Sunday, January 13, 2008

Billie Williams interview and blog tour and contrest

I have the pleasure of hosting Billie Williams today on her month-long blog tour. Please read her interview below and comment so you will be entered in her contest to win her books. Her drawing will be held at the end of her blog tour at the end of January or beginning of February. Be sure to leave an email address so we can contact you if you're a winner. I'll be hosting even more interviews, so stay tuned. If you're an author or in the publishing industry, please let me know if you'd like to be a guest blogger. I can be contacted at: chinara@aol.com Now, for Billie's interview. Let's give Billie a big hand.

1) The way you create new characters is quite fascinating. Please describe it for us. You use the Zodiac and a tree guide?

Yes, I have done a search on Google to find astrological charts and have combined several into a form I use – These I have in my character sketch 3-ring binder. This is full of forms and interview type sheets that help me develop well-rounded fully formed characters.

I choose characteristics I want my Protagonist to have and begin with that zodiac sign. You will find in my Characters In Search of an Author book available at http://www.filbertpublishing.com a similar form and also the tree form where certain types of trees are related to certain days of each month. This gives me more strengths and weaknesses for my character. Then I use a form to track what people born in the characters MONTH normally are like. This also enhances my characteristics of the person I am fleshing out. That gives me a good start. Then all I have to do is pick an antagonist or a romantic interest with enough dissimilar characteristics (using the same methods) that they can butt heads when they need to, or create havoc with the similarities.

2) You say that writers need to read. I so agree. About how many books do you read in the average month? What are you reading now?

It’s hard to give you an exact number. What I try to do is read a chapter from a non-fiction book (on the writing craft or research for what I’m currently writing about) and one chapter at least from a fiction book every day. Lately the fiction book has been Mary Higgins Clarks, or Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury writing as her character from Murder She Wrote). But it really varies for me. If I need beautiful language that is very descriptive evoking a certain response in my characters, I’ll read Jude Devereaux to get myself in that mind frame. If I want to increase my edge in a suspenseful way – I’ll dig into a Stephen King or Dean Koontz book. If I want great characterization but on a mellower level than S. King, I’ll read J. Gayle Kretschmer’s Watermelon Patch or perhaps Catcher in the Rye. It really depends on what I am writing as to what I will be reading. I belong to a number of book clubs so I have fresh reading material on a regular (almost to often) basis.

3) You write mystery and suspense, Young Adult books, and historical suspense. What made you choose these genres? What attracts you to them?

As I told someone earlier today, I want to taste everything, I want to try everything. I think one life is not enough for me, so by writing about different characters in different life situations, different genres or styles and themes I get to savor the what if? The if I was? And so I write whatever pulls me. A phrase from my mother when she was terminally ill and I was taking care of her prompted me to write Watch For The Raven, my young adult historical adventure. (available at http://www.wings-press.com/Authors/ )Mysteries sometimes come from someone I know, like Knapsack Secrets (which will be re-released from Wings ePress, Inc in May of this year) a new friend in an abusive relationship prompted this story. Her life was in danger, I tried to tell her to get out while she could…the character in my story didn’t get out. My friend did thank heavens, the homeless play a huge part in this book as well.

In Small Town Secrets (available at http://www.wings-press.com) my current book – it is the lives of people in all the small towns I’ve lived in that inspired me to begin exploring that life style and my twin Sisters in law that wanted to be in one of my books – they fit perfectly into the resulting mystery/suspense.

4) How do you refill your energy well? What do you do besides writing that brings you joy?

One of my favorite authors – Julia Cameron – suggests in her Artist’s Way book that you take one day a week and go by yourself to visit interesting or mind refilling places. Take an hour and go to a museum, go on a long walk through a neighborhood, take yourself shopping for a toy, a icon or a candle something that tugs at you to purchase it. Take these items home and place them in your writing area. Take whatever your mind has found and let that roam around in the back of your mind to use when the need arises. She says you are constantly dipping into the well of your creativity and if you don’t replenish or refill it — you will bump into writer’s block or something similar.

I’ve been doing this since 1997 – and I think it works. I’ve never found a block or a hurdle that didn’t come loose when I took time out from my week to explore my world or a world I would like to know about.

