I am very proud to feature Author R.E. Hargrave on my blog today. Please check out her new offering included in the Beach Reads Volume 1- Summer Heat anthology.
Haunted Raine by R.E. Hargrave
Distracted by the everyday routine of raising children, being a wife, and keeping a home, Lorraine Morrissey let life pass her by. Her wakeup call comes when she realizes that with their children gone, her husband Richard is rarely home, and she’s filling her solitary days with trivial tasks. A crazy idea to save her marriage leads to a summer beach vacation unlike any she’s ever taken; one that involves unknowingly buying a haunted house.
Do you have a writing ritual? If so, how did it come about?
Being an Indie author, I’ve discovered that more time is spent out in the open social scene—Facebook, blogging, and Twitter primarily—than on the actual writing. To have this reversed would be lovely, but alas, I’m practical. It’s what we must do: shameless self-pimping and paying it forward for the other Indie authors. Of course, the harder you work, the more you can appreciate the rewards when they come. My favorite reward? Reviews. When a reader feels strongly enough about my book to take time out of their lives and log into Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc, and let me know how my tale affected them—best feeling in the world. And it keeps me going.
So, promotion aside, how do I go about the actual writing? Well, something does have to be done to shut it all down and let the characters have their say. Once I manage to pull myself away from all the social media sites, the first thing I have to do is decide which project I’m going to work on. For example, at this time I have four manuscripts I’m actively working on. It’s best that I don’t count up the other ones that are waiting for me to return to them; it’s a little daunting.
With external distractions eliminated, and manuscript chosen, next comes the ‘ritual’ part. As much as I have one, anyways. A quiet space, Enigma playing on the sound system, and a large tumbler of ice water. My dentist has warned me, but I continue to turn a blind eye to the hazards of eating ice; it helps me think, and keeps me cool—sometimes necessary when I’m working on my erotica projects!
I should probably also explain that I don’t write outlines. Character profiles, general scene ideas, yes. A full outline: not since I had to do them for college papers. Instead, I let the character’s tell me the story, which is why I often toggle point of views between the main characters.
My other little trick is Pinterest. I’m a visual person, and when I have a basic idea of what I’m looking for, I’ll go scavenge the internet until I find a match, or as close to what I’m envisioning as possible. Being able to study an image helps me break it down into words. Storyboards are the result of my need for visuals—and readers often enjoy getting to take a peek, too. (Here is the storyboard for my newest release, Haunted Raine: http://pinterest.com/rehargrave/haunted-raine/ )
A good amount of time is also spent on the internet doing research. When I decided to add a Vodun twist to Haunted Raine, research was needed. I had a general knowledge, but just like when I ventured into writing BDSM for my Divine Trilogy, it was important, to me, to get my facts straight so as not to offend anyone who practices the lifestyle. Climates, settings, landmarks, they’re all important details that bring a story to life, and any writer who cares about turning out a quality manuscript also cares about these things.
At last. Nothing but an open word document in front of me, necessary items around me, subject matter researched, a plan in place for the next chapter to be written, and its time.
Welcome to the writer’s zone. Where the writer calls the shots—because it’s their world, their rules.
Until the call of “Mom, what’s for dinner?” crashes in, that is.
R.E. Hargrave is a fledgling author who has always been a lover of books and now looks forward to the chance to give something back to the literary community. She lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX with her husband and three children.