I didn't finish with them. Here's some more:
12) You had some fresh and unexpected twists -- did these come to you with your first draft or did you work in these twists during your revision process?
I am delighted you think some of this was fresh and exciting.
Let me talk about the blindness plotting because it's fairly typical of how this works.
I still don't know if the book wouldn't be better without it.
So, yes, the action/suspense/spy plot of the story was pretty much in my head when I began writing.
Annique's special memory was something I came up with the second or third or fifth draft of the story. Originally I had her smuggling around a book with all this information in it. Awkward and unworkable.
So some plot twists were there in the original basket. Some of the plot ideas I started with got tipped out of the basket along the way. And then there's some interesting stuff I picked up as I wandered tra la la down the path and I didn't think of it at all till I was in the middle of writing.
12) Any authors or books you feel you learned from either fiction or non-fiction?
I love this, because I pick up stuff everywhere and I just wish I could acknowledge it all.
When I was in grammar school, Fifth Grade maybe, I read Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead. The book said that the different roles taken by males and females, even the different temperament that is assumed to be proper to each sex, is determined by the society rather than by anything innate.
I never write a female character without asking myself . . . 'this bit that my heroine is doing -- is this something I could see a male doing? Am I assigning this character a 'female' role and making her passive or dependent by doing so? What am I saying about the female spirit when I write this?'
Fiction that influenced me? . . . well, it's all the usual suspects: Bronte, Heyer, Austen, Sayers, Dunnett, Sergeanne Golon and another writing team, the Curtises, R.A. Heinlein, Bujold, Lackey,and Zelazny, (all great S.F. storytellers), Tolkien, (is there anyone who doesn't put Tolkien on these lists?)
Current Romance greats would include -- and Lord, this is not limited to these wonderful writers -- SEP, JAK, NR, Kinsale, Ivory, Chase, Kleypas, Beverley, Gabaldon, Gellis, Quinn, Putney, Balogh.
I've read every word these writers have in print. I keep learning from them.
(ETA. It was pointed out to me that I've used 12 twice. Well, heck.)
14) How do you feel winning the RITA impacted your career if it did?
The conventional wisdom is that winning the RITA has zero effect on sales. Readers have never heard of the award. They don't know what it means. Marketing mavens who will slap on a big cover quote from the 'Yellowknife Morning Chronicle' won't bother to mention the RITA.
But writers know what the RITA means. Writers award the RITA. This is writers honoring other writers. So much an honor. I'm still stunned whenever I see the golden lady sitting on my shelf.
Going back to the practical of whether a RITA win has an effect on sales . . .
There's this -- while readers maybe don't know the RITA, the people who work in agenting, editing, marketing and publishing Romance do. The book buyers for stores know what the award is.
So maybe the RITA will give me just a little blip of recognition with these folks.
It can't hurt, anyway.
I haven't run out of these questions, y'know. I just figure folks are getting bored, along about now.
Not that that makes me turn off the spigot on a posting, generally.
Anyway, I'll be back with the other Q&A