Other than that I do hand crafts such as knitting or crochet, quilting, and playing the piano. The repetitive motion lets my mind wander and build and create things I’m really not consciously thinking about — it allows stories to form or plots to be ironed out. It’s a great cathartic way to gain new insight into writing. And I have a finished product for some other use when I’m done. Like right now I’m making bookmarks (crocheted Pineapple) for those in my book club who send me their snail mail addresses. (the book club is free to join and it is a chapter a week for free of my current novel in progress. The chapters already sent out are archived so that a new member can read those to get up to speed. If your are interested go to http://www.billiewilliams.com/BOOKCLUB.html to sign up.

5) Tell us about your family and your home town.

My home town, that’s a sticky wicket because we moved so much when I was younger and my grass roots have still not settled me in one place for very long. I was born in Park Falls, Wisconsin – lived there until I was in third grade, since then I’ve lived in more small towns all along the Michigan Wisconsin border but also out west – Colorado. I love moving. So a home town is my current town Amberg, Wisconsin – a delightful mix of retired (mostly officially retired but still very very active) citizens, life time residents and tourists abound summer and during the winter when the snowmobiling is good. As my author bio suggests the winters are long and cold, but the towns people are warm and friendly.

6) What is your typical day like?

Since I work only part time (in the winter) my day is mostly mine. I get up at 5 a.m. (a little later on weekends) My husband leaves for work at 7 a.m. usually, unless it snows or we have a storm that brings down trees etc. then it could be 1:30 a.m. or so; because he works for the town. I don’t go back to bed after I fix his breakfast and lunch no matter what time it is. The day is mine until he gets home at 4 or in the winter it could be 7 or 8. I spend most of it writing and some of it walking.

My day begins with Morning Pages (3 long hand pages of writing ala Julia Cameron) Then I write in my gratitude journal, write affirmations, and Intentions and begin with writing either an article, a blog post, or a chapter in my current Works in Progress. (WIP). Since I typically do these all on a regular day, the order is what every sparks my pen. I write everything in long hand and then type and edit as I transfer it to my computer.

I may interrupt the writing to read in whatever book is currently on my reading table if the writing doesn’t begin to flow immediately. Usually, by the time I’ve read my chapter in whatever, the writing is ready. I do walk to the post office daily as we don’t have mail delivery unless you live way out of town. So that breaks up my day some too.

The evenings after dinner and dishes I answer emails, read emails from the various lists I belong to and perhaps write some more. Nearly always I play a game of solitaire to let my mind relax before bed at around 10:30 p.m.

7) If you’ve ever had a book rejected, how do you handle it? Also, how do you celebrate when a book is accepted?

Rejections? As regularly as acceptances. I keep trying new places, I keep searching for an agent thinking that will be the answer to my writing getting to the New York Times best seller lists. {smile} I have enough rejections to wall paper a large bathroom or bedroom. It used to devastate me. I have to keep reminding myself it’s not me they are rejecting it’s the story. So I can tweak or change and improve if I think it needs it, that story and send it on its merry way again. Right away if at all possible. I usually research more then one market for a piece before I send it out, so that I won’t have time to think about it when, or if, it comes back (and I expect it will regularly, not always but a lot of times)

Celebrating when a book comes out – I don’t really. I just get cranked up to get my next one out to the publishers. Part of the reason is I’m never sure it wasn’t a fluke that it got published at all. I’m afraid to celebrate because …I may get cut down by some irate reader, or some guru who knows better then I that I don’t deserve to be published. You would think after over two dozen titles published I would just be doing the happy dance all over town – I’m an introvert – I’m painfully shy— but I’m working on it. So I don’t really celebrate.

8) What haven’t you done yet that you would still like to do?

If you mean in my writing — I haven’t written horror, I haven’t really written a romance that is just a romance, I haven’t written what I’d call a thriller, and I haven’t written a screen play – I’ve adapted a friends novel to a 3-act play, but I haven’t done a ready for movies screen play yet. So those are a few things I’d like to try. I doubt I would every be able to put together a historical romance — way too many pages for me. I don’t think I could do a fantasy or a Science Fiction book because I am not into world building and all that entails, so I doubt I would try them though I haven’t written any. I do dabble in paranormal – that’s fun.

