Writing Novels in a Series

Hello, cherished readers! I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last posted, but my brain has been permanently lodged in Haven’s Realm. Ever since I lost my place on the shelf, I’ve been buried in mountains of editing work. I’ve come to a very important conclusion — you have to write well into a series before you can know the culture well enough to write it.

Starting with book one, chapter one, page one, I’ve rewritten the entire Haven’s Realm saga, incorporating an ever-improving writing style and all that I’ve learned during my writing adventure. Joshua MacAaron, my first vampire from the Community, was shy and reserved when confiding his secrets, and I didn’t have a whole lot of information to go on. I didn’t know who Jason was or the events leading to the founding of my noble clan until I had an opportunity to speak with the king himself. I interjected that knowledge into my first novel, giving readers a better understanding of the world they were exploring.

Dragon Lord is another story that has undergone a profound change. I found while reviewing the work that I had almost completely ignored the title character. I left numerous holes — bits of plot that dropped out of sight and opportunities for character advancement that were ignored — and filling them took a lot of patience. Ronan still wasn’t talking, and I had to force it out of him. He feels much better now.

Over the last three years, I’ve scrutinized each and every paragraph at least a dozen times, cleaning out unnecessary fluff and smoothing story flow. I’m sure they’re not perfect, but I expect any editor out there to put their publisher’s spin on things, and I’m good with that. I restructured two of the stories and completed two new titles. Haven’s Realm now stands eight novels strong, and I’ve begun work on the ninth. I have notes and sketches for several more after that, and I can’t wait to show it all to you.

All eight titles are as clean as I can make them and ready to go. I managed to condense each massive novel into 2-page synopses — not an easy task for one who is not known for brevity. I have a timeline issue to resolve so all books are consistent in facts, and I need to polish the series outline and query I intend to send. This shouldn’t take long. I’ve also updated my website with a new look and content. After drowning in a sea of English for years, switching to html — a language I once spoke fluently — was a challenge I didn’t expect.

Slipping back into the media is also going to be a challenge. I’ve gotten used to the company of my ‘friends’, and feel like an ostrich whose head has been stuck in the sand for ages. Or like Lucien, waking after a hundred years to find so much has changed. My solitary existence is coming to an end, and that is as frightening as it is exciting. I hope I can keep up!

I want to offer profound apologies to every one of you who has been waiting for Haven’s return. You’ve been patient with me, and I truly appreciate that. I hope you consider the end result well worth the wait.

…and, I promise to keep you posted!

Respectfully submitted,

~ Tamara Monteau



dsc_0042It’s hard to believe it’s been fifteen years since that fateful day when the American public lost its innocence. I’ve been trying to watch the testimonials and such that have aired most of the day, but the trauma of that day, and how it has changed our world, is hard to face.

My memories of that day are unremarkable. I worked at the time as an administrative assistant for Reengineering, an organization on Robins Air Force Base that focused on improving the mission by improving processes. I was on my computer, working on yet another PowerPoint presentation for one of my bosses, when someone ran through the office shouting that an airplane had just struck one of the buildings at the World Trade Center. Since attacks against this complex had happened before, I dismissed the event, sad to say. But when a second strike occurred, we all knew something very bad had happened.

The television we had on a cart in the back of the conference room was brought to the office and plugged in, and we walked past it while conducting our routine, but we became more and more attracted to the horrors on the news. It became clear early on that something very bad, even catastrophic, had begun, and the reactions were mixed. Some cried, some paced the office in anger, and others grew concerned about their loved ones. The overall mood grew darker by the moment.

I recall looking in on our director, and watching his face turn red. You had to know our colonel as well as I did to know he was royally pissed – he turned red from the collar up. He was something like a pressure gage. The deeper the red got, the more likely he was to explode, and the man was glowing. He muttered something like, “I knew we should have taken him out when we had the chance”, but I didn’t understand. Later, my husband told me he was probably referring to Osama Bin Laden, someone I had never heard of before since I rarely watched the news. The colonel dismissed everyone, civilian and contractor alike, but while I watched the other secretaries leave and the director obviously staying, I simply couldn’t leave, even with the promise of a full-day’s pay. I stayed and supported my colonel until the day was done.

