Thursday, July 11, 2013

Romance author Becky Wade has agreed to take a few minutes from her busy schedule and talk with The Borrowed Book about her writing life. We invite you to listen in...

Have you ever had a funny experience connected with being an author?

Back in the fall of 2000, when I was eight months pregnant with my first child, I attended my one and only Romantic Times convention. At the time I was writing historical romances for the general market and I went to meet readers and to spend time with fellow authors. At some point during the conference I found myself sitting in the audience of a male cover model fashion show. In very serious and dramatic fashion, the cover models of the day strutted up and down and catwalk dressed as romance novel heroes. I recall a pirate, a Regency-era Lord, an astronaut, a cowboy. Many of the female audience members hooted and hollered their approval. On the other hand, perhaps in part due to my pregnancy hormones, I spent the show laughing so hard that tears ran down my face.

Are you a plotter, a pantser, or a combination?

I'm a combination! I begin a novel by thinking through a list of questions about each of my characters. (I call my list a 'character interview'. If you're interested in the technique, you can check out the interview I use.)

Once I have my hero and heroine's goals, conflict, and backstories firm in my mind, I jot down a rough draft of every major plot point I envision for the novel.

Typically, my finished books stick fairly closely to those original plot points. As I'm writing the rough draft, the smaller connecting scenes occur to me. I always have epiphanies during the process, times when God surprises me, moments when I suddenly understand a dimension of my hero or heroine that I hadn't before. If I come up with a better way to orchestrate an element of the plot while I'm working on the manuscript, I go with my new idea.

Do you write full time, or do you work it in alongside a full-time job?

For the past twelve years, I've been a full-time stay at home mom. I work in the writing alongside
taking care of my family and home.

What do your kids think about your being a writer?

They seem bemused by it. In their eyes my identity begins and ends with 'mom'. Even though they regularly see me hunched over my computer working, the fact that I'm suddenly (almost magically, from their point of view) the author of published novels has struck them as a bit of mystery.

How do you get your best ideas?

If an author's eyes are open to inspiration, then ideas are everywhere! Ideas are in books, stories friends tells us, movies, family history, and in the real world all around us. I'll meet someone new and think, "He would make a great secondary character!"

I base my books on ideas that both capture my imagination and stir my emotions. For example, My Stubborn Heart began with my desire to write about a former NHL hockey player who'd been devastated by the death of his wife.

Once I have the initial idea, I set it in my mind and begin to think and dream over it on and off all day long. I ask myself lots of 'what if?' questions about the inspiration. Steadily, my creativity will begin to simmer. My conscious and sub-conscious will start go to work.

Oddly, I've discovered that my most effective brainstorms occur to me in either the shower or the car. So get showering. Get driving!

What do you do to get past writer’s block?

If writing isn't happening for me on a given work day, then I try not to force it. (For me, forcing it begins to make the writing feel like homework. Since I've graduated from college already I'm not interested in doing any more homework!). Instead, I'll use my allotted work hours to catch up on marketing. Or I'll pull up a section of the manuscript that I wrote months prior and spend time editing that. It's still forward progress!

More likely than not, when I show up for work on the next workday, my creativity will be ready to roll.

What’s your favorite method for keeping a story’s middle from sagging?

I think it's critical for the conflict between the hero and heroine to change over the course of the story. If your hero is thinking on page 5, "I can't date this woman because my brother is in love with her," and on page 205 he's still thinking, "I can't date this woman because my brother's in love with her," then there's a problem. The middle of this novel will sag because nothing has evolved.

Other techniques that correct sagging middles: 1) good, fast pacing and 2) a plot that's clicking along and keeping the reader guessing.

Do you write every day? What does your typical writing day look like?

I write three days a week. On a typical writing day, I get my three kids squared away at school and pre-school, then I race home to clean the house and take a shower. Once I'm at my desk, I check email and social media, have a quiet time with the Lord, and then write! I eat lunch (usually a sandwich) while I'm
working and then treat myself to an afternoon dose of caffeine and dessert.

Even after my kids return home from school, I tend to revisit the story several more times so that I can add in extra tidbits. At the left, you'll see a pic of my desk at home.

Do you like to listen to music when you write?

Nope! Once I begin working, I can't have any noise except the white-noise from the dishwasher or washing machine.

Do you have any rituals you like to go through before you start writing?

I always make time to read scripture and pray before I write. Most days, I also sing along (badly but enthusiastically) to a worship song.

Writing is a sedentary occupation. What do you do for exercise?

I chase kids and clean house daily! In addition to that I exercise at least four times a week. I do gym work-outs with weights and cardio. I play tennis at least once a week. And I enjoy mixing in an occasional yoga or step class. The gym I attend has childcare - so working out often feels like a vacation.

Do you have any pets? Do you own them, or they you?

I have a Cavalier King Charles spaniel! I'm the Alpha dog in this house. But he owns my heart.

More About Becky Wade
Becky Wade is a graduate of Baylor University. As a newlywed, she lived for three years in a home overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, as well as in Australia, before returning to the States. A mom of three young children, Becky and her family now live in Dallas, Texas. Visit her website at

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for a chance to win Becky's newest release, Undeniably Yours!

1 comment :

  1. Those character interviews are really interesting! I just don't understand the "secondary characters" line?

    Also, that cover model show does sound funny.


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