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Posts tagged with: Marriage: Impossible

Getting to Know Your Characters Through Audio

I’ve been an avid reader ever since I learned to decode strings of printed letters into words, but it’s only now that I have a smartphone that I’ve really gotten into audiobooks and podcasts. I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of listening to fiction—it takes me way longer to listen to a book than to read it, and once I’m into the story I want to load it into my brain as quickly as possible.
Close-up of a microphone
But I love using audiobooks to research my characters.

When I started writing Marriage: Impossible, which featured a Navy SEAL hero, I was lost. I didn’t have any close friends or family in the military, and I certainly didn’t have any firsthand experience. How was I going to get far enough into my hero’s head that his dialog and internal thoughts would sound like those of a Navy SEAL? I started watching documentaries and reading blog posts.

But audiobooks were what really helped me. To get to know my hero, I listened to all kinds of audiobooks, from autobiographies of Navy SEALS to journalists’ accounts of modern warfare. If I was working out, cooking dinner, or doing laundry, I was also listening to my latest audiobook.

Immersing myself in my hero’s world on a daily basis flipped a switch in my brain, so that the mindset and word choices I had been struggling with began to flow. Finally, my hero sounded like a Navy SEAL.

I also discovered self-publishing podcasts. My current favorites are The Creative Penn, featuring an eclectic selection of guest interviews, covering everything from using dictation to increase your daily word count to Facebook ads. Joanna is such a great interviewer that I tend to come away with useful information whatever the topic. For a more marketing-focused podcast, I also love the Self-Publishing Formula.

What about you? Do you listen to audiobooks or podcasts for fun or research? What are your favorites?

The Accidental Series

marriageImpossible-200x300When I started writing Marriage: Impossible, it wasn’t supposed to be the first book in my Voretti family series. It wasn’t supposed to be the first book in any series. It was a one-off experiment to see what would happen if I threw all my favorite romance tropes into a single novella.

It never occurred to me that it might be the first in a series, because I’d never written a series before. After writing a book I’d always been so sick of the characters and the world that I was more than happy to go somewhere new and interesting as soon as I reached The End.

But a strange thing happened as I started writing Marriage: Impossible. The heroine had a brother, Ty. Everyone thought Ty was still in love with his ex-fiance, but part way through the book, he announced that he was marrying someone else.

At the time, I just needed a reason for the hero and heroine of Marriage: Impossible to return to San Diego from Reno, and a sudden wedding seemed as good as anything. But then I started to wonder—who was this woman Ty was marrying? Why were they getting married so quickly—practically before any of their family and friends even knew they were dating?

loveAndLearnSmallestI had to write Ty’s story, Love and Learn.

As it turned out, this was a somewhat traumatic experience. Because the timelines of Marriage: Impossible and Love and Learn were largely overlapping, I had all kinds of constraints before I even started writing the book. This resulted in revisions. Lots and lots of revisions for both books.

But, finally, I had two books that worked on their own and together. And, for the first time, I wasn’t ready to let go. I wanted more of the Voretti family. And, thus, my first series was born.

I have the first three books written. I’m working on books four and five now—and hoping that by plotting both at the same time I can pull off the overlapping-timelines thing without so much rewriting this time.

What about you? Do you prefer to write series or standalone books? Any tips on how to plan ahead to minimize rewriting when working on connected books?

The Latest Comments

  • Elisa Beatty: Welcome, Sharon! Thanks for joining us–I had a blast interviewing you! AS to the first romance...
  • Sara Whitney: Thank you, Elisa, and thanks to all the Rubies for being such wonderful hosts!
  • Sara Whitney: Take it with my blessing! I had to negotiate my own response over the years before I was finally able...
  • Sara Whitney: You two are both wonderful, and I’m so glad we’re Ome-gals. … sorry not sorry for the...
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