It's cold and windy here in Toronto, the perfect day to post another amazing Ten Things author interview, featuring Courtney Maguire, who just published the third installment in her Youkai Bloodlines series this month! Let's jump right in...
Plot or Pants? Do you pre-plot your books, use an outline, fly by the seat of your pants or some combination of things? How do you keep track of characters in a series? Do you keep a journal of your characters’ statistics, such as hair and eye color, relatives, hometown, etc.
I am, for the most part, a pantser, though writing a series has forced me to plan at least somewhat in advance. I generally know where I’m going before I start, but how I get there is a mystery and my characters tend to take the wheel in a big way. I use a series bible to keep track of all the details as I go. It’s full of character lists and maps and even floorplans for their homes. I also like to reverse outline during the editing process, so those are in there, too. It comes in handy when you’re trying to remember the details of an event that happened three books ago.
Tell us about your first… published M/M fiction/romance
Wounded Martyr, a contemporary rock and roll romance about the front man of a heavy metal band struggling with his sobriety and resisting an intense attraction to his best friend and bandmate.
and then your most recent one..
Blood Bound, book 3 of my Youkai Bloodlines series, released February 1. It follows Hiro, a geisha with his heart on his sleeve, and his partner Hideyoshi, a stone-faced samurai, just as their relationship is disintegrating and a war is brewing between the Youkai and the Hunters that want them dead.
Which character still pops into your mind to visit from time to time?
Redmond from my contemporary novel, Drive. I just really identify with him for some reason. He’s just a small-town dude trying to make life work even when it’s not particularly friendly to him. I consider writing a sequel every once in a while. Does it need one? No. Would it be fun for me? Yeah probably.
What are your writing goals for the next year? The future?
I have a back-burnered manuscript that has been calling to me that I would love to get finished and start submitting. It’s a weird, sci-fi thing and a complete stretch for me, but I like it.
What’s the hardest part about writing?
Sometimes, the hardest part is just getting my butt in the chair and writing. Especially this past year with everything going on in the world. It’s not like a nine-to-five where you have a boss standing over you cracking the whip to keep you working. I’ve been having a lot of trouble staying motivated and focused, but I’m hoping to get back on track soon.
Who’s your biggest supporter/cheerleader?
I have a wonderful circle of friends that have been incredibly supportive. They always make a big deal about buying my books and getting me to sign them. Sometimes, releasing books can feel like sending them out into the void. It feels good to know at least someone is excited about it.
What made you decide M/M romance was the genre you wanted to write? Do you write other genres?
I took the ‘write what you want to read’ advice very literally. I also find the relationship dynamics between men—specifically queer men—interesting and fun to explore.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. I find ideas from story in all media, overheard conversations, 3am drunken phone calls, you name it. Story is everywhere if you know how to listen.
What do you do if you hit a wall while writing? How do you combat writer’s block?
If I get blocked on a project, it’s usually a sign that there is a problem earlier in the story. I will back track to the last major decision and think about why it was made and/or what would happen if I did something else. That usually shakes something loose. Other than that, I just consume story as much as possible and hope it refills the well.
How can we connect with you?
I am most active on Twitter (@pretentiousaho), but you can also find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyMaguireWrites) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/courtneymaguirewrites/) or email me at CourtneyMaguireWrites@gmail.com.