My guest is author, Mia Marlowe, who is a prolific writer. Her topic today is how to regroup and refill the creative cup.
For the past couple years, I've been writing like a house afire, producing 4-5 full length novels plus the occasional novella in each cram-packed 12 month period. Since I have two publishers (Sourcebooks and Kensington) to please, plus releasing a number of self-pubbed novels, it’s been necessary. However, now that I’m ready to start another couple of contracts, it became clear that I needed a bit of time to regroup. We also had an anniversary and 4 years of me being cancer free to celebrate. My DH of many years suggested we run away together.
So toward the end of May, we did.
We booked a 12 day cruise around the British Isles. The weather was on the coolish side, and we made good use of our umbrellas more than once, but it proved to be just what I needed. We rested. We played. We soaked up the sights, sounds, smells and tastes (ask me about haggis, neeps & tatties sometime!) of the UK. I know I’ll use so much of what I experienced in my upcoming books.
Still, I felt a bit self-indulgent about the trip. I should be able to conjure up Regency England and 16th century Scotland purely out of my internet/library research and imagination.
But then at our last stop, I realized there’s no substitute for actual experiences. And we writers aren't the only ones who need to prime the creative pump from time to time. When we visited Claude Monet’s house just outside of Rouen, France, I was treated to a peek inside that genius’s head. His home was very simple, and not at all spacious considering that eight children and two adults lived there. Perhaps that was its charm. Monet wasn't distracted by a plethora of “things.” He had what he needed to be comfortable and no more. The lack of extraneous “stuff” freed him to be creative.
It gave me a fresh appreciation for our Boston condo. At 1100 square feet, it’s not going to win any prizes for expansive living space, but it provides all that’s needful. And it’s easier to keep clean than a big place, which is important when I’m deep in my “bookhead” and can’t come out for mundane things like housework.
But the real treat at Monet’s home was his garden. It was a riot of color. Fortunately for us, Europe is experiencing a late spring and all the irises were in full bloom. I’d never seen so many different colors. In addition to his French garden, he also created a water garden, diverting a bit of the Seine onto his property to meander through his stands of bamboo and drooping wisteria. It was heavenly.
I discovered even Monet needed more than his imagination. He needed the shifting play of light on the surface of the smooth water. He needed the twitter of birdsong and the soft ruffle of the stream. He needed the intoxicating fragrance of green growing things.
If an acknowledged creative genius needed those things, how much more do I?
So now that I’m home again, I’m ready to start my new stories with fresh vigor and sensual memories I can bequeath to my characters. My imagination is fully primed and ready to churn out experiences my readers can enjoy through my words as if they’re wearing in my heroine’s shoes.
Speaking of trying on someone else’s life, let me invite you to slip in Lady Georgette’s...
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ONE NIGHT WITH A RAKE – IN STORES JUNE 2013
BY CONNIE MASON AND MIA MARLOWE
For King and Country, Three Notorious Rakes Will Put All Their Seductive Skills to Work.
After All, The Fate of England's Monarchy is in Their Hands.
Since the death of his fiancée, Nathaniel Colton's polished boots have rested beneath the beds of countless wayward wives and widows of the ton. He's careful to leave each lady smiling, and equally careful to guard his heart. So seducing Lady Georgette should pose no problem. But the beautiful reformist is no easy conquest, and Nate's considerable charm fails to entice Georgette to his bed. To woo her, Nate will have to make her believe he cares about someone besides himself--and no one is more surprised than Nate when he realizes he actually does. Excerpt
Connie Mason is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels. She was named Storyteller of the Year in 1990 and received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews in 1994. She currently lives in Florida.
Mia Marlowe is a highly acclaimed new voice in romance whose debut novel released in Spring 2011 from Kensington. She lives in Boston. Together, they are working on the next book in the Royal Rakes series, Between a Rake and a Hard Place, which will be in stores in January 2014. For more information, please visit www.miamarlowe.com .