If it is Friday, March 6th, it's my turn to be interviewed.
Ask Wendy is a writer-related blog run by freelance writer, editor, copy-editor, and columnist Wendy Burt-Thomas.
Over the next year, Wendy's blog will expose over 600 authors' responses to questions about their best advice to other writers, and about their worst writing experiences.
Here's a sample to whet your appetite. ("Whet" as in sharpen.)
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. Can be funny, embarrassing, inspirational, etc. ("I once pitched an agent at a urinal. It did not go well.")
I may have mentioned that I am very keen on research for my books. Sometimes, my research is unexpectedly dangerous.
Take “Insufficient Mating Material” (the title refers to a game that looks impossible to win, no matter how good your own moves, or how bad a player your opponent is). The hero has a tattoo in a delicate area. It’s bioluminescent, which means that it glows in the dark under certain circumstances. There comes a point in the story where the hero (Djetth, pronounced Jeth) needs to find out if the heroine has ever seen a tattoo like it. So, he goes into the sea, and pretends that he has been bitten by a fish… there, and asks the heroine to see if the (non-existent) fish broke his skin.
Yes. There is quite a bit of bathroom humor.
It’s ironic. While doing some eleventh hour research for the cover scene, I was attacked by a fish! I went away for my summer holiday, thinking that I could relax secure in the knowledge that Insufficient Mating Material was all ready to go to the printers. Then, my editor sent me the cover art. Have you seen it? Almost everyone who sees it thinks of the Burt Lancaster movie “From Here To Eternity.”
The problem was, there was nothing at all in the book involving a couple frolicking in the surf. Nothing! There is now. One of my passionate beliefs is that cover art should illustrate something in the book.
I had a couple of months, one of which was my summer holiday, to tear apart the book and write in that scene. That is a story and a half in itself! At least I was at the seaside, but it was a cold sea, and I couldn’t persuade my husband to immerse himself in the interests of scientific research. The best he would offer was to stand ankle deep on the shore at low tide, while I lay at his feet and did what I had to do.
Trust my bad luck, there were weaver fish buried in the sand, and I stepped on one… not heavily, but I felt the spine and the sharp injection of venom. I was lucky on two counts. First, we knew what to do and home wasn’t far away, so I spent the rest of that day with my foot in a bath of Epsom salts and water so hot that it felt cold for an instant when more hot water was added to keep up the temperature. Second, I go barefoot a lot. You may extrapolate what that means. The spine probably broke.
I suppose I should thank my luck stars I didn’t sit on one!
And then, there's the story that begins with a quote:
"…the fish skin couldn't be used as a condom but the intestines of the rabbits could…"