BURNING BRIGHT from Samhain Publishing
Bio: A. Catherine Noon is an author and textile artist based in Chicago, Illinois. Rachel Wilder is an author and image consultant in Las Vegas, Nevada. Together, they love to write stories and create worlds for readers to explore and enjoy.
How do you usually come up with a story idea? Dreams? Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations? Newspaper?
For us, story ideas come from images of models and from characters we discuss. We are primarily character-driven and rarely setting or plot driven. What excites us is what happens to people in different situations and the consequences of actions, especially unforeseen ones.
Who or what inspires you when your creative mojo is lagging?
Noony is an avid textile artist, so she loves to work with yarn and knit or crochet. That helps a lot when Story isn’t flowing. Rachel is a designer and loves to work with interior spaces, designing rooms and home settings for stories.
Who is your Yoda—your seasoned mentor?
Cherry Adair, Jody Lynn Nye, and Dayna Hart.
What importance do you place on writing workshops? What workshops would you recommend to us?
We love writing workshops! In fact, Noony started the Evanston Writers Workshop, www.evanstonwritersworkshop.org, with fellow author Debbie Cairo. We do regular weekly prompt and critique sessions, as well as weekend workshops and an annual conference. Networking and learning from other writers and publishing industry professionals is invaluable in developing the craft.
What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations? How did this person help you?
For Noony: Dennis Sonnenburg in junior and high school was instrumental in helping find the authorial voice. Learning freewriting at that point in life really helped unlock the inner Muse.
Have you ever used songs for inspiration?
Yes. We use Pandora.com often and build stations targeted to particular characters. The random selections that Pandora offers in a particular theme help to create a separate station for the characters and makes them more like real, and separate, people.
Do you play music when you write? If so, what kind? Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?
Noony loves to write to music. One series was written almost entirely to Red Hot Chili Peppers; BURNING BRIGHT was written to some retro alternative 80’s music.
Do you read in a different genre than you write? If yes, why? If you read in the same genre that you write, do you feel that it influences your writing in any way?
Noony reads mostly fantasy and science fiction for pleasure. Rachel reads extensively in the M/M romance genre, so together they have a good, well-rounded familiarity with available literature.
What is your process from idea to first draft?
Write scenes with the characters to catch the “feel” of the story. That way, we can really see where Story is and where we want to take the plot.
Have you ever given assistance to a struggling new writer? Has another writer ever come to your aide? How?
Yes. Noony regularly facilitates Artist’s Way workshops and other writing-related classes, and has participated in the Romance Divas Mentor Boot Camp once as a participant and once as a mentor.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?
Trusting the Story. The courage to write is an everyday victory.
If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money? Would give any of it to charity? If so, which one?
We would purchase land and build two homes on it, as well as a free-standing writing office. The charity to support would be ones related to solving the homeless dilemma in the United States and to help aid with literacy.
What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?
If you see it, write it. Story is God.
If you could choose an animal for a mascot, what animal would it be? What do you admire about this animal? Do you feel you have qualities similar to this animal? If so, what are they?
Wolf and cat. Wolves for their fierceness and loyalty, cats for their sensual awareness and physical presence.
If money, education and fear factors were set aside, what three careers would you like to attempt other than writing?
Astronaut, cowboy, or park ranger.
If money, talent and fear were no object, what big adventure would you like to have?
Go to the moon.
What characteristics do you like to instill in your heroes? What characteristics do you feel are necessary for a good heroine?
We like heroes that are strong but compassionate, and definitely male. We like heroines that are stubborn and feminine as well as strong.
If you had the power to change two things in the world, what would those two things be?
The hungry would be fed, and the homeless housed.
If could have a super power for a day, what would it be? Why?
The ability to fly would be cool! Imagine floating over the surface of the world, flitting in to see the sights and soaring away from any troubles or problems.