The expression waking up on the wrong foot or on the wrong side of the bed, to me as a writer, tends to rule my writing day. Right up to and including the infamous “block”. If my morning starts off well, I’m relaxed and can keep writing as if it’s tea and scones guaranteed not to offer me a single ounce to the waistline. But when things start off screwed – such as being unable to find the right dress for that lecture to sociology students – I might spend the rest of the day in the doldrums. Of course there are those hassles I can’t skirt around. So I grab some pick-me-ups I’ve learnt from life and the experts. I list them below. One or all of them can turn your day into a sunny one, despite work and weather.
A decade and a half before Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Diane Duane started her Young Wizards series with So You Want to Be a Wizard. I think I discovered it because—even though I was already an adult—I loved middle grade and YA books about the possible intersection of the mundane and the fantastic. (Diana Wynne Jones, the true master of this kind of story, remains one of my favorite authors to this day.)
Here’s an author interview with Gretchen Bassier. Take it away, Gretchen…
As a line, it looks innocuous.
As a reality, it’s about as innocuous as a bear pit.
‘A wide female readership.’
So – something that will appeal to lots of different women? Or something that will appeal to some women, and hope that the whole rest of womankind is covered by the other authors?
Mistress of the Air is a comic, erotic adventure. My incorrigible Edwardian dominatrix, Lady Sally Rudston-Chichester, travels around Europe in her airship ‘The Corseted Domme’ causing mayhem.
A comic element in the story is the use of funny or suggestive names. The three Russian anarchists, Sophia Testlikova, Dimitri Bollokov and Peter Krapotkin, who feature in one episode, being a good example.
One character’s name was inspired by a British TV programme, ‘Not The Nine O’Clock News’. This was a political satire programme broadcast between 1979 and 1982. It featured a young Rowan Atkinson, later to become famous for Mr Bean and the Black Adder series. The programme always featured a song, usually a parody of a current hit.
About Long Shadows
LA cop Jericho Crewe got the hell out of Mosely, Montana, when he was seventeen. Fifteen years later, he’s back, and everything is just as messed up as when he left. He planned a quick visit to deal with his injured father, but of course things are never that simple. Family complications, police complications, social complications—and, as always, Wade Granger complications.