Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spotlight on: M.G. Braden

Tell me about yourself. Do you write under a particular genre, or several?
I write Contemporary - usually just straight contemporary, but I do have a paranormal coming out on August 1st and right now I'm working on a ST that will have action/adventure elements.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing since high school. I started my first romance when I was in Grade 10. It was going to be for HQ. I still have those pages - typewritten, no less. I described my heroine's outfit in great detail - especially her peach suede suite and strappy sandals! LOL It was very typical of what I was reading in romances at that time.
Where do you get your inspiration?
As with most writers, I'm sure, it is often from people or situations I am familiar with or sometimes I think "what if..."
Do you have a writing routine?
When I have a book due I write every night as soon as the house is quiet. I usually go into a chat room with some other writers and we do writing challenges where we write as much as we can in 20 minutes. It really motivates me. I need to do that even when I don't have a book due and it's something I struggle with. I'm much better with a deadline. It forces me to write.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer?
Just actually doing the writing. Sitting down and writing without being distracted by the internet, email, my kids, life, etc. Because (when not on contract - which I've only been lucky enough to have twice before the actual book was completed) I'm only accountable to myself and it is much easier to just do other things, especially with all of my other obligations.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I have a huge imagination and I like seeing that take shape, instead of it just swirling around and driving me batty. It takes it out of my head and on to paper where I hope, someday, someone will read and enjoy it.
What do you dislike about writing?
I'm not sure there's anything I actually dislike about writing. Although, I guess I could say not knowing where I'm going and being afraid that I have nothing left to say and an entire book of blank pages looming before me.
What do you enjoy in your spare time? Do you have any collections? Hobbies?
I have three kids between the ages of 2 and 8, so I don't have a lot of spare time LOL. But, I do sing on the Worship Team and volunteer at our church. It helps keep me grounded. Singing has always helped to relax me.
What’s your favorite color?
If you could drive any vehicle, with money as no object, what would it be?
A Hummer - yes, I know, not practical, not good for the environment, there really isn't as much room as one would think... I don't care. I want one. For all sorts of reasons. ;-)
What’s your favorite genre to read?
Romantic Suspense
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share with other writers?
Find yourself a good support group and a good critique partner. Both are invaluable. You need the writing support group as a place to go to where people understand what you're doing and why. You need the critique partner because you should always have someone objective read your work. Husbands/wives, family members aren't usually objective. You need to find a critique partner that actually works for you and it may take some time to find the right person. I was lucky and got mine on the first try. It was a fluke and we write completely different genres, but that has worked for us.
What is your biggest writing annoyance, i.e. too much noise, not enough light, or can you write just about anywhere?
I can't have my kids running around me when I write. I get too caught up in what they are doing instead of what I should be doing. Most other things I can tune out.
Who is your biggest supporter? How does he/she support you?
My husband. He believes I can do or be anything I want. He completely believes I have it in me to write a bestseller - if I could only channel that on to my pages! He cleans up after dinner and puts the kids to bed so I can deal with the business of writing.
What’s your favorite food?
What's the one book you'd love to write but could never publish?
Hmm, I'm not sure. I hope that all the books I write will be published. At this point I don't think there's a story in my head that I need to write, but that I don't want to actually have published.

How do you plan your characters (charts, off the flow, etc.?) How do you organize your books?
I'm a pantser so I don't plan anything. I just write.
Do you have any pet peeves? How about when it comes to novels?
Who doesn't? LOL How about driver's who cut you off and then avoid your eyes as you drive by them later, because then they can pretend they didn't actually "see" that you were there? Yeah. OK, buddy.

When it comes to novels all I have to say is... Please don't head-hop. It's really annoying. And yes, I know some of the great writer's in our genre do it, but that doesn't mean it's a good way to write. Some of those authors tell a tale so well that you are sucked in despite the head-hopping. If you write that well, more power to you. If you don't, then learn to write in one POV per scene - it's harder, but it's well worth it.
If you had to pick a vegetable most resembling your personality, what veggie would you pick and why?
A pumpkin, because it's got a hard shell with many different lumps and bumps and a soft gooey middle. Honestly? I've never thought about this before, so hopefully this answer works! LOL
What’s your dream vacation?
Somewhere with a turquoise blue ocean, soft as silk sand beaches, swim-up bars at the pool, lots of sunshine, my dh and a stack of books beside me and my kids off enjoying the kids club for the day.
What are you working on now?
I'm working on a single title romance with action/adventure elements with a feisty heroine who makes me smile and a slightly mysterious hero who I think is rather hot. My hopes are that this book would be the first in a series.

