Saturday, March 6, 2010
Welcome to Franny Armstrong's guest blog
Welcome Franny Armstrong to Love Romances and More, thank you for joining us.
Did you always want to become a writer?
I’m not sure exactly WHEN I wanted to become a writer. Perhaps I just wasn’t aware that it’s always been a part of me. I used to write stories when I was a child. My mother always encouraged me to write out my feelings and it helped when I hurt or felt so happy I wanted to explode. I even wrote a four page letter when I was a young teen about how I would raise my children. My daughter found it a few years ago and cried, she was so moved. She said, “You didn’t even know you were going to have children and you already knew how you were going to raise us.” It was a beautiful moment.
What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?
All aspects of writing interest me from researching, to plotting, creating characters, writing, editing, re-editing and so on. The most wonderful moment begins when you finish the story with the words, THE END, then next when you see the book on the publisher’s site online for sale. It doesn’t stop there. Soon you’re into book signings, social networking, blogging, Blog Talk Radio shows, newspaper articles, and so on. I love this job more than any I’ve ever done before.
How did you celebrate your first release? What was it like to see your book in a bookstore? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?
First, I did the CHICKEN DANCE around the kitchen, laughing, shouting and crying for joy. My daughter raced into the room thinking I was being attacked by a monster but I just grabbed her around the waist and danced her along with me. (she was going to call for a white jacket with extra-long sleeves, but I talked her out of it)
So far, my books are still in eBook stage though I’ve sold three singles and two series which will be in print soon, but when shopping, I look at the bookshelves and say to myself, “Next year my book will sit right there!” It’s a great feeling to make dreams become reality.
Absolutely. My ritual is to keep writing, keep editing, keep pounding out the dozens of books I have already written which are just waiting to get published. I call my mom and sister, my kids, husband, and anyone else who will listen because good news is always better than bad. Share the joy.
How did your family react to fact that you write romance novels? Have your family read your book?
My mother and sister have read my books. Mom has to skip over the naughty parts as she’s a bit shy. My youngest daughter, 22 years old, was a bit bashful, telling her friends I write ‘dirty’ books. I told her she’d have to read them first before making any judgments and especially to gain valuable experience. LOL
My older daughter and son are game for anything, though not readers of romance.
Hubby, nope. He’ll never read one of my books. I was hoping he would so he could get a little nudge or two, but he’s old fashioned. He’s happy being the way we are, which I can’t complain a bit about anyway.
Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?
I’ve been reading voraciously my whole life, even as a child. My first foray into adult romance was with Victoria Holt’s Black Amber which was an amazing thriller with a hint of romance. Now I love Christine Feehan, Maggie Shayne, Kelley Armstrong, Nina Bangs, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, and so many more I can’t think of them all. There are so many awesome minds out there. The ability to put thoughts into words on paper (or computer) still blows my mind.
Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life? Can you name an example? Do you have living role models for your characters?
HA! Great question, Danny. When I’m in ‘the mode’, and my muse, ADAMN AMUSING is cooking full steam ahead, my brain is so full of my characters that it becomes difficult to live in my own world. I can’t tell you how often I set off the smoke alarms while trying to cook dinner and write at the same time. I tend to zone out and become lost with my imagination.
Many of the characters will converse while I do mundane things like vacuum or do dishes etc, creating scenes and plotting to get the bad guy/gal.
Lana Anderson, the heroine of Extrasensory Elements Series Book 1-Author’s Demise, will plan ways to escape undercover cop and love interest, hero, Brett Colton though he can read her mind and usually catches her off guard. Lana is telepathic and uses her gift to race off to save the day, drawing the Shakespeare quoting serial killer away from her friends, loved ones, and staff to protect them all. In order to save them, she feels she must sacrifice herself, yet Brett, the super handsome tough guy that he is won’t allow it and doesn’t let go for a minute. He’s like a dog with a bone until the case is solved.
I’d have to say that my Mom is my role model mixed in with Xena Warrior Princess. Mom is hard working, raising four kids alone while going to college and working. She’s soft spoken and highly intelligent and wise. Xena, however, is humorous, villainous, a vixen, and extremely loyal. She also takes care of the underdogs, never giving up, no matter what the odds. Two women I admire the most, for sure.
Where do you get the inspirations for your books?
Inspirations come in all forms for me. Sometimes I’ll just be lying on my bed waking up and find a story ready to burst forth, while others I could be walking with my dogs and see a bird fly over. The Great Blue Heron reminds me of the Phoenix, strong, large, and graceful. Then, poof, a story sprouts its own wings and off I am with another story.
Author’s Demise came from being an author and writing about murderers. I’m a peace loving person so it’s a foreign subject to me though I can clobber the innocent with a vengeance, as long as it’s make belief.
Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?
Never. Granted, the first few had me blushing and squirming in my seat, but to me, sex is about love and sharing your heart and soul along with your body. Anyone can write a sex scene, but a love scene takes so much more. If I can go back weeks later and read the scene again and still find myself tensing, squirming, then sighing with pleasure, then I know I’ve done a good job.
Do you have a problem with deadlines and have you ever suffered a writer’s block?
One way I get rid of writer’s block is by meditation or lying down and letting my mind flow. Another is to work on something else for a while and come back to the book, reading the paragraph over once again to get my mind to follow along with the scene.
