Tuesday, December 21, 2010

10Q Tuesday with Maureen O. Betita!


What was your first sale as an author? Ah, The Kraken’s Mirror, to Decadent! I’m really excited to have my first sale with such an unusual premise. I think 2011 will be the year of the older heroine paired with a hot man of her generation and I hope my book starts a real trend! I mean, yes, it’s a book with pirates, but I also threw so many odd bits into the mix. (Ipods, kraken, blenders, werewolves, vampires, zombies…) I loved toying with rules, throwing caution to the wind and letting my wicked mind take off into the wild blue yonder!


Do you have critique partners or beta readers? I have the best crew I sail the cyber seas with. I bounce ideas off of my fellow bloggers at the Romance Writers Revenge. They laugh and sorta pat me on the head, but they are very supportive writing pirates! And the brainstorming that goes on aboard the ship is wild and has sparked so many ideas for me.

When I finished The Kraken’s Mirror I asked Sabrina Heise of CheekyReads to be my beta reader. I met her in Orlando at the 2009 RT and really respect her review site and her knowledge of the genre. She was very helpful in pointing out weak areas and I appreciated her help.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what? My very first foray aboard the Revenge was in response to a blog about music and writing. I don’t always listen while writing, but I am inspired by music. I’m lucky with the books I write inasmuch as there are so many wonderful soundtracks available with pirate inspired themes. I really do find soundtracks a great way to invigorate myself and charge ahead. I imagine this is because they are specifically timed to drive through a movie, but with subtly. I also find pirate music at the pirate festivals I attend. There is a surprising amount of modern pirate music out there! (I recommend The Jolly Rogers.) (BTW, a great steampunk rock band, for those wanting some inspiration… Abney Park.)

One of the pirates on the Revenge introduced me to the music of Evanescence at a time I was struggling with a block in an urban fantasy I was writing. The song, My Immortal, drove me through the finish I needed. The entire CD, Fallen, was inspirational. I could hear my heroine singing her confusion and the hero trying to reach her. Oh! Just gives me the shivers remembering how it went.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day? I write mainly during the day, at one of the several Starbucks that litter the county I live in. There is something about the energy around me at the chain that translates into getting work done. I buy an iced, decaf Americano, sit and just type. I blog, I e-mail, I write. I’ll do this for about 4 hours, starting around 10am. If I’m feeling really on fire, I’ll write at home, on my couch into the late hours after the DH has gone to bed.


How do you describe your writing style? I am a total pantser. I’d even say I’m a wild-assed pantser. I get an idea and I just start off. I barely plot. Or as I tell my friends, I am a secret plotter since my muse despises plotting and will stop cold if I try to plot too openly. I like to treat my muse to a marshmallow roast and a bottle of rum around the fire at the beach. We make s’mores and talk about the book. Plot? No! It isn’t plotting, it’s telling stories! (Don’t say plot where he can hear!)

I’ve tried the big board and the colored post its and totally froze up. I have found that technique can work nicely when I’m revising or even for synopsis format. Otherwise? I do not plot!

Where do you dream of traveling to and why? Oh, so many places! I want to visit Catalina Island, off the southern California coast because part of my urban fantasy is set there and I want to write it off as research. ;-) But the big dreams consist of time on the Caribbean; especially a particular beach on Grand Turk called Malcolm’s Beach. I saw a picture of it once and just melted at the seagreen curl of a wave over a sand that made my mouth water… I also want to wander Ireland for a few months. And cruise the tip of South America, see the mountains of Patagonia and sail the Straits of Magellan.

If you could spend the night anywhere, where would it be? On a sail boat, on a clear night, crescent moon on the rise, floating on a calm Caribbean. I swear, I dream of this. Laying on my back, counting stars and then turning and gazing into the water and seeing the stars reflected in the water…

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

All these little teasers are making me crazy! I want to read The Kraken's Mirror right (super whiny voice) NOOOWWWW!

Maureen said...

Patience! But I know! I want to see it, too!

Mona said...