The base locked down overnight, so it took me two and a half hours to reach the base gate to go to work the next day. It didn’t get any better over time, in fact, it got much worse. My husband’s hours grew longer because he was still active duty Air Force at the time. Even the kids tell me they felt the stress. In fact, I finished the Tigger mural pictured here for my oldest daughter just three days before, and she is emotionally attached to it. When we get ready to sell, I’ll have to figure out how to carve it out of her bedroom wall and mount it on a canvas for her. When the state of the world was at its worst, she would look at the pleasant face painted on her wall, and all was well again. I wish my world was as easy to tame.

Our government has betrayed us. Terrorism has reached an all-time high in the last seven years. I’m afraid to go to any restaurant, theater, or other “soft target” for fear some extremist will want to make an example of me. We should have been fostering peace, but now even greater threats loom, and I can’t blame anyone but our federal leadership. Even domestic issues have accelerated until I’m afraid of everyone. I won’t ever fly again – there’s just too much danger, either of life or limb, or of dignity. I’m not a biggot, or a homophobe, or an islamaphobe, or any other phobe. I’m simply afraid of being punished for who I am, and won’t be able to walk the streets in confidence until our world, as a whole, gets better.

So today I pray for our nation, as I pray for the world and all mankind. If only we could all live in the peace and mutual respect I write about in Haven’s Realm.

~Tamara Monteau



It’s funny how some numbers stick in your mind, no matter how much time passes since the last time you needed them. I’ve never been good with numbers. Dates and figures elude me, no matter how I try to remember, but this obsolete phone number is still in there.

I remember when Father became temporarily disabled. Because he was unemployed, Mom had to register us with the Social Security Administration, so she could continue to receive child support until Father completed college and secured a better job. I held that paper card in my hands for hours, studying the blue on gray print, closing my eyes to repeat it, but that number never stayed long in my overly imaginative mind. It wasn’t until I joined the Air Force, where reciting your social is as mandatory as service numbers were in World War II, that I finally memorized these nine crucial numbers.

But the number that rang to the home I grew up in remains, lodged in the darkest corner where memories of my youth and the warmth and fellowship of family reside. This was a time when dialing a long distance call required ten turns of the clicking dial while your heart raced with the rare anticipation of speaking with someone from another state. I still recall how my hands trembled when Mom let me dial the number to a cousin clear across the country who was my age. I never met her, and only spoke to her that once, but the way I felt making the call still lingers after 40-odd years.

Today, such miracles are commonplace. When I grew up, knowledge came from books–real paper books–many of them heavy encyclopedia volumes and hard-cover tomes I hauled by the armload to a library table where my note pad and pencil waited. My first literary composition was a piece of poetry I wrote into a hard-bound book full of blank pages. I still have the book, and although only the first few pages are filled, the illustrations and reflections bring back fond memories. Now information comes from the numerous websites and blogs available on the global network, and our children regard bound books the way Scotty looked at a keyboard during Star Trek, The Voyage Home. For those of you who are not Trek fans, this is the spoiled dismay one feels when faced with antiquated forms.

Sometimes I could wish for these simpler times, when you were constrained to the four to six channels on a thirteen-channel television set with either an aerial cable or rabbit ears connected to the top. We watched as a family on evenings and weekends, our minds broadened by shows like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild KingdomThe World At War, and 60 Minutes (yes, it’s been on that long, and I waited through all the interviews and commentary for Andy Rooney to give his thought-provoking, and most often humorous, closing thoughts). We laughed at shows like Laugh-In, All In The Family, and The Beverly Hillbillies, explored the future in shows like Star Trek and Lost In Space, and kept up with national events on NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love technology. So, unfortunately, does my husband, who spends most of his free time tethered to one boob-tube or another. I couldn’t imagine writing without a computer, and the things I’ve learned to do with a PC have enriched the lives of my family in some surprising ways. And I probably might appreciate the convenience if I were in a bar where the music was so loud the only way to converse with your date is to text him from across the table.

But I see so many children, my 10-year-old granddaughter included, who long for these marvelous toys. Teens and twenties meet for dinner at restaurants, and sit throughout the meal while texting, playing games, or browsing the Internet. My son and his friends are hooked on the new Pokemon game, careless of the information this program’s servers are gathering and storing. People are choosing convenience over a modicum of common sense and caution. Or have I read Orwell’s 1984 too many times?

