Writing Interview ~ Emma, Heidi, Hamlette, Natalie and Naomi // Part two!

 Here we are for part two of the big writing Interview! If you haven't read part one yet, click here!
Do your stories have villains?
Emma: My stories have people who, for some reason or another, have been driven to do bad things and cause trouble for other people in their paths. Sometimes they have evil intentions; sometimes they’re just distraught. I wouldn’t say villains, exactly. Just folks who’ve taken a wrong turn.
Heidi: On David’s Shoulders certainly does, but a lot of the tension in my finished work has come more from certain plot elements, (i.e. a shipwreck, etc).
Hamlette: Not always.  But they almost always have an antagonist.  Hard to write a compelling story without conflict, though if course there can be inner conflict within a character, causing them to struggle with themselves.  My current novel does have a villain, one I'm very fond of.
Natalie: Yes, at least my most recent stories. :) Villains are fun to write, but difficult. If they aren't done just right they seem laughable. At least, that's what I find.
Naomi: Well, I definitely have the less-wanted characters, haha. But villains like Blandois in Little Dorrit, nope. I more have Mr-Wickham-type villains.
Talk about the meanest character you ever created.
Emma: Ooooh. *rubs hands together*
   *thinks hard*
You’re not going to believe this, but I can’t think of any really mean characters in any of my stories! I know, it’s staggering. What have I been doing all this time, if not creating deliciously evil characters. Well, in Curtains of Lace there’s Wolf Schneider, who can be really mean when he wants to be. But he’s not mean at heart, he’s just rude and irritable. Then there’s a banker man in one of my other current projects whose name is Harvey Clement, and he’s not too warm and fuzzy either. Seriously, though, I don’t write many villains.
Heidi: Thus far probably Jack, one of the sailors in Ellen. He’s fairly mild…but rude, quarrelsome and resentful of authority.
Hamlette: I hate writing mean characters.  I don't like them, and I don't want to be in their heads.  I did write a really mean, horrible character for one of my Combat! stories, "Walk a Crooked Mile." Sergeant Platt, a squad leader who bullies a young soldier under his command. Blech.
Natalie: Ummm...I really liked the evil uncle in my Winter Wonderland Blog party story “Mirror” that I posted to my blog. He wasn’t very original or anything, but he was fun to write. I also really like the overbearing grandmother I have in a little story I’m writing for fun....to her granddaughter she seems unreasonable, selfish, and narrow-minded. While although she IS those things, she also has deep hurts and memories underneath her surface that her granddaughter knows nothing about.
Naomi: Haha. Oh dear. I have created quite a few flirts, including some mean men - you know, Mr Wickham type men. Those are quite mean. I can pin a 'meanest' one, though. (Yeah, how pathetic. I can't even answer my own question!)
Are most of your female protagonists tomboys or girly girls?
Emma: I would say there’s a majority of girly girls, but only slight. Most of the girls I write about have a little of both.
Heidi: They’re definitely not tomboys, but they’re not feminine in an extremely fluffy sense either (though they do love beautiful things).
Hamlette: They lean toward the tomboy side.  I don't understand girly girls very well, and think I write them badly.
Natalie: A mix of both. :)
Naomi: Girly girls. Relate better to them.
Do you have a soundtrack or piece of music that you’d want on the background if your book ever turned into a movie?
Emma: DO I EVER. I don’t really have anything specific for Curtains of Lace, but for one of my other current projects-- A Sliver of Sunlight-- it would definitely be the soundtrack from the movie A River Runs Through It. Particularly the track “In the Half Light of the Canyon.” It’s nothing less than heavenly.
Heidi: I love putting together music! I have a lot of selections, but one particular track is Camelot Music/Narada’s “Celebration.” You can almost see the land running out wide and hear the horse hooves pounding in its mounting exhultation.
Hamlette: I wrote most of my current novel while listening to the Lone Ranger soundtrack, so a score by Hans Zimmer would be amazing!  I also listened to the Thor soundtrack a lot for the ending, and I'd be very happy to have a movie version scored by Patrick Doyle as well.
Natalie: I LOVE this question!!! Well, for my Princess and the Pea story, I put together a playlist of music that inspires my story.  I don't actually have a particular song in mind for if it was made into a movie, but I'd love the soundtrack to be something like these: Marian's Theme // Narnia Battle Song // Darcy's Letter // From the Rich to the Poor // Rescue //
Naomi: I don't do this as much as some other writers do, but I do have one for my current work, which is a WW2 story. I'd love an orchestral version of Vera Lynn's famous war song, 'We'll Meet again.' It would be perfect.
But oh GIRLS. How AMAZING would it be to have a movie of your book?!!!
Most books have either pattern A or B. A would be with the book starting out all normal and happy, then something bad happening, and finally ending happily again. B is the kind of book that starts sad – the hero/heroine has always had an unhappy life – and then it ends with him/her finally finding happiness. Which pattern do you tend to use more? Or do you have a different one? Tell us!
Emma: I don’t really think about patterns much-- probably not as much as I should! But out of those two, I usually tend towards A.
Heidi: *Spoilers* My first novel was definitely pattern A, but my current WIP is B.
