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FINDING HEKATE COVER WEB VIEW 72dpiKellie Doherty is a PSU graduate student studying book publishing, aiming to complete her masters this spring. She also has a freelance editing company called Edit Revise Perfect and takes jobs whenever they come her way. When not doing homework, work-work, and trying not to stress out about all the graduation prep, Kellie likes to write and go for walks. Her debut science fiction novel Finding Hekate was published by Desert Palm Press on April 8, 2016. Find more information on her website: http://kelliedoherty.com/.

 

9 Bridges: When you are writing do you feel more like you are being inspired by a muse, or driven by demons?

Kellie Doherty: It really depends on which character I’m writing at the moment. If I’m working on a particularly mischievous villain I feel like it could be demons lashing out to get it out of my system. I can go to a pretty dark place to get the characters right. But with the other characters, it tends to be easier, lighter, eased out by muses even. I used to joke around about how all my muse needed was a good sprig of rosemary to get her going. (It usually doesn’t take much to make me write.)

9B: If you were alone on a desert isle with no tinder for a fire handy what book would you most want to have with you and why would you chose that book to burn?

KD: I would burn Fifty Shades of Grey. Sorry, James, I respect the time and effort it took to transform the once-Twilight fanfiction into a book, but I honestly can’t stand it. The representation of the BDSM community alone is cringe worthy. Plus, with all the sex scenes, don’t you think Fifty Shades would burn just a bit hotter than anything else?

9B:What is the best advice you have ever given or received about writing?

KD: The best advice I’ve both received and given is this: Keep writing. Even if it’s crappy. Even if you don’t like it. Even if you think you’ll never use it in a million years, write it out. Who knows, there might be some gold in all that muck.

9B: What tools do you use when you write?

KD: Can my cats be tools? Seriously, my cats sit on me whenever I write so they might as well be instrumental. I generally write in Word on my computer. I also have a separate doc open for consistency checks (with character traits, world building stuff, odd names, etc.). I keep a pen and notebook handy wherever I go in case the inspiration strikes—because really, do we ever honestly stop writing?—and I keep some paper by my bedside, too. (Just last night I had a dream about a father/daughter/old lady team in a post apocalyptic world that I might turn into a short story!) I have The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi close by in case I get stuck on how to portray certain emotions via actions. (It’s an awesome resource. I highly recommend it.) I also listen to Disney or classical music, depending on what I’m actually writing. I also like to have water or tea nearby.

9B: What is your favorite part of the writing process?

KD: Character creation! I love creating characters. It was my favorite part when I was a kid, and it’s still my favorite now. Generating a whole backstory for them, weaving them into a current plotline, inventing a special tick or trait (like the scar from Finding Hekate) that defines them in some way is the best part for me.

9B: Everyone always talks about writers block but no one ever seems to do anything about it. What is your solution?

KD: My solution to writers block is threefold: 1) have a cup of black tea with milk and honey, 2) take a walk, and 3) write at least 500 words per day until that block breaks.

9B: Most writers I have talked to have at least one story about a loony teacher they knew who somehow inspired them. What is yours?

KD: Hmm, I’d have to tell a story about Prof. Clay Nunnally. He taught a bunch of my college-level classes at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He wasn’t loony by any means, but he would recite poetry from memory, my favorite being My Last Duchess by Browning. He would do voices and act it out even. The class would fall silent listening to him. His recitations made me appreciate the power and charm of words and inspired me to write better because of it.

9B: How has 9 Bridges supported you in your writing journey?

KD: Out of all the wonderful opportunities the 9 Bridges offers, I’d say their write-ins have supported me the most. Writing is usually seen as a solitary act—and for me it is, more often than not—but their format of writing for a certain amount of time and then chatting about it is quite helpful. It gets me out of that solitary moment for a little while.

9B: Rock, Paper or Scissors?

KD: Paper, definitely.

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Roma Gray lives in Oregon with her three furry friends, Nicky, Cricket, and Roanoke.
She has an MBA in Technology Management and a Masters in Project Management.
Her book, Gray Shadows Under a Harvest Moon, an anthology of six trick-or-treat thrillers, is available at Amazon and most other book sellers for the introductory sale price of $1.99. She is currently working on her first novel, The Hunted Tribe, which is due out this September.

