Writer Misty Evans joins me in this week’s spotlight. Misty began writing after leaving the corporate world following the birth of twin boys. Her first Super Agent Series Book 1, Operation Sheba, has won multiple awards, and Super Agent Series Book 2, I’d Rather Be in Paris, also an award winner. She shares her inspirations, other works she’s written, and a bit about her next release.
Q) Misty, what’s the buzz over in your corner of the world?
A) Buzz, buzz, buzz. There’s lots of buzz! First, the third installment of my Super Agent Series, PROOF OF LIFE, releases in print this month. The story features CIA Deputy Director Michael Stone, who was introduced in the first book in the series, OPERATION SHEBA. In this story, Stone must become the one thing he despises – a terrorist – in order to save the woman he loves. The book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most independent book stores, and comes in digital format for the Kindle, Nook, etc, as well.
Along with that – hot off the press! – I’m thrilled to announce I just sold my dark, sexy, paranormal FBI story, SOUL SURVIVOR, to Carina Press. It’s scheduled for release on Valentine’s Day, 2011. This story features an immortal High Priestess who must convince the FBI profiler accusing her of murder that he’s her reincarnated soul mate. I love, love, love these two characters, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect release date for this happily-ever-after story!
I’m also offering my online craft workshop, Series Business – Is Writing a Series Right For You?, to several RWA groups starting in November of this year. Details will be posted on my website as soon as I have links!
Last but not least, I recently signed with Robert Gottlieb, literary agent and chairman of Trident Media Group www.tridentmediagroup.com . We’re working on selling a three-book continuation of my Super Agent Series to a major publisher.
As far as my works-in-progress, there’s a lot going on there too. I’m writing the fourth Super Agent book, the Christmas sequel to my paranormal comedy, WITCHES ANONYMOUS, and I’ve just started a new urban fantasy spy series called The Bone Hunters.
Q) How do you begin writing: does the story come first, or a character, and how does your creative muse flow?
Usually a character comes to me with a problem. A big problem. Their current situation sort of blooms in my head and I see the opening scene. The setting, plot and other characters begin filtering in as I explore their world and try to figure out how to get them out of their jam. I do a little plotting and a lot of pantsing as I write. I like my characters to do the unconventional, to think outside the box, and I have to do the same. For example, in the Super Agent book I’m currently writing, LAUNCH, the synopsis is done with the GMC and every plot point in place. However, while writing last week, terrorists came out of nowhere and set off an explosive in Moscow’s subway. This threw a roadblock at my main characters. While that doesn’t change where my main characters are going in the story, it does change how they’ll get there, both literally and figuratively.
Q) Do you have a writing ritual, like tapping your keyboard three times, twirling a pen, etc? While we’re on the subject, do you have a favorite writing spot, and what’s the oddest place inspiration caught you?
A) I tap dance around my computer in a clockwise direction and chant my favorite Dean line from Supernatural. “I’m Batman.” Then I make an offering to the gods of creativity, pull on my big girl panties, and sit my butt in the chair.
When I was a newbie writer, I had to wear my favorite sweatshirt, have a big mug of International Foods cappuccino and bag of Hostess chocolate chip muffins (or some form of chocolate) before I could write. After awhile, I realized the ritual was actually getting in the way of the keyboard. It was just a way for me to overcome my fear of the blank page. The more I wrote, the less I needed props to help me, and with twin boys keeping me busy, I didn’t always have time to get the props in place before nap time was over and I’d lost my chance to write. I soon dumped the rituals for the most part, but these days, when fear keeps me from writing, I put on some background music, light my copper warming pot with lavender oil, and tell myself I have nothing to fear from a blank page. And it’s true. The blank page is my friend. I have multiple stories already published, a couple in the works and more yet percolating in my head. While the smell of lavender and the sounds of the playlist to my current wip reassure me, I boot my ego out of the way and put my fingers on the keyboard. Failures will happen, but I refuse to fail because I didn’t write.
My favorite spot to write is in bed. Is being a writer the best job ever or what? I also like to write when I travel. There’s something about new scenery, new atmosphere, new people (and the beach) that gets my creativity flowing. As long as I buy pretty trinkets for the muse, she’s happy too.
Oddest place inspiration caught me? Hmm. I’d have to divulge top secret information from the Bat Cave to answer that.
I’ve been inspired by everything from a bartender in a jazz club in Chicago to my kids talking about Bionicles in the backseat of the car. Music always inspires me and I have an eclectic mix of songs on my iPod. Some of my ideas come from experts in the field – FBI and Homeland Security agents have given me ideas for plot lines and dialogue. My local librarians have also found movies and books for me to watch on various subjects in my stories. Sometimes I even get ideas on Twitter or from readers in my Yahoo Group. There are plenty of great ideas and lots of inspiration in the world. No need to reinvent the wheel. You just have to tap into it.
Thank you, Roxie, for having me as a guest! I enjoyed answering the questions and would love to hear from your readers any time! My email addy is firstname.lastname@example.org .
My links: www.readmistyevans.com