You're probably wondering who I am and why you should care. Honestly, I often wonder that myself. Don't you hate it when someone says, "Tell me about yourself,"? What does that mean? My height, weight, age, hair color and eye color doesn't tell you much, aside from whether I take up two seat cushions on the couch and get a senior citizen discount. Things like how many times I brush my teeth each day and what my favorite color is might tell you something about me but none of it is particularly interesting. So, who am I?
I'm a word addict. Big words, small words, words that rhyme, words that sound pompous and words that sound eloquent. I love the power within all words. I'm passionate about some things, indifferent about others. Music has the ability to change my mood in a flash. I'm a vegetarian, a wife, a mother and a grandmother. I love water but I'm a terrible swimmer.
Does that tell you who I am? Scratching the surface. That's a start. As for why you should care, I'm the only one of me you'll ever meet. That has to count for something.
I have six published books, all with some aspect of suspense. Their titles, in order from first to last: Enemies and Playmates, Hit List, No Justice, Beyond Salvation, Miami Snow, The Cutting Edge. I'm working on number seven, tentatively titled Into The Light.
Many authors I speak to have offices. Nice, neat private places where they go, sit down and create. I'd like to say I have that. In reality, my office/library used to be a den. It's a long, fairly narrow room across the back of my house. It's open to the kitchen and the living room. No interior doors. We bought the house because I loved the open floor plan. Now I wish we'd bought one with a sealed vault.
I do most of my writing on my laptop, in whichever room or outdoor space I feel like occupying. The laptop allows me to get comfortable, change my scenery. Plus, it's free of distractions like Facebook and iTunes. I need silence to write. Music is a major distraction. I start singing (horribly) along with the lyrics and my dogs bark at me (yes, I sound that bad). The song's story absorbs me and I forget my own. So silence is a necessity. Hence, the need for a sealed vault.
Life is my general research. People are an endless resource. I read a lot of nonfiction, mainly sociology and culture-related topics, which sparks ideas and supplies plentiful amounts of information. The suspense I write is not police procedural or forensic science, those things that require in-depth research and box the writer into specifics. Cops can't break into buildings to find out if someone is guilty. DNA results take months, not hours. Those sorts of restrictions irritate my characters. They have agendas of their own. I only follow along, acting as their stenographer.
I never outline. The story unfolds for me like the mystery it's meant to be. Characters wander freely in and out of my mind. They lead me where they are meant to go, dig their feet into the ground like stubborn children when I think my ideas are better than theirs. I see them dancing in the shadowy cobwebs, in that space once used for memorizing all the state capitals. Why waste storage space on the capital of Wyoming? That's what Google is for.
My family thinks I'm a little crazy, which is probably accurate. My Dad thinks that my husband should sleep with one eye open. I laugh at that. All my killing, as gruesome as my characters decide to make it, is done on paper. Something else about me: I'm a ridiculous peacenik.
So there you have it. Who I am is a fluid thing. We all evolve. In the end, who I am doesn't matter nearly as much as what I leave behind.
You can learn even more useless facts about me and take a look at my books on my website: http://www.QuietFuryBooks.com
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Darcia, you had me at 'word addict'. My attention was yours during this guest post and you pulled me along for the duration of your stay here -- just as you do the countless readers of your fiction. Thank you for being with us here at the Reaches and for sharing this look into how you write. I love that you sing to the dogs!