Avid reader Brigitta Moon turned to writing to explore her story ideas, but where did her Marston Series begin?
What inspired you to write the Marston Thriller series?
This is a great question. In the beginning of GUILTY, book one of the series, as an introduction I actually tell the reader how the story came about. During the warm months, I usually run the track in the morning. I love to snack, so I have to exercise to balance my weight. On this one particular morning as I started my morning run, I saw something on the track. The average person may have paid it no attention, but as an author I write all kinds of stories and conclusions in my mind from anything. I was not sure what was leaning against the dumpster. As I slowed my jog, keeping my eyes on the thing against the dumpster, I wrote a whole scene in my mind. It was not until I closed in that I saw what it was.
(You can hear the introduction to this on Audible, here.)
After finishing book one, I thought the characters, mainly the detectives, had room to grow in a series. I gave it lots of thought. Many times, a series is based on a character. I opted to base The Marston Series on a town. Within a town people come and go giving rise to a reader meeting fresh character with each story. The Marston Series is based on a city and the surrounding counties located in Maryland of the USA. A large portion of the series takes place downtown at the harbor. My vision of the harbor in the series is based loosely on the Baltimore Inner Harbor.
Your books often have complex relationships at their heart (like in A Husband’s Will of Fortune). Do you plan these out beforehand or are you a pantser?
I am definitely a pantser. I never plan my books in the beginning stages. There have been times when I have been stumped at how to proceed with a story, so I may outline a few chapters to get a feel for how to continue. This may sound strange, but I have to tell you; the characters never follow the outline. I start writing from the blueprint and then the characters always take over. They write their own stories. Emmaline, the main character of A Husband’s Will of Fortune, was very hard to control. She never once followed the story outline. I was shocked when she announced she was pregnant. It became difficult to move the story forward as I had envisioned her. Finally, I let her have her way, and the story was able to be written. I give characters life on paper. They help me write their stories.
Do you write to please your readers or to please yourself?
In all honesty, I try to write to please the reader because I would love them to keep coming back to spend time with my characters.
How much time to you spend on the many social media groups (such as Facebook), and do you think it’s important for writers to utilise them?
I admit I spend way too much time on social media. I tried setting limit on myself because I was running behind on my stories. I started by setting how much time I could spend on each one. It did not work. I would check the time and note that hours had passed. I’m just too social 🙂
As well as novels, you’ve also published short stories. Will we see more of these in the future?
I love short stories. I write these between novels. It is like taking in a deep breath and clearing my mind for the next novel.
Have you taken any courses relating to the writing process, or to help with the many technical aspects of being an indie author (such as cover design)?
Good gracious me, I have invested a lot of time in learning. James Patterson’s writing course was very helpful as well as inspirational. Kdp, Bookbub, and many other sites offer in-depth information for the technical aspects of the writing process. I started traveling this road in 2013. I find that I am still hungry for information on succeeding and getting my novels in the hands of readers. Learning never stops. No one ever knows everything. Where writing is concerned, I will always be a student and a teacher.
Do you ever used real people or real experiences to create characters/plots?
This is an interesting question. I have a new book coming out soon in The Marston series. This book started out with a plot totally different from the plot it has. Watching Women Who Kill on the show ID, Investigation Discovery, gave me a whole new scheme for the novel. I think readers will enjoy the novel.
Do you have many unpublished novels/stories?
I do. My plan is to start releasing them as soon as I have spiffed and shined them.
How many hours a day do you write, and do you stick to a set schedule?
Sticking to a schedule has been difficult for me over the years. There have been long stretches where I have not written at all. Some call it writer’s block. I call it vacation. Inevitably, characters will interrupt my hiatus, usually late at night with a scene they want to star in. I am a pushover. I let them have their way. I stay up all night tapping on computer keys to bring their stories to life.
How much of your own life experience, if any, do you put into your books?
Each of my characters contain a bit of me, whether it be my wit, desires, disappointments, or curiosities. There have been times when an event in my life has inspired a story. These are the stories that rush from the starting line and run all the way to the last word. One example is the short story, A Father’s Love, A Daughter’s Fury. This story started out as me writing my feeling about my father’s death to ease my pain. I thought there would be time to talk to him later, to put our differences behind us. There wasn’t. He died trying to tell me something. He was not strong enough to voice his words. I think he wanted to say he was sorry, when all along it should have been me apologizing. He had every right to live his life on his own terms without my approval. I put the story in print with the hope that it will reach someone who needs it. Forgive before it is too late.
Here are Brigitta’s links:
I enjoyed meeting Brigitta and learning about her writing process. I always find the pantster versus planner information interesting. I always have a vague outline of what I want to write in my head when I start and this solidifies as I go along. About half way through I often write the outline of the second half of the story.
I think you have to do whatever works for you. Planning a book would bore me to tears!
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