"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Friday, April 17, 2009

Our Last Day of Blogging!

What inspires the new idea for a book?

Mary: I have had a few ideas in my head for years. So that is what I am working on now. But no way could I be as prolific as you. You amaze me! So what inspires you. Where do all those books come from.?

Jianne: Gosh, it varies so much. I’m currently working a historical thriller set in 711 AD, and I must admit the time is what inspired me. That plus the love of Viking tales.

How long does it take to start and finish a book?

Mary: I am slow. My muse is a bit retarded, I have to admit it. I think the first one took me about a year. The editing would still be going on if my editor hadn't said uncle! My second one is taking longer, some life crisis' have gotten in the way. But now I am working on it again. You seem to be able to write so fast, it's like your muse drinks a lot of coffee! The more you write, the quicker you get. How long does it usually take you.

Jianne: My first book took a year to finish, the second six months, the third three months. Manacled in Monaco took six weeks to write, yet Notorious in Nice took six months to finish. Sometimes the muse flows and at other times it simply doesn’t.

Is there any genre you favor?

Mary: You know I love time travel. Then any kind of paranormal. I admit I'm stuck on them now. But I go through cycles and I will be on another type eventually. How about you?

Jianne: Not particularly. I like being able to try all genres, to stretch as a writer. The genre I most love to read and write is romantic suspense. I like a hint of mystery in my books.

How do you pick the setting for a new book?

Mary: I love to write about beautiful rural settings. The lake in Vermont, and Stowe for example. But I will admit I have some ideas for other places I have lived. You write about the Caribbean, which I can see in my minds eye because your imagery is so wonderful. You know I am so into the imagery. If I can't picture it how can I disappear into a book? What are your favorite places to write about?

Jianne: I love to write about places I’ve visited. My mom and I did a mother/daughter Mediterranean trip a couple of years ago and that inspired me to set the Mambo series in the Mediterranean. I grew up in the tropics hence the Witchy Women series are each set in a different Caribbean island. My new one, White on White, is set in Washington, a state I loved to visit when I lived in Vancouver, Canada.

How does writer’s block affect you?

Mary: I don't know if it's writers block or just being in a bad mood. It's so hard to write when you are worried about a family member. If I am happy it just flows. I go back and read the whole thing aloud, (like you suggested awhile ago), and then the story takes me over. Have you ever had an issue with writer's block?

Jianne: I’ve learned that when I’m stuck on a book it’s because something’s wrong with a character. Either I’m not staying true to the character or the character is not developed enough. So, when I hit a hurdle, I re-read the story to that point, and try to dissect what’s working. I discard what’s not and start in again.

Mary:Thank you all for coming to read out week of blogs. I'll admit I was a bit intimidated doing this, but it worked out just fine. Jianne it is such a pleasure to have you as a critique partner. You give me so much insight and I get to read your wonderful stories before the rest of the world. Good luck with your writing my friends and never ever quit! The world needs us now more then ever.

Below is a last excerpt from Jianne.


  1. Hi Mary and Jianne, you did a wonderful job presenting your books. It's interesting to know how an author chooses her setting, how long it takes her to write a story and the difficulties and joys accompanying the finishing of a book. Thank you for explaining it so well. I am sure it will result in great sales.

  2. Argh. I tried to post a comment and lost it! Maybe it will show up later...

    Anyway, I really enjoyed how this post was set up almost like a conversation, and it was great reading about your different approaches to writing. The excerpts were fun reads!

    You lived in Vancouver, Jianne? So did I, and I still miss the mountains and ocean.

  3. Hi ladies. Good interviews. Fun week for us readers!

    and Mary - I have a muse that is difficult and has to be bribed with chocolate.

  4. By all means give her chocolate!!!

  5. I really liked the format ladies! Great job!

  6. Thanks everyone.

    Barbara, except for the rain, Vancouver is my favorite North American city.


  7. You did a good job! Well done.

    P. L. Parker

  8. Hi Ladies,
    Great interview... I agree about the writers block. Something has gone wrong when we get stumped with our characters.

  9. It's easy to do a good blog when Jianne Carlo is your partner.

  10. Mary,
    I think my muse is a sister to yours! I often spend a year on a manuscript.
    My twisted sister, Marilyn Pappano can whip one out in just a few weeks.
    Our other twisted sister can spend as long as 6 years writing a manuscript. But when she finishes, it's perfect!
    I so enjoyed the blog. Thanks!

  11. I've been on the run lately ladies, so I'm chiming in late. You are both clever and talented Funny, too.


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.