I’m going to close my eyes, envision the avocado phone hanging on the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and dial the number that rang where life was simple. A 10-year-old child could safely walk a mile to the corner drug store alone. (Lowe’s Market–a convenience store where you could buy stamps and post mail, fill prescriptions, and buy goods and sundries. Oh, and there was a Dairy Queen right next door!) I had four quarters and three nickels jingling in my pocket, with which I would buy a real feast that included a quart-sized milk carton filled with Whoppers, Big Hunk nougat bars, three-foot licorice or cherry ropes (I liked the cherry) and wax containers filled with flavored sugar water. We knew who we were back then. No one was an enemy, no matter their color or background. We respected the law and its officers, and shopped at the same stores, smiling and holding doors because that’s the proper thing to do, and thanking someone who extends that courtesy.

So meet me on 44th Avenue any Saturday afternoon. We’ll listen to the AM radio while we dance under the sprinkler, lay out on the lawn and study the clouds, and laugh at all those who think we really need more.

~Tamara Monteau

Treacherous Destiny Submitted!

I am both pleased and terrified to announce that I have submitted the first book in the Haven’s Realm saga to my target publisher for consideration. In order not to jinx things, I won’t tell you who at this time, but I’ve researched this house, and they put out some great stories. Waiting for their response is just about going to kill me!

When I learned it was eligible for republication with the current publisher, I considered rewriting Joshua and Catherine’s story. I opened the manuscript and began scrutinizing it, and realized for the first time just how much I learned while with Secret Cravings Publishing. The work was truly cringe-worthy. Sad thing is, I really thought it was better than my original version. I didn’t get far before fate pulled the rug out from under Haven’s Realm, and when I regained my footing, I worked harder than ever to improve my first novel. Five months of head-banging later, I’m finally here.

I suppose it is the same with all writers of series, especially ones as large or larger than mine, that we learn more about the worlds we create the more we write. When I first wrote Joshua’s story, he had very little to say. I poked him some after I wrote Haven’s King, and was able to get a little more from him, but my writing skill at the time prevented me from adequately expressing all that this story represents. For that, and to those of you who have read Twilight Destiny, I encourage you to give Joshua and Catherine another read when Treacherous Destiny is released.

So keep an eye here for more updates. I expect not to hear back for three months, time that I’ll invest in updating the rest of the series. I have other submissions in mind, but want to approach them one at a time, beginning with my first choice. A long road, I’ll admit, but I have a lot of work to do in the interim.

Oh, and for those of you who’ve been asking, Trey is talking up a storm. His will be book eight!

Thank you for reading! And…wish me luck!

~Tamara Monteau

Putting all my ducks in a row

Greetings, cherished readers!

I know it has been some time since I posted to this blog, and I apologize for that. I’ve been working feverishly on Haven’s Realm ever since I lost my publisher, and am excited to say that Treacherous Destiny, Haven’s Realm 1, is almost ready to be submitted to a new publisher. The manuscript is about as clean as I and my professional editor can make it, and I just finished updating my website. Check out the new articles and features on http://www.Havens-Realm.com!

Approaching a prospective publisher is tricky business, and I’ve developed a checklist to keep my prep work in order. Now that the MS is complete and the synopsis polished, I centered my attention on updating my web and social media sites. I think this is the last of them. Next comes preparing an outline of the series, because I know any publisher will want that, and then I must prepare a query that will make my work next to impossible to say no to. I think I’ll stop there and hit send, then move on to taking a marketing course.

If you’ve read Twilight Destiny, you’ll be happy to know the story’s plot remained the same when I rewrote for Treacherous Destiny. I cleaned up story flow, enhanced emotional color, and added a great deal of information regarding the Community and their culture, details that were lacking in the first releases. I believe the changes I’ve made give a whole new feel to the story, and I’ll encourage you to revisit my friends Joshua and Catherine when they once again grace store shelves. If you haven’t read it yet, then you’re in for a real treat!

I have a tall hill to climb as I work to bring the rest of the series up to speed, and I expect there will be a lot more work to be done when my manuscripts hit a fresh editor’s desk, but I’m up to the challenge, and will do my best to give you a memorable reading experience. As for the additional stories you’ve been anxiously waiting and asking for, please don’t lose heart. Trey has been whispering in my ear, so those who are fans of my black giant will be delighted to know he’s next in line. Haven’s Realm isn’t dead, just on sabbatical, and their vacation will end very soon.

Thank you all for your patience!

~Tamara Monteau

The end of an era for Haven’s Realm

It is with the greatest sorrow that I must announce the closing of Secret Cravings Publishing. Haven’s Realm has been taken off the market, but I promise you that isn’t the end of the saga!

While I await the release notices for my right to republish, I’m working on preparing the series for submission to a number of publishing houses. Twilight Destiny is currently in the hands of my final beta reader, and I’m preparing the supporting documentation to present the saga. I intend to take my time, get things just right in my heart and head, before I make my next move.

