Monday, November 05, 2012

Blog Ring of Power--Pippa Jay

Welcome back to another Blog Ring of Power post. Today we're in the middle of an interview with Pippa Jay. Part One was on Theresa's blog; due to technical difficulties, Part Two, on Emily's blog, will be delayed until later this month. In the meantime, Parts Four and Five will appear on Dean's and Terri's blogs respectively. In the meantime, let's learn more about Pippa's creative process:

Where do you get your story ideas? 

Absolutely anywhere! Music, images, world events, things that have happened to me or people I know, reading, scientific journals - the list is endless. I've had ideas for space battles from a piece of paper hitting my car windscreen, or ideas for intelligent plants from reading about parasites and my husband pointing out ivy on a tree. Anything can become a story idea.

Do you have a specific writing style? 

I have a tendency to go a bit purple prose, something I try to keep to a minimum. I love writing poetic descriptions, but it can slow a story down. So I try to make descriptions more of a brief sketch and focus on the characters. They're the important thing. Everything else is just background.

How do you deal with writers' block? 

Walk away. Do something else. I find housework is good - I don't know if that's because something physical lets your mind run free or because muse gets bored and thinks 'bugger this, let's go write!' Just don't sit there trying to force it.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

I'm not one for formulas really. My method is pretty haphazard. Usually a story will start with one major scene in my head, either an opening that I then need to explain, or perhaps the major event in the story, which will then need backstory and a conclusion. For characters - again, that initial scene and how they react to it gives me the key elements for their personality, and generally their appearance too. Names come next, and then fleshing them out.

Are you a “plotter” or a pantser (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)? 

Total pantser. I tried writing an outline for the August Camp and veered away from it completely in the writing of the story. Plotting doesn't seem to work for me.

Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not? 

I use both. Especially if I feel something is wrong with a story. Often you're too close to see the problems, and a beta reader/critique partner can highlight other issues or point out where more explanation is needed. They're invaluable. If you have trouble finding some, look at a site like CritiqueCircle.

How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do? 

Depends on the story. I did a lot for Keir and on a wide variety of subjects - castles, Italian medieval society, survival skills, resuscitation drugs, and the process of drowning. Not so much for the sequel because it's shorter, and I've done most of the world-building already. Generally I'll read something that will spark an idea and then I write, so I've done some research beforehand, and then it'll just be refining the details.

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write? 

At the moment I'm trying to find new ways to write about pain. I feel like I'm repeating myself too much. I bought the Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi which helps. I'm also not great with fights so I bought Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall which gave me some useful pointers. I really want to do some workshops, but most of the ones I see are in the US and I'm in the UK, so the time difference makes it difficult.

Pippa’s a stay-at-home mum of three who spent twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, She bases her stories on a lifetime addiction to science-fiction books and films. Somewhere along the line a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her various characters, Pippa spends the odd free moments trying to learn guitar, indulging in freestyle street dance and drinking high-caffeine coffee. Although happily settled in historical Colchester in the UK with her husband of 19 years, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.


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Lyrical Press

KEIR: Cursed. Dyikeirng. Is Keir beyond redemption?

For Keirlan de Corizi–the legendary ‘Blue Demon’ of Adalucien–death seems the only escape from a world where his discolored skin marks him as an oddity and condemns him to life as a pariah. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise: Tarquin Secker, a young woman who can travel the start with a wave of her hands.

But Quin has secrets of her own. She’s spent eternity searching through time and space with a strange band of companions at her back. Defying her friends’ counsel, Quin risks her apparent immortality to save Keir. She offers him sanctuary and a new life on her home world, Lyagnius.

When Keir mistakenly unleashes his dormant alien powers and earns instant exile from Quin’s home world, will she risk everything to stand by him again?

1 comment:

Pippa Jay said...

Thanks for having me!

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