WRITE QUESTIONS: Aithne Jarretta

January 21, 2008 at 4:31 pm 2 comments

This weeks interview is with Aithne Jarretta. It was an absolute pleasure to read her answers. There is such a passion in each answer and I’m sure that bleeds into her writing. Without further ado…

When did you start writing?

I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t start writing paranormal romantic fiction until December 2004. At first I dabbled in the world of fanfiction just to teach myself the mechanics. Although I’d always been an avid reader, I never imagined putting a whole story together myself. In fanfiction the characters are already there for you. You just put them into story situations. I learned a great deal from the experience.

What was the defining moment that made you sit down and start writing a book?

I had invented an original character and played with his personality and experiences within the boundaries of fanfiction. But he wouldn’t leave me alone. His story, life purpose and family became attached to me. That story kept growing, extending outward until he grew up (in my mind) and a young woman appeared in his life. That’s when I knew ”this is a book.” (or three . . . ;o)

What made you take yourself seriously?

The insatiable urge to share my stories with anyone who sought them out. One day I sat here looking at my computer and realized I had finished my book. Now what? I wanted to share it. That’s when I understood this was serious. A new process began. Learning the next phase in a book’s creation. I began submitting my first full length novel and also my short Faery Rosette, In a Heartbeat. The Wild Rose Press contracted In a Heartbeat, Faery Rosette. It is due for release December 19th. Concentric Circles, my first full length novel, is currently under consideration. (Perhaps by January 21 st we might know something.)

What have you learned about writing that shocked you the most?

The length of time required to produce a book from the point of contract signing and actually have the book in your hands. Okay, so I was naive about this. It still rattles my brain a bit.

What sub-genre(s) did you gravitate to when you first started? Is it the same as now and why do you think it’s changed or stayed the same?

My writing voice is consistently slanted toward the paranormal romance sub-genre. I tried to write a strictly historical time travel once. Alas, my villain turned out much too wicked and deeply magical. Although the story still has a strong historical background with the element time travel, the wicked witch steals the show. ;o)

What advice have you gotten that you live by?

Write everyday. This may seem simplistic, but it helped me through a recent (and only bout) of writer’s block. Even if it’s just a paragraph or two because each word written opens the mind for more to come through.

What advice would you give a newbie (if it’s not the same as above)?

I’d say the same as above, but would add that when you are a new writer to follow your muse. It also doesn’t hurt to have more than one WIP if that assists you. (Don’t feel guilty if this is your case.) Don’t worry about how much comes in each sit down session. Just go with the flow. One day you’ll write 250 words, another day 1600. Enjoy the process. ;o)

Someone told me once ‘you have a very distinctive voice.’ That was the first time I realized the existence of such a wonderful gift. Each writer has their own special voice. The more you write, the better it is expressed. Voice can’t be “taught”,it comes from within each individual which makes it a true treasure.
So to a newbie, I’d say that’s important advice. Follow your inner story voice to the highest expression.

What’s you’re writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

I prefer to keep things simple. Any notes about a story are made in a small spiral notebook. Sometimes I use them sometimes not. I do keep unused notations because they may work in another story. The actual writing process I use has been referred to ‘flying in the mist’ or ‘pantster.’ (I personally prefer the paranormalist approach ‘flying in the mist.’)

It’s called that because the story unfolds as I type. For example one of my characters likes to drink Earl Grey tea. I didn’t realize this until after the words were already on the computer screen. These tiny little nuances of a character are like a writer’s gift when they pop up. It’s actually another reason I enjoy writing. The little surprises.

What keeps you writing?

An excellent question, it makes me laugh, shake my head and roll my eyes. I tend to think that writing helps keep me sane. ;o) That’s because my characters grow to such an extent they often become pesky if left in the closet too long. I write that statement for you as I laugh.

Lisa Unger, a local writer of suspense over here on the southern west coast, spoke at a writer’s group here after her novel Beautiful Lies had been published. Someone asked her why BL was written in first person. Lisa replied, “Because that’s the way Ridley (heroine) dictated it in my mind.” So, I would say that sanity is one aspect of why I keep writing. (Writers and hearing character voices. lol)

Another is the fact that my characters desire their story to be told. Frequently they dictate, sometimes it’s more subtle and other times the story comes through the paranormal mist. A higher power; muses, the universal mind or which ever name someone prefers, has given me the pleasure of presenting these stories to readers.

How can I not write?

Do you have a support system? Did you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?

Aside from the fans in the fanfiction realm and all the weekly encouragement they provided in the very beginning, I was lucky enough to find an excellent critique partner early on. Lisa taught me more about writing while not suppressing my story voice. I owe her so much.

