Do I sound a little crazy? That might be accurate.

Do I sound a little crazy? That might be accurate.

Yes, the photo is me, sans glasses, which trust me, instantly make me look like the queer geek that I am. You’re not missing anything.

I’ve tried. Over the years I’ve started outline after outline, tossed one plot summary into the trash only to have another follow it, usually an even more dismal attempt than the first.

Here’s the truth. I don’t tell the stories, my characters do. I’m not that great at carefully constructing storylines or drawing it all out on a timeline so that I know what I’ll be writing before I start. I start every book, or short story for that matter, with two things: a relatively solid idea of my two main characters, usually written out on a random torn off sheet of paper somewhere on my desk, and a vague idea of the city where the story takes place. That’s it.
From there I let them reveal themselves when they feel like it and tell me the story when they’re good and goddamn ready. I’m positive it’s not the best way to write novels, but it’s the only way I can do it. For me, the story comes from the characters, and those are revealed layer by layer as the story progresses. What I think one character may do when I start the book will most likely change as she shows more and more of herself.

The only exception is the sex scenes, and I have no idea why that is. I usually know who’s going to do what to whom as I go along, but that deepens and expands as well. Although sometimes the characters just flat out refuse to do it the way I want to write it, and just turn on their heels and stomp off the page like coddled soap opera actresses.

I know, I sound nuts. Which may be more accurate than not.