Please welcome author Gerri Brousseau to So Many Reads today!
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Thank you so much for inviting me to share with your readers today on So Many Reads.
As an author I get asked many questions, such as where I get ideas for my novels, do I write from experience, do I write characters with my personality, but the one that took me most by surprise was when someone asked me if I was a plotter or a panster. “A what?” I asked. They went on to explain that a plotter does exactly that, they plot out every aspect of their novel. They write outlines, they use post-it notes. They use character analysis sheets. They may even cut out pictures of people they think look like their characters and hang them up near where they write. Well, no, that’s really not my style. So, what is a panster? That’s someone who sits down and writes by the seat of their pants. “Yes!” I shouted jumping up out of my seat. “Yes, that’s me!” Well, that’s sort of me.
A story will come to me as a thought, a glimmer of an idea. It may be a character, or a certain period of time. When that seed of an idea plants itself in my mind, I let it sit for a while. I think on it for a few days, watering that seed with “what if” scenarios and I see where the story leads me. I come up with a journey for my hero, who is generally a handsome man, because, let’s face it, we are writing fiction and we all want our man to be handsome . . . right? It’s always “Prince Charming” and never “Prince Rude” or “Prince Pompous” and so, the hero is a handsome man who is going along in life and suddenly is presented with some challenge. During his journey he will, of course, meet the heroine. At some point, they will fall in love, and at the end of the story they will hopefully reach the goal, vanquish evil, solve the mystery or win the prize. After all, as a reader of romance novels, isn’t that what you want?
As a panster, I know the beginning, the turning point, and the end of my story. That’s it. When I sit down and type the words, “Chapter One,” I have absolutely no idea what the next words will be, or where I’m going, other than getting to the turning point and the subsequent happy ending.
I’ve trued doing the outline, the post-it notes, the story board, and character analysis, but for me what happens then is I feel as if I have already told the story and the creative juices just cease to flow. In short, the story never gets written.
When I write, I sort of see the novel as if it were a movie playing out in my mind’s eye. I know what both my hero and his lady look like. I know their likes and dislikes, and I know my lady would never say something impolite or crass because she is, after all, a lady. I sit at my computer, hands at the ready and on the keyboard, and I wait for my characters to tell me their story. I think of myself as their transcriptionist. I do, however, find that I ask myself “what if” a lot while writing. For example, when writing my first book, A Pirate’s Ransom, I asked myself, “What if the ransom wasn’t money?” In my second book, According to Legend, I asked myself, “What if the dream catcher acted in reverse and drew her back in time to the Warrior Chief through her dreams?”
My new release, To Kill a Monarch, is an intrigue romance which my publisher calls a “caper” story. When the thought first came to me, I instantly knew where I was taking this story. I sat down and started typing.
I think each writer has to write in a way that works for them. So, if plotting doesn’t seem to be working for you, don’t do it. Just sit down and write. Let the story flow. You can always edit it later.
As a reader, do you think about whether a writer plots out a story or simply sits down to write? As a reader, I just want a story that I love. I want to be swept away and not be able to put the book down. Don’t you? Even though I’m a writer, I too am an avid reader and that’s exactly what I want in a book.
Would you like to hear a bit about my new release, To Kill a Monarch? Here is a little blurp:
Whispers in dark allies say Napoleon’s best assassin, The Falcon, has been sent to London to kill the Monarch. The problem – The Falcon’s identity is known only to the French Emperor. Sir Walter Tinsdale’s new partner, Philip Hamilton, arrives to discover their mission is to find the elusive bird of prey before he strikes. But their nemesis is like a phantom and always one step ahead of them. Enter the lovely Miss Charlotte Winston, the object of Sir Tinsdale’s affections, as well as those of Philip Hamilton. Unlikely alliances, deception, murder, and suicide will keep you turning the pages until the identity of The Falcon is finally revealed. With all the seduction and action of a James Bond movie, To Kill a Monarch is like 007 in 1811.
Sound interesting? How about a little excerpt?
“Our dinner is getting cold, Mister Hamilton,” Charlotte whispered as she leaned against him.
He drew her into his embrace. “To hell with dinner, Charlotte,” he whispered into his kiss. Lifting her into his arms, he carried her upstairs to the bedroom they shared.
He set her feet gently upon the floor, but his lips never left hers. He ran his hand up her back, pressing her to him, molding her body to his, while his fingers fumbled with the tiny buttons that ran up the back of her gown.
Her delicate and nimble fingers had unbuttoned his waistcoat and shirt, and she rested the palm of her warm hand upon his exposed chest. His breath caught in his throat at her touch. She drew her lips from his. “Mister Hamilton, allow me help you out of these damp clothes,” she purred.
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If you are interested in reading my saucy little caper tale, it is available through Soul Mate Publishing, or at Amazon or B&N.
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Thank you to Gerri for visiting us today and letting us know about her new book!