Monday Madness: Julie Eberhart Painter
Oiling the Creative Hinges
Julie Eberhart Painter
Every time I complete a manuscript, I either like it or no one sees it. If I like it, I’ll always have a soft spot for it. It’s like having another baby. You ask yourself, how can you love the next one as much as you’ve loved the previous one? Mothers know and trust that they will.
Writers don’t have that kind of instinctual backup. That bit of insecurity spurs us on to keep topping ourselves, not by being outrageous, but by being better: better at language and better at drafting a coherent, exciting, substantive read for our buyers and our followers to come. We are not required to break guitars or burn up a stage. Our challenge is to speak to the hearts of our readers and hook our editors and reviewers to keep them turning the pages.
So how do you stay creative, fresh and productive?
I’ve found I usually write a funny book followed by a more serious book. Kill Fee is a funny book, made funnier by that crime-fighting foul-mouthed fowl, Bilgewater. He has no boundries. To discover a character like him is a gift. He came naturally, born through the plot. Penny had a series of boyfriends before the story opens. One of them left Bilgewater as a consolation prize. The Indian Hill Mynah is known for his foul, inappropriate language that can burst forth at the most inconvenient times. They also, have a much better vocabulary than the African Grey Parrot. When he popped into my head, I was creatively bless and greatly amused.
These creative spurts keep me interested. If we writers aren’t happy with what we write, the writing becomes tired, flat, and lacks dimension. I’ve seen that happen with some well-known modern-day writers. (I blame their finger-snapping agents begging for series stories.) I don’t envy those under the gun.
Branding-wise, there is always a serious issue so fun in my books. The focus is on the characters and their needs. How they satisfy their quests drives the plot. Whom did they meet along the way? You know my heroes and heroines will meet the perfect mate eventually, but when? At some point I give them the wheel. “Getting there is half the fun.”
Love what you do, and it will love you back—creatively.
Julie Eberhart Painter is the Champagne Books author of Mortal Coil, Tangled Web, and Kill Fee.
See Julie’s website at www.books-jepainter.com
For a full list of her books, visit this page.
Next week on Monday Madness: TK Toppin (yes, I’m talking to her again).
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