Finding my Stories in Dreams

M.V. Freeman is here today on arielswan.com. M.V. is a best selling author of Romance and Urban Fantasy and a fellow author from the Aponte Literary Agency. When she told me she wanted to talk about her inspiration coming from dreams, I was excited. Welcome M.V. Freeman!

MVFreeman

I have been invited today to be on Ariel’s blog and I must say, I’m excited and nervous. It’s like going to a new school for the first time—do I have my hair just right? Did I pick the right clothes?  You’ll just have to ignore the spinach in my teeth…

Today I’m going to talk about where my stories come from—my dreams. How about you, do you remember your dreams? Do you want to?

I’ve always dreamed.

I can remember dreams I had as a child, some scary, some funny. One of my recurring ones from childhood involved a fire and vampires biting people; I haven’t had it in years, but it is still vivid. The fear associated with it is gone, but I am amused by it; even back then my mind pointed me toward paranormal. The older I get the less I remember so I have started a dream journal to retain some of them. Sometimes my dreams make no sense—Once I dreamed of mashed potatoes –I must’ve been hungry.

Many times, my dreams are a basis of most of my stories. It can be thought, mood, character, or situation. Every once in a blue moon I get a set up for a story—complete with plot, motivation and populated by characters–I take them for what they are – a gift.
I used to hate to dream, because many times they were scary, but once I began to acknowledge my dreams they changed. They became helpful. I find it interesting how the subconscious is there for us—we just have to learn to tap into it and once you do, it begins to work for you. I find if you ignore it—then it does like most neglected things–it becomes a problem (like the bad dreams).

 
I’d like to say I have all sorts of methods I can share to get your dreams to work for you—but I don’t. I’ve taken classes by Kelly L. Stone (who has a fabulous one about awakening your muse) and Margie Lawson (Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors)—both address ways to tap into your subconscious. I highly recommend them for specific techniques.

For me, I usually relax and let my mind do the work. I show up (go to sleep) and write down my dreams when I awake (even before I leave my bed)—I admit sometimes I cannot read my writing, but the essence is still there. I don’t remember all of my dreams. When I am anxious or stressed I tend to not want to recall my dreams because they are filled with disturbing things so I choose to forget them. When I am relaxed things are better—this is when I see more unfold, in vivid color, scents, and sounds. It is like my own personal cinema.

Do you dream in color? I know a few people who only dream in black, white, and grey. The only time I’ve ever dreamed these shades was during a time I was working at a day-job which was making me deeply unhappy. I am not a dream specialist or psychologist, but I extrapolated that my situation was affecting me; I changed jobs and the color came back.

The dreams I love are the ones with the fantastical—I dreamed of dragons in flight, of a man who could control lightening (this became the basis of my first book Incandescent), in another I dreamed of someone coming back to life….

How about you? Do you try to remember your dreams?

I am an intense dreamer. If a dream really strikes me I try to tell it to someone or to write it down so I remember it. I don’t usually write about them, but I feel my dreams are a strong and clear reflection of my brain’s jumbled reckoning with daily life and emotions. I agree that is important to face ones dreams and to see them as a helpful tool for processing. Great thoughts M.V. and insight into how you find inspiration.

Thank you Ariel for having me!

Thanks for joining me. I look forward to your future writing.

Author Bio: M.V. Freeman is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Romance, with a love of strong coffee and cream for late night writing. She adores dark stories with anti-heroes and determined heroines. She’s represented by Victoria Lea, from Aponte Literary Agency.  When she is not writing, she’s reading, cooking, throwing around kettle bells, or making coffee.

Where you can find M.V.:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMVFreeman

Twitter: @MVFree

Website: www.mvfreeman.com

Blog: http://paperbacksnpapercuts.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6431724.M_V_Freeman

Linkedin: http://lnkd.in/d_qEGm8

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mvfreeman/

Tumblr: http://mvfreeman.tumblr.com/

Google + :       https://plus.google.com/u/0/100536411253117557991/posts

 

 

 

 

Welcome Tanisha Jones! Writer of dark, sexy urban paranormal romance!

Welcome Tanisha Jones! Thanks for joining me on Arielswan.com. I know you have been busy with Mardis Gras this past week. I am excited to hear more from authors from The Aponte Literary Agency. So…

What is the earliest book you remember loving?