For information on Roma Gray and her upcoming projects, please visit Trick-or-Treat Thrillers.com at http://trickortreatthrillers.com/. On this site you will also see jokes and interviews with other writers, so please check it out.

9 Bridges: When you are writing do you feel more like you are being inspired by a muse, or driven by demons?
Roma Gray: By a muse. I write what makes me happy. Demons sneak into my work on occasion, but the muse always wins with me. Writing has to be fun or I couldn’t spend so much time on it.

9B: If you were alone on a desert isle with plenty of tinder for a fire handy what book would you want most to have with you and why?
RG: Relic. I LOVE that book! It has the perfect writing style (for the subject matter), the perfect pacing, the perfect subject matter. When I read that book I literally felt like I had been looking for that book my whole life. I read that book on average six times a year.

9B: True or not it is often said that there is nothing truly original. With that in mind who did you borrow from when developing your style?
RG:  Relic. See earlier answer.

9B: What is the best advice you have ever given or received about writing?
RG:To be successful, you only need to capture the interest of 1% of the reading market in the U.S. It occurred to me that meant 99% could hate my book and all would still be well with the universe. Since none of my friends or family would even read my stuff because they hated sci-fi and horror, it suddenly made everything feel ok.

9B: What tools do you use when you write?
RG: Writer’s log, excel word count sheet and Microsoft word. The first one acts as therapy and the second one keeps me on track. The last one, well, it is what it is.
9B: What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
RG: Editing. Very long and scary process. I’m getting better at it, though.

9B: What is your favorite part of the writing process
RG: Zero draft! This is when I just sit down and write and don’t correct stuff or look back. Fun, fun, fun! Even I don’t know where the story will go at that point.

9B: Everyone always talks about writers block but no one ever seems to do anything about it. What is your solution?
RG: I haven’t had writers block for years. Probably at least a decade. Seriously. That’s kind of weird, now that I think about it. So what is it exactly that I do? Hmmm. Well, just recently I had to come up with a dinosaur story. I just mentally threw out there the most obvious (and unintentionally stupid) example I could come up with. Then I thought, “What do I like and not like about this?” In the end I came up with five different ideas and the last one finally worked for me.

9B: Rock, Paper or Scissors?
RG: Paper (without paper, there never would have been books. Seriously, there’s really only one right answer here)

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Through many years I’ve written little stories for my family. It was in the early 1980’s I came across an article in the Oregonian. Ann Sullivan wrote about the Martin family that went missing in the Columbia River. I began a couple of years of research then wrote a book. I wrote another paranormal book after reading the entire series by Zenna Henderson.

A few years ago I found a website where I learned the craft of writing. I wrote got my work evaluated and reviewed. I took their online classes and after writing many short stories, getting some of them published and winning awards I tackled another novel.

This one grabbed me and would let me go. I finished it and found a publisher. You can buy it as an ebook or paperback on Amazon. The Vanishing of Katherine Sullivan by Christina Weaver

9 Bridges: When you are writing do you feel more like you are being inspired by a muse, or driven by demons?

Christina Weaver: Inspired. I write because a prompt or plot gets in my head and the story demands to be told. The muse will lead me until it runs to the end and falls off a cliff. I putter around until it has some rest and we are off and writing again.


9B:
What is the best advice you have ever given or received about writing?

CW: Where do I begin? They are both the same thing. The basic formula for writing a story is give the Main Character a goal. Then find the thing that motivates them to continue no matter what comes their way. Add conflict that tries to get them away from their goal. Then give them a happy or at least a satisfactory end. It’s my mantra and I write by it.


9B:
If you could bring one character from fiction to life who would it be and would you invite them to dinner?

CW: Rose from the Titanic movie. She was classy, feisty and had wonderful storyline.
9B: If you could forever erase from the worlds consciousness one character from fiction who would it be?

CW: I can’t think of any villain that I would want to erase. Each has a purpose. To erase them would mean that story line would be gone. All the detectives and Super Heroes have villains that are unique. I’d love to interview H.Holms. I have strong feelings he may have been Jack the Ripper in England. I never liked Scarlett O’Hara, but what would the book be without her?
9: What tools do you use when you write?

