Please Welcome Dale Mayer!

October 22, 2010 | Karin's Blog | 18 comments

Freelance writer Dale Mayer lives in Kelowna, BC, Canada.  She’s multi-pubbed in nonfiction but her true love is the stories that weave through her mind. For the past nine years, she’s written around the daily responsibilities of being a single mother of four and still squeezes in time to produce new fiction manuscripts each year.  She writes both adult and young adult fiction focusing on taut psychological suspense with romance and paranormal elements. She is a finalist in Brava’s Writing for the Stars contest.  The voting for the first round started on the 11th and goes to the 24th

(Karin here, go vote for Dale!  Now!!!)

Dale'sphoto

 

The Fickle Muse and You

Most writers are comfortable writing in a certain genre.  Most of us have picked an area that we love to read, feel comfortable with creating, and stick with it.  Some stretch a little further down the road such as travelling from romance to erotica or from suspense into full on mystery.  The thing is, just because we write what we write today, doesn’t mean that’s what we’ll still be writing tomorrow.

When the muse hits, she can be a frightfully hard to ignore.  That’s actually a good thing.  If I had ignored my muse when she slammed me about two months ago, I’d be sitting here with an empty page wondering what to write next.

Instead, I listened.  At the time, I thought she was nuts.  My writing has always followed the same pattern.  I get a glimmer of an idea and I write the book.  Sometimes I revise that book immediately, if I can, I let it sit for a bit and work on a new project.  This way I always have something to work on.  But I never have an unfinished project.  I’m not one of those people with a half dozen unfinished manuscripts, a dozen half formed ideas waiting there for a chance to bloom.  Even if I believe the manuscript is the worst I’ve ever written, I finish it.  I know other writers out there are shaking their heads and saying, “Why waste your time?”

For me, the answer is that if the idea was strong enough for me to sit down and start a manuscript – then that same idea is worth me finishing.  Honestly, I think every book I finish is junk.  That’s normal. Not just for me, but I think Stephen King actually threw his manuscript ‘Carrie’ into the garbage – it was his wife who retrieved it.  Thank heavens for her.

So now that I’ve digressed – what was it the muse was telling me?  On Monday, about two months ago, it told me to start something I’d never written before, something I swore I never would write – a vampire book.  Now I laughed when I started it, because this was a YA paranormal suspense.  Like who’d have thought.  Then on Tuesday, I opened up the same ms and my fickle muse wouldn’t let me work on it.  No I had to start a second new book.  Another YA, only this one was a mystery series.  I shook my head and spent the day on that book.  After I ran out of juice on with those characters, I went and added to the vampire book.  That made sense to me in a way.  Now I’d write two books at the same time.  As a prolific writer, I thought that was a natural progress ensuring that I always had something to write.  Wednesday, I got up and went to work on the mystery series, nope, couldn’t do it.  Opened the vampire book, and you guessed it, I wasn’t allowed to work on that one either.  I opened up yet another blank page and didn’t I start yet another new YA book. This time an urban fantasy.  After I ran out of ideas on that one, I went and added to both of the other books.  Cool, now I had three to work on.

Thursday I got up and couldn’t believe it when once again I couldn’t work on any of the already started manuscripts and was forced to once again start a new one.  This time a fantasy.  When I went to bed on Thursday night I was quite perturbed as I had struggled to write on all four books that day.  I awoke on Friday and told my muse to ‘shut up!’  Why?  Because there were angels and demons on my mind for a fifth book.

I politely told everyone involved that their time would come but not until I finished all the stories I’d started already.  Now 8 weeks later, I’m over half done the fourth book that I started that crazy week.  And the angels and demons are stirring…waiting for their chance.

How does your muse work?  For or against you?  Does she run you around in circles?  Or lead you in down a straight and narrow path?  Do you listen?

Thanks Karin for the opportunity to be here!

Dale Mayer
www.dalemayer.com
Writing for the Stars Finalist

Dale can be found on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/dalemayer or you can follow her on Facebook.

