BY CONNIE WARD
What made you decide to become a fiction writer?
Ever since I was a small child, I have had many different stories running around in my head. It’s like a catharsis to get them down on paper so they aren’t taking all my attention. I enjoy looking at the world around me and converting others’ personal experiences into fictional stories.
What type of stories do you write? And why?
I enjoy writing a wide variety of stories. I have written horror, suspense, paranormal, comedy, and drama, but I most enjoy stories with heavy emotional and romantic overtones. I feel those types of stories speak personally to the reader.
What do your family/friends think about your writing?
My family is very supportive of my writing. They are my best critics!
Where do you get your ideas?
I am inspired by the people and situations around me. The stories I create usually have some basis in my real life.
How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?
It’s kind of a variety of both. I sometimes have a story planned out from beginning to end, and other times, I just put my fingers to the keyboard and allow the story to take its own path.
What makes The Black Orchid special to you?
Black Orchid was challenging to write due the historical element and my desire to make my depictions of what life was like in that time and place as accurate as possible. A lot of research went into the story before I could ever begin writing. During the creative phase, I was inspired by art, music, and history as well as an appreciation of the local culture, both British and Venezuelan.
How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?
I think that many times the characters’ reactions to the situations I present them with echo how I myself would react. I try to bring an element of realism to each one of my characters by drawing on the personalities of those around me.
Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most? Do you have a favorite
of this author(s)?
I have to say that it’s a tie between A.J. Rose and Lynn Kelling. Lynn’s characters are so strong that even in their most desperate moments they reach out to the reader. A.J.’s writing has always spoken to me in a personal way. Both he and Lynn are excellent writers in this genre.
Do you have any suggestions for new writers?
Don’t be afraid to put your story out there. It’s daunting to submit for publishing the first time. It’s like the world can now read and critique your personal thoughts. Your story is your work of art and some people won’t get it, but you may inspire and touch the hearts of others. Never be afraid to share your gift.
When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?
Actually, writing is what I do for fun! I like to spend time with my family, travel, listen to music, garden, and practice sustainable living.