The Florida Writer’s Association has helped me by presenting local writers as speakers. It gave me the chance to see some of the ‘action’ involved within the publishing field that otherwise would have been unavailable to me.

They also published a short flash fiction piece, Flashpoint, in their quarterly magazine Florida Palm summer 2006 issue. (No payment offered, only the pleasure of seeing my story in print on a shiny magazine page. Which was pretty cool. Here’s the link to one of my pages if you’d like a magical moment.)

http://aithnejarretta.com/Flashpoint_Arsi_index_2.html

I’d say the most important lesson I learned from FWA is that writers write. It doesn’t matter if you are published or not, if you spend time writing then you are a writer. This fact encouraged me. It’s been three years and I finally will have a story with a world-wide online publisher. The Wild Rose Press will release In a Heartbeat on December 19th. Wow! What a feeling. But I’ve still been a writer for three years.

Define success for yourself?

I like to define success in little things. Finishing a scene that may have proved challenging to write. Learning a new promotion tip for when my work will be published and ready to launch. (I’m very new to blogging and interviews. Melissa, you are my first interview. And book trailers, what an adventure!) I’d like to get the word out there about my stories and each new tidbit is a beautiful success.

I just realized that learning came up again within the context of my answers. At the end of the day if I’ve learned something new, not just about the writing, but something about our world then that’s also a success. My stories take me to places and show them in ways I only discovered when reading as a child. History plays a big part in everything I write so learning more about our world and people leads of a feeling of accomplishment.

What’s your comfort reads?

Anything Diana Gabaldon and J. K. Rowling. Time travel and magic. Is it any wonder?

Who are you reading right now?

I just finished Sky Purington’s Fate’s Monolith from The Wild Rose Press. Loved it and can’t wait for the sequel, Destiny’s Denial.

What book(s) that makes you want to write better (or stop writing because you’ll never be that good)?

I love and respect J. K. Rowling’s broad spectrum of imagination and talent. But Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is the work that makes me want to be a better writer. She utilizes all five human senses as she weaves a story world and draws you in. There’s a partial line in A Breath of Snow and Ashes that completely blew me away. (I had to set the book down and walk away because it became clear to me that I had much to strive for.)

. . . the windows open, and the sun came low through the trees to make shifting patterns on the wall and linen sheets, so that we floated in a bower of murmuring shadow leaves. (pg. 109)

That line came after a delicious love scene between the h/h and made an awesome orgasmic finish.

Will I ever be able to have a reader pause and think about something in one of my stories? I certainly hope so. Thank you, Melissa for this opportunity and interview. Good luck with your writing. ;o)

Plug away…
Short Bio:
Currently a resident of the west coast of Florida, I love being so close to inspiring ocean waves. Books have always been a world of adventure and exploration for me. My stories grow from life experiences, ideas gleaned from world history and a deep appreciation of nature. Love and romance binds them all together with endearing energy, weaving them into inspiring folktales. It is my greatest desire to share my stories with the world. Soon this will happen when In a Heartbeat, Faery Rosette is released on December 19, 2007 from The Wild Rose Press.

In a Heartbeat back cover blurb:

Haunted by his past, Malik rushes through a tempest filled Florida night toward an unexpected meeting with destiny. Harboring a soul that longs for unity with his mate, he tries to understand the shallow dating experiences up to this moment. He is positive there is someone with whom his heart beats in tandem. Where? He doesn’t have a clue.

Wyndy, Tempest Tamer Faery, has waited lifetimes for the return of her soul love. Tonight, at last, he will come home. Their meeting, heralded within Florida’s stormy coastline, brings together an ageless love bound into eternity.

View my book trailers:

http://aithnejarretta.com/Kissing_Santa_Book_Trailer.htm [Kissing Santa is a FREE ebook give-a-way]

http://aithnejarretta.com/In_a_Heartbeat_Trailer.htm [In a Heartbeat, Faery Rosette due for release from TWRP December 19th.]

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Entry filed under: Write Questions.

CONFESSIONS OF A ROMANCE AUTHOR: 2 WRITER’S BLOCK

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Aithne  |  January 21, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Hey Melissa,

    Thanks so much! The process is very interesting. Shortly after I received your email the Google Alert came through.

    That’s actually good for you, too. Shows your blog is doing well.

    Thanks again. Good luck with How Much You Want to Bet? (If you’d like me to do a featured spot for you at Break~Time Romance just let me know. It’s the blog I’m growing that feature only short romances. A Rosebud certainly qualifies. ;o)

    Aithne

  • 2. Mel  |  January 22, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Oh, the author actually stopped by. Hi, Aithne!

    And I’ll drop you an e-mail.

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