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Sandra-Brown
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎07-07-2009
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

KZ. . .it goes to my agent and editor simultaneously.  No one reads it first.
Author
Sandra-Brown
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

How to write better dialogue.

Again, I don't try to impress my reader with "fancy talk."  Stephen King has said, "If it sounds the way people talk, write it down."

Good advice.  I try to make the dialogue sound natural, like words and phrases people would actually use.

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Bethanne
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Registered: ‎10-24-2008
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

Sandra, I'm sure that not every reader here has gotten to SMASH CUT yet -- but I'm hoping a few will share their own Sandra Brown favorite books. Mine is definitely ENVY!

 

C'mon, 'fess up. Do you have one Brown fave? Or a whole bunch of them?

 

Bethanne 

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Bethanne
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21


Sandra-Brown wrote:

How to write better dialogue.

Again, I don't try to impress my reader with "fancy talk."  Stephen King has said, "If it sounds the way people talk, write it down."

Good advice.  I try to make the dialogue sound natural, like words and phrases people would actually use.


This is VERY good advice. Writing good dialogue isn't simple, even if you follow this "simple" advice, though; we know it takes good, hard work. Sandra, I know you tend to write "all afternoon" (as you've said in previous interviews). Do you "write through" and then make (some) revisions, or are you constantly stopping and changing things as you progress?
Bethanne 

 

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Sandra-Brown
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

Honestly, it's like asking which child you love the most.  Impossible.  Some I didn't like much AT ALL, but then the next fan I meet tells me that one of those is his/her favorite.  So. . .I never say.

I did like Envy.  I enjoyed writing the Texas! Trilogy, probably the most fun books I've written.  But it's still impossible for me to play favorites.

 

Author
Sandra-Brown
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

I do four drafts of each book.

The first is to tell the story -- get it down.  Because until I do, it bugs me.  It's just an idea, doesn't count, until it's put into words.  About 125,000 of them!

Then I do a second draft, and this one is very "concentrated."  I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite.  Sometimes I can spend days on one scene.  This draft often takes long then the first.

Then I do a third where I check for continuity, pacing, make sure all the loose ends are tied up.

The final read-through is just before print out -- or email to my editor.

Those four edits don't count the ones that come after acceptance by the publisher.  I must review the copyedited ms. and then the page proofs, or galley.  Then there's the abridgement of the audio.  By that time, I'm working on a new plot!

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KFZuzulo
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Registered: ‎07-31-2009
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

Sandra,

There's so much publishing talk swirling around digital release of books.  Do you read e-books electronically? (I love my Kindle) And do you think you'd release a solely e-delivered book?

 

 

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KFZuzulo
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

btw, I LOVE the cover of Play Dirty--with a little unzip going on. And Smash Cut is very arresting.  Do you have input for cover design?

Inspired Correspondent
Bethanne
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21


KFZuzulo wrote:

btw, I LOVE the cover of Play Dirty--with a little unzip going on. And Smash Cut is very arresting.  Do you have input for cover design?


I love the SMASH CUT cover, too; it's Op Art-meets-advertising.
Bethanne 

 

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Sandra-Brown
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

I have a Kindle and I love it for travel, but nothing will ever replace the tactile pleasure of holding a book.  I love the feel and smell of them!

Ebooks are another resource, another venue for people to READ.  And that's the important thing.  Whatever works for an individual reader, I endorse.  But I don't believe I'll ever write a book strictly for electronic distribution.

Author
Sandra-Brown
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

Oh yes!

I'm infamous for my input!  If it's got my name on it, I want it to be right.  I receive several concepts from the art director.  When we (my agent, editor, marketing people, etc.) decide on one that more or less works for everybody, it usually goes through several incarnations before we finalize it. 

From the beginning I loved the menacing eyeball on SC because I didn't even notice it at first.  I was looking at the film and thinking "How clever."  Then I noticed that eye and shuddered.  I knew then how effective it was.

