As I awaited the arrival of the feisty and energetic Madam Red, I thought back to our first encounters with a smile and a shake of my head. Never would I have guessed, not in a million years our friendship would have blossomed to what it is today, that I would be sitting here in this fortunate position, gently tapping my foot watching the greening of the Fairy waiting for my friends arrival.
Good hostess that I am though, I want to be certain my victim quarry today is well lubricated and comfortable in her surroundings. My offering of Green Fairy’s and Chocolate Truffles are in line with Madam Red’s native roots and the Green Fairy recipe is at the end of the interview.
1. Tell us, what is your secret for keep it straight with more than one book in the works at a time how do you focus?
Think about the people you know. Each one of them is different, but most of them require many of the same things: listening, understanding, tolerance, water, crust of bread. Books are the same way: editing, beta, editing, layout, proofing, more editing.
2. Writing across genres what is your inspiration for your fiction, especially for your characters.
I have met my characters. Each one is a blend of at least three people, which helps with the “coincidental resemblance to any person”. They are complex and, in many instances, case studies in incongruent interaction, much like the interaction of FAB people.
3. You have published two books in the past year on human behavior and emotional health, one on child rearing and the other on letting go nearly the two ends of the human experience. How did the experience of writing and publishing these differ?
A comparison of good and evil. (wry smile) Life often deals us joy and pain in unequal proportion. Ironically, the disproportion is in all situations.
From a reader’s standpoint the books are oceans apart (subject). As a publisher, the books are strikingly similar (treatment). Both seek to ease discomfort in a life event which is likely, provide both technical and experiential knowledge and comfort the reader with the concept hardship is not singular, ergo survivable.
4. Let’s talk for a minute about your poetry, which I am a huge fan of by the way; you have talked about Mantra often, how did you pick what would go into the book?
Thank you. Poetry is eclectic for me. Like my fiction and non-fiction, it spans the gamut of subject, form and emotion. Unlike every other thing I write, I begin with a title or in the least a title concept. Once I can name the chapters, the poems line up. It is a creative concept; otherwise, I would not have a chapter named Words You Cannot Take Back.
5. I suspect everyone wants to know more about your processes, where do you start with a new storyline, do you jot down ideas or is there a real step-by-step process for you?
Yes. (grin) I have notepads (physical and digital) with jotting. Those concepts wait until I either have a fleshing session or move them into a workspace. I also have a template, which occasionally takes a script from the initial concept draft to final proof. Both ways include a step-by-step for getting out of the WIP folder.
Break time, I am sure our Fairy’s are fluttering their wings and I can hear those truffles calling to me, can’t you? Let me refill your glass. Red, is such a lady, she takes tiny sips and bites before we continue.
6. Now, with the start of Redmund Productions, how is it going? Is your writing being influenced?
Redmund Productions is a phenomenal achievement. While the initial books are hitting their stride in terms of sales and reach, the new productions are lining up. We have a set of trailers out over the next two weeks, two books we have going live 01MAR plus a Café Comics edition, two out on 01APR and new authors signing each week.
My writing is definitely being influenced. The constraints of time are not forgiving. When I am too tired, I am physically unable to write. I have additional audio notes which are beginning to replace some of my notepads for concepts. I am expecting to take a hiatus from blogging soon to concentrate on a new novel and a sequel.
7. Okay, spill pet peeves in the process of publishing or writing?
How about a list?
- The Oxford comma
- Passive voice
- Tense shift
- Capitalization of random words in sentences
- Plot stuffing which is better served by writing another book
The last one is both authors and characters. Occasionally my characters get into situations which necessarily need to be edited out for one story yet serve as a core or base conflict for another book.
For the sake of brevity, my writing pet peeves list is topped with my lack of a transcriptionist.
- 8. Break it down for us, would you please. You have 15 seconds (maybe a little more) tell me about each of your most recent brilliant books (Oprah is calling).
1. Darkness Introduced
An explicitly intimate look into the erotic world of BDSM which does not substitute sex for plot-line, but does not forego it.
An enlightening education on the emotional and physical state of caregivers to terminally ill partners, served with impartial, practical, pragmatic advice and comfort.
- 9. You know I just have to ask, what spurs you on? What gives you the energy to keep writing, mentoring and not only pushing yourself but others?
We all gripe about not having enough time. After burying a child and husbands, I am aware how short life really is. More people regret the things they have not done far more than a few hours of sleep they miss here or there. Dreams do not have to stay in the REM world. They come true every single day, especially for those willing to chase them.
The excitement of a new book in the hands of an author ignites a terrific feeling of congratulatory joy, satisfaction and camaraderie. I would not trade it for the world on a string.
10. What should writers know when preparing a manuscript for submission; you have done this more than once now. What one piece of best advice can you give?
Follow the directions. As non-creative as that is, the submission guidelines are in place to make you work less. Begin your pieces with submission guidelines in sight. The days of double-spaced, 1.5 inch-margined, printed manuscripts is a thing of the past. Submission editors do not read unedited manuscripts. If you do not meet guidelines, it may as well be unedited.
11. Do you self-edit?
Yes and yes. I am a Grammar Nazi. I edit my own work …and wonder who typed it. I also let stories age. When I come back to them, I will often cut scenes and chapters because they are superfluous to the story. I also find the biggest of the story holes in this way. Then, I send it for editing.
12. Anything you want us to know about you? Spill, come on we are all friends here.
If left to my own devices, my bathroom would be the largest room in the house. It would have a chaise, wifi, Blu-Ray, surround sound speaker telephone, quad-sized jet shower, Jacuzzi, a dumb waiter from the kitchen and towel warmers. I would spend all day there.
Madam Red you are the bomb! Those who have had the joy of your company and support know whereof I speak. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me! Red’s books are available through Redmud Productions, easily found here:
Over Ice in Strainer, gently pour 2 oz Absinthe over sugar cube in slotted spoon until melted completed.
Shake and pour back into Absinthe glass.
This is the first of what I hope will be many interviews of the Redmund Pro authors. Madam Red is trying to school me on the use of hash tags, if you are inclined to share this post please use the the hash tags #authors, #books, #amwriting