Fellow author (and a mighty fine friend of mine), Claire Riley, decided to take a moment away from her tea time and Doctor Who marathons (do you get that she’s from England yet?) and put together some content to plop right here on this very spot. I suggest you lean closer to your screen. Those British accents can be really hard to read. She’s graced us with both an article and some answers to a few questions I sent her way. Without further something or other. . . I present Claire:
Writers block, everyone gets it!
How hard can it be?
You’ve asked yourself that same question so many times in the last hour that you’ve lost count. You feel like head-butting your keyboard, shouting at the screen, snapping all your pencils in pure unadulterated rage that the lead inside of them refuses to give up their dirty little secrets.
You read through the last line that you wrote and delete it all. Tapping the delete button with enough fury to break the stupid little key. Rubbish, all of it, and the worst part is, it took you over an hour to write it.
Seriously, how hard can it be to put a few ideas onto paper? A computer? Whatever! You have a plot, you know where it starts, where it finishes, you know your characters, so just do it, write…
Writers block. In a word is a total bitch. It’s also one of those mystical things that affect every writer at some point in the game.
You can stare, and stare, and stare some more, but that paper is still showing blank. The quiet whirr and hum of your computer is doing nothing to get you going either.
So you go put the kettle on, you fetch a snack. Yeah, that’ll do it. Refreshments. That’s just what you need to get you back in the zone. A sugar and caffeine high.
Still nothing? Pfft. Okay, so what about a walk? Yeah, a walk and some fresh air will clear the fog. You know the ideas are there. Stuck, trapped, crying out for release. You can almost taste the words on the end of your tongue. Maybe that’s the answer. You go and check your tongue in the bathroom mirror, alas, it’s just a tongue. And that’s another half hour wasted, scrubbing your tongue free of scum.
So, what do you do when the dreaded writers block hits?
Well, if you scour the internet you should find a ton of so called solutions to get you out of your current funk. Me? I think we’re too hard on ourselves.
You get stuck on that one scene and just can’t get past it. You know where you want it to go, but how to get from point A to point D is an enigma. So how about you just skip this part? How about you move on to a different scene in the book. You know which scene I’m talking about. It’s the one that you’re in such a big hurry to get to, and that’s why you have your current writers block. So skip this bit and move on. Come back to it when you are feeling less bogged down, less stressed and generally less Meh about it all. And stop beating yourself up about it. It happens to us all.
If that doesn’t work then go look at some of your old work. Yes, your realllllly old stuff. Yes! The embarrassing stuff, and re-write it. You’ll see how much you have grown as a writer, how much you have learnt, developed and honed your skill, and you will be able to look at your most current project with a fresh and more confident set of eyes.
It works for me anyway.
Claire C Riley
1. Who the heck are you?
Hey, I’m Claire C Riley, woot! Wait, the woot isn’t part of the name. So I guess it’s just Claire C Riley.
2. Where are you from?
I live in the UK with my hubby and three kids, and one scruffy dog!
3. Why are you here? By that, I mean, what are you trying to promote? Hint: This is probably a good time to sell us on your work
I’m here to tell you about my new book, Limerence. Totally not something that Adam would normally read, but he seems to like it all the same. It’s a sexy supernatural romance with thriller and psychological horror elements. I’ve basically tried to take things back to their roots with the genre. There’s vampires in it, but that’s more of a sub plot than the actual plot. And they are scary not sparkly. Though I did enjoy Twilight.
4. What made you decide to do such a thing?
I like vampires, horror, romance and I liked the word Limerence so I put them all together and this is what I got. I was also sick of all the different twists and turns with vampires and how they weren’t scary or dangerous anymore.
5. Are you proud of it? Why?
Yeah, I am. I never thought I would finish it if I’m honest, and I certainly never thought that I would have it up for sale AND actually sell any!
6. What is your favorite word in your book? If that’s too difficult, favorite phrase?
Limerence!! That sounds silly, but it was the word that inspired the book.
7. How long did it take you to create this?
I actually started writing it about two years ago, but I caught swine flu and nearly died so obviously it went on a bit of a back burner. Then I got pregnant with our third daughter and once again it had to wait. Last September I basically thought, ‘screw this’ and picked it up again. I was sick of my job, and it’s not that I necessarily think that I’ll ever be able to give up my day job, but it kind of makes it seem a little better knowing that I’m living my dream of writing at the same time.
Oh wait, the question was how long it took me to create. So, basically six months.
8. Any cool stories about what inspired you to do it?
Ermmm, see previous points about death, birth, and sucky jobs!
Oh, and originally I saw the word Limerence in a magazine article about stalkers and how everyone has the same tendency to be limerent about someone, but most of us contain it. I thought it was a pretty cool word and liked the thought that when I was growing up and staring at posters of movie stars on my walls and truly believing that they would fall in love with me if they ever met me, well that was basically a limerent reaction and not me being a loser!
9. What do you do when you’re not creating artistic masterpieces?
I work in an office, and I’m a mum to three gorgeous girls. Oh, and I’m a wife!
10. If you hadn’t done it first, what other artist would be most likely to have written your book?
I’m honestly not sure. I’ve tried to take the whole vampire thing back to it’s roots, like Bram stoker style, but for the 21st century so maybe him if he wasn’t dead. But then I sound arrogant that I would even categorise my book in the same league as his work, so I’m back to, I’m honestly not sure.
11. What are your plans for the future? Sequels? New books? Movies? Book Tours? Hollywood Walk of Fame?
I’ve actually spoken to a wax artist about going into Madame Tussauds, but they said no. Booooo ,petty rules about not being famous and what not.
I have the sequel to Limerence started already, I’m hoping to be completed with it approx. August time. I’ve also started a completely different book called Odium. It’s a post-apocalyptic dystopian horror about survival, romance and zombies. I’m soooooo excited about this book it’s ridiculous. I’ve tried to do the same thing here as I did with Limerence and take the main element, in this case zombies, back to their roots. Think Night of The Living Dead. None of this super-fast, super strong, clever zombies. Zombies are scary because their dead. They have reanimated and now want to eat the living. That’s scary, we don’t need any other angle. Well, maybe we do, but I provide that with a kick ass cast of characters.
12. Very important. . . where can we find your book? Now that we know you, it’s pretty obvious we all need to have a copy!
Of course you do! ;0)
It is also up for free loan for KDP Select members.
13. Any other ways to contact you? Website, twitter, e-mail address you want filled with spam?
14. Any last notes you’d like to make that hasn’t been covered here, such as why you dedicated your book to Adam?
Ha ha, well, you see, Adam has been such an inspiration to me whilst writing Limerence (editors note: I get that a lot. . . ). If it wasn’t for him I don’t think I could have written those sex scenes so well. Erm, yeah wait, what was I saying? Anyway…
Just if you do buy it, hell, if you buy any book, be sure to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads and any other book site that you know of. Us authors really do have to beg, borrow and steal to get every single review for our books, and it really is the bread and butter of promoting. A thousand people can download or order your book, but if only one reviews it, what good does it do? Your still an unknown, you still have no chance of succeeding.
Help an author, adopt a tiger. No, wait, I mean, help an author, write a review.
Thanks for having me everyone. I hope that you had fun looking into my sordid mind!