For some, inspiration is a sudden occurrence. For me, however, inspiration for “Awakening” was a gradual thing.
I had always had the idea of writing a coming-of-age romance that pushed the boundaries in terms of identity, social class, sexuality and what it means to be in love, but it was only when I was in the middle of binge-reading contemporary New Adult romances did the idea of taking my story into a new time and place finally occur to me. I wondered then about writing a novel that was set hundreds of years in the future and against an intensely dramatic backdrop, yet would still resonate with readers of the genre – whether lovers of contemporary or futuristic settings.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for “The Realm” series?
“Awakening” is the first book in my futuristic New Adult trilogy. I knew right out the gate that I would tell Kira’s, the lead character’s, story over three books. However, only as I started developing sub-plots and building out the world in “Awakening”, did the idea of expanding into a series take shape. In this first book, I introduce a number of themes and story lines that I wanted to explore further with other characters.
Q: Who designed the covers?
I am fortunate to have an amazing graphic designer as my brother! I contracted him to design the book covers as well as the look for my website. When he and I sat down to think about what I wanted my artwork and website to look like, we considered the fact that readers should immediately grasp both the story’s futuristic setting as well as the passionate romance that it revolves around. Furthermore, we wanted to develop a style that would become easily recognizable and carry through all books in the trilogy, and the other novels in “The Realm” series.
Q: Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to say that I’m still learning what my writing style is! I think my writing is visual, straightforward and dramatic. I like building on tension by adding sub-plots, twists and maintaining a swift pace. A reader once told me that when they read my novels it’s like watching a movie. Since I LOVE movies, I take that as a high compliment!
Q: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
To be honest, finding enough time to write “Awakening” was probably the hardest part. I had lived with the story in my head for so many months that I was just really eager to get it all out. With two kids and a busy career in communications, I wrote more than half of the book in transit, on my iPad!
Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Oh, I definitely do! When writer’s block happens it’s either because I’m rushing or I have a number of ideas bouncing around in my head and I’m struggling to decide which of them to choose for a scene or chapter. Fortunately, because I know the reason for my terrifying episodes of writer’s block, I can address them pretty quickly.
I focus my mind onto the objectives of the scene or chapter I’m working on by writing out a checklist or mapping out the actions in a bullet point list, then edit out the superfluous storylines. It sounds pretty tedious and humdrum, but this exercise helps me to get back to the main narrative of the story. I ask myself, “Did I accomplish what I needed to in this scene?” If so, then I move on. I may not have written the scene or chapter the way I had wanted, but I remind myself that I can revisit that section in editing.
Q: What do you do to unwind and relax?
As mentioned, I love movies! Besides reading, they’re my favorite pastime. Most evenings, after helping kids with homework and settling them into bed, I curl up in the couch with my hubby and order on demand. I’ve even been known to go to the movies more than once in one weekend!
Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Please join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Rebel Miller’s book Promising. ~Tina