9) What are your goals for this year? Do you have a 5 or 10 year plan?

My goals for this year are to sell 100,000 copies of my published books, be the cover story for Writer’s Digest Magazine in December of 2008, and to make the New York Times best seller list. Publish 5 new books this year.

My 5 and 10 year goals are to keep writing more books and get them well-published with a large publishing house. The plan is lengthy, including some of the challenges that I need to get through to make my goals a reality. I’ve drawn up a total goal plan too long to include here, but basically it is branding my name, stepping outside my comfort zone and studying how to make my writing the best that it can be.

I do want to continue to give to the charities and local organizations that play intrical part in my novels – for instance: Watch for the Raven I donate a portion of my royalties to the 4-H group here, some funds go to the volunteer fire department, the veterinary clinic, the library, the save the Dolphin organization, missionaries to South Africa, rescue squad and other places, etc for other books. I figure if I ever make it big my contribution to these places will really be able to benefit them.

10) What do you do to promote your books and yourself? Tell us about your blog tour and other things you do toward this?

Promotion is a never ending deal. Someone is always coming up with a good idea to try, so of course I always have my eyes and ears open. As for what I do – it’s a long list.

-Build yourself a website first.

-Start a blog in your protagonist’s name.

-Begin getting as many reviews from as many sources as you can, either from ARC or if the book is already published send it out as a print or electronic file to everyone who will do a review for you.

-Get some business cards, post cards made up and get them out there. Never let a piece of mail leave your house without slipping in a business card or two signed (makes them more valuable as a keeper) This is one of the reasons I don’t pay bills on line – how else can I reach so many people for a simple postage stamp.

-Grab emails from where ever you can. If someone sends you a note – add their email address to your address book. (Do not spam – you will find yourself labeled as a spammer and be banned from people’s lists) when you have news of a new release – send personal emails to your list — If you want to send to more than one address at a time make sure you use the Blind Copy feature in your email program. You don’t want someone else capturing your address book – or those people receiving a bunch of spam because of you.

-Try setting up a blog tour for yourself. It’s easy and viral marketing will get the word out for you. Word of Mouth is your best form of advertising. All you need to do is put a request on your lists and groups for anyone interested in hosting you for a day – Think of it as a book tour – only in Tupperware™ style where the hosts book a day from you and help promote your product (book). You don’t have to, but I would strongly suggest you offer some sort of premium or gift – as the home parties do for the guests as well as the host/hostess. That way every one gets something for their efforts, and you get a new fan perhaps.

-There are so many ways to market yourself – try getting on any of the radio shows/pod casts that are showing up everywhere now days.

-Make a video trailer to advertise your book – it’s easy with Movie Maker a feature of MSOffice and free to use. And oh so simple.

11) Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, when did you decide to write your first book and why?

I always have been an avid reader –so I don’t know when the exact moment came to me that I wanted to write. Maybe it never did, but it seems now like a likely transition from reader to writer. I haven’t lived an exciting life like some of the writers who write from their career background or adventures. But I still have ideas and things that have happened in my life that would never be the same told by someone else, so I thought I had interesting things to write about. I thought I had enough ‘What if?’ questions that if I set about to answering them I would eventually have a book. This all may have come about when I began writing Morning Pages while reading Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. When I realized if I wrote three pages a day, which would be three books worth of writing in a years time. Why, if I could do that for no reason, couldn’t I do it to get a book written? Assuming of course that I had enough to say, that was interesting enough to hold a readers attention.

I guess back in 1997 was the day when this dawned on me, I decided I could be a writer.

12) Please tell us about your first book and your current book. Where can we buy them? Where did you get the ideas for them?

My first book, Death by Candlelight, was published in 2002 and all stemmed from a young woman I saw crossing an expanse of weed growth around some railroad tracks for the Silverton Narrow Gauge Rail Road out in Durango, Colorado. She fascinated me, she looked so alone and lonely. She looked like she was unhappy and I began an interview with her in my mind. That became her book. I have no idea who she was, where she was going, or what her life was like—such is the mind of a mystery writer.

