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Where do you get your ideas from? 

I buy them at writers' conferences--two for a dollar.  Don't all authors? 

Actually, my ideas come from a thousand different places, but mostly from real life.  When I hear the account of an unusual situation, my first thought is about how the people involved must have felt.  Then my mind jumps to what if this happened and off I go.  Frequently, an interesting premise or daydream sparks my imagination, and soon I find myself creating characters and building a complex plot around the scenario. 

What are the best and worst aspects of being an author?

Naturally, the best is getting paid for doing what I enjoy.  But for the most part, the best and the worst are one in the same.  I love that I can set my own pace and don't have to answer to anyone else or deal with the distraction of temperamental coworkers all day.  If I decide I want to work until two in the morning and take a nap the next afternoon, I can.  I get to wear comfortable clothes I wouldn't dare wear in public.

On the other hand, working alone provides no structure in my life, and I tend to isolate.  My body never has to budge from my desk chair, so while I'm working I get practically no exercise except for a few short strolls to the refrigerator.  Also, those comfortable clothes do nothing to remind me not to make those trips.  The fact that I work at home means I get interrupted frequently when my family is around.

How long does it take you to write a book?

As long as it takes.  I wrote my single title, The Memory of You a/k/a Something Worth Remembering,  in about two months.  But that was working around the clock.  Then again, I've written other books that have taken me more than a year.  It really depends on what's going on in my life, how long the book is, and how much revising I do along the way, and how much I let myself get sidetracked by other projects.  On the average if I write it straight through, it takes about four months.

Doesn't it embarrass you to write descriptive love scenes?

When a person asks this I want to look them in the eye and say, ‘Why should it?  Are you asking because you, personally, have an aversion to sex?  Or is it possible you prefer the blood and gore in  thrillers or the violence and treachery in mystery and suspense novels?  Or maybe your first choice of literature are dramas that dwell on deeper issues like, infidelity, domestic violence, and child abuse.

I don’t experience any embarrassment writing explicit sex scenes.  It’s really no different than writing a fight scene.  There’s lots of action, reaction, and the five senses.  What makes me uncomfortable is having uptight, repressed people (who think making love is shameful) READ them. The romances I write always involve a healthy monogamous relationship between  a man and a woman with a happy ending.  A lot more goes on in the bedroom between a couple than just the joining of body parts. Without portraying the physical intimacy involved in the emotional journey toward falling in love, the reader would only get half the story.  Sexual tension is what defines romantic love.  Without it, the feelings involved would be no different from familial or platonic love.

Does anyone ask mystery and suspense authors if they’re embarrassed by the gruesome twisted acts committed between the covers of their books?  Which is more offensive, a  loving heterosexual love scene or a blood-chilling account of a serial killer severing body parts?  I would much rather spend my leisure time with Rhett Butler than Hannibal Lechter.

Are your love scenes from personal experience?

Rolling on the floor laughing.  Quick, someone get me some oxygen.

Does anyone believe  Stephen King is secretly committing the heinous acts depicted in his books?   My hubby and I both suffer from a serious case of  middle-age spread.  In answer to that ridiculous question, I lift one eyebrow and say, “Look at my husband–now look at me. You figure it out.

        Copyright 2011 Laurie Kellogg


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