Jason and his Council are waiting patiently at the moment, ready to voice their support should they be called on while I revamp (no pun intended) each book. I know I can promise better detail, stronger sensuality and passion, and a much more satisfying read between every set of covers.

I’ve learned a lot from the Secret Cravings staff, and owe Sandy Sullivan my respect and gratitude. I will carry their lessons forward while I do the same for Haven’s Realm.

~Tamara Monteau

Join me today in an interview with John Austin!

JohnAustinI’m once again on The Book Club, discussing my latest release, Midnight Skye!

AustinInterviewListen to the podcast live at http://www.tantalk1340.com, or any time at http://internetradiopros.com/bookclub/?p=episode&name=2015-06-17_zbookclub_for_062315_tamara_monteau_midnight_and_skye.mp3!

The Writer’s Journey

A fan asked me a while back about the publication process. This comes up a lot, and she seemed genuinely surprised by all that publishing a novel entails. Today I’ll make this my topic of conversation.

Of course, first and foremost, you need to write and complete a story. It has to be original, or contain a new twist on an old idea. This alone is a daunting task, successful only to those who truly believe in their work, and have the fortitude to see it through. When I tell someone I’m a published author, about half the time I receive the same reaction–“Yeah, I have a book I’ve been meaning to write…” Trust me. Meaning to isn’t doing, and doing is a lot harder than it sounds. I tell them all the same thing. Sit down and write a little every day. An hour is sufficient, as long as you stick with it. That’s the key.

So now you have a completed manuscript. Congratulations. You’ve nursed it, coddled and fed it, and the final words of the final chapter bring you great satisfaction. “I did it,” you tell all your friends. “I finally finished that book.” Well, guess what. You’re not even halfway down the path to a published work. Next comes self-editing. This is where you dissect that carefully assembled product and weed out the bugs. You’ll second guess plot and dialog, add, subtract and rearrange, polish every word until you can, honestly, read someone else’s work and think, Hey, mine’s better than that. When you reach that stage, it’s time to find a publisher.

Now, I can’t speak for publishing houses, but I imagine each must receive thousands of submissions every year. The competition is stiff. You have to sell your book right out of the envelope, so to speak, convince the house you are contacting that this book is worthy of sale. To that end, you have to first sit back with a blank canvas, choose the most important plot elements, and condense your book into a two-page synopsis. It has to be concise and tell the basic story, and it absolutely has to be free of typos and editing mistakes. Your writing style will be judged here.

Next comes the query letter, these days an email containing your completed manuscript and synopsis, and an explanation to catch the attention of the submissions department. I begin by naming the title, tell how many words and if the work is complete, the genre, and if the book is part of a series, the series title. A blurb outlining the idea of the story follows, and it should be brief, generally 150 words, and should make the reader want to know more. This is the same text you browse through on the back covers at your local bookstore. Now thank them for their time and consideration, and push send.

Then you sit back and wait for a reply. And trust me on this as well–it’s a killer. It may take as little as two, or as many as four weeks to receive a reply, depending upon how busy the publishing house is at the time. You really don’t want to hear back any sooner than that. A reply that comes two days later is probably a “Thank you, but not what we’re looking for” let down. In my opinion, the longer the wait, the more closely they’re considering offering you a contract. Don’t send followup messages every day and irritate the crap out of them, just be patient.

At long last, if you’re good and very lucky, someone will offer you a contract. Read it. Read it again. If you agree to the terms, sign and mail back. Now you can call yourself a published author. Go ahead and do your happy dance, you definitely deserve it! But the journey does not end there. Oh, no. You’ve only reached the top of the mountain. Now you have to work your way down the other side. And this, to many, seems the most surprising of all.

While you’re waiting to be assigned an editor, you’ll polish your blurb and submit information to the company for the development of your cover. You probably have a pretty good idea what your cover should look like, and you can express those ideas here. I’ve often found that giving just the right info–main character descriptions, etc.–and letting the artist do his/her thing is best. Once the final product is approved both by you and management, you can use the image to promote interest in your book.

By now, your editor is probably ready for you. Be prepared for compromise, and don’t be too much in love with your own words. These people are professionals, and know what works. Be patient, tolerant, and cooperative. Most of the time, you’ll progress smoothly through this step. You’ll go around a few times before you’re both happy with the finished product and are ready for formatting.