Hurr-rry. I've been listening to you talk about this for a year now.....I want to see the book! ;-) I'm excited for you.

Maureen said...

Mona - I know!

You gonna make it to RT? And help me promote as soon as the book is out? I promise, the day I have a release date you'll hear me holler all the way to Texas! ;-)

Valerie Mann said...

I love your idea of the place you'd like to spend the night. It sounds so peaceful and serene. And last night(well, this morning!) would have been perfect. Can you imagine floating out in the middle of the ocean, watching a lunar eclipse? Almost heavenly!

Deanna said...

A secret plotter, lol

TerriOsburn said...

I love this blog! You really are the characters you write. Or they are you, I'm not sure which. LOL! Thanks for saying such nice things about your fellow pirates. The ship would be such a boring, main-stream vessel without you. ;)

Terri aka the Bo'sun

Kathleen said...

The older heroine and the hot man of her generation is here to stay, Maureen.

It would be nice to wander Ireland for a couple of months. The movie PS I Love YOu, with Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler popped into my mind.

Maureen said...

Val - Yeah, even here it would have been nice! We went out looking for the moon but the cloud cover was too thick. ;-(

There is a scene in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie where the ship they're on is drifting through a sea where the stars meet the water and you can't tell where one ends and the other begins...divine!

Maureen said...

Deanna - Shush! Don't let HIM hear you! ;-)

Terri, the ship has made all the difference! And you're pirate carol is brilliant!

Everyone go check out the pirate carol at www.romancewritersrevenge.com It is hilarious!

Maureen said...

Kathleen - My big bro ranted about that movie and said I had to see it. I didn't. I bought it on DVD with the intention of watching it. Still haven't.

It came out at a time I had just recovered from a near death experience and the very idea behind the movie made me...uncomfortable. But it's been years, I'm ready!


Thanks for reminding me!

Donna Cummings said...

Great post, Maureen! I don't usually write to music, but I'm like you, there's something about the energy at Starbucks that inspires me--although all that noise would un-inspire me! LOL

I have been inspired by a random lyric in a song on the radio--it helped with one of my heroes, and another song gave me a story idea!

Leanne Dyck said...

Congratulations on your first published book. May there be many more.

Donna Cummings said...

LOL -- my brain isn't working properly since I left out an important word in my previous post. I *meant* to say that if the noise at Starbucks was at my house, I wouldn't be able to write.

Yeesh. Will coffee fix this, or do I need rum? :)

Deena said...

I must agree, Starbucks has great energy for creativity! And I, too, have been known to throw things out to my friends and watch what gets hurled back. They are a wonderful sounding board. :)

Maureen said...

Donna - I think there is some imp in me that delights in the idea that someone might glance at my computer and see me writing something...scandalous! Though I am careful with munchkins that want to see if I'm playing a game on my computer!

That is great that a random lyric did it for you! I know My Immortal made a huge difference for Ivy in that story!

Maureen said...

Leane, thanks for coming by and thanks for the congrats! ;-)

Deena - The crew often laughs and I stand as they roll on the deck, trying to take me seriously... But when this happens, I know I've struck gold and it ends up making me determined to succeed at the absurd idea I just threw at them.

Maureen said...

Donna - I do find I write best with noise, period. Even at home I want the TV on... I don't know, maybe it distracts the inner critics that survive being thrown to the kraken?

Jane L said...

Happy Holiday Pirate Queen!

I would love to tour the Greek Isles. Hmmmm have to work on that more!

Maureen said...

You'd love it, Jane! The color of the Mediterranean is so incredible...

Riley said...

Hey Mau! Sorry I'm late - mandatory OT this week at work. Grrr! :) Great blog! Good GTKY questions!

Maureen said...

No problem, Barb! OT will make it easier for you to get to RT! All is good!

jennifer said...

Great blog. I like writing out of the house too. Barnes and Noble for me. I think it's just the peer pressure of needing to look busy since I brought my computer to a bookstore. Is that bad?
Ha. Congrats on the book. My first is coming out soon too.