This post is part of Cindy's Virtual Book Tour, organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. By leaving a comment on this post, you will be entered into a random drawing for a signed print copy of her book All the Good Men and a branded "Fiction for the Bad Girl in Every Woman" book bag. Her other tour stops can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2010/05/virtual-book-tour-all-good-men-by-cindy.html.
By Cindy Jacks
My family worries about me when I talk about fictional people as if they really exist. And I won't even go into looks they give me when I say my characters talk to me. I think they've got the funny farm on speed dial in case I start running through the house wearing only a tiara shouting, "The pumpkins, the pumpkins! The pumpkins are after me!" But I assure them, I'm no crazier than any other author--yes, I know, that gives me a lot of wiggle room--and the things that go on in my head are vital to the production of quality work. Hey, don't hate me because the voices like me best...kidding, kidding. But take last night for example.
I went to bed feeling pretty good about myself as a writer. I finally finished a 65K+ novel I've been working on for months. Though I know a first draft is a long way from a finished product, I allowed myself to bask in the glow of the accomplishment. Desire is a tale of the Greek god Bacchus, his fall from grace and return to glory. All deities grow up, all but one. Until now. Bacchus, the god of intoxication and ecstasy, lives an existence that makes Peter Pan's look like that of a middle-aged soccer mom. When the Council of Deities grows tired of his irresponsible ways and strips him of his divine status, he's cast him down as a mortal to the earthly plane. Now, he'll have to mend his immature ways. But even exile doesn't inspire the god to straighten up and fly right until he finds the proper motivation in the form of troubled beauty named Arianna. Bacchus must prove he's up to the task and, in saving Arianna, also save himself.
I drifted off to sleep with that warm, fuzzy feeling only a completed first draft can give. And then the rudest thing happened!
My characters tore me from slumber to start telling me all sorts of things about themselves that I didn't know. What? How could this be? The manuscript took me months to write in the first place because these stubborn characters wouldn't open up. And they pick 2am to get chatty? Begrudgingly, I staggered out to the living room and jotted a few notes in my journal, then stumbled back to bed. But there Bacchus and Arianna were again making suggestions for backstory I could add, popping up in my dreams and opening up to me about the laughter and tears that would round them out with some depth.
About 5 this morning, I gave up on sleeping and pulled out the laptop. Now I have at least another 10k - 15K to write, which on one hand is good. The more layers of personality and meaning I put into the book, the more enjoyable a read it'll be. On the other hand, I want to beat Bacchus and Arianna. I'm serious, WTH? They could've told me all these things months ago when I was begging them to...or at least have waited until a decent time to propel me out of bed. Characters can be so inconsiderate sometimes. I suppose I shouldn't complain. They could've kept mute and left me with a fluffy romantic comedy instead of one with real roadblocks, desires, and insecurities.
So this morning I took Desire out of my finished draft folder and put it back in the WIP file. Speaking of which, I best get back to work while my muse, Brighid, is all hopped up on caffeine. I always say, a muse in the hand is worth two in the bush. Okay, I never say that. Not even sure what the original version of that adage means. Anyhoo, back to the grindstone. Quick, Brighid, before the pumpkins come after us again! Now, where did I put that tiara....?
Prior to becoming a writer of romantic and erotic fiction, Cindy was a 'jacks' of all trades. Besides obtaining a BFA in sculpture, interning as a pastry-chef, and learning the art of furniture restoration, she worked for ten years in the corporate arena, but now happily spends her days as a full time author. Her first published work--"The Point of Distraction Series"--was inspired by a collection of short stories she wrote to entertain her best friend. Since then she's explored her inner bad girl and penchant for love stories by producing books full of humor and packed with real emotion. When not chained to her laptop, she enjoys belly dancing, international cooking, and making jewelry. She and her family call the Washington, DC area home.