CW: Paper, pen and a computer. I have many books. I use them only for ideas if I’m stuck. I have Vogler’s the Writer’s journey. I use that for character problems I face or if I want a real in depth character. Debra Dixion’s Goal, Motivation and Conflict book was the first book that showed me the craft of telling a story. Its simple. The other book I like is Larry Woods Story Physics: Harnessing the Underlying Forces of Storytelling. He taught a couple of seminars at a conference and impressed me. The one thing I learned is: Don’t tell a biography of a fictional character.
9: Everyone always talks about writers block but no one ever seems to do anything about it. What is your solution?

CW: I don’t have writers block. When I come to a point where the story doesn’t go anywhere I: 1) back up to the last choice the MC made and wonder what would happen if they did something else. 2) I pick a minor character and begin to build them a back story. Sometimes it’s a bad person sometimes it’s just a someone’s friend or a shopkeeper, anyone will do. Those things spark an idea, “what if?” and it has added or changed the story.
9: Most writers I have talked to have at least one story about a loony teacher they knew who somehow inspired them. What is yours?

CW: Sorry I don’t have a loony one. In the 8th grade my creative writing teacher held up the picture of Washington crossing the Delaware. We were to write a story. While others gave the literal story, I told the story from two rabbits POV watching the whole thing. There was a wife who worried about her bunny hubby and sure enough they got too close and the two male rabbits ended up as dinner for the General. My teacher was a little surprised. I think I got an A. Its what she told me: “You have the mind of a writer. You look at things possible and from every point of view great job!” That gave me the encouragement to write and read to others.
9: If you were offered a publishing contract by a major publisher with a stipulation that you kill off the character that was most important to you, would you do it?

CW: I could do it. Knowing that, I’d write the story so I wouldn’t be so attached to the character. I’m not George RR Martin. I’ve not read Game of Thrones or watched the series. I think having to do that brings a creative challenge to a writer. What comes next? To kill off the characters people will come to love is a creative genius that shows the mind of a talented writer.
9:Rock, Paper or Scissors?

CW: Paper. Its all I need to live. Oh yes and a pen.

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9 Bridges is proud to introduce “9 Questions with…” 
A biweekly blog where we ask writers to answer 9 burning questions people do not even realize they want to know, including the most important question of all; Rock, paper or scissors?  

Elisabeth Flaum began writing because of Doctor Who and hasn’t yet been able to stop. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she works in accounting, races dragonboats, and writes short sci fi and poems about volcanoes. Recent publications include The Comet’s Tail: Bits and Pieces available at lulu.com and Ghosts available on Smashwords.

 

9 Bridges: When you are writing do you feel more like you are being inspired by a muse, or driven by demons?

Elisabeth: Definitely driven. I have a lot of ‘what am I doing and why am I doing it?’ moments.

 

9: Tell us about the space where you write best and why that space works for you.

EF: I have written great stuff on my work computer after hours; on my home desktop in the middle of the night; on my laptop in the back yard; in my notebook on the bus; occasionally on loose paper on a bench outside the Convention Center. I have also written crap in most of those places. The important thing is having something to write with.

 

9: If you were alone on a desert isle with no tinder for a fire handy what book would you most want to have with you and why would you chose that book to burn?

EF: I would happily burn Mists of Avalon if it meant I could get all those hours of my life back.

 

9: If you were alone on a desert isle with plenty of tinder for a fire handy what book would you want most to have with you and why?

EF: Dune. I could read it over and over, and it makes sand appealing.

 

9: What is the best advice you have ever given or received about writing?

EF: Neil Gaiman said, “Write.” That pretty much covers it.

 

9: Have you ever entered a writing contest? Did you win?

EF: I once wrote a poem about Portland food carts that won tickets to the Northwest Food and Wine Festival worth $180. At the time I didn’t consider myself a writer and entered mostly as a joke. The response – not just the win, but what I heard from people – convinced me to take my writing a little bit more seriously.

 

9: Everyone always talks about writers block but no one ever seems to do anything about it. What is your solution.

EF: Just write. Write garbage, write fluff, write a list, write anything, just write. The longer I go without writing, the harder it is to start again, and the crappier my writing when I do start. It’s like sports that way; take two weeks off at the gym, regret it for months.

 

9: Most writers I have talked to have at least one story about a loony teacher they knew who somehow inspired them. What is yours?

EF: I had a music theory teacher in college who regularly distributed handouts with titles like “A plethora of major seventh chords.” He wore such a smile on his face as he did it. I think of him whenever I come across a really great word.

 

9: Rock, Paper or Scissors?

EF: Paper. Lots and lots of paper.

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