Thank, you Dale for being my guest today!

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18 Comments

  1. Laura Morrigan

    Oh the muse…
    What a great topic!
    And good luck on the contest, I’ve already voted!
    Go Dale!

  2. Dale Mayer

    Hi Karin, thanks for having me here today. Just love the new L.O.S.T series! Wow are you keeping those books coming or what! Don’t know how you do it.

  3. Dale Mayer

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for stopping by. Isn’t the muse something? She’s not someone you want to get on the wrong side of!.

    By the way, love the cover you did for Edie. Your graphic skills are amazing.

    Thanks for your vote!

    Dale

  4. HollyD

    Welcome. I’m going over to vote now. Good Luck!

  5. Edie Ramer

    I usually work on one book at a time. If I get an idea for another book, I write it down and put it in a Future Books file. But yours sound more full-fleshed than mine usually are. Good for you!

  6. Dale Mayer

    Hi Holly,

    Thanks so much! The votes are appreciated! Have a great weekend.

    Dale

  7. Amy Atwell

    Dale, you have one of the most prolific muses imaginable. One day, you WILL be the next Nora! Thanks for sharing your uncommon experience.

  8. Mary Marvella

    Karin, Harlow is wicked to the core. I started a book about a certain smart-mouthed woman and a hot vampire My excuse for reading instead of writing is that it is priming the well.

    My muse says, KEEP READING! Actually, she no longer permits me to start a dozen new things.

    She has been so quiet lately that i told her I’d write without her. Made her jealous!

  9. Dale Mayer

    Hi Edie, thanks for stopping by. I don’t actually get a very good idea before I start at all. Sometimes I wonder what business I have starting a book from so little. Tuesday’s Child was started from one line – She was tired of waking up dead!

    Dale

  10. Dale Mayer

    Hi Mary, Listening to our muse is something hard learned but time well spent. Maybe you need to just read for awhile. I do that. Write like a madman, then inhale any book I can get my hands on. Inspiration, so to speak, for the next writing bout!

    Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

  11. Kathleen Irene Paterka

    Dale, the nuns got ahold of me way too soon … my muse makes me follow the straight and narrow, which means start at Chapter One, and keep on writing, polishing and editing until I finally get to THE END.

    If I don’t do it that way, out comes the ruler on my knuckles … crack!

    But try as I might, I can’t get those nuns’ voices out of my head. Maybe if I could, I’d write faster (and better?)

    🙂

    Good luck with the BRAVA contest!
    -Kathleen

  12. Dale Mayer

    Hi Kathleen! We’ve developed a routine, a system that works for us individually. Sometimes it’s good to blow that out of the water and do something totally different. It can really stir up your creativity!

    I found Nano good for getting rid of the internal editor. It allowed the story to come out quickly. Revisions came after but they weren’t hard. Really helped to improve my speed.

    Thanks for all the good wishes!

    Dale

  13. Marley Delarose

    I can certainly understand a wayward muse, Dale. I have to keep it happy with plenty of long drives and long showers. Good luck with the contest. Tuesday’s Child deserves a win!!

  14. Dale Mayer

    Hi Marley! Long drives and long showers huh? Now that get’s my muse thinking! Thanks for the good wishes and for stopping by!

    Dale

  15. Karin Tabke

    Dale, I voted!! Good luck!!!

  16. Dale Mayer

    Thanks Karin! And thank you for having me here – it’s been fun!

    Dale

  17. Donna

    There is a famous writer, whose name escapes me for now (such is fame!) anyway, he states that a wriiter SHOULD finish everything they start. There are always lessons learned along the way.

  18. Dale Mayer

    Wow – that’s great. I have to believe that there’s a reason, a method to this madness otherwise why do it? I think that for myself, the more I write, the better I get and the better the words flow initially with less revisions afterwards. That’s a good reason to keep writing if nothing else.

    Dale

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