writing process

Meet Lauren A.R. Masterson

Ink Smith: Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

Lauren: I do most of my writing at home, either on the computer or hand-written in my journal. I have many documents with different stories that I like to rotate working on. My journal is usually used for new ideas or new stories that I have, giving me utter freedom with creative thought.

31403074_10155353551125933_1063321335691739136_nMy process is that I write whenever I can; whenever I have the time. Even when I’m not feeling particularly inspired, I do my best to at least read a chapter or two of something that I have previously written to get me in the mood so to speak to work on something. Other times, I have to set a timer for myself to ensure that I don’t forgo eating or sleeping while working under the sway of inspiration.

During the editing process, I sit with a piece and read it out loud to find obvious mistakes and ensure flow. When working on larger plot arcs, I like to use sticky notes so that I can rearrange plot points and ensure that I have closed all the loose ends in the story.

Ink Smith: How did you come up with the idea of this book? How long did it take you to write?

Lauren: Love of the Sea started in my fantasy fiction writing class in college (2010). My professor, and now friend and mentor, Tina Jens, gave us an excellent writing exercise to inspire new ideas. The “What if?” “And then” and “Oh Shit!” method is what originally sparked this story. I have always loved mermaids, but the original Little Mermaid story bothered me that she would sacrifice so much for unrequited love. I wanted to rewrite the story so to speak with the ending she truly deserved.

Lauren AR MastersonI worked on the story diligently until I graduated (2011). After that, my time was completely devoted to my modeling career. It wasn’t until I retired from modeling and became more active with my art and writing again that I picked this novel back up (2016). Since then, I made it my mission to complete this story and see it published. I spent a grueling four months working exclusively to complete the novel.

Ink Smith: Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Lauren: Of course, one of my all-time favorite authors is J.K. Rowling. That’s a given. However, the author that particularly inspired the style in which I write, and the way that I perceive magick in fantasy fiction would be Juliet Marillier. I have read the Sevenwaters Trilogy many times over and dissected everything I love about the plot, characters, and style of storytelling. I emulate Juliet as much as possible in my own writing to try and achieve that mystical “old world” style that she has mastered.

The other most influential author to my writing is Lewis Carroll. From The Hunting of the Snark to Alice’s Adventures Underground I adore the British style and the poetic storytelling. I often find myself rhyming when writing my rough drafts for any story. The simple way these stories convey so much meaning in so few words is something I strive for in my own writing.

 

5 Fun Facts About the Author:

  • I am the co-editor of Cloud Orchid Publishing and create experimental art books with my best friend co-editor Bryan Thompson.
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  • I love illustrating my stories, as well as creating art in general through a variety of mediums; although digital drawing is used most often.
  • I’m a huge history nerd and have particular interests in French, British, and Japanese history.
  • I volunteered at the West Suburban Humane Society for over five years before going away to college. My current pets are all rescues.
  • I learned French at a young age, and still speak it quite well today (though I am a bit rusty). I also learned basic Japanese and strive to improve my language skills.
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Author Interview with S. A. Check

Ink Smith Publishing is extraordinarily proud of our authors and want to show them off in any way we can. This week, S.A. Check, author of the recent release Maxx Fragg, VPI, talked about some of his writing techniques and favorite authors.

Q: Who are your favorite authors/books? 

A: Wow, that’s rough to only pick a few. I’d have to say I have, or at least I think I have, a rather eclectic taste in books. In no particular order – let’s see where this goes….

1) I make no qualms about the fact I’m a geek and in my early geekly training one of the greatest influences has always been comic books. The late 1970’s to early 80’s Marvel comics, Ditka / Shooter / Lee / Kirby / Simonson era played a huge role in my literary development. (I know that’s not one book. I’m warming up here.)

2) Robert Asprin’s “MythAdventures” series has always remained a favorite of mine. This series was just straight up fun. It pulled you in to a brilliantly imagined world with compelling characters that you just loved more and more with each new book. I can still remember pestering the guy at the book store waiting for the next one to come out. (Still not a single book but I’m getting closer.)

3) Piers Anthony – On a Pale Horse (See, I did it.) Truly a classic that just blew me away the first time I read it. The first of his Incarnations of Immortality series and the one that will always stand out to me.

4) Dan Brown – author – I love all his books. As a writer, he stretches the line so thin between reality and story that it makes a seamless step for the reader to get lost in his worlds.

5) A. Lee Martinez – I’ve been enjoying a lot of his books recently from Gil’s All Fright Diner to Monster. He’s entertaining and finds a great balance between comedy and horror, a genre-blend I’ve always loved.

That wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought.

Q: Where do you do most of your writing?

A: While I always wanted a “writing room” like a Ray Bradbury, stuffed with trinkets to inspire creativity, I have to admit, most of my writing takes place on the couch, as unglamorous as that sounds.

Q: What is your writing process like? 

A: My writing process is ever-evolving but I stick to the same basics for each book. When I have an idea that I think is book worthy, I’ll usually put three or four paragraphs together to capture the main points or ideas and put it in my “books I need to write” file. When it’s time to start a new book, I’m a firm believer in outlining but this is the one point in the process that I like a more organic feel, meaning I’ll set aside the laptop and go straight to pen and tablet. I can fill up a tablet with notes and arrows, scribbles and sometimes even sketches. It becomes my story roadmap but like any good trip, a few detours make it all the more interesting. I can’t say I’ve ever started a book that ended how I originally planned.

I sum up my writing with this philosophy – It’s there, in the brief moments that we allow fantasy to reflect into reality that as authors, we are given the privilege of building worlds to capture a reader’s imagination and try to hold on long enough to leave them with something more than when we started. If I can change a perception or add to a perspective, then I’ve accomplished something worthwhile.

Maxx-Fragg-OFFICIAL-350x500Q: How did you come up with the idea of this book (Maxx Fragg, VPI)?

A: I was always fascinated with virtual reality worlds and the endless possibilities that they bring to a writer. When I considered crossing the paranormal with that, it was an exciting blend that needed explored to me. While ghosts and technology aren’t exactly a new theme in literature, mixing the two genres using the idea that virtual reality could be the bridge to crossing over to the other side was something I hadn’t seen done before. Having Maxx run a virtual ghost hunting business to deal with the death of his brother pretty much sealed the deal for me to start writing.

Q: How long did it take you to write?

A: It usually takes me about six months to get a rough draft for a novel done and then the editing process starts, which can take me weeks to months to get it where I’m comfortable releasing it to the world. With Maxx Fragg, the book took on a few versions and travelled quite a few paths before finding a home with Ink Smith Publishing.

 

Meet the Author

SA CheckS.A. Check is a Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Comic Book writer living in Southwestern Pennsylvania with his E.R. nurse wife and tween daughter, enjoying all the small dramas that come his way. He earned his degree in English / Writing from Penn State University and has been writing all his life.

 

He can be found at his website www.SACheck.com , his profile page over at Ink Smith Publishing, Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, or shoot him a tweet @S_A_Check.