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LaurenWillig
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-27-2006
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Re: Questions for the author

Hi, Diane! I'm sorry there's only a week left, too. Not only has it been fabulous hearing everyone's insights into "Emerald Ring," but I've found all of our discussions a great help as I go forward with Book IV.

I always pick up new things on re-reads of my favorite books, too. I tend to be a shameless skimmer, so sometimes I'll stumble across whole scenes that I don't remember at all from the first time around.

Back to Jane, she certainly won't be thrown away on Percy and Martin! As you guessed, I do have someone in mind for Jane, and have had since the very first book, but it's no one you've met yet (or that Jane's met yet, for that matter). On the other hand, sometimes my characters do surprise me. I'd very firmly intended Vaughn for Penelope at one point-- and we all know how that turned out! Nothing is sure until the book is actually written.
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Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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history alive



LaurenWillig wrote: It's always amazing to me the way that textbooks manage to take time periods teeming with drama-- heavens, with dynastic marriages, court intrigue, and grand battles, there's very little fiction can add-- and turn them into dry husks.





Right, learning the dates of battles and when kings were born and died. I think if you are lucky to discover the stories hidden in it, the general themes it all comes alive. A lot stands and falls with a teacher his/her own interest and personality.

z.
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Dancegirl0317
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Learning to Write

Hi Lauren,
Thanks for the Shropshire answer. I agree, it definitely makes sense. My friend used to think she didn't like living someplace that was so far from the hustle and bustle of the big city, but after going away to school, she likes the comfort that is Shropshire.
I was wondering if I could ask you one other question. Did you ever take a class in college/anywhere (or maybe you were an english major)on how to write a historical fiction, or fiction, novel? I noticed my school offering an english class on how to write a fiction novel, but I didn't have time to take it with my major. Plus I have never seen myself as becoming a writer, but it would probably be an interesting class. Or do you just write based on the styles and genres you've read in your own literary history? Thanks so much for your time...

P.S. Sorry, not to be too over anxious, but do have any idea when Pink IV might be coming out? Thanks again!!!!
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LaurenWillig
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-27-2006
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Re: Learning to Write

Hi, there! It's wonderful that your school offers a class specifically on novel-length fiction. I took a lot of writing classes back in the day, mostly in high school (UVA Young Writers' Workshop, and the Middlebury New England Young Writers' Workshop at Breadloaf, or whatever it was called), but there was never anything specifically aimed at writing novel-length fiction. Instead, those courses focused on the short story, which requires a very different sort of structure and pacing. Since I already knew that my interest was in the novel, I found this incredibly frustrating, although it was probably a useful exercise. In college, rather than going on the writing track, I double-majored in Renaissance Studies and Political Science, on the grounds that at least all the Elizabethan intrigue would give me something to write about. I did take one fiction writing class in the English department, but, like my previous experiences, it focused on the art of the short story. Fortunately for me, though, the professor was a writer of thrillers, so he didn't sneer at my ambition to write genre fiction rather than literary short stories, and we had several nice conversations about the technical differences involved in novel-length fiction as opposed to the short story.

In the end, my knowledge of novel-writing came from a combination of voracious reading, afternoons spent poring over "Writers' Digest" as a teenager, and a lot of trial and error. I'd been writing "novels" since I was nine, and it was through those long after-school afternoons at the computer that I really worked through the kinks of the process-- like how to get your heroine from one room to the next without it taking six chapters, where to place your chapter breaks, how to introduce new characters, and just how long you can sit at the computer before your legs go numb. I still haven't quite mastered that last one....





Dancegirl0317 wrote:
Did you ever take a class in college/anywhere (or maybe you were an english major)on how to write a historical fiction, or fiction, novel? Or do you just write based on the styles and genres you've read in your own literary history?



Right now, the official release date for Pink IV, barring major disasters, is February of 2008. If that changes, I'll be sure to post it on my website!



P.S. Sorry, not to be too over anxious, but do have any idea when Pink IV might be coming out? Thanks again!!!!


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Dancegirl0317
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Weird/Funny Similarity

Hey Lauren,

Just wanted to say thanks so much for your time and insight. I wish I would have known about the book club earlier, I would have been a member long ago. But its been fun... If you don't mind I just kind of had two quick questions... #1) Do you feel that the people close to you have had an influence on your writing? Do you think a supportive family/friend helps and what not?

#2) After going through all of your trial and error, do you have like one of two pieces of advice that you think every new author should definitely know?

Thanks so much again! HA, I totally just thought of something. I used to be a math tutor for the sons of a woman, who is by far one of the coolest ladies I have ever met. I knew she was a lawyer, but when I went to her house to tutor I saw all of these book covers framed, and they were romantic book covers. Out of curiosity I asked her high school son what they were? And I found out that on top of being a lawyer, she's a romance novelist. I thought that was just so cool. I guess lawyers just have a knack for writing. And oddly enough I saw those posts about the Pink Carnation series being possible movies, and she just wrote a romantic screen-play! It is sometimes funny how things are so similar.
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wodehouse419
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-24-2007
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Re: Questions for the author

Hey Lauren!
Thanks very, very much for the response. I had a question about the next book: Are you going to focus more on the relationship between Mary and Letty? I have a sister myself and I'd like to think that their relationship is deeper and more meaningful than it seems, because all sisters should have good relationships.
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LaurenWillig
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-27-2006
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Re: Questions for the author

Having a sister, too (hi, Brooke!), I couldn't agree more-- even if she does steal my best books and DVDs. Of course, she makes up for it by listening to me ramble on about plot complications, so I suppose we're even.

The friction between Mary and Letty plays a very large role in Book IV, both as a moving force behind the plot (Mary takes actions that she might otherwise think twice about because she's trying to prove something to her know-it-all little sister) and as part of Mary's character development.

The superficial estrangement between Letty and Mary is so powerful, for both of them, because there's deep emotion running beneath it. On Mary's side, there's a deep and festering sense of hurt that her formerly adoring little sister struck out on her own by taking up the reins of the family household, and lots of defensiveness at Letty's resulting implicit criticisms of Mary and Mary's behavior. Letty, of course, took those steps because she was trying to make up for her own sense of deficiency in the face of Mary's obvious beauty and the adulation that came with it (especially from their shallow mother). Letty's guilt over Geoff, and Mary's resentment over the elopement, complicate the picture even more, driving those old dividers deeper. Deep down, each really wants the other to admire and love her, but the ways they go about it just serve to irritate the other more.





wodehouse419 wrote:
Hey Lauren!
Thanks very, very much for the response. I had a question about the next book: Are you going to focus more on the relationship between Mary and Letty? I have a sister myself and I'd like to think that their relationship is deeper and more meaningful than it seems, because all sisters should have good relationships.


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SoniaW
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-21-2007
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Re: Questions for the author

One last question...are we going to see more of Stiles? I loved his character in the first book, and I think that he has so much potential is a main protagonist!
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Kawalsh
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-05-2007
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Re: Questions for the author

Lauren,

As a fellow lawyer in NYC, I have to ask -- how are you balancing the life as an attorney in NYC with your life as a writer?

Thanks for the wonderful books --

Katie
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