Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Writing Life by Evelyn Cullet

Evelyn Cullet has been an aspiring author since high school when she wrote short stories, but she didn't begin her first novel until she was in college. Afterward, she continued to take writing classes and work on her novels while employed by a major soft drink company. Now, after early retirement, she finally has the chance to write full-time. Evelyn enjoys playing the piano, organic gardenering, and is an amateur Lapidary. She and her husband live in a Chicago suburb.
 
Welcome to Mysterious Writers, Evelyn. Tell us about your writing life. 

I write mystery romance and romantic suspense and I love to write on dark and stormy mornings. Something about overcast skies and the sound of raindrops pouring down and bouncing back up from the ground, makes me feel like firing up the old word processing program and getting all my feelings down on the page. I sometimes get great ideas in the wee hours of the morning when my mind is in Alpha state, the time just before I'm fully awake. Early morning is when I write some of my best material. I'm probably coining a new word here, but I'm what you might call a "pantsoutliner." I do most of my pantsing at the beginning of each manuscript. But once I have the first couple of chapters written, outlining or fleshing out the rest of the story has its advantages by giving me some direction.

Ideas for story lines and dialog come to mind at the most unexpected times; usually when I'm getting dressed to go out, I'm running late for an appointment, or when I'm working in my garden, or even when I'm driving my car.  If I don't stop what I'm doing and write down my ideas, I'll lose them. Knowing what's going to happen and where it's happening in the story by having a prepared outline, gives me a place to put those ideas, or that dialog, so that it's not just a random sentence or paragraph on a piece of paper when I go back to read it later. I did a lot of random writing when I first began, but I soon learned that when I came back to what I had written, I couldn't remember where I wanted to put those words or why I even wrote them down in the first place. Of course, I never throw out anything, so I managed to use those phrases, or that dialog, somewhere in the story, but probably not in the original place that I meant it to be, where it could have had a much greater impact on the story.

I guess you might say I learn by doing things the hard way first. (sigh!)
 
Masterpiece of Murder is my fast-paced romantic suspense novel that takes you on a madcap adventure to the beautiful resort city of Barioche, Argentina, where a broken-hearted art student, Charlotte Ross, is intent on locating her errant fiancĂ©. But her fiancĂ© has his own reasons for being in Bariloche--he's after a stolen art masterpiece--that complicate Charlotte’s life and threaten her very existence as she stumbles into a downward spiral of deception, art forgery, and murder. When Charlotte accidently finds the murder victim, circumstantial evidence begins to mount up against her and the local police suspect she is the killer. Now she must use the skills she learned from her mystery writer friend, along with the help of two fellow art students, to discover who is really behind the murder. Not an easy task with a military police officer dogging her every step.
 
Masterpiece of Murder is available in print and ebook from the publisher at: http://www.wings-press.com/ and from Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/9jjl5xc Also available as an ebook for the Nook from Barnes & Noble:  http://tinyurl.com/9uyqj5r.
 
Thank you, Jean, for having me on your blog today. And I'd like to thank all of you for stopping by. I love to read comments, so please feel free to leave one and you'll automatically be entered in my free book giveaway. You could win a signed print copy of Masterpiece of Murder. One winner will be chosen at random and announced on my blog, http://evelyncullet.com/blog/ on December 11th. Don't forget to leave your email address so I'll know how to contact you. And if you'd like to learn more about Bariloche, the stolen art masterpiece, or to see photos of the locations mentioned in the novel, I invite you to visit the photo page on my website: http://evelyncullet.com/

Thank you, Evelyn, for an interesting article!

19 comments:

WS Gager said...

Evelyn: I too get great ideas while in a state between awake and sleeping. Mitch and Patrenka were born in that state. Good thing I got up and wrote it all down. I would have forgotten it too.
Great post!
Wendy
http://mysteriouspeople.blogspot.ca/

M.M. Gornell said...

The writing down is the hard part. Too often I still wait, thinking I'll remember...sigh.

Good post!

Madeline

Evelyn Cullet said...

It's amazing how quickly thoughts slip away from us, Wendy. Especially when we've got so many things on your minds.

Evelyn Cullet said...

LOL Madeline! There are a lot of times when I think I'll remember too...double sigh.

Patricia Gligor said...

Evelyn,
I liked what you said about enjoying writing the most on dark and stormy days. I do too. I also like to write novels in the season in which they take place. Unfortunately, it doesn't usually work that way for me. So, to "get into the season," I post photographs on the bulletin board above my desk. That way, when it's 90 degrees out and I'm writing about a blizzard, I can get in the mood.

Evelyn Cullet said...

That's a great idea, Patricia. When I start a novel its usually in the same season, too. I'll have to borrow your idea.

Anne K Albert said...

"Pantsoutliner" Great new word, Evelyn. I'll have to remember that!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Have you ever woke up to write something down that came to you in the night only to not be able to read it in the a.m. That's happened to me more than once. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a
lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.

I think that you could do with a few pics to
drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog.
An excellent read. I'll definitely be back.
Take a look at my blog post ; drum tobacco

Collin Kelley said...

Great post!

Evelyn Cullet said...

Thanks for stopping by, Anne.

Evelyn Cullet said...

Yes, Marilyn, I've gotten up in the middle of the night and wrote down some things without wearing my glasses, and then in the morning it looked like nothing but a bunch of scribbles.

Evelyn Cullet said...

Thanks Collin. Looking forward to hosting you on my blog tomorrow.

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