Friday, October 23, 2009
I'm Hanging Up My Shoes...Again! Day 5
This is the last day of my 'partial' unplug week, and I have one more word to talk about from my friend Kristen Torres-Toro. Today's word is: Travel. Since I don't do much actual traveling, I get my fix from literature. I love reading about other times and places. And what better place to travel than to the Holy Lands during the Middle Ages? I'm thinking Russell Crowe in Gladiator. (For my male followers, you can think of whatever actress played his love interest.) Who wouldn't want to go there? That's where we are going today. Author K.M. Weiland has so graciously agreed to interview here about her newly released Behold the Dawn. Please welcome her with lots of comments. If you comment, your name will be entered into a drawing to receive a copy of the book. So here it is: 1. What inspired Behold the Dawn? I happened to pick up a children’s picture book about William Marshall, the “greatest knight who ever lived.” He was a second-born son who had to make his fortune by competing in the tourneys—the huge mock battles which were the predecessors of the slightly more civilized jousting tournaments. Despite being repeatedly banned by the popes, tourneys remained wildly popular until high mortality rates forced the sport to evolve into the more familiar (and much safer) jousting tournaments. After a long career as one of the most renowned tourneyers of the age, Marshall finally hung up his spurs and headed for the Holy Land to seek absolution. I’ve always been drawn to the Middle Ages, and I was instantly intrigued by these gladiatorial battles and their juxtaposition with the Crusades. From there, my imagination just took off! 2. Who is your favorite character? Oh, Marcus Annan, my main character, definitely! He dominated every page and absolutely took charge of the story. He was one of those special larger-than-life characters who are definitive to a writing career. His strength, his courage, and his haunted past… he was a blast to write. In fact, he’s easily one my favorites out of all the characters I’ve ever written. And that’s saying something, because this story, in particular, gave birth to quite a cast, including Annan’s smart aleck servant Peregrine Marek, the fugitive countess Lady Mairead, a conflicted Templar named Warin, and a triad of very scary bad guys! 3. What does your typical writing day look like? Fast and furious! I get up at the absolute earliest I’m physically capable of dragging myself out of bed (which is *ahem* 7 o’clock), have my morning devotions for about an hour, work out for half an hour, eat breakfast and hit the shower, check email, then head to work (which happens to be just as far away as my own desk chair) and put in my time for the church ministry I work for part time. Around two, I check emails once more, then dive into whatever “extra” project I may be facing, whether it be blog posts, editing, critiquing, or cleaning the house. My official writing time starts every afternoon at four o’clock. I spend about thirty minutes warming up—scribbling in my writing journal and proofreading what I wrote the previous day—then I pick a soundtrack and dive into the magical world of fiction until six o’clock. 4. What’s the best review you’ve ever gotten on your writing? They’re all good—even the bad ones, since they let me know what I need to improve. But anytime someone tells me I made them laugh or cry out loud, I know I nailed it. Dreaming about my characters and not breathing during tense scenes are also special reactions. But I think the ones I tend to remember most are the ones that come on bad days, when I happen to be doubting myself and my worth as a writer. I got one of those earlier this year, when someone told me they’d added my book A Man Called Outlaw as one of only three books on their “must-read list.” That one meant a lot. 5. What’s next? I have several projects in the works. I have a completed fantasy, Dreamers Come (about a man who discovers that his dreams are really memories of another world) waiting for another round of edits. I also just started outlining my next project, a historical novel called The Deepest Breath about the passion, betrayal, and vengeance that dog two men and the woman they both love through the trenches of World War I, corruption in colonial Kenya, and the criminal underbelly of London. And I’m also working on a fun co-writing project that asks, “What if Robin Hood met Sleeping Beauty?” You can also view the trailer for Behold the Dawn here. Have a great weekend!