Authors Share Their Funniest Stories P.2

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By Beverly Nault

This is part II of a post I started last week talking shop and having fun with published authors about their process. I know you’ll find their answers as interesting as I did. And when you’re finished, check out their books and blogs, especially if these excellent authors are new to you. Here are Dona Watson, Ashley Ludwig, Dineen Miller, Nancy Farrier and Joanne Bischof. Welcome ladies!

First, here are the questions:

1. What’s something funny or ironic that happened to you while writing/researching one of your books?


2. What’s one thing you find most helpful when developing a character?

Welcome Dona Watson, who writes, reads and breathes fantasy fiction. Her most recent release, Deathchaser, is in the online magazine, Sorcerous Signals. Hey, Dona!

Hi! First of all, thank you for giving me the opportunity to share. Writing can be an intriguing adventure.


1. While researching for a science fiction novel that I’m working on, my main character needed to break into the computer network of a corrupt government. However, in order to make it believable, I needed to know how the technology works. I searched Google diligently, and when my son, the technology guru in our house, ran diagnostics on our home network, he noticed that we had become the target of someone with very advanced technology trying to break past our extremely secure firewall—and succeeded. We traced the incoming signal and realized it was very likely we had become the target of the NSA, who had flagged my searches!

2. When I’m developing a character, I try to mentally put myself in their shoes to imagine how they would respond emotionally to certain circumstances. Another way is to imagine I’m the interviewer and ask my characters what their story is, then record their answer. As long as they’re talking to me, life is good. Like they say, “Writer’s block is when your imaginary friends stop talking to you.”

Ashley Ludwig writes sweet romance, and her stories will sweep you away, I guarantee! I love Ashley’s writing voice. You’re up, Ash!

AshleyIronically, my answer to question 1 dovetails into question 2! I love writing sweet romance, but have always been a huge fan of romantic suspense. While veering from it (By Another Name, and His Darling, which both explore re-finding your joy after an abusive relationship, I find myself back in my wheelhouse of Romantic Suspense. While All or Nothing is a historical romantic suspense, my current characters live in a contemporary setting. I love developing characters, getting them in those impossible dilemmas, and helping them sort it all out. I find inspiration in things that happen every day, especially in moments when I’m developing character back story. I discovered something MOST disturbing about a villain for my next manuscript (Working Title) In Seconds when listening to a country song, “Don’t Lie.” I asked my hubby, “Doesn’t this guy sound creepy?” He and my kids laughed at me, saying, “That’s not what this song’s about…” but apparently my subconscious turned the *ahem* nice guy in the song, into a sinister stalker. Just wait. He’s absolutely HORRIFYING. But no match for my hero. 😉

2. When I sit down with a new story, I let my characters bounce around a bit. I start at the meet, and they usually whisper their names, and their names gives me clues as to their personalities. I read that you can put the same two people in MANY different situations, and see how they play off of each other. Everyone has weaknesses and strong points, even villains. The most challenging is making my heroines likable, and my villains truly evil.

Come back on July 1rst fo more…

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for having us, Bev!

    Fun little questions…research and irony seem to go hand in hand over here. Once the suspense doors open, there isn’t a corner that is safe in the house! a phone call that might not have life changing news! and a news story that can’t fold somehow, somewhere into my plots. Oh, and fb friends? No one is safe. So odd where research can take you, isn’t it, Dona? 🙂

    Have a wonderful day!



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