Behind the Scenes: Ann Raina
For the past two years, I’ve been developing new stories for my Nick & Jacklyn series. I love to write about a couple that really loves each other, not about the daily crises and stress, often over nothing. My inspiration comes from friends who have been married for years and have a strategy for a great working relationship. They talk a lot, they don’t have secrets, they don’t hold grudges over trivial things. When it comes to the plots of my novels, I work with my muse, who is also my best friend. We recently celebrated fifty years (!) of friendship. In most cases, I come up with a basic idea and she adds her two cents and then some. She loves to create secondary characters – their biographies, their habits, their relationships, even if they turn out to be crazy. She’s also the one who always points out flaws in the logic of the story. I tell her what I’m writing and she tells me why it doesn’t work. LOL. Well, we come up with a solution, but it might take coffee and cookies.
I start writing with the hope that the first few scenes will grab the reader’s attention. Most of the time, the novel begins with some kind of suspense – either the first murder or a sexy, witty banter between lovers, just something that makes the reader want to turn the page. After the first few scenes, I follow the plot that my muse and I have created. This means I have a story before I start. It may not be complete in every detail-scenes develop, characters become more complex than I expected-but I know the line that I follow to the end. Then I try to create suspense by writing scenes back to back, ending with a small cliffhanger. In my latest WIP, I put a love scene back to back with the killer’s clever planning of how to kill his next victim. Also important – I constantly check the characters’ actions and dialogue to make sure they are always “in character”. I don’t want a guy from the street suddenly talking like a professor.
I want to entertain my readers. I want to take them along on my journey of thought, and I hope they’ll enjoy reading the stories I have to tell, even if it’s just for thirty minutes on their way to work. I’ve loved creating stories all my life. The scenes play out before my mental eye like parts of a movie of my own creation. I was very proud when an editor told me that she never edits one of my books before bedtime because they are so exciting and full of suspense. I also love to hear that my characters are loved and missed when they don’t appear in one of the stories. So there are advantages to writing a series – I have a handful of characters who are always there, and others who come and go as their story is told. I hope that many readers will close the book after reading it and feel good that the couples are still in love and that the bad guys got what they deserved.
Ann’s Latest Release
Nick and Jacklyn Book 10
Sea life protection is a task for the peaceful, the Earth lovers, the ones who will never turn violent… so they say.
The man with the baseball cap stifled a grin as he approached the jetty being blocked by the police. Among other spectators, he watched the still smoldering remnants of the fishing boats. When he had seen enough, he walked away, and his smile turned to a full laugh.