Hamlette: I prefer pattern A.  It's kind of the classic myth structure -- hero starts out at home, we see what he has to lose or wants to escape from, and then everything gets turned upside down.  I use that a LOT, but I do use pattern B sometimes.
Natalie: Hmmm.....I think I may tend to use A more, but usually I have SOME sort of problem for my protagonist, little or small, right from the start.
Naomi: I have used A and B, but I use A much more.
Sad or Happy endings? (The latter, hmm?)
Emma: In my opinion, a good story resolves itself with a happy ending, but it’s much more resonant when the characters have lost something or regret something or have some kind of sorrow about something, which doesn’t make a happily-ever-after, Barbie-movie-ending kind of deal. Because there’s always a little sadness, even when things are good. Those are the kind of stories I want to write.
Heidi: Happy endings most definitely! I love heart-wrenching scenes, but I can’t leave them that way… Or rather, it all fits together and I love heart-wrenchingly happy endings.
Hamlette: I much prefer happy endings.  But some stories can't have them.
Natalie: Yes, definitely happy endings, but sometime a bittersweet one. You know...something sad DOES happen, but mostly everything is happy.
Naomi: HAPPY. Although there can be the gooey sadness in the background, it has to be a happy kind of ending.
Do you normally write historical or present-time stories?
Emma: I’m a bona-fide, dyed-in-the-wool history lover. I’m definitely a historical-fiction writer. That is not to say I would never consider writing a contemporary novel-- in fact, I have considered it, and I’m totally up for it-- but historical fiction will always be my first and true love.
Heidi: Historical. I’ve done a little (but very little and not for a long time) with present day settings.
Hamlette: Historical.  Both of my WIPs are westerns, and I've kind of decided I'm going to write nothing but westerns now because I enjoy that setting so much.  I wrote a couple of western stories in high school and college, but my first five novels are set in modern day, and the vast majority of my short stories take place during World War II because they're fanfic for the 1960s TV show Combat!  But when I was writing this novel, I felt like I had come home -- I enjoyed all of the creative process much more than I had with any other novel, and so… westerns it is.
Natalie: I prefer historical, although I have tried writing some modern day stories before.
Naomi: Normaly, historical. Just, it's SO much for inspirational and story-like, if you get that. But I also like writing present-time stories, because I don't have to worry about accuracy.
Describe the prettiest character you have ever created – feel free to paste a story snippet as an answer.
Emma: Can it be a man? ;-) He looked completely different than the first time I’d met him. Then he had been suave and charming, immaculately groomed, every inch of his attire in perfect arrangement. Now his tie was hanging loose and he was in his shirtsleeves, his shirt unbuttoned, and it looked as though his outfit was falling apart little by little. And even so, he was stunning.
   To say Wolf Schneider was handsome would have been the understatement of the twentieth century. The word seemed entirely unworthy of describing him to his full extent. He was the most august male I had ever laid eyes on, and it took me several moments to react to such astonishing good looks. It was plainly ridiculous, I thought, for a man to be so good-looking. It wasn’t hardly fair. A man who is so appealing is much harder to conduct one’s self intelligently around.  
Heidi: This comes from one of my short stories: Her dusky hair hung below her waist in smooth braids like bound silk, while her large dark eyes were fixed on him with serious, steady attention. Green embroidery, that just matched the trees rustling outside the window, trimmed her sweeping, deep purple gown, while the pure white of her undersleeves created a spot of light amid the leaf shadows.
Hamlette: Hmm.  I'm not sure who the absolute prettiest would be.  My heroines tend to be averagely attractive, though my heroes are sometimes handsome.  But here's Grace Reed, a character from a previous novel: She was a few inches taller than Amy, with shaggy, chin-length, pale blonde hair and a pixie face, all pointed chin and wide blue eyes.  She grinned, her mouth a stretch of joy that looked perpetually glad.
Natalie: Hmmmm. I’m not sure which I’d call “the prettiest” so I’ll just describe my female protagonist in my current WIP. She has reddish gold wavy hair that is usually loose or in a braid that reaches her waist. She has large blue eyes, and a cute, slightly turned up nose that gives her an innocent, child-like look. She’s slim and of medium height.
Naomi: This is the mother of the heroine in her young years. She's like a blonde version of Olivia de Havilliand. I was beautiful. I had big blue-y grey mirrored eyes, that shone like a white goddess, and they were fringed by curly butterfly lashes. My thin heart-shaped face looked serene and cooing and gently girlish under my curly bobbed blonde hair.
Will you ever stop writing?
(I admit it. I only asked this to see your reactions.)
Emma: Not until the ‘role is called up yonder’, and hopefully not even then. :-) Writing is my jam, my passion, one of my greatest pleasures in life, and I don’t ever want to stop
Heidi: Lord willing, I pray I'll never have to—it’s practically synonymous with thinking, breathing, and sleeping!
Hamlette: I don't plan to.
Natalie: No, I certainly will not! I may not have quite the passion and talent for it as some do, but I love it and can’t imagine not writing in SOME way-whether through journaling, stories, or blogging!
Thank you for all your delightful answers, girls! This was so much fun! There definitely is talent in the world. :-)


