Showing posts from March, 2009

Interviews Part 2 - Bec Janson

Today, we're talking to Dy Andrews, Bec's best friend and one of her oldest friends. Dy, Bec ran out the other day before we finished. Can you explain why?

DA: Sure. Bec, well, she's always had a hard time with things that make her nervous. We call it her freak situations. Tests, new people, changes in her life, all of them make her run. So, since the accident, she's had a bad time. Everyone blamed her. (Blushes, looks away) Even us. We ... uh, we. Well, we kind of ignored her but it wasn't that we didn't believe her.

KC: Can you explain?

DA: She made a bad mistake but she thought it was good. So she went wild most of the last semester of our senior year. Not stealing or drugs, or anything like that. Mostly, the guy she dated convinced her to do some nasty stuff.

KC: Lots of teens find themselves in that position. Why did you think she went wild?

DA: 'Cause of where she did it. The guy, Lane Miller, convinced her to have sex in public places. (fingers twisting t…

Interview: Bec Janson

As part of a writing exercise I learned at Springmingle, I'm 'interviewing' my characters to learn more about them. Today, we have a guest with us. Her name is Rebecca Anne Janson but prefers we call her Bec. She has a story to tell, one she hopes other teens will hear. Welcome, Bec. Tell us something about you.

BJ: Well, I'm just a teen. Turned eighteen a few months back, on Valentines Day. My dad gave me a cool gift, but I put it off until I graduated.

KC: Tell us about your dad. What's he like?

BJ: Well, he's the district attorney for Wallis County. Kind of cool. Everyone at school thinks they can ask me to get them off stupid stuff like traffic tickets and curfew violations but I can't.

KC: What about your mom?

BJ: She died years ago, when I was four. That's when we found out I can't eat peanuts. They make me really sick.

KC: Oh, an allergy. Is that why you wear a MedicAlert bracelet?

BJ: Yeah. (Laughs but it's nervous.) I kind of went nuts after M…

Springmingle 09 - Sunday AM

So the last day of the conference dawned. Well, dawned is relative. Interestingly, a winter storm warning was out. Snow expected. No worries. I have a SUV and plenty of winter driving experience. Besides, I'd have plenty of time while driving out of Atlanta before I ran into anything serious in the north Georgia mountains.
But later on that. Before I could even think about getting home to my husband and youngest child, I had to attend the final session and listen to the questions asked of the editors. Of course, before we opened the doors, there was the breakfast and many interesting discussions with other writers and some of the illustrators.
We talked about our current projects, and I even outlined a series of articles I've developed about the Two Guns region of Arizona. Everyone couldn't stop laughing when I described the numerous cat fights between two madames in the town of Canyon Diablo. One commented you could never sell something so outrageous as fiction - no o…

Springmingle 09 - Saturday PM

Ah, Saturday afternoon. What a wonderful conference it was turning into. The first workshop after lunch for me was Creating a 'True Blue' Voice. The speaker, Caitlyn Dlouhy, is the executive editor at Atheneum Books. She gave a lot of examples of voice, reading from books she had either edited or liked.
To me, this meant voice is elusive, difficult to explain, and even more difficult to achieve. I felt it meant voice is where the character speaks to the reader as soon as they pick up the book. Is it hard to master?
Can it be done?
Oh, I'm sure everyone can find their voice but it means switching up how you write and the methods you use. A couple of months ago, tired of struggling with a project I'd worked on for more than a year, I switched it to first person past tense. Then I asked a few writer friends to look it over. Their overwhelming response was to remain with first person. They heard the voice of the different characters right from the very first word. I'd…

Springmingle 09 - Saturday AM

Ah, the weather didn't improve Saturday morning. Well, the driving rain had settled to a drizzle but it was still looking lousy. Making it a beautiful morning to enjoy the speakers and sit inside. First, though, I had to locate some coffee.
For anyone who knows me, I mean really knows me, they realize I have to have a steady source of caffeine to keep up the pace. That means coffee in prodigious amounts, especially first thing in the morning. And the hotel had a cafe that serves the most wonderful cafe latte - my number one weakness! Add a bit of sweetner and some ground nutmeg, and you have me dedicated to you forever. Of course, I stuck with the venti size. Wound me up to enjoy the first session of the morning - Art, Craft, and Filthy Commmerce.
The speaker, Kathleen Duey, totally amazed me. She has close to 30 years experience publishing books - 70 to be exact. I'm on the hunt for her latest, Skin Hunger, since it approaches something I'm working out for a series I've…

Springmingle 09 - Friday night

Y'all know that little old expression the post office uses? Neither rain, snow, sleet, nor dark of night? Well, that sure applied to Springmingle this last weekend. My first thought Friday morning while taking 13 yo to school was how could Mother Nature do this to me? How dare she? Didn't she know my hair went flat when it rained? But she did it. Rain pouring down in a steady stream all day.

Okay, I can handle that. I do have two umbrellas but where they? Not anywhere I looked. So it was a hooded jacket and praying I didn't look like something my cat attacked when I arrived at the hotel.

After making it through nightmare heavy traffic in downtown Atlanta, I checked in and started to look for the other attendees. If you've never been to a writer's conference, especially at a hotel with a bunch of other conferences going on, let me tell you. We know each other from the start. We're the ones greeting each other loudly. We're the ones walking up to others with ou…