We have another Walkabout today, a special installment for a friend of mine… Ophelia Bell.
Ophelia is a full-time author, part time cat wrangler and dragon addict. Okay, the dragon thing might be a full-time affliction. She spends her days immersed in a fantasy world writing stories about super hot dragon shifters and the independent, worldly women (or men) who love them. She loves writing strong women and tough yet sensitive men, and especially characters who don’t apologize for who they love.
She grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and transplanted to California in the late 90s. More recently she moved to Los Angeles, which has been an even bigger culture shift, but she says she’s learning to adapt.
Her latest release is Dragon Void, the second installment of her third series of hot dragon shifter love. It is her 31st individual title and the second novel in the “Immortal Dragons” series.
Now, let’s see what makes her tick.
CC: What gets you in the mood to write?
OB: Stories are always percolating in my head, but as a fulltime writer I kind of have to not wait to be “in the mood to write”. I have to sit down every day and just do it. The good thing is that I CAN do that every day. The irritating part is that once I’m sitting in the chair I tend to spend a whole lot of time simply staring blankly at my screen (or getting distracted with online chatter).
CC: How do you write?
OB: I mash buttons and words come out. Did you want a more profound answer? My rituals are not for the faint of heart. I write erotica. I have rituals that involve detailed scenarios running through my head specifically to determine whether or not they make me hot. If a sex scene doesn’t make me hot when I picture it in my head, then I won’t write it. (For a more detailed answer, my process involves battery powered props… I’ll leave it up to you whether you keep that bit in).
On a more creative level, I love fantasy and I love imagining how my characters can use their particular style of magic. How a story evolves might depend on their magic, but mostly it depends on the characters’ desires.
CC: Where do you get your ideas?
OB: I’m heavily influenced by fantasy novels and rpg video games. My first foray into writing was a fanfic that was a crossover of Dragon Age and Witcher.
My first indie published novella was partly inspired by Tomb Raider. Imagine a Lara Croft character finding an ancient temple where a multitude of mythical creatures slumber, preserved in colorful jade, as if they are statues. But there is magic in the temple that she can’t deny, and she succumbs to it…
I love dirty stories, really. If it leads to sex, then that makes me happy.
CC: How do you choose names for your characters?
OB: I liberally use Scrivener’s naming tool. I love to give my characters names that MEAN something. I also love color imagery in my books.
CC: What do you do to stop procrastinating?
OB: I would like tips for this…
My latest trick is to actually go into my router settings and block my laptop from internet access during the day (8-6). I also use Chrome extensions that block websites. Holy shit, it’s a struggle and a half. Who would think that the most crucial method of marketing would also be the one thing that distracts us most from actually creating our product to market?
If the internet weren’t such a pervasive distraction, I’d write a lot more.
CC: What is your favorite quote?
OB: “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
― Gilda Radner
Check back next Wednesday, when we see how Neil Plakcy writes.