  1. I just love our little writing community!

    Emma, I loved the way you described your 'villains' - I have the exact same kind. I personally like to make everyone kind in the end. :-)
    I listened to 'in the half light of the Canyon' and you're RIGHT - It's BEAUTIFUL. :-) I'm going to put it on my mp3 player.
    Would you say Curtains of Lace was Pattern A or B? I think that one is B - because Addy ain't that happy with her life, right?
    "Can it be a man?" AHAHAHA. I could've known, couldn't I?

    Heidi, yes, it's important to have tension - either from villains or things such a shipwrecks. Mmm- maybe my stories need some more tension...
    I wanted to link to the soundtrack 'Celebration' but I couldn't find it on Youtube! Sorry about that, Heidi!
    Aaaand, your pretty character seems absolutely darling.

    Hamlette, yup, antagonists aren't neccesarily villains. I don't like writing really mean characters either. I flatter myself when I say I just can't relate to them. :-P
    Haha, funny, because I think I write tomboys badly. :-) I prefer pattern A too.
    I love your description of Grace Reed -- pixie face... that's adorable. :-)

    Natalie, oh yes - that's another reason why I don't like to write villains - it's SO easy to make them laughable. In some of the children's books/stories I have written it's okay to make them laughable and clumsy and stupid, but real villains in serious stories are hard to write.
    Oh yes, the story you wrote and put on your blog! That was the first time I commented, remember? Goodness, the comment I wrote was SO weird... my English has definitely improved. :-)
    I LOVE the soundtrack Darcy's letter. ooooh, I love it!