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wendyreads09
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Registered: ‎08-05-2009
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

So nice to talk with you today, Sandra as well as get the insight in how you come up with the ideas for your books.  My favorite is definitely Chill Factor!  I can't wait to read Smash Cut.  It sounds just as suspenseful.
Author
Sandra-Brown
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Registered: ‎07-07-2009
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

Hi, Wendy,

 

Thank you for the comment on CHILL FACTOR.  When I'm asked by men -- who are sometimes reluctant to read a novel written by a female!-- which of mine they should start with, I recommend CF because it's an adventure and about a travel writer.  I usually get excellent feedback, and that book usually launches them into reading more.  I also hear from a lot of men about FAT TUESDAY, for some reason (maybe the fantasy of Remy?) and PLAY DIRTY, for obvious reasons.  It's about a football player.

Inspired Correspondent
Bethanne
Posts: 495
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21


Sandra-Brown wrote:

Oh yes!

I'm infamous for my input!  If it's got my name on it, I want it to be right.  I receive several concepts from the art director.  When we (my agent, editor, marketing people, etc.) decide on one that more or less works for everybody, it usually goes through several incarnations before we finalize it. 

From the beginning I loved the menacing eyeball on SC because I didn't even notice it at first.  I was looking at the film and thinking "How clever."  Then I noticed that eye and shuddered.  I knew then how effective it was.


 

Sandra, that's great to hear, because some authors don't get that input -- I think if you have those ideas and can get them heard, you should! One thing I'd hate to see completely lost in the new era of reading/publishing is book design. I try not to judge books by their covers, but I do often pick books up because their covers are particularly intriguing. If the book isn't good, it isn't good; but a great cover can make a book worth reading stand out from the many, many others on the shelves.

 

Bethanne 

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Author
Sandra-Brown
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

Bethanne, I agree.  As a consumer myself, I'm attracted by some covers and completely put off by others. 

Same goes for titles, and titles are HARD! 

PLAY DIRTY was ready to go to print, and it still didn't have a title.  My editor called me on a Friday and said, "It's going to be Untitled Sandra Brown" unless you give us a title."  I asked for the weekend.  Maybe it was the fear of what the publisher would title it if I didn't come up with something that inspired me.  But when I arrived at PD, I wondered what took my brain so long!  It was perfect and fit the story to a tee. 

Rarely is the title there when the idea first occurs.  It usually arises out of the writing.

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KFZuzulo
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Registered: ‎07-31-2009
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

I have enjoyed so many of your books.  I did particularly likeTHE CRUSH.  Definitely darker than some of your others, but that just heightened the suspense.  Do you find that 'intense' scenes effect your mood while you're writing them?
Inspired Correspondent
Bethanne
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Registered: ‎10-24-2008
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21


Sandra-Brown wrote:

Hi, Wendy,

 

Thank you for the comment on CHILL FACTOR.  When I'm asked by men -- who are sometimes reluctant to read a novel written by a female!-- which of mine they should start with, I recommend CF because it's an adventure and about a travel writer.  I usually get excellent feedback, and that book usually launches them into reading more.  I also hear from a lot of men about FAT TUESDAY, for some reason (maybe the fantasy of Remy?) and PLAY DIRTY, for obvious reasons.  It's about a football player.


Sandra, you seem (unlike some female authors) to have an equal number of men as women readers. Any comments on how you manage that? It's tough to get men to ready ANY fiction!
Bethanne 

 

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wendyreads09
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

Do you come up with the title as you're writing or wait until it's finished?  Does your editors / publishers have input or is it strictly your call?
Author
Sandra-Brown
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎07-07-2009
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

KZ -- scenes definitely effect me.  Which is a good gauge of how they'll effect a reader.  When I'm writing a suspenseful scene, I know it's working if my palms get damp.  I laugh at a character's quip that I didn't see coming.  The character originated it, I didn't. 

And I've cried buckets.  There's a scene in SMASH CUT that made me cry for half an hour when I was writing it.

And RAINWATER. . .don't get me started.  I proofread the galley over this past weekend and wound up crying -- again! 

So, yes, I get emotionally involved in every scene, whether it's scary, romantic, funny, etc.

Author
Sandra-Brown
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Registered: ‎07-07-2009
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Re: Sandra Brown, August 17-21

I like to think my books appeal to men simply because they're good reads. 

However. . .often my stories are told from the male point of view, and I believe they like that.  It makes the story more relatable to the male reader.  And I deal with universal themes, typically the abuse of power, whether it be parental, official, legal, political, whatever.  All readers can identify with love, loss, envy, anger, disappointment.  And these are the human conditions that I write about.

I try to make my characters as human as possible.  I'd like to think the stories cross gender, generations, and genres.