Do you plan out the entire book before you begin writing? Or do you just sit down and write?
When I wrote ENDLESS FEAR I did plot it out. I gave all of the characters a secret and listed the secrets in order of smallest to most damning. This makes all the characters suspicious as they are hiding something and can seem guilty. The trick is then to slowly reveal those secrets throughout the book. Nowadays, when a story starts to come to me, I use my Conflicts in Opposition sheets to get the internal/external conflicts as strong as possible between hero, heroine, villain. (you can download this sheet for free from my website, www.adriannelee.com . Itís listed under ďwriterís tipsĒ or ď411Ē) Once I have the conflicts as strong as I can get them, then I need to write the first three chapters to get to know the characters and see where the story is taking me.
Do you have a set time that you write each day? Or do you wait to be inspired?
My husband has always worked out of our house and I do his computer paperwork. So, I work around him and that usually means I write day and night and whenever possible. I really need to be more disciplined for the sake of productivity.
How long did it take you to complete this book?
Considering it was my first published book, it took lot longer than it should have. Many re-writes.
How much research, if any, did you have to do for this book?
In my teens my parents owned a boat and we traveled to the San Juan Islands several times. I knew the area visually as well as a bit of the local lore. But I did do a lot of researching through the King County library for actual history. I also researched Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Agoraphobia. Fascinating stuff.
How did you choose the names for your characters?
Oh, this was fun. Always, for every book I write, I spend days and weeks on Character names. Names are key to me. I discovered, while researching the San Juan Islands, a Captain August someone or other, and the name struck a chord. I already had the heroineís name, April. From there, the idea just took off and turned into Calendar House with all the family having names that were taken from the months of the year. An agent once told me Iíd never sell the book because the names were so off-putting. It sold.
What new doors has your writing opened up for you? Were there any opportunities that you had never considered before?
Iíve been able to travel to cities in the US that I never dreamed Iíd see - Dallas, Atlanta, New York, and many, many more thanks to RWA National. I've ,et favorite authors I never thought Iíd meet. I've met fans and made long time friends that would not have been possible otherwise.
Do you ever become bored with what you are writing? If you do, how do you get past that point?
Never. I could say that if my writing bored me, I wouldnít write, but the truth is probably more that I donít get bored because I always have so much plot. Itís just the way my mind creates. When I began writing, my plots were really convoluted. It was a strength I needed to control. I had to learn to un-convolute. I like my characters to have lots of personal baggage to work out during the story as it makes for lots of fun surprises as I write.
What do you look for when you buy a book?
You mean besides favorite authors? I really like a good suspense with engaging characters, plot twists, a touch of romance. I like dark books, but not paranormal. . .except for ghosts. I like ghost stories.
How do you manage to balance your time between family, friends, and writing?
Iím not a good time manager. If Iím writing, I lose all track of time, but most of my friends are writers. That helps.
If you could spend one hour with just one person, whom would you choose?
We lost our firstborn daughter to cervical cancer three years ago, and if I could spend one more hour with anyone, it would be with Kim. Otherwise it would probably be an editor who loved my book and wanted to publish everything I write for forever.
Do you have any advice for writers who are striving to be published?
Wish I had some never before shared pearls of wisdom, but since I donít. Learn the craft and study the market. Look at what is selling. Figure out how what you write fits into the current market, and then write the best book you can.
Thank you, Adrianne Lee, for such fantastic, interesting answers. Interviewing you has been a joy.
I bought a Kindle version of Endless Fear from Amazon. If you would like your own copy of this book to enjoy, I have provided an Amazon link for it below. And just in case you don't own a Kindle to read it on, I have also provided an Amazon link for one of them.