INTERVIEW OF LAWRENCE AND SUELLA WALSH
Can you tell our readers about your writing experience? I know this is not your “first rodeo.”
This is our eleventh published book. Six are children’s books, four of which are mysteries; two adult, one a mystery; two non-fiction books on writing techniques, and our new book Bridge, which is a paranormal suspense. We use our non-fiction book, Creating Fiction that Sells, in our writing classes.
Presently we teach a six-week class for a fee in the spring and fall on writing techniques in fiction, non-fiction and poetry as part of the Kansas City Writers Group. We have taught this class for over ten years. We have also taught classes on writing techniques at the Johnson County Community College for over fifteen years, over five years in ten different libraries for the Mid-Continent Public Library System (which we will resume doing this fall) and over fifty classes for different elementary schools.
We have been presenters at nineteen writer’s conferences including the OWFI Conference in Oklahoma City and the MWG in Columbia Missouri. We have edited many books which the authors have gone on to publish. We feel we offer good advice to the authors while maintaining their writing style, since they are the author; we just advise.
For further information see our website: www.walshwritingservices.com.
Can you tell us a little about your book?
Brian Donaldson is born into a world of violence. His parents are murdered when he is seven, and he spends the rest of his childhood under an assumed identity, in hiding. Samantha Dolan Brown is born into magic. She learns at an early age that she has mystical powers, but behind this gift is something dark, something hidden. The villain, Enos Jubal, lives to kill. He has been conjured from the past and is tasked by a shadowy organization to hunt down and kill Brian and gain control of Samantha.
As Brian and Samantha learn more about themselves, they conclude that they have lived before and are two parts of an intricate plan—an age-old plan. Something of grave significance is about to happen, and only they have the power to stop it. Together they must face the killer, uncover a secret society, control the forces of nature, and discover the meaning of the bridge. Can they accomplish so much?
Samantha knows her powers are strong, but something tells her Brian is the key to unlock her true potential. It is more than a romance. It is the hand of fate, the call of destiny
You refer to BRIDGE as a paranormal/suspense novel. I don’t know a lot about that genre. Can you please give me an explanation?
The best definition I’ve seen so far was given by Steve Bennett on Wikipedia, “A thriller is a villain-driven plot, whereby he presents obstacles that the hero must overcome.” Our novel, Bridge, has paranormal aspects to it, but the villain definitely tries to use all his supernatural powers to make life difficult for the hero and heroine in our book. The villain is as strong, or stronger at times, than the two heroes in our book. It’s more like a suspense novel, since there is the threat of impending danger always lurking.
I’ve always been curious about writing teams. You two write seamlessly and powerfully together. I cannot tell when one writer stops and the second starts. How do you do that?
One of us will come up with a story idea and we will sit down and discuss it. We both sit with a pad in hand and begin to brainstorm the idea. We follow the one rule of brainstorming, which means that nothing is critiqued while the brainstorming is in process. We allow the right side of our brain, the creative part, not to be interfered with by the left side of the brain, the logical part. This keeps our creative juices flowing. We then pick out a plotline, which seems plausible to both of us. After that we do extensive character charts on our hero (heroine) and our villain. The main character is only as strong as the opponent is. If not the whole plot structure is weak.
We must be in complete agreement about everything to be written. If we cannot find complete agreement then that idea is tossed, no matter what the cost.
We plot out how our scenes will fall into place through a loosely structured plot and then we develop our subplots in the same manner. We intersperse the subplots where they are needed throughout the plot structure. Then one of us begins to write the book, while the other reads it and revises it as it moves along. Typically, we do not heavily revise the book the first time through, until it is completely written the first time. That way the creative process is not interfered with as the story is being written. It is after the first draft is complete that the heavy revision is done. We will pass each chapter back and forth several times for each of us to revise. This will become our first polished draft. We will then revise it for flow, spelling, chronological sequence of events, characters, foreshadowing, setting, scenes, sequels, etc. We will cut many words which are not necessary for smooth flow.
After the final cutting of our latest draft, we will then check the manuscript for sensory detail and poetic richness. This is where mood and tone are strongly embellished by this method. After complete revisions we check it for spelling and overall flow again.
We try to maintain our creativity at first, then we use the logical side of our brain to do the analytical portion. It is only after several revisions before we ever submit it to an editor or agent.
I noticed that you used a different publisher for this book than for your earlier work. Why was that?
We tried several different publishers who were not in the paranormal/suspense category genres. We finally went with a publisher who specializes in this field, which is Wandering Sage Publications.
How can readers find a copy of BRIDGE?
First of all it is available locally at I Love a Mystery 6114 Johnson Drive Mission, KS 66202 and Rainy Day Books Books W, 53rd Street, Fairway, KS 66205
It is also available at:
You have a contest to give away one free copy of BRIDGE?
Yes. We will offer one free copy of our novel to the first person who picks the earliest prototype of a thriller in the English Language and includes it in their post to this blog. If you post please include your e-mail so we can contact you if you win. The contest winner is limited to people in the United States although everyone is invited to participate in guessing. The contest takes place the day of the blog. So, hurry and submit your comments. Good Luck. Please remember post your e-mail address with your answer in the blog entry. We will read the all the posts and pick the best answer.
Thanks and good luck to contestants.