Which sub-genre of Romance do you feel the most comfortable writing in? Why?
I have to say that I swing between steampunk and paranormal. I find both very similar though in terms of world-building; that's the focus (as well as characters, it's ALWAYS about the characters), so fleshing out a world in either sub-gene feels the same, you're simply working on different elements.
How do you know when you’ve hit your zone?
I stop staring out the window *grins*. Usually I hit my stride around 2pm. I'm a night owl by nature, but unfortunately I'd never see my boyfriend if I stayed up late and got up late, so I try and swing back to early starts/early to bed. It does mean I have trouble focusing in the mornings though.
Do you have a daily writing ritual?
I get up around 6:30, walk the dog, go for a run, have breakfast whilst I'm checking emails or social media, then settle down and get into it. I tend to have a weekly word count goal I try to hit, so I break it up into days that I'm working at home and go for it. Boyfriend comes home about 7pm; I realize I haven't started dinner, done the washing etc. I also try to fit a bit of reading in there too, but it depends on how the day's word count is going.
Are you a plotter, a pantser, or a hybrid?
Pantser by nature, hybrid by necessity. Editors seem to want these pesky little things called synopses nowadays. Having said that, I have a very clear direction in where the London Steampunk is going - I knew more about book five than any other in the series going in - but it's the journey that is a little more fluid.
When you feel a moment of indecision or self-doubt, what have you found to be the best method or trick to get out of that nasty funk?
I don't tend to dwell on things too much. My main focus is on the writing and simply getting the words down, so that I can come back later and 'fix' them, so I don't tend to have too many moments of doubt. The only time I've ever really had that is when a new book releases and you hope it's as well received as the previous ones. When Heart of Iron came out, all I could do was hope people liked it as much as Kiss of Steel, the first book in the series.
What is your favorite part about developing your characters? Why?
Working on characterization is the best part of writing. I'm always fascinated by the relationships between characters - and not just the hero and heroine. In real life everyone has friends and family, and sometimes they get along with them and sometimes they don't. In Kiss of Steel and Heart of Iron, the heroine's are sisters. At the start of Kiss of Steel they're facing dire circumstances (starvation, the appalling life of the rookeries in Victorian England) and it felt so unrealistic that tensions wouldn't be stretched to breaking point. I know when I'm hungry I turn into that guy off the Snickers ad, so imagine if you were starving? And life has changed and you want to blame someone but who...? All of that comes into play between the sisters. Saying that, it's the type of relationship where they'll both have each other's back. They love each other, but sometimes they say things they don't mean. Also, I love writing about consequences, especially those that spillover from book to book in the series. In My Lady Quicksilver (my latest release), the heroine, Rosalind, is dealing with some of the consequences that occurred in Heart of Iron. Her brother is missing after a major event at the conclusion of Heart of Iron and she's left wondering if her focus on her humanist cause is the reason for that. There's a lot of guilt for her to work through in My Lady Quicksilver and that was fun.
For series writers, pick a first book to one of your series. When did you get that hunch that told you these characters would continue on in another book or that their story wasn’t entirely done? Did you choose the same main characters or did you explore some supporting characters’ lives?
Kiss of Steel was the first book and I loved writing every second of it. The words just flowed and right from the outset I knew that this world was different. There were so many competing characters that needed their own stories, especially Will Carver and Lena, from Heart of Iron. In My Lady Quicksilver we're veering away from the rookeries where the first two books were set and only one of the previous heroes/heroines makes an appearance. The choice of couples is deliberate. I'm telling a story that spans over five books and each book (and couple) is a step in that direction. I need certain things to happen, which is why certain couples get airspace at this time.
Do you ever take yourself too seriously? When that happens, what type of book do you read or music do you listen to in order to get out of that mindset?
Sometimes I get a little too focused on the computer screen, but my friends, family and boyfriend are very good at reminding me I haven't fed the dog today or seen my nieces and nephews for a week. As for reading, I love anything Urban Fantasy or paranormal or steampunk or YA or fantasy... You get the point. I've just had Written in Red by Anne Bishop delivered today and I can't wait to get into it. Once I've finished today's word count!
You’ve got a pen and paper in hand, but no story. At that moment, do you free-write or doodle?
If someone's talking to me or I'm on the phone, I doodle. If I'm alone, I'm free-writing. Maybe staring out the window or at a wall for a while. I do a lot of my finest work staring at nothing.
Tell me about your book. Why did you write this particular story? Was it simmering peacefully on the back burner or did it startle you like a kitchen flash fire?
My Lady Quicksilver is an enemies-to-lovers type of book. Featuring the implacable Sir Jasper Lynch, Master of the Nighthawks (a kind of vampiric Scotland Yard) and the revolutionary leader he's been tasked to bring in, it's the third book in my London Steampunk series. My Lady Quicksilver is steamy (and I'm not talking about the automatons), fast-paced, full of danger, lies and the realization that what you thought you hated and feared, might not be so despicable after all. There are also buttons. Of which my heroine bets my hero. Want to see who loses the most buttons? *grins*
“I WILL COME FOR YOU…”
He will find her no matter what. As a blue-blooded captain of the Nighthawk Guard, his senses are keener than most. Some think he’s indestructible. But once he finds the elusive Mercury, what will he do with her?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. Read more about her at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.
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To enter the drawing for My Lady Quicksilver, leave a comment AND send me your mailing address. Send it to Lynda@lyndakscott.com by Friday, Nov 1 and I'll have my alien kitten, Wookie, pick the winner. Please put Bec McMaster in the subject line.