As for missing deadlines...so far, so good. I find that being a full time author takes a great deal of organization and time management skills.
Do you prefer stand-alone books or series (As a reader or a writer) ?
That depends on my mood, how much I like the author, and if the story leaves me wanting more. I’ve read nearly every one of Christine Feehan’s stories and can’t wait to find time to read the last two. She’s awesome!
As an author, I write both single and series. I love continuing a series but sometimes a story needs to be told alone.
If you could change places with one character from your book, who would it be and why?
I’d love to be Brett Colton for a day only. I love how he takes charge, loves with his heart and soul, and makes quick, smart decisions. He’s tenacious and always sees a job through. I’d feel safe and secure in the face of anything as him.
What is your favorite book from the books that you have written so far? Who are your favorite hero and heroine, and why?
That’s a mean question, Danny! LOL
I think Author’s Demise is my favourite, but the entire series makes my heart sing. I love the fact that Brett and Lana are so ‘connected’ psychically and she has telekinetic abilities, especially while in the middle of...oh, maybe I shouldn’t give that part away. Let’s just say there’s never a dull moment between them.
Lana’s brother, Brandon Anderson is the hero in the next book, I B Jumpin’, and his character is based on my brother who is a professional skydiver. I can’t wait to launch that one. My brother, Rich, is dyslexic, yet he read the story a dozen times or more, he loved it so much. That meant a lot to me.
Would you like to give another genre a try?
I do write erotic romance under another pseudonym and I’m also writing a story about a woman who has an environmental illness and how she struggles to survive in a world that makes her ill yet finds true love regardless of the obstacles. We’ll see how that one flies. The proceeds will go to helping people like us find ‘safe’ housing for chemical sensitivities. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is an illness that is caused by a chemical brain injury or toxic poisoning to the body and organs. Millions of people around the world have it, including me. It’s one reason why I became a writer. I become ill when I run into fragrances, cleaning products, and exhaust fumes to name a few things.
Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?
I think the hardest book to write was my first one, SECRET SPOILER. I haven’t tried to have it published as yet because it has a LOT of work to be done on it, yet it was a great deal of fun to write. I laughed, I cried, had temper tantrums, and squirmed so much I threw my back out. LOL
There isn’t really an easiest book to write. They all are a part of me so it’s like placing your heart and soul into the story. Some flow easier, like the romance SMALL PACKAGES-A CHRISTMAS STORY, because I didn’t weave any seriously twisted serial killer or psychic abilities into it, but it still sent my emotions on a roller coaster. I love that story too.
If you could choose of your books for a movie, which one would it be and who would you as the cast?
Definately 7th Eye Private Investigations-The Mystic Touch with Sandra Bullock. The heroine is a no–nonsense private investigator who balks at the hero when he tries to get her to quit her job because it’s too dangerous. Sexy, beautiful, smart and tough when she needs to be, Jordi won’t have any of it and uses her psychic ability, psychometry, to solve cases. She’s one of three partners in the business and I’ve already got seven books laid out and ready to write.
If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?
Take me to the future and let me meet the person who finally brings peace to the world. Enough said.
Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?
Living in the country, while writing I love the sounds of silence while nature sings me a melody. When immersed in the story, I will sit in silence all day and evening to stay in the moment.
I grew up in the city and can’t stand having distractions as I create. When cleaning, I’ll throw on a bit of new country or soft rock, but meditating, I listen to nature sounds or Zen. I love Bionce’s songs too. She’s awesome. The only thing I can’t take is the loud, screaming, pounding sounds my kids think is music. They think it’s funny when I get all hissy about the noise. LOL
Big congrats to your latest release, can you please tell us something about the book?
Extrasensory Elements Series Book 1-Author’s Demise brings the beautiful CEO of a successful publishing firm together with an undercover cop in the guise of an author, hired by her boss to protect her. When Brett kisses Lana in the lobby of a building, not knowing who she is, they find an instant connection yet he leaves her standing there, stunned from the magic of his lips.
Entering a meeting she sees that he’s the new author and becomes furious only to be forced to put him up at her place where sparks literally fly as her telekinetic powers go out of whack from his disturbing presence.
Now all Brett has to do is keep her safe and find the Shakespeare quoting killer who murders authors from the firm using scenes from their own books!
This story should keep you on the edge of your seat in more ways than one as love blossoms and danger lurks.
Are you working on anything right now, and can you tell us a teaser about these projects?
Always a multi-tasker, as soon as I get an idea, even in the wee hours of the morning, I get out of bed and pound it out on the computer. I have dozens of stories lined up and ready to write, and many more just screaming to get out.
However, first things first, I’m editing my 7th Eye Private Investigations Series Book 1-The Mystic Touch for publishing in August. This series is a modern day ‘who dunnit’ as well as a family affair. Not only that, but you’ll meet people of many cultures and even...yes, I’ll tell you...though you won’t see it in the first book...VOODOO!
I have so many social networking bookings to do until then I have to squeeze it in. I’m even heading to Utica New York on March 13 with my sister, Kali Willows (also an author) to do book signings. It will be so much fun. Hope my special mask doesn’t scare people off. (it filters out chemicals)
Thank you so much for the interview. I had a lot of fun and look forward to hearing what readers think of my releases. It’s been a pleasure.
A note from Franny: Extrasensory Elements Series Book 1-Author's Demise is slightly delayed and will release on March 11.