My current book Small Town Secrets began with my twin sisters in law’s request to be in one of my books and another book I had just finished writing Knapsack Secrets. I believe it was March when I began writing Small Town Secrets and used that as a starting point after I had done full character sketches of all my story people. I determined that Chaneeta Morgan, my protagonist owned a café and was the town chair woman, she also played a role as a volunteer fire fighter. All my life I have lived in small towns and their similarities, their dynamics are so familiar (each with a uniqueness and yet the same) that became the basis of Small Town Secrets which turned out to be skeletons in the closets of most everyone, revenge, greed, politics all the things that can happen in a family – community – small town.

Most of my books are published by Wings ePress, Inc and while they are available every where – you may have to order them from your bookstore special order, and on Amazon (where they are more expensive) you can order them direct from Wings at http://www.wings-press.com Small Town Secrets will be on the home page all this month – then you’ll have to search for it by my name in the author pages. Or you can order them from me autographed or send me an email when you get the book and I’ll send you an autographed book plate to paste inside the book.

13) What book or books are you working on at this time?

As usual I have several books in the works. Two non-fiction —Mystery, Muse and Manuscript and Playing With Plays, both part of my series of writing books. (two of those Writing Wide, Exercises in Creative Writing and Characters in Search of an Author are available from http://www.filbertpublishing.com and Spice up Your Writing! Write to Entice available from http://www.lulu.com/Billie ) The novels I’m currently working on are The Capricorn Goat ~ ~ January Flannel – which is also my Book Club selection [where you as a member get a chapter a week in your inbox until the novel is complete for free – to join go to http://www.billiewilliams.com/BOOKCLUB.html)

And another novel is Tracker another mystery suspense dealing with a woman who raises and trains bloodhounds for search and rescue teams. I also have a play that I am adapting from a friends novel – which I hope to have out soon. It’s a Civil War Young Adult Historical Fiction - My Dear Phebe, by Janet Elaine Smith.

14) You’re a proponent of time management. Can you give us some advice? As a working mother and wife who also writes, what advice would you give to someone like me?

The best advice I could give anyone on Time management – is the advice I believe I heard from Wayne Dyer – guru of self-development books. You need to set up a plan and work your plan. People don’t plan to fail but if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Every night before you go to bed, or very early in the morning first thing write a list of INTENTIONS – Today I intend to___: and list them no need to prioritize them, but if you do — then you will eat the biggest frog first — the ugliest thing you have to do today — take that one bite and down it first. Then the rest of the day will go swimmingly. You will be amazed at how many things you can accomplish. As Julia Cameron would say “Write it down and make it happen.” Once it’s on paper your subconscious seems to latch on to opportunity and motivation to get it done. Be realistic, don’t write I will write my novel today – say I will write 3 pages in the first chapter of my novel today. I will clean one room today. I will wash supper dishes before I will watch television tonight. Don’t make a long list – but 5 or 6 important things you want to get done TODAY. Check them off as you go. If something just doesn’t get done, don’t beat yourself up about it. Move it to tomorrow’s list and get ‘er done as they say.

15) Please tell us what a “Stephen King” garden is. (By the way, I LOVE Stephen King’s books.)

My Stephen King garden was a horror story of a pole bean take over in my garden. It was as though Jack had plans to use my bean stalk to climb above the clouds and as these giant plants crawled around the garden, they pulled everything within grasp into their tendrils in a race to reach to the heavens. You can read the article in its entirety at my website at http://www.billiewilliams.com/ARTICLES.html

16) Tell us how and why you use WD-40 in your garden and why. (BTW, my coworker just told us there are at least a hundred uses for WD-40 so your article about using it in your garden caught my attention.)

WD-40™ and duct tape shall forever go down in history as the most widely useful products ever invented. In the garden you can use it to clean shovels, hoes, spades, wheelbarrows so that nothing sticks to them. (or the snow shovel for us northerners) There is a list of things to use WD40 for on my articles website listed above from spraying flower beds to keep dogs and cats out to using it to spray decks and balconies to keep pigeons and doves from getting a foot hold and making nests there. Spray Thistle plants with it to get rid of them. The list is quite interesting go to http://www.billiewilliams.com/ARTICLES.html

17) What is it like to live in Wisconsin ? Did you have a white Christmas this year? Have you always lived there?

