Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Corrina Lawson Interview

Corrina is another Samhain author who approached me regarding my interview post on Samhain's author section. She was so eager and happy to do this interview. How could I say no? :P

What inspired you to become a writer?
I was born that way, I think. I've always been driven to make up stories, for as long as I remember. I was a voracious reader as a kid and certain books fired my imagination but I expect wanting to make up stories came first.

I was inspired to become a reporter by Lois Lane from the Superman Comics. She had a very cool job and, at the time I was reading her comics, she tended to solve all her own problems without calling in Superman.

How long have you been writing for?
I've been actively writing fiction for about ten years now, since my twins were born. But I've been writing stories since I could put pencil to paper. If the internet had existed when I was a teenager, I would no doubt have written fanfic at a furious pace, like my eldest daughter does.

Of your work, which is your favorite, or that you hold dear for one reason or another?
It's so hard to pick favorites!

I end up loving all my characters in one way or another. But if I had to pick just one, it would be the first I created--Trisha Connell, a crime reporter in a mystery/romance series that I haven't sold yet. I suspect that's because, originally, the concept of Trisha came from a Mary Sue character I wrote for some fanfic, plus the fact that she has the same job (a reporter) that I did for seven years.

Trisha is fearless in all the way I'm not, though she's terrified in all the ways that I'm not as well. But whenever I'm feeling particularly intimidated, I think "what would Trisha do?" Because she doesn't take "no" for an answer.

As an author, who is your favorite to read from?
It changes all the time, depending on my mood and depending on what I need from books.

For years, I re-read the Lord of the Rings once a year. I just loved that world. When I was a teenager, I would take long hikes in the woods near my house and imagine Rivendell was just around the corner.

More recently, I absorbed the first nine of Laurell K. Hamilton's book but fell off the bandwagon with book ten. The series just went in a direction that did nothing for me as a reader.

I've read all of Jennifer Crusie and love her sense of humor and the way her female characters learn to stand up for themselves.

Right now, I'm reading a lot of Linnea Sinclair (SF romance), JD Robb. (Nora Roberts' mystery alter ego) and Lois McMaster Bujold. So apparently, I'm on a SF kick, especially when sprinkled in with a lot of romance. But all three writers are tremendous at creating wonderful characters. That'll hook me every time.

What is your favorite genre?
There's more SF/F on my bookshelves than anything else. But I'll read anything that has a good story from contemporary romance to historicals to mysteries to hard SF to epic fantasy.

The only genres I avoid are horror (I don't like the scare) and literary fiction. Nothing against the latter but I'm an action-driven reader and literary fiction often doesn't have enough forward movement for me. I can do without beautiful words and phrasing. I apparently can't do without action.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Writing isn't an answer. :)
Spare time? What's that? :)

I have four kids, one of them special needs. That absorbs most of my free hours. I also have a part-time job writing for the GeekDad blog on Wired.com. But that's writing again, so that doesn't count. I read, of course, and I watch some TV. Mad Men is a particular favorite right now and I tend to love crime shows. I also watch a lot of the History Channel documentaries.

And I play with my three cats. The dog gets jealous.

It's all very dull and boring to anyone else, I'd guess. The action is mostly taking place in my head as I make up stories.

Have you ever collaborated with another author? Or plan too?
A few years ago, a friend and I were each trying to develop a character. So we sent emails to each other--but writing as the characters. Her character would write to mine, mine would write back, and they'd tell each other what was going on. We each developed an entire plot this way. It was a ton of fun. But I'm not sure that counts as collaboration.

Another friend and I wrote a short story together, which started as a fairy tale about a princess who was angry her big sister was getting married and pushing her aside. That developed into a lot of political intrigue around a bunch of daughters and a very nasty dad playing them against each other. I liked that story a lot but, unfortunately, lost touch with that friend over the years. I'd love to revisit that story but I don't feel right about continuing it without her.

Overall, I don't think I'm cut out for collaboration. I have too much fun creating my own storyverse to want to compromise by writing with another author. Or, to put it simply, I like being the only god of my universe.

Do you have any pen names? If so why do you choose to use a pen name?
My writing name is simply my maiden name: Lawson. It's the name I used as a reporter and it's the name I'll always use as a writer. I thought about using a pen name for Freya's Gift, which is erotica. But it's basically a prequel to my full length novel, Dinah of Seneca, which is romance but not erotica. It seemed better to use the same name for both of them to avoid confusion.

Any words of wisdom for your fans and readers?
I am not wise in the least. Most of the time, to paraphrase Bujold, I feel like I'm stumbling around in the dark, looking for any sign of light.

If there are any writers out there who want to be published, I say to them: keep writing. Finish what you write. Poke around the internet and learn how to write better. Practice, practice, practive. Don't give up on it.

It took me eight years to get a publishing contract. I've know people who've waited longer than that.

And that could apply to anything that you love. Find a way to make it happen. Because life is too short to be miserable doing something you don't love.
Wow, Corrina you have really outdone yourself! I really enjoyed your answers. It shows you took a lot of time and thought about them, or you're just such a great writer that it's natural. *HeHe* Typically I am not into romance novels, but the way that you talk it makes me want to read them. That is the true power of an author, to break someone's barriers and allow them to enjoy something they normally wouldn't have. I have a little brother who is special needs, and my friends son is as well. It can be hard on them as well as the family. Best wishes to all of your children and family. I want to thank you so much for giving us all a look into your "storyverse" as you put it. I hope we can somehow work together again in the future.

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