Well, it generally starts with an inspiration from a song, show, movie or picture. Then I plot, plot, plot, outline, research, plot, outline, research, tag all info. At that point, I then procrastinate, writer’s block and occasionally write for the next year or so. Then, when my deadline approaches and I remember I have a deadline, I frantically vomit words onto a page and hope my betas and editor can make it readable. 😉
Most of the time a song. Sometimes an image. I’ve had quotes give me great scene ideas.
Um, duh! Writing mega bestsellers! Hello? LOL
1. It’s freaking HARD WORK. The idea it’s just putting words down and then it turning into a #1 NY Times bestseller is such a rarity it might as well be a unicorn.
2. That being said, if you truly love writing it is one of the most amazing feelings in the world to type ‘The End’ at the close of your work.
3. Not everyone is going to love your work. You’re always going to have someone who despises it and will say some of-the-wall things about it. Don’t let that deter you from your dreams, if that’s what you want to do. Remember, for some readers, you’re a unicorn!
4. LEARN TO WRITE! It’s more than just saying something and that being it. Grammar, scene set up, description, show v tell, etc…it’s all vital to excellent writing. Learn it.
5. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Trust me, if you don’t, readers will shred you to pieces if you have false/incorrect details.
Anything by the following authors:
Dan Brown/Robert Doherty
Rain hit the window and my eyes traced the lines of water traveling down the glass. Long streaks trailed behind each one, telling the story of where it had been. Every splatter would leave its own reminder behind, letting the person seated know it had existed and where it had gone.
I let my finger rest against the cool surface and traced one of those paths wistfully. In truth, I was the tiniest bit jealous. This rain could leave a history to be seen and followed, but I couldn’t. My past was fading into the distance with each mile the bus drove. It was for the best, honestly. It did nothing to change my fear of no longer having a me, however. I’d left it all behind in the sleepy little Virginia town in the middle of the night.
With a sigh, I shook my head and sat back in my seat. This was the choice I’d made and now it was time to live with it. There was no way I could stay in the town any longer. Not after everything that’d happened, the pain of bitter betrayal following me everywhere I went.
My chest tightened at the thought of the words and whispers I’d endured and I took a deep breath. Determined to avoid going down the road of dark memories, I reached down and rummaged through the duffle at my feet. The need to distract myself was strong, but when I looked, there was nothing adequate enough to do so in the bag.
I threw myself back into the seat with a huff and closed my eyes briefly, but quickly opened them. I wouldn’t lie; I was afraid. A young, teenage girl obviously traveling alone on a cross-country bus screamed easy prey. I’d watched enough murder and true crime shows to know what could easily happen to me out here.
A quick glance around did nothing to ease my fears. The bus was fairly full. It was late and a good many of the passengers had dozed off. The few still up did little to settle my nerves. One man, sitting a row up and across from me, kept scratching at himself and mumbling down into a box.
Visions of every horror movie I’d ever watched kept me from being too curious.
Two women who had boarded the bus at the last stop together appeared to be caught in the midst of major withdrawals. Their hair was plastered to their heads and faces were flushed as they sweated profusely. They sat huddled next to each other in their seats, wrapped in their dirty stained hoodies, rocking and scratching. When they’d occasionally look up, I’d catch a glimpse of red, bloodshot eyes surrounded by dark circles. Their haggard appearances made them look older than they probably actually were. At first glance I’d thought they were in their late-thirties or early- forties. But as I watched them, I realized they were only perhaps a bit older than I was. Talk about your ‘Just Say No’ moment.
“You okay, kid?”
I jumped at the unexpected voice in my ear. I tried to twist so quickly to see who it was, I caused a sharp cramp in my side. My face contorted and I grabbed the spasming muscle as I winced in pain.
“Easy there, kid! Didn’t mean to startle you,” the gravely voice from behind me soothed.
I was finally able to get myself twisted around in the seat to address the person speaking…and stopped. I wasn’t sure what I’d expected, but the burly, bald, heavily tattooed man I saw wasn’t it. I swallowed hard and offered a timid smile as visions of the possible horrors he could do to me flashed through my mind.
He must have been able to tell because he gave me a crooked smile in return and shook his head. “Relax, kid. I’m probably the only one here you don’t have to worry about.” He chuckled as he smoothed a hand over his head. “I may like ‘em young sometimes, but I don’t do jailbait.”
I stiffened in my seat and opened and closed my mouth several times, trying to come up with a response. Not sure what to say, I settled for a mumbled, “I’m not jailbait.”
The look he shot me spoke loud and clear. He knew I was lying through my teeth. “Don’t matter to me none,” he said. “I don’t know you, it’s none of my business.” He studied me a for a second before he continued. “But you don’t look like you belong on a dirty bus in the middle of the night.”
I dropped my gaze from his. He had no idea how on the money his observation was. I never thought I’d be on a bus in the middle of nowhere. My life had taken a dramatic turn not planned and felt so off course now.
“You don’t even know where you’re going, do you?” he asked me.
My eyes shot back to his as fear lanced through me.I shifted in my seat as I considered what his words could mean. He might be feeling out my situation, trying to see how vulnerable I was.
I was pretty damn vulnerable. I had no phone because it was a way to track me. No one knew where I was. No one was on the other end of this trip expecting me. At that moment, I felt a bone deep terror and a cold sweat began to break out.
He heaved a sigh and leaned to the side, reached back and pulled out a thick wallet. Lips thinned, he opened it. “Least you’re smart enough to be scared,” he muttered. He plucked something from inside and shoved it toward me. “Here. Take a look. This is me. I’m not going to hurt you.”
Cautiously, my eyes dropped down to what he held out. They flew back up to his in surprise when I saw what it was. He impatiently waved the small piece of plastic and I took it from him with a trembling hand. With a deep breath, I stared down at the Arizona license he’d given me.
‘Jackson Turner. Born May 25, 1983. Brown hair–I snorted at that one–and brown eyes. Six foot, two hundred and eight pounds.’
I noted the address on it, but figured it didn’t apply anymore. We were on a bus bound for Florida, after all. I handed him back the license with a half smile.
“You got a name, kid?” he slid the license back into his wallet and shoved it back into his pocket, then glanced at me. “You know mine now.”
I stared at him for a long moment, taking in his tattoos and the piercings I hadn’t noticed before. Despite his appearance, I was rather surprised I didn’t get a bad vibe off him. Not that I thought he was a ‘good’ guy, just a genuine sense he wouldn’t hurt me. I took a deep breath and said a silent prayer I wasn’t making a mistake and said, “Danny. My name is Danny.”
Ease Your Mind by Trinity Hanrahan
Coming out in the fall
I’m currently finishing up the latest installment of my In Time series, Enduring Moments. I’m also participating in another horror anthology titled ‘Witching Hour: Sinister Legends, due to be released this October.
I will be attending the Roanoke Author Invasion signing in April at Roanoke, Virginia and the Authors in Steel City signing in September at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.