There is no other place in the world like Wisconsin. We have four seasons – or we like to think we do, although probably 70 % of the time is Winter – we pretend it isn’t. I love it here. If you don’t like the weather wait 5 minutes it will change. Winter’s are long and wonderful. Summers are lazy and laid back. Spring is exciting – green in so many shades you have to wonder why the Crayola crayon box only has 124 colors because there are at least that many shades of green in a Wisconsin Spring. Fall, well we invented the Colorama Tour just to honor the blaze of maple against, poplar, willow and deep dark spruce.

Though I have spent most of my life living along the Michigan Wisconsin border (leaving in each state along the way) I have lived in Colorado – in Bayfield a beautiful place among the mountains – but, while you can take the girl out of Wisconsin, you cannot take Wisconsin out of the girl and I came back happily to home ground.

18) I see you’re an avid gardener. What do you plant there?

I plant absolutely everything and anything. I have a small orchard of columnar apple trees, grape vines, plum trees, strawberries, bush cherries, many flower beds and my vegetable garden.

I plant the regular vegetables like tomatoes, green beans, beets, radishes, lettuce, onions, cucumbers, pumpkins, acorn and spaghetti squash –leaf lettuce, green peppers. I companion plant so I squash a lot of produce into a postage stamp garden. And every year I try something strange – perhaps sponge plants, broom straw, peanuts, bird house gourds — all of which I had a lot of fun with.. We have only a corner lot so my garden space is limited but I wouldn’t know what to do with out a garden.

Thank you so much Elaine for your engaging questions and for allowing me to share your time, space and readers.

Billie

Joyce Anthony-http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/blog Marvin Wilson : http://inspiritandtruths.blogspot.com Nina Osier –http://ninaosier.livejournal.com/ Ron Berry – http://unwriter.blogspot.com/ and http://here-it-is.tripod.com/kritterwriter #2 Interview Sandra Cox – http://sandracox.blogspot.com and http://wings-authors.blogspot.com Bryn Colvin –http://www.myspace.com/brynneth_n_colvin Nikki Leigh – http://inspiredauthor.com/promotion/author+promo+interviews Elaine Cantrell – http://www.myspace.com/elainecantrell Janet Elaine Smith http://www.janetelainesmith.blogspot. com Vivian Zabel - blogs: http://viviangilbertzabel.com/blog.html and http://vzabel.multiply.com/ Pamela Thebideau – http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com MySpace http://myspace.com/pamelasthibodeaux ShoutLife http://shoutlife.com/pamelasthibodeaux Pamelas Ponderings @ The Romance Readers Room http://romancereadersblog.com/category/pamelas-ponderings/ My Website: http://pamelathibodeaux.com Angela Verdenius - http://www.myspace.com/angelaverdenius Beckie Joki - http://blog.360.yahoo.com/chevynova71us Karina Fabian www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com SK Hamilton, (Pee Wee) www.whispersatwillowwalk.blogspot.com Mary Emmons http://www.authorsandreviews.blogspot.com Kim Richards http://kim-richards.livejournal.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/kim_richards Web site: www.kim-richards.com Bob Blackburn http://www.anarchadia.co.uk/BBBlog.html Dawn Mork http://hollyhocksandhumblepie.blogspot.com/ Kristie Leigh Maguire http://kristieleighmaguire.blogspot.com/ Elaine: aka Ashley Ladd http://ashleyladd.blogspot.com/ Dee Carey http://www.foxladycarey.com

30 comments:

Lisabet Sarai said...

Wonderful interview! I'm inspired to see how much you can accomplish when you have a clear plan. I usually wait till I have a whole day to write - and that means that I might wait a week or even two. Maybe the three pages a day trick would work for me.

Thanks for sharing!

Warmly, Lisabet
(who was born in Kenosha, WI)

JanetElaineSmith said...

Great interview, Billie. Perhaps the best I've seen on your blog tour.
I love your characters and really enjoyed the info about using the zodiac and trees to create them.
Thanks for the mention of My Dear Phebe. Also, thanks for your work in creating the play for A Christmas Dream. You did a wonderful job on it.
Janet Elaine Smith
http://janetelainesmith.com

Word Crafter said...

