Tuesday, April 21, 2009
A Chat with Dakota Trace
Meeting Dakota was a wonderful experience because she has my spirit of accepting criticism and improving her writing by doing so. I could tell our work on her novel Just Between Friends was hard for her, but she stuck with it and learned some new things and so did I. It’s understandable that some writers have a hard time with criticism, but as long as it’s not mean spirited accepting and thinking about it can usually make you a better writer.
Dakota’s upcoming first effort in BDSM, Nisey’s Story, has been a pleasure to work with her on, and I think her insights as a newbie to D/s will intrigue new fans for her work. I know I am a fan.
So Dakota, Which of your heroines is your fav and why?
Dakota: I would have to say that Rebekah from the Mating of Rebekah is my favorite. Her self assurance and outgoing personality is what I always wished I had. Not to mention she can kick some serious butt when it's needed.
Yes, if I remember correctly she was doing quite a Batman and Robin routine with the boys. Which of your heroes stirs your heart the most and why?
Dakota: To date I would have to say Caelan from Nisey's Awakening. He's very confident and assertive. He wears it like a second skin but still has some of the old world manners that most have lost. What's sexier than a man who will hold a door open for you one moment, and then in the next tell you strip? Yum.
Oh, a dominant gentleman, what more can a sub girl ask for? Now I’ve noticed some of your characters have some pretty crazy names, is that a trademark of yours?
Dakota: I guess so. I have an online baby book that I use when I start a new story. I want a unique name for each of them. I think of what type of character I'm writing...and then find a name that suits it. In Nisey's Awakening, the two main characters are Nisey (A shorten version of my mother's name, Denise.) and Caelan, a traditional Irish name meaning slender.
I use an online site too, http://www.whatsinaname.com and I downloaded a huge list of all the ancient Roman names they had to use in the Ranexx Series. Yet I still go with my head with my contemporary names, using the ones I feel are sexy. When you write do you think plot then characters or the other way around.
Dakota: I guess I can say I'm guilty of thinking of the plot first and then having one of my editors, say "hey, I don' t think this is how this character would act." Then I go back and fine tune the characters. Guess it's more of looking at the forest and then looking at the trees.
Once I learned it, I went totally over to character driven plots. I think it’s easier to create the character and define him or her then just answer the question in your head. “What would Saturnia do in this situation?” Okay, last question for today. Rewrites: love them because they sharpen the definition, or hate them?
Dakota: I can truthfully say I have a love-hate relationship with them. I groan when I get them and usually curse at my screen before buckling down and fine tuning the problem areas. One the other hand I love the results. The second or third run through usually are much better than the original.
Okay, confession time, I find stuff during rewrites the editor didn’t mention and I rewrite it. I think the second stage of my writing is more concise and readable than my rough drafts. A very small percentage of my rough drafts survive as they were originally written as I am constantly improving stuff.
All of you new fans can get see Dakota Trace’s writing at these sites.
You can see my books at these sites.
Thanks for your interest.
In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.