Friday, October 17, 2008

Magic Ingredients :: Ally Blake

I looove sitting down to start writing a new book. My desk is tidy, my pencils sharpened, the big beautiful white word file on the screen before me is blank. The possibility that magic might appear on that their page is electrifying.

As I've started my latest new book, I've been wracking my brain to figure out why the three books I have out in September, October and November in North America have had the fabulous reader and reviewer reaction they have, hoping I can do it all over agian. And I've come up with what I think can be some magic ingredients.

Humour. It can be a precarious thing. What's funny to one person might not be to another. Look at American sitcoms versus British sitcoms; whole different ball of wax. But for that I don't think it's something any writer should be afraid of. If you're enjoying the story, chances are others will too.

Naturalness. That's a word right? Well, I guess I'm kind of saying if you want it to be a word then it can be. As can any other word. Hearts can "thumpety thump", tummy's can "shezizzle" if that's what feels natural in your voice. I'm all for correct grammar, but sometimes it's not as important as getting across a story with fun, and pace, and uniqueness. There is something warm and inviting about reading a book that feels like it has been spoken onto the page.

Secondary characters. In a short series romance novels secondary character can all too often take away from the central romance, either by taking up too much time, or being cooler than the hero and heroine ;). But I just love 'em. A best friend, a sister, a crazy great aunt can tell you sooo much about a main character that can only be told by those who know and love them. Secondary characters can add fun, frivolity, texture, context, layers, pathos, and parallels.

Oh yeah, and I was pregnant with my nearly one year old while writing those books. Awash with happy hormones. Heck maybe that's the one magic ingredient that trumps all others. So guys, if you were hoping to one day write a book to be proud of you know what you have to do ;).

For more about Ally's books and writing tips check out her website, and her blog.

Harlequin Romance, out now! UK & North America
Sweet Romance, Aus/NZ December

Modern Heat, out now! UK
Harlequin Presents, North America November
Sexy Sensation, Aus/NZ December


Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Love the happy hormones! Just keep writing your incredible books, Ally. Both covers are wonderful but my fav is your UK, pretty sexy!

Avi J said...

I think the characters are what make the story be it the secondary ones or the hero and heroine. In your Magnate Book (btw I loved that book), I liked Damian throughout the story. He was made even cuter with his incompetence to technology. But after the first few scenes with Caleb I just hoped he would have his own story. When I check out your website I was just excited to see that it was coming out in October. But I like it when the characters from the linked books make a re-appearance in the continuing books.

Pat Cochran said...

Great covers! But the characters
are what mean the most to me. They
build and bind together the story for me! And as Avi notes, seeing any of the characters turn up in related books is an added bonus for me.

Pat Cochran

Estella said...

I love reading your books. Keep it up!

Michelle Douglas said...

I love all your magic ingredients, Ally! I love humour in the romances I read, and I utterly adore secondary characters... And you do them all so well.

Keep up the good work.

Ally Blake said...

Hi all! Thanks for coming along and saying hi. And it's so nice to hear that characters are what makes a story great for you guys.

It's where I alwyas begin and the plot kind of springs up around them.

Happy reading all!!!


Liz Fielding said...

Using your own words -- something that you do magically, btw -- is one of the fun things about writing, Ally. And definitely one of the things that give you your special voice.

But character, character, character -- the more tortured the better!

mint said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.