What are your future plans?
I'd like to find an agent this year and then hopefully can write at least two full-length books a year, as well as a few shorter ones. My comfort zone is in writing novellas, but I need to stretch that in order to get a NYC contract. That's what I hope the next couple of years brings for me.
Besides writing and without limitations, what is your dream career?
In the dream world I'd be a singer, but in the real world the other career I'd like would be to be an OB/GYN nurse.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
I love making people feel emotions with my words. If I've made you laugh or cry, or even just smile, then I've done what I set out to do. If I can take you away from your real world while you are reading my book, so that you didn't notice the passing of time, then I'd be very happy.
Would you like to share an excerpt of your work?
Sure... here's an excerpt from my upcoming book Vampire Oracle: Harmony coming out August 1, 2008 with Cobblestone Press:

She couldn’t stop looking at it. The way it twinkled in the sunlight, or under any light for that matter. She lifted her hand again, trying to catch the reflections in the diamond. She laughed aloud, giddy with happiness. Theyd spent the last hour talking, but it still distracted her.

“So I guess that means you like it?” Marc Brodeur quirked one brow, his lips pursed in amusement.

“As a matter of fact, I don’t like it.” Kara Staten twirled about, trying to catch the sunlight in her ring one more time. She stopped in front of Marc and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I love it!”

She gazed up into Marcs blue eyes and was sure she saw forever written there. Finally. I have my forever. Tugging his head down, she arched her neck to touch her lips to his. She put everything she had into that kiss. Everything she felt. She didnt care that they were standing in the middle of the towns central park. Didnt care if people were watching. All she cared about was the sizzle that shocked her every time they kissed, every time they touched. It was no different now, as the moment his lips touched hers a spark shot through her systemlike having pins and needles zing through her body, but better. Kara swore she could feel an actual buzz at her hip.

Wait, a buzz? She groaned, and pushed back from Marc. “My cell is ringing. Damn, I missed it.”

Marc looked confused. “I didnt hear anything.”

“I know. I had it on vibrate. What I thought was the thrill of your embrace turned out to be my cell phone ringing.”

Thanks, M.G.!



Eden Bradley said...

Great interview!
BTW-I love Hummers, too! I test drove the smaller one last year and was surprised at how luxurious it was inside. And only a few inches longer and wider than my 4-Runner. Definitely on my must-have-some-day list!

Diana Castilleja said...

*waving to the ladies*

Great interiew MG!

Cynthia Justlin said...

Great interview! It's always nice to get to know one of the Divas better! And romantic suspense is my favorite genre to read too. :)

Gwen Hayes said...

Great interview...loved the vegetable answer, lol.

Good luck with your goals this year, MG.

Antonia Pearce said...

Awesome excerpt, MG! I can't wait for August 1! ;-)

Terrific interview--we have a lot in common. My fave is romantic suspense, too! Wishing you many sales and much success. You deserve it!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love the interview. The excerpt really drew me in. I like the cell phone at the end. LOL.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Dang!! I want a Hummer too. Great interview!

Jennifer Bianco said...

Great interview, MG! :)
I hope you find your agent with lots of ease. RS is such a great genre (yes, I'm a bit biased), and I love knowing other authors in that genre.

Nell said...

Cool interview, MG

Lanie Fuller said...

Hi MG!

Great interview--and I loved the excerpt! Good luck with everything, hon. :)

Sarita Leone said...

Great interview! And I loved the excerpt. Thanks for sharing; I love "seeing" how other authors work. :)

imogen howson said...

Yay, that's a great excerpt. You create a really convincing sense of the sort of relationship they have.

Loved the interview. :-)


Michelle(MG) said...

Thanks, everyone. I appreciate you all stopping by for my first ever interview.

I'm glad you like the excerpt. This was a fun book for me to write and I can't wait to see it come out.

Nina Pierce said...

Oh, I'm glad I wandered over. Nice interview, Emma and MG! Romantic Suspense is my favorite genre too! Go figure!

Nina Pierce said...

Oh, I'm back again, to say I finally got the award you gave me up on my blog. Thank you!