I’ve always loved books but a couple of my favorites have always been Little Women and To Kill A Mockingbird.  I’ve always been drawn to outspoken and spunky characters. As I’ve gotten older I like the characters that do things they aren’t supposed to do or what they aren’t expected to do.

What genre do you write?

I write dark, sexy urban paranormal romance with elements of theology and mythology.

It may be clear to some, but could you define for us what “urban paranormal romance” entails?

Well, unlike some paranormal stories, mine are in a modern urban location. Big modern cities like New Orleans, with elements of the paranormal but based in the real world.  Some paranormal novels take the reader to a fictional town or a parallel unviverse, my writing is based on real locations, landmarks incidents that have happened in the actual city. And the romance – well romance is romance .

What other genres do you love to read?

I read all genres but I am drawn to the darker sexy mysteries both paranormal and procedural with aspects humor. 

How did you come to writing?

 I began writing in elementary school. Being an only child until I was eleven years old, I had a vivid imagination and would write and put on plays with my dolls.

What inspired you?   When I was eleven, my mother, who was pregnant with my sister bought me an antique typewriter, from the 1930’s and I decided to write a play. 

Oooh. I would love an old typewriter now. But I can’t imagine writing a novel on one. I am assuming you don’t do that either, but can you imagine? I always think of Hemingway standing up at his.

It was a unique experience. And I wrote either on a typewriter or by hand until entered college.  But I loved that old typewriter , it was one where you had to flip the ribbon, and actual ribbon over  once you reached the end and it had keys that would come up and strike the page. Sometimes they would get stuck together and I’d have to pull them apart.  I was the only kid in sixth grade with typewriter ink on their fingers all the time.

What path did you take?  My path has been a sporadic and twisted road. I have always written, but only recently have I begun to focus on it seriously.

Can you be more specific? What was the process of getting an agent for you? (If you don’t want to share, I will take out the response to your answer).

 Well, my path to getting an agent was atypical. I became seriously ill in mid April 2011.  When was released from the hospital and realized how close I had come to actually dying, I thought- I can’t go without at least trying to become a published author. So, that’s what I set out to do.  I completed The First To Fall in November 2011.  My aunt, who was an English teacher for 39 years and has her master’s in English read and edited the first draft.  My plan was to simply self-publish through Amazon and that would be that.  She said that it was good enough to be a best seller.  I laughed and she passed it along to someone else who agreed, then another person, and another.  They insisted that I try to get an agent.  I relented and started submitting in January- by the end of February I was contacted by Victoria at Aponte, and early March- I signed the papers.  I know that’s not typical, I know some people wait years, but it gave me the confidence to keep going.

What do you have to say about the process to getting published?   Getting published is something I have had a love/hate relationship with.  Before I signed with Victoria at Aponte, I was self-published.  It’s been a confusing and sometimes discouraging, but I feel better knowing that there is someone behind me, someone other than family, who believe I have a talent and want to work with me. It takes patience and a thick skin to go through the process. It also takes a confidence in your own ability to get through the process.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing now? Do you recommend it?

I recommend self-publishing if you have the time and resources to do it.  It takes a lot of time and initiative and it has to be your entire focus. If you can do that, this it is a good idea.  If you’re like me a single parent who works a full time job and needs a steady income- it’s hard and with my daughter being only ten years old, it is very, very hard.

If you are published, what is one thing you’ve learned that you didn’t know before? I’m not published. YET. But I do believe that I will be very soon. Like I said, confidence is key.

What is your book about?

My book is called The First to Fall and it’s a story about love.  Ok, really, without giving too much away,  it’s about  New Orleans police detective with pre and post cognitive abilities who meets the woman on his dreams, literally  while investigating the missing body of a dead rock star.  He is drawn to her immediately, she’s sexy, smart and mysterious and whenever they see each other the sexual tension is palpable. 

As he gets closer to her, he begins to realize that she is not at all what she seems and neither is he or his entire life.  Soon, they discover that they are destined. It’s an epic love story that has been centuries in the making.

It’s the first in a series.

What do you seek to achieve with your stories?  I want people to love these characters as much as I do.  I want to prove that there is a HUGE market for African American and Multicultural paranormal romance. Not only are my characters black, they are bi-racial, some are bi-sexual, and some are gay, none are typical or stereotypes. I want to develop a series that crosses all color and gender lines and shows that you can have a successful story without placing characters in a box.  None of my characters are what they seem, they are always- more. Like most people, we are always more than our appearances, if that makes sense.

