Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Five Questions With...Candace Havens

We're back with the ultra sweet and ultra funny CANDACE HAVENS

Tell us a little about your writing process. Do you have a concrete outline in mind or do you go with the flow?

Hmmm. For the first book, I just sat down and wrote it without a plan. For the second, I had to have a short synopsis for my editor, and I found that made it a little easier to get from A to B. I always have an idea of where I’d like the story to go, but I actually feel like I have little control over it once the process begins. I just sort of fly by the seat of my pants and hope it all makes sense in the end.

Bronwyn from Charmed and Dangerous is such an interesting character. How did you create her? Which of her characteristics came to mind first?

It’s so crazy how this idea came about. I was tortured over the fact I knew the end of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was coming. I was so mad at Joss Whedon, the creator of that show, I decided I’d create my own kick-butt chick. (I’ve recently decided to forgive Joss, I’m sure he’s relieved. JK) I’ve always loved witches, so that sort of seemed like a natural way for me to go. I wanted Bronwyn to be very good at her job and incredibly powerful, but men had to drive her crazy.

Fast Draft – is this a concept you created? You gave great information about it at Romance Divas last year. Do you write every single manuscript in the Fast Draft style? How much prep work do you put into a manuscript before you actually begin Fast Draft?

Fast Draft was sort of born out of necessity for me. Not to take away from your next question, but my life is hectic. I had to find a way to write my books and work 60 hours a week at the same time. I’m a journalist so giving myself daily deadlines seemed the way to go. With my friend Shannon Canard, we have perfected this process of writing at least 20 pages a day for 14 days to get that first draft down. It’s really all about time management and pushing through those barriers we set for ourselves. I do write every first draft that way. As for the prep work, I never do much. I make notes of things I might want to check out and always move forward. Then I go back and add in the researched bits.

Your ‘real life’ job seems hectic and exciting yet fast-paced. Do you ever use people you meet or stories you hear in the course of your job as fodder for your manuscripts?

I do use people I meet, but I’ll never tell who. In this second book, “Charmed & Ready” there’s a rock star who will seem very familiar to people. The funny thing is, it will be a different person for everyone who reads it. Some will think it’s one guy, others will think it’s another guy. I love that. I’ve used friends, stylists, my own family. Ms. Helen who runs Lulu’s is my grandma, and her best friends was Ms. Johnnie. So yes, everyone ends up there at one point or another.

What’s ‘up next’ in your career? Charmed and Ready, the sequel to Charmed and Dangerous, releases September 2006. Will be see Bronwyn again after September? Are there any other characters you’re your brain itching to make an appearance onto paper?

We are in negotiations for books three and four for the Bronwyn series, and I’m excited about both of those books. We just began shopping a young adult, A Very Zombie Thanksgiving, and I’m working on two proposals this week for two other books. (Next week, I’m Fast Drafting the third Bronwyn book, “Charmed & Deadly.”) Out of the Bronwyn series I would love to write Simone (The Demon Slayer) and Kira’s (The Lawyer/Librarian) stories. I’ve had so many emails from people who would like to see Sheik Azir have his own book. We will see. I love them all.

Thanks for letting me do this. You guys rock!

Thank you, Candy!!


Kristen Painter said...

Candy rocks!

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