Hi Lisabet,
I'm delighted that you enjoyed the interview. I think making a todo list (planning) really gets you on course. I know others who don't and manage just fine, but I have a tendency to get tugged away to play far too easy to trust myself.
Kenosha, hmmm - well fun to meet another Wisconsin native. (You are native if you are born here cause your soul never leaves I've discovered= ) )
billie

Word Crafter said...

Aww Janet - you do my heart good. Thank you for your kind comments. I love your books and they are good places for writers to "find" their voice and the courage to use it. I loved doing the play - remember I had good stuff to work with = )
Billie

unwriter said...

This is a very good interview!! I just noticed all of our url's there also. Wow! Keep going girl, you're on my blog again soon.

ron

Silverhearts7 said...

Two of my favorite people... Lanie and Billie... all in one spot! :) Lanie, great questions. And Billie, I loved your answers. I've known you a long time, but I always learn something new when I read your blog tours. Hugs to you both!

Laura

Ashley Ladd said...

Lisabet, I never get a whole day to write except maybe on a weekend (and not really then as then my family wants me), so I have to write for a couple hours, or even a few minutes here and there. Otherwise, I'd get nothing done. But that's me. I dream of the day I can quit the day job and make writing my full time job.

I personally have a lot of to-do lists. My family laughs at me. I carry around a steno pad - actually I have tons of steno pads and I misplace the one(s) I need. So it's a family joke.

Right now I have my to-do list in my head. I finished editing my big Harlequin-type story last night and I wrote my synopsis this morning. If the family permits, my next step is to write the cover letter and send off my proposal - today hopefully.

Then I have to finish a story for TEB. My EC editor tells me he'll return my EC novel for edit probably this week, so I have to do that. I want to also write two short stories for contests and one for promo for a new magazine. I'm setting up more blog guest interviews. And I need to finish the sequel to the novel I'm sending off today - so it will be ready for Lori Foster's Cincinnati June event where I have editor and agent appointments set up.

Whew! I just wore myself out. But I know all us writers keep ourselves busy this way. It's just how we are.

Ashley Ladd said...

Thanks again Billie for being my guest today. I love your answers and I will try your way to develop characters. I have used the tarot from time to time. I wanted to try that again, too. It had never occurred to me to use the Zodiac and especially trees.

Ashley Ladd said...

Laura,

I didn't know you knew Billie. Small world. I wanted to ask you about your publisher. I'm debating whether to send my novel off to them or Harlequin. I know that you, Char, and Sher swear by them. Are they putting print books in Borders, etc. yet?

Ashley Ladd said...

Hubby and I have to run out and find me special running shoes per my podiatrist, so I'll be away from the blog a bit. Tell your friends to visit and enter Billie's contest and of course, to read her fantastic interview.

Wish me luck finding New Balance shoes. I found them in Marshall's and TJ Maxx - but, not in my size. Well, I found one size 7, but not its mate. Oy!

Word Crafter said...

Ron & Laura good to *see* you both here. Thanks for your kind comments and I'm glad I still have a few things people don't know about me. LOL.
Keep writing!
Billie

Word Crafter said...

O My Goodness Ashley/Laine sounds like you are on a roll. I admire your energy and you perseverance. Good luck with your book proposal and the editor/agent contacts at the conference. Many Sales to you girl!
And thanks for allowing me to share your blog and your readers.
Good luck with the shoe search too.
Billie

Laura K said...

Love this interview. Great that you put other blogs/sites for me to check out. Good luck to you Billie, sounds like you have a fantastic plan.

Jaycee said...

Wounderfull interview!

Mona Risk said...

Billie, what an organized person you are. Thank you for the clear advice you give to promote oneself. I always write my list of to do for the next day. I would be lost without it and it gives me a definite pleasure to cross out the items I finished. I think I will use your Zodiac source to create a character. That is so neat.

Ashley Ladd said...

Thanks again, everyone (Lisabet, Janet, Ron, Laura, Jaycee, and especially Billie) for joining us today.

Keep asking questions and asking comments. It's so good to have you here.

Ashley

Word Crafter said...

Hi Mona,
I guess I never realized how organized I was until my daughters and my sister commented on how I do things. LOL (even a little cup for used twisty ties so I can reuse them in a convenient drawer beneath the counter where I do most of my food prep. LOL) I do know that a system, one you follow regularly creates smooth moving and more time. Even in a factory the workers who have a system get more done then those who do something one way one time and another way the next.
Try it once for yourself. Of course since I am a Virgo - I guess organized is part of my makeup. Thanks for your kind words and I'm glad I was able to spark an idea or two for getting things done.
Billie

Word Crafter said...