I agree that there is a big market for multicultural paranormal romance. It has not been a focus for many, and yet, I think it takes a book like The First to Fall to open up a wide stream of audience.

I believe it does. Especially with women- I mean my aunt is in her 60s and she loved it. My readers range in age from early twenties to late seventies.  There is a huge untapped market. And I’m ready with my tap and a hammer.

What book to movie adaptation do you love?  Ok, this is a good question because I love movies almost as much as I love books and I have a tendency to read a book before I see a movie.   I love Life of Pi, the way they translated that into a movie was not only cinematically accurate, it was just beautiful.  Stunning.

I loved Life of Pi. I teach the book and think Ang Lee did an amazing job. It is so hard to do. Do you fantasize your book becoming a movie? Who would direct it?

 I do.  I find myself watching movies and seeing actors thinking he/she would be great as- whomever. As for a director- Joss Whedon (of Course)  or Christopher Nolan, McG, Paul W.S. Anderson, The Wachowskis- great action directors…Ang Lee has the ability to meld action, fantasy and romance. Whoever it would be would have to promise not to make it Twilightesque. 

Another of my favorites is Stephen King’s The Stand.  I read the book long before the mini-series was made and I must say that is one of the truest adaptations I have ever seen, it translated beautifully.

My daughter and I have also gone through the Harry Potter movies, which are great  and Now we’re onto the Hunger Games, which made me nervous because I read the books and when we saw the first movie I was worried about how it would translate- killing children and all- but they handled it perfectly. I think these particular YA novels translated so well to the screen because they haven’t tried to be the next Twilight.(The appeal of which completely escapes me.)

What is the last book you read for fun?  I read constantly. This week, it’s Maya Banks No Place to Run and Janet Evanovich’s Takedown Twenty.  Next week, I think I may read James Patterson, Anne Rice and a couple of Harlequin romances, if I have time between school, work, writing and being Mommy.

If you could have any super power what would it be? I would freeze or slow down time but I would move at normal speed. We spend so much time doing so many thing, my kid and I and I just want to spend more time with her .She’s ten now and she’ll be a teenager soon and I just want to pause every once and a while and enjoy life.   And I could get a lot more done. 24 hours in a day, not nearly enough.

Thanks Tanisha! That is great. It is so interesting hearing what powers people would have if they could.

Thanks for being here and I look forward to promoting The First to Fall .

Thanks for having me.

Tanisha D. Jones
Author of Dark Sexy &  A Little Twisted Urban Paranormal Romance
Twitter: @tanishadelill
Blog: http://tanishadelill.wordpress.com

Where’s Ariel? Here I am!

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Hey everyone!! That is me in summer once upon a time. Gosh. Good thing that weather only comes to New England once a year – said no one.

I am again being interviewed on another fabulous blog today “Paperbacks n’ Papercuts”. Thanks to M.V. Freeman for inviting me. Go on over and check it out as well as her work. She is a best selling author of Urban fantasy and Romance. http://paperbacksnpapercuts.blogspot.com/2014/03/meet-fabulous-author-ariel-swan.html

Here at Arielswan.com I am happy for the first of March. Spring is coming, I swear! (Hence the picture above. I am forward thinking.) Though there is more snow predicted for Sunday night. My chickens are hanging in there. My cats have gone flat out crazy and so have I to tell the truth. I think the end of February is the start of Spring fever for me. Giddy and silly, I relish the lengthening days.

Hope you are all well, staying warm, and feeling good.

Ariel

Happy families are all alike

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I have a little ditty over on Tanisha Delill’s blog. She challenged the writers of Aponte Literary to use a famous first line as a story starter. It was tougher than I thought. My first line was taken from Anna Karenina: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. I was inspired to write about a group of “ladies” living together and their individual dramas. It is more of an observational piece rather than a true story with a beginning, middle, and end. But…can you guess who I am writing about? Not so hard.

Check it out- Tanisha’s Blog

 

Guest Post by D.T. Krippene: Lasty – A Dystopian Tale

Today D.T. Krippene is my guest at arielswan.com. We are fellow writers represented by Victoria Lea of The Aponte Literary Agency and we share as writers the wide genre fantasy fiction. In looking at his work, it struck me that we share a certain realism in our fantastical imaginings. Taking life as we know it and twisting it to include the possibilities of the future or of a truth just beyond our own, as well as true human desires and emotions, is how storytellers make sense of the world. Stories such as these give readers a way to examine the uncertainty, the hardship,  the dreams, and the hope we all share as human beings, but from a safe place of remove. The floor is yours D.T.! I look forward to your tale.

