Another installment, and the kiddos are getting a leeeetle punchy.
Why are you friends with Mrs. Chie?
Because no one else will have me.
And sometimes, she comes to my house and makes me really good food. Seriously, have you had her banana bread? Ooh, or her oatmeal scotchie cookies? Om nom nom....
Sorry, where were we?
In all seriousness, though... She is someone I can count on to not only be brutally honest with me when there's something in my writing that isn't working, but she also knows how my mind works well enough to suggest logical alternatives. It's invaluable. That's the writing-friend part.
But she also listens to me whine about my basement flooding, or answers my cooking questions at weird hours of the night, or gives me advice on how to get stains out of a shirt.
That's what friends do.
Have you ever read somebody else's book and gotten inspired?
Every time I read a book, I get inspired. In fact, a lot of times when I'm having a stuck day, I'll sit down and read something, just to shake my brain cells loose.
Inspiration can take a lot of forms. Sometimes, it's the basic "Oh wow, I can do better than this!" Sometimes, it's the absolute certain knowledge that nothing I can write will ever be as good as what I've just read, but I'm sure as hell gonna try. (Shh, don't tell them I cussed.)
If you want specific books that inspired me? Hmm... The comic book ElfQuest. Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series. More recently, my good friend Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts series. (might be a bit risque for you guys, but if you don't tell, I won't) The Dresden Files, of course.
Everything I read teaches me more about the kind of writer I want to be.
If you had never met Mrs. Chie, would your books be what they are now?
See, this is where I'm about to get all philosophical.
Imagine that you left the house one morning, and instead of turning right like usual, you turn left. And you pass a coffeehouse you've never seen before, so you go in. And inside, you meet the man/woman of your dreams, you get married, you have kids, you live happily ever after.
But if you'd have turned right, none of that would have ever happened. Maybe you turned right, saw a runaway bus and saved a kindergartner from it. You were a hero you went on Oprah, you became a world-famous author because of your heroic deed.
Both outcomes were pretty good, and the only difference was whether you turned left or right.
That's kinda how I look at the results any of my beta readers have had on my work. Without Mrs. Chie, I might have still been published. But maybe it would have been with a different book. Or maybe it would have been Devil, but the storyline would have taken on a whole different twist.
So, no, without her, none of my books would exist in their current form. They might still exist in SOME form. Or not. It's hard to say.
Everyone around me has an influence on what I write, from Mrs. Chie, to the crazy guys I ride the bus with, to some random homeless guy I pass on the street. And the results just depend on whether I turned left or right that day.
Wow. That was kinda deep.
That'll teach me to post this stuff late at night. You get the Deep Thoughts with K.A. Stewart version.
Have a great weekend, ya'll!