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Friday, September 21, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with D.A. Serra, author of Primal

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in D.A. Serra's Primal Virtual Blog Tour hosted by Premier Virtual Author Book Tours.

About D.A. (Deborah):

Deborah Serra was a screenwriter for twenty years and recognized by the Writer's Guild for her long term continuous employment. She has written ten TV movies, four feature films, and numerous TV episodes including two years as a staff writer for NBC. She worked for top producers, directors, and actors. She has taught writing at the University of California, San Diego, Wofford College and at writers' conferences nationwide. Serra has now turned her attention to novels, and she was honored as a recent recipient of the prestigious Hawthornden Literary Fellowship, and as a semi-finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award given by the Faulkner Society in New Orleans, LA.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Deborah!

Deborah has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.

How To Create A Great Work Area For Inspiration
by D.A. Serra

I used to say that I needed complete silence to write, but I recently learned that simply isn’t accurate.  I spent a month in an attic room in a 16th century Scottish castle this past March.  I’d been awarded a literary fellowship at Hawthornden Castle and I was ecstatic about the silence and the solitude.  There were three other writers at the retreat, but we only spoke to each other for an hour or so at dinnertime.  There were no newspapers, phone, TV, or Internet.  There was you and your brain – questionable company at best.

Initially, I was fine.  I love old European structures and I was inspired just being there.  Then, as the hours wore on day-after-day, week-after-week, I started having trouble concentrating. I began to pace and to take rather long walks in a circle around the castle grounds.  Frustration at not being able to turn out acceptable pages grew.  It wasn’t that I was longing for conversation, I wasn’t.  I was feeling stifled, and it was affecting my ability to think, and hence, to write.

This situation was stunning to me.  I had attained a successful writing career, while simultaneously raising three boisterous kids, a crazy Wheaton Terrier, and a husband who also needed care and feeding.  All I had ever longed for was solitude and quiet hours to write at leisure:  a break from the daily cheerful chaos that was my home.  I guess I was wrong about that.

It wasn’t until I started sneaking off the castle grounds and hitching a ride on a local bus that took me into Edinburgh that I realized I needed a particular kind of chaos to be productive.  Sitting upstairs, in a tiny old café, with people coming in and out, I found concentrating much easier.  I turned out pages instead of staring at the garret wall. 

When I returned home from Scotland and began my final edit on Primal, I left my office, got in my car, and drove every morning to a coffee shop a distance from my home, where I knew I wouldn’t know anyone.  It was easier to get inside, and stay inside, the mind of my characters, and to monitor the pulse of the plot, when I was surrounded by ambient noise.

So, what did I learn about work space?  I don’t want actual interaction, but I do need activity – life.  I could not work if someone nearby was having a loud conversation, or if the music was playing a song I knew, but white noise, a general, non-specified rumble…ah, that’s the way for me.  It was so easy to concentrate in the café, knowing no one would know me, or speak to me, and the coffee was hot and ever-ready.  It was invigorating to feel all the life around me, but still be alone in my own cocoon.

To find the perfect workspace you must experiment.  Do not assume you know what it is - experiment.  Spend a week in one room, then a week out on the patio, then a week in a busy café –you get the picture.  In one of those places you will feel yourself sink into it – that sinking feeling is what you’re striving for: a sense of being pulled toward the page, and perhaps a little lost in it.  Maybe you are lost when in your bedroom, or lost in a crowd, or lost in the library.  I know a writer who writes in his car.  There is no perfect work place to write.  There is only your place.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Deborah!

One lucky winner will win a digital copy of Deborah's crime thriller, Primal.

The most dangerous place on Earth is between a mother and her child…

With everything at stake – what are you capable of?  What if the worst happens and you’re not a policeman, a soldier, or a spy with weapons training and an iron heart?  What if you’re a schoolteacher – a mom?  In this gritty crime thriller a family vacation takes a vicious turn when a fishing camp is invaded by four armed men.  With nothing except her brains, her will, and the element of surprise on her side, Alison must learn to kill or watch her family die.
And then, things get worse.
Buy Links:

To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open worldwide until 12:01 AM EST on September 28, 2012.
Tour Participants

Tea Time With Marcie Sept 4 Giveaway
So Many Precious Books, So Little Time Sept 15 Feature & Giveaway
Over a Cuppa Coffee Sept 18 Review
Over a Cuppa Coffee Sept 18 Giveaway
Alchemyofscrawl Sept 18 Interview
MN Girl in LA Sept 19 Review
Black Hippie Chick Sept 21 Guest Post
Darlene’s Book Nook Sept 21 Guest Post and Giveaway
Thoughts of Joy Sept 26 Review
Succotash Reviews Sept 27 Review & Giveaway
Thoughts in Progress Sept 30 Review
Thoughts in Progress Sept 28 Guest Post
The Top Shelf Oct 1 Review
Dark Haven Maven Oct 1 Review
Dark Haven Maven Oct 2 Interview & Giveaway
Rhodes Review Oct 2 Review & Giveaway
I’d Rather Be Reading Oct 3 Review & Giveaway
Cheryl’s Book Nook Oct 3 Interview & Giveaway
Bloggin bout Books Oct  4 Review
Gina’s Library Oct 5 Review
Earth’s BookNook Oct  5 Feature
Moonlight Gleem Oct 5 Guest Post & Giveaway
Offbeat Vagabond Oct. 6 Review & Giveaway
Joy Story Oct 8 Reivew
Novel d’ Tales Oct 8 Review
The Wormhole Oct 9 Review
The Wormhole  Oct 10 Interview & Giveaway
Book Faery Reviews Oct 10 Review
Books & More Books Oct 11 Review
Book Faery Reviews Oct 12 Guest Post & Giveaway
Tea Time With Marcie Oct 12 Review

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