I was very happy when Christina first contacted me, because even though I hadn’t her much about her first book, Black Wings, at that moment, its description got me curious! So she happily sent me a review copy (Which I really need to read, so many books so little time *sad panda*) and I got her to share some elements of her personal life with us! Hope you enjoy!
When I’m not writing I like to run. And I don’t mean a casual jog. I like to run long distances, the longer the better. This will sound strange to non-runners, but after a couple of miles my brain enters a semi-meditative state. I’m still aware of all the other things around me – the lakefront path on which I usually run, the other runners and cyclists and inline skaters puffing past me, the geese and ducks splashing in the cold waters of Lake Michigan, the next song on my iPod. But my mind gets into a drifting state, where I don’t concentrate on any one thing but just let thoughts occur to me as they will.
This has probably been the single best tool for my writing, even more than disciplining myself to reach a daily page goal or making sure to read lots and lots of other books (and I do both of those things). Some of my best ideas have come up when I was running and I wasn’t consciously thinking about whatever story I was currently working on. There are definitely times when I feel like I’m pushing too hard and the writing isn’t working, and I stare at the blank screen in frustration, wondering what to write next. It’s at those times that a good run clears my head, and usually as I’m sweating it out the next plot twist or next bit of dialogue will occur to me without any effort.
There’s something about the discipline of running that is like writing, because if you love running and commit yourself to a goal you’ve got to have the will see it through, just as you do when you write a book.
I’ve run two marathons and ten half-marathons, and the experience is a lot like writing a novel. You have to do a little bit every day to meet your goal. When I am training for a race I make up a schedule and stick to it – I do sprint intervals on this day, hills on that day, 8 miles this day, 15 miles that day, cross-training here, strength training there. Every piece of the puzzle is carefully formulated so that if I complete all my tasks then I should succeed at my race.
When I write, I set daily goals and weekly goals. When I’m in the thick of a book, the daily goals involve writing a minimum number of pages per day. The weekly goals usually mean making sure that certain scenes get put in over the next chapter or two.
I don’t outline my books, so a lot of times I can’t see what’s going to happen more than a couple of chapters down the road. But I know the overall arc of the story, and what ultimately has to happen at the end. When I run, it’s the same way. When I’m at mile 2 I can’t see what’s waiting for me at mile 13. But I know that if I trained hard and stuck to my plan that it doesn’t matter if I can’t see what’s going to happen next. I just know that my feet will take me there.
That is such a great analogy Christina! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I know it’s sounds stupid, but inspiration often comes to me while brushing my teeth, it’s such a mindless daily thing that my mind always wonders to different subjects.
Here’s a bit more about her book, Black Wings.
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Ace (November 30, 2010)
Escorting souls into the afterlife leaves Maddy little time for socializing-until devilishly handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in her building. But when demons start appearing on Maddy’s front lawn, she realizes there’s more to her new tenant than meets the eye.
“A fun, fast ride through the gritty streets of magical Chicago, BLACK WINGS has it all: a gutsy heroine just coming into her power, bad-ass bad guys, a sexy supernatural love interest, and a scrappy gargoyle sidekick. Highly recommended.” –Nancy Holzner, Author of DEADTOWN
Christina generously offered a copy to one lucky reader!
All you have to do is write a meaningful comment below & a way to contact you!
you can earn 1 extra entry for being a follower.
Open US & Canada
Ends Dec 21st, 2010.
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