Friday, April 12, 2013

Blog Ring of Power Presents: A.W. Exley

Welcome to another Blog Ring of Power post.  Check out A.W. Exley.  First thing I thought when I saw her picture. (Wow that would make an epic outfit! No armor though, but we could tweak that) okay, I know, I'm such a nerd. You do have to admit though, the girl has style. Her answers to our grilling were just as good.  Enjoy!

Books and writing have always been an enormous part of Anita's life. She survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, she overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.

Today, Anita writes steampunk novels with a sexy edge and an Egyptian twist. She lives in rural New Zealand surrounded by an assortment of weird and wonderful equines, felines, canine and homicidal chickens.

Part 1 @ Terri Bruce – Wednesday, April 10th
Part 2 @ T.W. Fendley - Thursday, April 11th
Part 3 @Emily LaBonte - Friday, April 12th Hey folks, here we are!
Part 4 @ Sandra Ulbrich Almazon - Monday, April 15th
Part 5 @ Dean C. Rich - Tuesday, April 16th

Section #3: The Creative Process

BRoP:  Where do you get your story ideas?
The tiny spark comes from anywhere. Nefertiti's Heart came from wanting to add an Egyptian twist to a steampunk serial killer. Sometimes it’s a particular timeframe that jumps out at me. Then I do some reading about what was happening in history at that time and then I shake that up and change it! lol

BRoP: How do you deal with writer’s block?
I switch to something different. Recently I hit a wall in plotting my steampunk sequel, so I gave my brain a vacation and wrote a YA paranormal short story. It was fun, it kept me writing, and gave me a burst of renewed energy to tackle my problem.

Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?
I'm a plotter, in that I have to know where I am going and have a rough idea of how to get there. I have found a methodology that works for me. I often brainstorm with a whiteboard and cover it in names, places, links and objects to end up with a kind of flowchart. From there I have a large sheet of paper, broken down into chapters where I jot down a couple of sentences of the key event for each chapter.

BRoP: How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do?
Research is continuous with writing steampunk/alternate history. Every day I have some sort of question I have to google - whether it's when was the Gatling gun patented, to knowing the street address of Scotland Yard. I spent a lot of time with a London street map and shopping guides to Victorian London to figure out where my key locations were for Nefertiti's Heart. I have even used Real Estate agent websites to get a feel for the look of particular streets and districts.

BRoP:  Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write?
I am a control freak, and I really struggle to let my words out. There is a great quote by Oscar Wilde, that I can really relate to… "I spent all day editing a poem. This morning I inserted a comma, then in the afternoon I removed it."
I can, literally, spend all day staring at my laptop trying to think of the one exact word to use in a sentence. Words don’t flow and I will endlessly self-edit before writing a single phrase. So, I have to hound myself with daily targets to simply get something on the page.

Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.
London, 1861. Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father - sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight inch long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality.
Her Majesty’s Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she, somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti’s Heart, a fist sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord, Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive.
Self-preservation fuels Cara's search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.

Twitter: @AWExley

What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)?
e-book and paperback.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone plots out a book differently.
    Congratulations, AW! And cool cover art.