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Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/charliereynolds/3220883864

My thanks to Ariel for hosting me today.  We share a similar taste for old Victorian homes, rural New England settings, art by Lori Nix, and a make-believe world in our heads that would make Walter Mitty proud. In a departure from my usual postings, I’ve decided to share a short excerpt of my current project, a dystopian story of mankind’s date with extinction, and a young couple’s reluctant journey to prevent it.

Lasty – A Dystopian Tale

A human endogenous retrovirus has wiped out 95% the human population and rendered survivors unable to bear children.  The end of the anthropogenic era is near.  Two years after the virus has run its course, a tiny number of women became pregnant … and give birth on the same day.

Eighteen-year-old Ryan Townsend is a Lasty, a derogatory term for the last children born on earth, Leap Day, February 29, 2052.  Raised within the strict confines of his religious mother, Ryan is fed up with the notoriety of his mysterious birth.  No one will tell him why the watchful eye of the Directorate monitors his every move.  Ryan’s world implodes when he stumbles on a wolf attack about to tear a girl to shreds. Penny McGuire is unaware she may be the world’s answer to pulling humans from the precipice of extinction. Life-hardened and on the run from Australia, she drags Ryan along for the ride . Continue reading

Blog Hop – Meet the Writers

My fellow writers of Aponte Literary are busy visiting each others’ blogs. There are a lot of moving parts and we are working hard to help promote each other. I will be hosting D.T. Krippene – Searching for Light in the Darkness – on February 16th. He is a cool Sci-Fi writer and I think his work is worth checking out. Right now, on his blog, he is hosting M.V. Freeman, best selling author of Urban Fantasy and Romance. Hop on over and check it out.

The Mystical Writer Type of D.B. Sieders

Today marks the first guest blogger on Arielswan.com and I am excited to welcome D.B. Sieders. Wanting to get to know the authors from The Aponte Literary Agency a little better, I came up with a mystical listing of writer types, just for fun. 

The Clairvoyant:  Receives visions of other places, people, and events through the stimulation of unsought scent, sound, light, taste, and texture, sensing the story, for example, in feel of the wind, the smell of dead flowers, or the rustle of fabric.

The Diviner: Practices ritual to create insight; creates a space with mood, lighting, and music to immerse the self into another world.

The Psychometric Writer: Uses objects to create story, by touching, meditating on, or just keeping close, found objects or mementos, used as a cornerstone to build a new reality.

The Precognitive Writer: Predicts and understands future events, creates the future based on a sense of how the world will evolve and change, using patterns, systems, and deductive thinking.

The Medium: Channels the traits and actions of characters, takes on personas in real life, almost the method acting of writing, lives, becomes what or who they are writing at least to a certain extent.

The Astrologer: Draws on a set pantheon of personalities, traits, or archetypes, which embody the essence of human strength and weakness, brings them together into a situation and records the interactions that occur.

The Telepathic Writer: Transfers the thoughts or emotions of other places, people, and times – like a phone wire along which messages are sent back and forth. This can be centered on animal telepathy as well, being able to read and understand the thoughts and feelings of other creatures.

I myself am a clairvoyant writer. But…D.B. what kind of writer are you?   And how does this influence your writing?                            

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Thank you very much for hosting me, Ariel. It’s so wonderful to have an opportunity to discuss the creative process. I love the way you’ve broken down writing styles into mystical subtypes. The one that fits my style best would be…

The Psychometric: Uses objects to create story, by touching, meditating on, or just keeping close, found objects or mementos, used as a cornerstone to build a new reality.

For me, though, the influences flow more from surroundings (settings, buildings, physical space) than objects, though I have been inspired by interesting pieces of pottery, jewelry, and other small objects. I am a scientific researcher by day, and as such I tend to be very detail oriented. I constantly observe people and places, absorbing sights, scents, textures, and bits of conversation. Yet as an ‘organic writer,’ to borrow a phrase from Jeaniene Frost (read: total pantser), a story normally begins with an in-the-moment flash of inspiration from a location.