    And none of us will ever stop writing! I KNEW it. :-P

    Naomi, you should be writing. :-P

    ~ Naomi

  2. Oh this is such a lovely idea!! I'm working on some new stories too! XD

  3. Naomi, thanks again for including me in this interview series! It has been a pleasure.

    I really need to get better at villains. I do write quite a few "bad guys," but I can almost always relate to them and understand why they're not exactly villainous, lol.

    I was going to say it's surprising that so many of us write historical fiction, but no, it's not. Historical fiction is a big part of what drew us together!

  4. Naomi -- (fishing for our reactions to that last question! Was that fair?? ;D I ask you.) I DID almost decline to answer it....but girded myself up and just did it. ;D

    Some of your questions were hard! :) Like our "prettiest" character? That one was kind of impossible for me to narrow down, so I pretty much used Philippa Gordon's method in Anne of the Island (for choosing a hat) and shut my eyes and just jabbed for the first one that came to mind. :) And that's all right you couldn't find the music link....it's probably rather hard to find.

    You all (interviewees and commenters!) are all such a splendidly lovely writing circle!!! And I'm getting such fun out of seeing how many similarities we all have. :) Like all the deep and happy endings?!?!? ;) And It Would Be So BEYOND Incredible if somehow -- someday -- some of our stories eventually became films! :P Mind-bogglingly exciting. ;D

    Also Emma Jane -- exactly! I think a God who has so richly endowed us with good story/stories here won't skimp on them in heaven. They'll just be huge and glorious. :)

  5. Yay!! Part 2!
    I simply love reading all our different perspectives and ideas. This was such a great idea, Naomi!

    And oh! Yes, it would be BEYOND amazing if it was possible to have a movie of your book. Especially if it had no limits-like, to actually have your dream cast (even if the actor is from the 1940s or something) and everything JUST as you envisioned it.
    THAT would be the perfect dream come true.

    I love our answers about the endings! I agree so much with your answer, Emma. There should to be some regrets or sorrows that the protagonist still has, despite everything turning out mostly for the good.
    And, Heidi, I too love heart wrenching scenes. I love scenes that make me cry...either from sadness or happiness or simply the emotion from the story!

    Haha, we all prefer historical! Why I am I not surprised? ;P

    Naomi~ I know! I love a good, well written villain, but they are certainly very hard to pull off.

    Wow, was that really the first time you commented? I went and checked-yes it was! :) I'm so glad you did comment! And I was so happy you liked the proposal. :) It's still probably my favorite part of that story!

    Haha, don't worry, your comment was better than some of my old blog posts! I cringe sometimes to look at my early posts!

    I KNOW-the best part about P&P 05 is definitely the soundtrack!! (I think I can say that safely--no P&P 05 fans are in the vicinity, right? :P)

    Thank you SO much for this lovely and beyond fun writing questionnaire!

  6. I have SO enjoyed this interview-- thank you, all my lovely writer friends! And thank you Naomi for pulling it together! :-)

    Naomi, I love your answer for the last question: DON'T EVEN ASK. I found that pretty hilarious, since you're the one who asked. ;-P

    Yeees, The Half Light of the Canyon is what I believe heaven will sound like. :-) That soundtrack is gorgeousness.

    I guess my novel might be more pattern B-- I dunno. Like I said, I haven't really thought about it. I just hope it's good. :-) Haha.

    Oh, I know. Me and my men. ;-P Okay, that sounded really weird.

    Awesome answers, everyone!


  7. Actually, I really love P&P'05 and prefer it to P&P'95, though I enjoy that one as well, and own copies of both.

    But that soundtrack IS one of the best parts of it. Though I find it much more enjoyable to listen to than to play.

  8. Hamlette,
    Oops, sorry! I actually DO own the 05 P&P as well, although it doesn't come close to the 95 in my opinion. :)
    I do love the soundtrack, though. So very beautiful!

  9. No worries! I'm used to being in the minority in the P&P debate :-)

  10. ooooh such a lovley interview, it's quite inspired my writing! AHH! I still need to review your story OH GOSH! SO sorry!


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