Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m so pleased to have Cynthia Woolf as our guest. She writes her fast-paced, romantic and suspenseful fiction in both futuristic and historical settings. She’s giving away one gift to two commenters. The first will win an e-copy of one of her books of their choice. The second a $5 Starbucks gift card. I’ll announce the winners here on Monday. Enjoy!
Writing in two genres and other ramblings
When you think of western, what do you think of? Cowboys. Settler crossing the prairie in covered wagons. Saloons. Showdowns in the street. Cattle drives. You get the idea. These are the images we have from our modern media. TV, films and even books. Essentially brave people settling an untamed land
When you think of scifi what do you think of? Space pilots. Space ships. Ray guns and phasers. Our media images are Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica and in my case, Firefly. I love that show. Anyway what you have, essentially is brave people settling untamed space and planets.
Not so very different are they?
I started writing westerns first. My first book, TAME A WILD HEART, was written because I fell in love with the story of how my parents met on a ranch in Southern Colorado. Mom was from Texas and up there as a nursemaid (nanny) to a young boy with asthma. Dad was a cowboy who worked on the ranch.
I found the idea of ranch life fascinating and decided to write a story about it. That’s all I had to begin with. Just an idea. Now I’m not a plotter. I’ve tried and tried to plot my books. I’ve tried using GMC, the hero’s journey, the W plot. You name it I’ve tried it. The problem is when I get the book plotted, I don’t want to write it anymore. To me it’s already been written. Now it’s just fill in the blanks. As a pantser (a non plotter) the book unfolds before me much as it does you when you read it. It’s a surprise.
My current western, CAPITAL BRIDE, is about mail order brides. Without them, without women in general the west would never have been settled. Men needed the feminine hand and home making skills as well as the companionship.
My second book, CENTAURI DAWN, came about because of a dream I had when I was fifteen. My mother and I were going through a rough patch. My dad died when I was five and Mom was both mother and father to me. It was tough on her, but as a selfish kid I didn’t think about that. But I digress. We were having a difficult time as most teenagers have with their parents. During the time, I had a dream. I was a princess from Alpha Centauri. I’d been sent to Earth as a baby in order to save my life. Bad men wanted to kill me. But now it was time to go home and they’d come for me.
That was the premise of my second book. This one had a space captain not a cowboy flying to the rescue of the princess not a ranch owner.
I guess what I’m trying to show is that these two genres are not so very different. A different place and different time but still the same story. Battlestar Gallactica is just a retelling of the old TV show Wagon Train. Star Trek is the old show Gunsmoke, where the sheriff (Matt Dillon or Captain Kirk) attempts to keep the peace in their town or universe.
What it comes down to is write what you love whether western or scifi or romantic suspense or romantic comedy. They all have some elements that are the same if they are romance and all of mine are. They must have a happy ending. The guy in the white hat (good guy) always wins. The hero always gets the girl. Always.