For example, my Nashville-based urban fantasy novel WAKING THE DEAD, began in my back yard on a summer evening in 2010. I was sitting on my deck, enveloped by the golden hues of twilight and cicada song while the surrounding tree leaves flashed their white underbellies in the winds of a brewing storm. A small tree line runs along the boundary of my property, and staring out into the shadows, I thought, hmm, what if a ghost suddenly walked out of the little patch of woods?

Okay, there may have been a few glasses of wine involved…

Anyway, I could see the man in my mind. Interestingly enough, he didn’t look like a ghost. He was solid, not a transparent specter. But I knew he was a ghost. His form cast a shadow, and I heard his soft footfalls on the lawn as he approached someone. He had a low, gravely voice and his soothing Southern drawl was full of concern. Whoever he was talking to needed soothing and comfort. But why? And who was this person who’d called him from the other side of the grave?

That was the birth of my first character, and the framework for the scene in which he introduces himself to a troubled caregiver who is suddenly thrust into the tricky business of afterlife management. All of those sensory elements worked well for the scene, and I’ve been fortunate to find inspiration by visiting other real locations in and around Nashville for this series, from the sprawling Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum with its airy Rotunda, to the incongruous Cathedral of the Incarnation (a Roman basilica-style building smack dab in the middle of midtown tends to stand out), to the peaceful trails of Percy Warner Park.

So there you have it – I’m a Psychometric writer who absorbs environmental influences by osmosis and incorporates them into a fictional universe that’s a few shades shy of reality. Thanks for letting me share my process.

Thanks D.B. So cool to get a glimpse into the creative process of other writers. To learn more about D.B. Sieders, visit her blog or website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

And dear readers, what kind of writer are you? Or would you be?

I’m Expecting Company!

While I am working on Cold Spring Fire and keeping my fingers crossed on upcoming submissions to publishers, I have the honor of hosting some of my fellow authors from The Aponte Literary Agency on this blog in the coming weeks. It is a great chance to get to know some of the other people and stories represented by Victoria Lea. They are great folks with great books to offer and in today’s publishing world, the more we self promote and help others to get their names and books out there, the better. So keep an eye out, check out what they have to say and then check out their websites. If you want to support me as a writer, support them by taking a peek. I am hoping their followers do the same.

I look forward to hosting D.B. Seiders on February 2nd here at arielswan.com. She writes “sexy contemporaries, sensual paranormals, and dark urban fantasies.”269x194.gif

“D.B. Sieders was born and raised in East Tennessee, and spent a great deal of her childhood hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains and wading barefoot in creeks, chasing salamanders, fish, and frogs. She camped a lot, and loved to tell stories while sitting around the campfire.

Those days of frog chasing sparked her interest in biology, which she pursued in college and later in graduate school. A working scientist by day, D.B. never lost her love of sharing stories. She’s been an avid reader for as long as she can remember and is thrilled to be working as a writer. Her memberships include RWA and the Middle Tennessee affiliate, Music City Romance Writers. She is represented by Natalia Aponte of Aponte Literary.

D.B. Sieders lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, two children, two cats, and her very active imagination.” 

See you next week D.B.!

Visit D.B. Sieders at http://www.sieders.com/dbsieders/ or follow her at http://dbsieders.wordpress.com/

 

Books that make you a better person

I came across this last Friday in my internet travels: “50 Novels Guaranteed To Make You A Better Person”. http://flavorwire.com/433188/50-novels-guaranteed-to-make-you-a-better-person/view-all/

How many of them have you read? Which ones have you wanted to read? For me, I read The Unbearable Lightness of Being this summer. It left me feeling like I had come to an understanding of some sort, especially after reading Anna Karenina, though it was sad and funny and sometimes hard to continue. I read some of and recently purchased The Tenth of December. Darkly satirical short stories that give a scathing look at humanity and society. It didn’t feel uplifting to me, but it was memorable. Of my favorites is  Siddhartha. Today, I sit down to read essays from students on the book. It is one that affects them in surprising ways every year. I recommend people read many times over their life. I also just bought Life After Life, after hearing about it and seeing it around quite a bit. This is entirely new to me. I look forward to it. I have also been hearing a lot about Middlesex. A friend read it and loved it. Book clubs are reading it. So…

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Others I love, of course, To Kill a Mockingbird, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and The Left Hand of Darkness. I also remember liking The God of Small Things, but I don’t remember what it is about – so that might say something. I can’t say I endorse Things Fall Apart, I found it disturbing, but many love it as tragedy. I would like to read Tropic of Cancer and Lolita.

And you? Are there any books you would add to the list?