Laura K,
Thank you for visiting - Yes, the other blogs will show up on my tour or you can always go to their archives and check out the interview. For as many as I have done, none of the questions are the same -- I'm amazed by this.
And the blogs of these people are amazing as well, be sure to wander around when you go to check them out.
Billie

Word Crafter said...

Wanted to let you know Ashley/Laine that I will be going to work now - I won't be back until this evening around 8 p.m. (CST) If anyone has any questions I will answer them or at least try to when I get back.
Also, be certain to leave your email addresses with Laine so that I may send you the copy of The Golden Kettle Cafe cookbook you get just for leaving a comment.
See you later,
Billie

Alexis Fleming said...

Great interview, Billie.
It did make me realize I need to get better organized though. lol

Alexis

Pee Wee said...

Excellent questions, Ashley, and informative answers, Billie. The more I know about you the more I find you are quite a wonderful lady and writer and friend and everything.

Hugs
Pee Wee
http://willow-walk.tripod.com

Chris said...

I noticed what Billie said about modeling her characters after their astrological signs. But doesn't that make them a little one dimensional/predictable? We've all met people who are nothing like what their signs say they're supposed to be, and I'm wondering how she deals with that.

Chris

Faith said...

When a writer writes all of the time, it's difficult to find time to read like one should. It's a delicate balance.

Ashley Ladd said...

As far as using Zodiac signs to help create characters, I have two thoughts. Of course, I hope Billie will pop in when she gets back from work and tell us how she does this so that she doesn't justs have 12 character archetype, one for each zodiac sign.

One, is that this is a jumping off point.

Two, if you really get into a character's zodiac sign, it's not just the sun sign, but it's the moon sign and each of the houses. Were they born on the cusp of another sign? Every Scorpio is not alike.

I happen to be a Scorpio. But my moon sign is Leo and I was born on the cusp of Sagitarius. When I got even deeper into it, the minute of my birth put me in a different house (I don't remember which one). Further, if I look at the Chinese zodiac, I was born in the year of the Boar. No comments! My husband is a rat so we're even. Why oh why couldn't I have been a horse or a dragon? Actually the Boar is pretty noble, but it sounds bad.

Billie? If you see this comment, what are your thoughts?

mystikalfae said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, Billie. Great questions, Ashlie. Part of what I read makes me think I need to get more organized in my own life and pick things out to bring in my own space to meditate on when things get me down...this even though I'm not a writer. It's solid words to live by. :-)

mystikalfae [@] gmail [dot] com

Word Crafter said...

Hi Ashley and Chris,
I will try to answer your question about the Zodiac. Ashley is right it can be quite a long process - but I don't dwell a lot on it because I use so many other things too that tend to flesh my characters out.

For instance most people born in a certain month share certain characteristics but that does NOT mean they are all alike, I have used Tarot cards to find character traits, I use the druid Tree charts and animal powers - and then I interview the character if I still don't feel into their personality.

So yes, I start out with the simple Zodiac Sign - use those strengths and weaknesses for the generic start to my person - but it just gets more interesting from there.

Even twins - Like I have in Small Town Secrets - they are so in sinc with each other - and yet they are so different from each other. They were born minutes apart - but they are not carbon copies of each other. I hope this helps, if not feel free to contact me at my email address with more questions anytime. billie@billiewilliams.com
And thank you for your thought provoking question.
Billie

Word Crafter said...

It is getting late here now Ashley - so I will hang up my pen and call it a night. I want to thank you and all the wonderful people who have visited today. Please be sure to grab their email addresses so I can send them a small token of my appreciation. The Golden Kettle Cafe cook book put together by me and Chaneeta Morgan from her cafe by the same name. You can meet her in Small Town Secrets.
Thanks again. I look forward to chatting with you all again soon.
Make it a great day!
Billie

coral54 said...

Hi Billie, Ok, Now you are my idol. Needlework is right up my alley. I did not know that about you.
Cora

acdaisy95 said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing!

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