Today, our bus is stopping in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the home of Crimson Kildare. Her friend, Kat Marlow is visiting. Let's drop in and say hello!
Q. 1 What genre do you write? Would you consider writing anything else?
Kat: I'm mainly writing sci-fi/fantasy, with a dash of romance. I'd love to try other genres, like crime thrillers or gothic/supernatural adventure/romance. It would depend on where the muse takes me.
Crimson: I would say we're multi-genre writers. A little romance/action/adventure/fantasy/paranormal and sci-fi, but could most closely be described as sci-fi/fantasy authors. As to writing in other genres; if I got the bug and could find the info/research data I needed, why not?
Q. 2 Do you outline and plan or do you let the plot unfold?
Together: What we do is talk it out on the chat box. We plan and plot so far ahead, until we run out if ideas. Then we do that much writing and then we do it all again. It might sound funny, but it works really well for us so far.
Q. 3 What do you like most about writing?
Kat: I like being able to cut loose with my imagination, to make the stories and characters in my head come alive. I also like being able to express my thoughts and beliefs on certain issues. Presented in a work of fiction, they can be made more palatable.
Crimson: I have to agree completely with what Kat says here. Writing is definitely about expressing oneself and about bringing people, universes and stories to life on the page that would otherwise exist only in our heads. It certainly gives us an outlet to express our views on things as well, in a way that may get people to really think about it instead of simply rejecting it out of hand right off the bat. Kat is definitely the softer spoken of the two of us and likely the better diplomat. ;) We’re both advocates of human and equal rights and for myself, as both a bisexual and a member of a poly-amorous relationship this is a chance for me to write about that in a way that I hope will allow people to see the beauty and wonder of love in all its forms.
Kat: I'm a straight woman myself, but I've always been proud of being open-minded, and always had a 'live and let live' attitude. I admit to being guilty of hanging on to a few prejudices, and I had a pre-conceived notion of poly-amorous relationships until I met Crimson. I've learned over the years that not every person falls in the same category, and the same goes for relationships. My friendship with Crimson, and hearing about what a loving family she has, has truly opened me to writing about such relationships, and showing that people who choose to build such a family are as normal as anyone else.
Q. 4 What do you find most difficult?
Crimson: I think consistency, keeping all the details straight and maybe the pacing? I get impatient to get to the good parts.
Kat: Yeah, I'd say pacing is pretty tough. I usually have a hard time with dialogue, because I'm pretty quiet as Crimson mentioned, and my dialogue lines tend to be short and to the point. (Giggles) Keeping the plot details straight can be pretty tough too, which is why it's so important to keep notes!
Q. 5 What makes a good plot?
Crimson: It needs to have conflict and tension, some suspense, the building of anticipation for something specific. It needs to intrigue and engage the reader right off the bat.
Kat: I agree that engaging the reader is very important. Conflict, suspense, and even romance are all well and good, but it also helps if it's well-written and executed. I don't care what the bestseller lists say, good writing will always stand the test of time. Also, you don't have to be explicit just to titillate and attract readers. Our writing runs to the explicit side, but we make it a point to have it add an emotional punch to the story. That goes to another element of a good plot, being able to hit your readers in the heart and gut.
Q. 6 What is a question you'd like to be asked and never are? Answer it.
Crimson: My first response is: 'Did you know you bear a striking resembance to Jane Russell?' This is of course because I don't, but I suppose you meant a writing question?
Kat: Who's my favorite Beatle? George, because he was so Zen! (laughs) But yeah, I guess I need to think of a writing question...
Crimson: Aaww see I'm such a sap, I always get sucked in by the sweetness; mine was always Paul.
Kat: I always went between George and John, because they were both so smart. George's Zen finally won me over! (giggles)
Crimson: Well in the end you have to love them all, they're fine men and great artists. But writing questions...
Kat: Yes, back to writing!
Together: What would you like people to say about your work in a hundred years, or even ten?
I'd like people to say that we may not be the greatest writers that ever lived, but that our work never the less is good work. That it has a beauty, and joie de vive that makes it quietly profound in its own way. That they were memorable, moving and enjoyable reads, over and over and over again.
Q. 7 What experiences have inspired you?
Kat: I'm always inspired by the art, films and literary works around me, and Crimson has also been a big inspiration. This isn't a life experience per se, but my first viewing of Torchwood: Children of Earth and the feelings it brought out in me, and then months later getting access to the internet and all the fan-fiction out there. That's when it sunk in that you can channel the emotions brought out by other works by making your own. I want to mention my parents as well. My dad passed away when I was 12, but he always loved and believed in me, and assured me that I can be anything I want to be. My mom has encouraged me from the start, and always tells me how good writer I really am. And she doesn't just say that because she's my mom! She's an avid reader, and knows good writing when she sees it!
