Thursday, January 26, 2006

Five Questions With....Rachel Caine

We're back today with Rachel Caine.

The entire Weather Warden series is one of my favorites. How did Jo and David manifest themselves into your brain? Any chance you’ll revisit them (or a secondary character) in the future once Thin Air (the sixth and final book) is published?

Funny story about Joanne ... the first incarnation of her story wasn't fantasy at all. It was a more-or-less straight ahead adventure tale, only with this strange weather phenomenon going on that I suppose was a nod to magical realism. And in that first incarnation there really wasn't a David -- but there was a Lewis. In fact, the book was called "Looking for Lewis." (I was really into alliteration. Nobody liked that,

David's genesis isn't so straightforward. In fact, he just sort of popped up on me while I was writing the book -- I'd planned (again) for Lewis to be the love interest, but suddenly David was right there in the mix. I confess to a weakness for actors James Spader and Michael Shanks. You may notice a certain family resemblance in the appearance of the character ...

Photo from James Spader.Org

Copyright to MGM (Stargate SG:1) -- Photo from Michael Shanks Online

I love the soundtracks listed in the back for the Weather Warden series. Do you make soundtracks for every manuscript you work on? Are there specific songs you listen to when writing specific moments (i.e. love scene, death scene, etc.)

Yes, I do new soundtracks for every book. For some reason, it really helps me get started, which is always a difficult part of the process for me -- I start listening to new songs, new artists, and find things that evoke moods and images for me. There are a few songs that get associated in my head with particular scenes, but mostly? I'm a fan of the "shuffle" feature on iTunes. (Hope to transfer over to an iPod someday!)

What is your daily writing process? Do you have the entire road map for a manuscript plotted or do you allow your fingers to type what they will?

When I'm under deadline (which is, it seems, almost all of the time) I try to get up and write from 5:30 in the morning until about 8:30, then head off to a full and fun day in the corporate world. It came as a shock to me to discover that I actually AM a morning person -- I always thought I wrote better at night. I usually work six hours or so per day on the weekend as well, so ultimately I'm putting in about twenty to thirty hours a week on my writing.

So far as the outlining thing, I think there are really two kinds of writers -- organized and disorganized (I once added "like serial killers!" but from the frightened looks I got, that might not be the best parallel to draw). Or maybe the terms should be "organized" and "differently organized." It's a lot like how some people approach taking a trip -- some plan out every last detail of the itinerary, and some just pile in the car and stop at all the cool roadside attractions.

I'm the latter. I usually have a good middle point and an end in sight, but how I get there is most of the fun for me. I have used detailed outlines, and I'm sure I will again, but I really enjoy working without a net when I can.

You’ve contributed to several SmartPop Books (BenBella Books) under your ‘super secret identity.’ Does this aspect of your writing feed your television/movies/pop culture portion of your brain?

Well, it's an utterly marvelous excuse for indulging your illicit passion for DVDs, for one thing. "But honey, I need it for research!" It's horribly enabling for an addict like me. But I just love doing the SmartPop series because it's always challenging and interesting. (The biggest challenge so far? Writing a funny essay on "NYPD Blue".)

Now, as to it feeding that part of my brain, I'd have to say just the opposite -- I find that nonfiction (even the funny kind) tends to be a lot more work for me than fiction, and it wears me out quickly. On the other hand, I usually feel renewed and revived after writing fiction.

What’s ‘up next’ in your career? Can you give us a little sneak peek of the YA (Young Adult) series you recently sold to ROC?

Sure thing! It's the story of four teenagers who inadvertently get involved in the scary supernatural dealings of two dueling vampire factions, and discover that their home town is far from being the simple -- or safe -- place they always assumed it to be. I'm excited about the characters and the twists, so I won't give too much away, but I think it'll be a lot of fun.

Thanks so much, Rachel! I cannot wait to read Windfall (Book 4 in the Weather Warden series)!!

Again, for more information about Rachel, please visit her website or her Live Journal.


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