just recently as my youngest finally started Kindergarten. But waiting rooms, carpool lines, and practices are still places to write for me. I glance at my collage, plug in my ear buds, and remember the perfectly yummy scene I created earlier while loading the dishwasher. Then I spill my words out onto my Neo II until someone comes running to me with a skinned knee, request for homework help, or the all important life or death need to drive to the ice cream parlor!
Thanks for visiting, Heather! Great insights to your writing process!