Crimson: Yes, the arts and other artists, be they writers, directors, actors, musicians. I find inspiration all around me. So many sources I couldn't begin to mention them all, so I'll go with three. The first is a pair of quotes from one of my favorite authors of all time George Sand who said, 'I am not full of virtues and noble qualities, I love, that is all, but I love strongly, exclusively, steadfastly!' and also, 'Why sit inside, shut up with frustration and agony, searching for perfection? Come outside, perfection is flowing all around you!' The second was a young man from high school, whose name I no longer can even recall, I ran into him at a reunion and he asked me what I was up to. I said trying to be a writer. He said, "That's terrific! You know back in school I'd see you in the halls and I'd think, some day I'm going to read a book written by that girl!' That floored me, that anyone was thinking such an amazing thing about me way back when I was still learning who I even am! The third thing is my daughter, who's a constant source of humor and inspiration every day. The most beautiful person I know. I should also add that Kat is not only a source of inspiration to me, but a great source of support and motivation. She is a great partner and friend and she helps to make me a better writer and a better person.
Q. 8 How did you first become interested in writing?
Crimson: When I became too ill to continue pursuing a career as an actress, I needed an outlet for all that pent up creative energy. So I think it was my husband who suggested that I try writing. Although to be fair, people had been telling me for years and years that I should be a writer. So I guess I finally took the hint.
Kat: Wow, I'll have to think a long way back... Might have been when I started reading young adult fiction in school and had to write book reports. I liked reviewing others' work, and wondered if I could be just as good. I dabbled in fan-fiction over the years, but didn't get really serious about it until I reached my 20s when I started an original vampire novel that never got finished. That was when I was devouring Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles.
Q. 9 What are your current projects?
Together: We’re currently working on Book One of the Allies of the Shaa'Ma'Nok Series, the title of which is 'In The Wyverian Wilds.'
Q. 10 How important is dialogue and how do you use it?
Together: Very important, we use it to drive the progression of the plot and to build a character/reader rapport.
The New London Gazette
Wyverian Lord Thwarts Political Plot and Discovers Iceman!
A Brief Interview by Thornton Larson
I was recently allowed to accompany Charles Latimer, the amazingly wealthy Hotelier on his quest half way across the globe to visit with the wild men of the far north. I am not yet at liberty to express the purpose of Mr. Latimer's business there, but I can share an interview I was allowed with one of the honored Northern Lords about the mysterious whispers afoot in their country.
TL: Who and what are you?
IY: I'm Idris Price Yates, a Hunter and Lord of the Wyveria.
TL: Can you explain what that means exactly?
IY: The Wyveria are the people who live far to the north and Wyveria is also the name of our land. I come from a small village called Drysor Y Ddraig, it means Dragon's Treasure. It is the King's village and all the noble houses are in that village. I was noble born and have earned a place amongst the Hunters of our people due to my power, my ability to affect the elements, speak to wee creatures and slip my form from man to Dragon.
TL: That's amazing, is your nation a large one?
IY: No. We are perhaps 10,000 in number and not many can change their form. That is why it is so greatly prized.
TL: I see… and you are one of those that can. I’ll have to take you at your word on that.
IY: You should, yes.
TL: Is it true you found a man buried in the ice from before the great cataclysm? What was that like?
IY: Yes. We'd gone out hunting a bear that was ravaging the village. We tracked it near the ice caves. When we went into the caves to see if it was home, we found a large block of ice that had floated in and gotten stuck by way of an underground stream fed by the nearby river. Inside the ice was a man. We thought him dead at first, but then I sensed something, his magic. So we built a fire to thaw him. What was it like? It was odd and fascinating. He is an interesting man, an educated one and full of tales of the world before the great cataclysm. You should hear them.
TL: Perhaps one day I will; I would be most interested. I've heard that there was some excitement in your village recently; can you tell me about that?
IY: I cannot say much at this time...we are still looking into the details. However, our King Trevor Crewe was murdered. I have been tasked to find his killer.
TL: How do you feel about being put in the position you’re in?
IY: How do I feel? I am grieved at the loss of a man who was like unto a second father to me. Who saw to me and mine when my father was ripped from us without warning. Now he has been ripped from his family and I will see this wrong addressed.
TL: If you succeed, might you be rewarded by a position of honor?
IY: I already hold a position of honor amongst my people. If you speak of taking Trevor's place? That is not how such things are determined.
TL: I see, well I thank you Lord Yates for your time and sincere words.
IY: You are most welcome to them.
I could not draw more out of Lord Yates, but is this not enough to whet the appetite of our readers? Should we not all seek to learn more of the men of the north, who claim the ability to slip their skins and become dragons?
3rd May, 7013