Saturday, October 8, 2011

Guest Post: Emma Butler

I get to play with Charlotte Stein! We realize how cool this is right? She wrote the fantastic ‘Control’ & she loves Jeffrey Dean Morgan almost as much as I do. Thus, you should all read every book she’s ever done. Makes perfect logical sense.

Charlotte broached the topic of your ‘Writing Comfort Zone’ on Twitter and I had essay brain, thinking she meant where are you comfortable writing? (Chair, IMac, cup of tea, middle of the night, Springsteen. Done) Your Writing Comfort Zone means none of these things, although tea makes everything more comfortable.

I have a dark, twisted, quite possibly psychopathic mind (you see what you let on this blog Charlotte?) that seems to revel in the macabre and dystopian. Perhaps it comes of reading Stephen King at 13 or falling in love with Gena Showalter’s heroes-who-house-a-demon-each-but-are-really-nice-guys-go-figure. So, that’s my writing comfort zone.

The dark, dank, cold, dystopian, flawed psyche of human beings is where I’m happiest. Preferably in some apocalyptic world with undead things roaming about. My main characters in my Black Rose series are twisted – an Ice Queen with no heart and a Mafia kingpin with no soul. Yet they’re my comfort zone. And once I started writing them, this romance built up until it spawned the rest of the series. It was just easier to create the whole set of books out of this misery the human race had fallen into.

Writing out of my comfort zone for me is writing contemporary or writing happy characters. Of course no character is completely happy or they’d be Mary Sue’s and we’d hate their guts. They’d be the smug kid you just want to smack. But those ones who seem to always have a positive attitude no matter what happens. Take Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series. I love Becky Bloomwood; she falls flat on her face every time but somehow comes out on top by the end and we’re all still rooting for her. But that’s not my comfort zone. I am so uncomfortable my teeth itch when I try to write characters like that. Mine just wont be that cheerful. They have to be accompanied by drinking problems, emotional blockades or have an attachment to Berettas.

The genre I write in at the moment is dystopian romance. Nothing better than love conquering everything. I’m comfortable in urban fantasy and horror because there’s no limit, no filters to your imagination. For me, contemporary has its walls – your hero cannot just come riding through the wall on a white horse because the RSPCA will get to hear about it & do you know how much a builder costs? But sometimes you just need a man to come riding through the wall, preferably swinging a sword and holding diamonds.

My comfort zone consists of flawed characters. I tend to think they’re more human that way than the ones who’re put together. When I read Charlotte’s ‘Control’ I loved it because her main character is flawed. She has these little foibles, a wicked sense of humor and talks a little too much. There are things that slip out of her mouth she’d rather not have said. The hero of the story is deliciously flawed. But that’s what made me love it. How can you identify with someone who is calm and collected in the face of frustration? At least write them a psychotic rant before they ride out to save the day.


Thanks for being my guest, Emma! And if you'd like to know more about this lovely lady who's just made me blush, you can find her here: She's written the Black Rose series, featuring Ice Queens and Mafia kingpins and lots of grizzly whiskers - honest! That's what she said!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Emma! Welcome to our blog!

    I've never heard of dystopian romnce. I'll have to take a look. It sounds like a variation of science fiction tha twould be interesting to write.

    And truly flawed heroes are the most interesting to write and read.



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