But there will be times when standing your ground is crucial. A good case in point is my own journey through my first Haven’s Realm novel. The editor I drew seemed, for the most part, fixated on another series, and pestered me no end until I finally had to say, “Look. The story is what it is.” There is nothing in the plot that resembles the work I have never read–I didn’t see the movies until after I first made my story public. Thankfully, when I moved on to book two, I was reassigned, and my new editor loves my work. I give her my full cooperation, but there are times when I need to explain why something is said a certain way, or point to a reference earlier in the story. I do have to say, however, that sometimes my editor has a suggestion on word usage, such as British slang or swear, that vastly improves that one sentence, and I’m always open to improvement.

At this stage, most of your pre-release work is done. You’ll see an email or two while the work is assembled and formatted, and I strongly recommend reviewing the entire manuscript every time. Until the day it goes live, there’s still time to correct that troublesome typo. In the meantime, you can organize your release party and prepare yourself for the day your book goes live. When that day finally arrives, and you’re holding a copy of your very own book in your hot little hands, do another happy dance, and move on to marketing. And, oh yes, get started on that next book!

Thank you for spending time with me today, cherished readers!

Tamara Monteau

What are Damphere?

Recently, I had a wonderful opportunity to spend time with a new friend and fan. In the smattering of various conversation topics came a few comments and questions regarding Haven’s Realm, my favorite subject. One she asked mirrored a few more I’ve received over time, the origin of the damphere. I thought it time to tell you about these marvelous, inherently dangerous, creatures.

When I wrote my first novel, Twilight Destiny, back in 2003, the idea of a mortal being impregnated by a vampire wasn’t new. I had, in fact, read a shockingly unique twist by Linda Lael Miller, where one of my favorite female characters becomes impregnated by her mortal lover. I loved the idea. For her. I wanted another approach.

I like to do research online, and don’t swear by any one source. I often enjoy finding blog sites and forums I can browse through, especially when attempting to fully grasp a concept based more on myth and legend than on fact. Precious little information of any real credence was available at the time, and I really got a giggle over some of the ideas floating around in cyberspace.

Research indicated that a damphere is the hybrid result of a vampire impregnating a mortal. Please note that I did not say human. I pondered this while I read several articles describing damphere bears, wolves, and even beavers, and shook my head against the irrationality. The immortal sire would have to be of the same species in order to thusly procreate, and since most animals lack a sense of romance in their mating rituals, in fact lack all but basic procreational instincts, they probably won’t find their way into Haven’s Realm.

I concluded, for the sake of my series, that the male vampire retains his seed. He couldn’t produce a damphere without it. Women, however, lose the ability to nurture life. Their bodies probably still have eggs, but daily rest would restore any tissue altered in the course of the previous night. Bye bye baby. If pressed, through my writings, I’ll simply explain that the vampiress’ physiology prevents the eggs from being released. After all, they don’t go through “that time of the month.”

It takes a mortal woman and a willing vampire to create a vampire-human hybrid. That goes without saying. I’ve mentioned in my writings that birthing a damphere takes a great deal of willpower and fortitude. If you haven’t read my work, I’ll only tell you that Catherine, my first heroine, nearly dies in the attempt during my second story. Carrying the child would not be a problem that can’t be overcome with the best diet and exercise. Any baby draws what elements it needs from its mother’s body, so replenishing these nutrients is vital. She’ll need all her strength and endurance in the end.

Mentally, damphere are aware the moment their microscopic hearts begin to beat. They develop a strong life force, feeding, unfortunately, on that of their hosts. By the time they’re ready to emerge, the mother’s life is dependently connected to the child’s. Usually, the moment the baby draws breath, his mother dies. Tragic.

Thankfully, I’ve found a handy way around that problem. Consequences derived from the events in book two give two of my Council Elders unique skills. Combine this with their growing understanding of the half-breeds and their capabilities, and the hope they won’t become lethal enemies, and you’ll understand why the Council is now no longer adverse to the subject. Whether or not more children are born to my vampire family remains to be seen.

The exact nature of my youngest characters is not yet clear. As I’ve said in other articles, I write what my imagined friends tell me to. At this time, three damphere belong to Haven’s Community. The MacAaron twins reached the celebration of their fourth year, and are displaying the intelligence and vocal skills of teenagers. Their bodies, right now, are growing in sync with their ages, but not their minds. Already they’ve learned how to manipulate their environment, opening doors and such, to the dismay of their parents. Little Devon has already mastered aggressive skills his father sometimes needs to circumvent.

As they grow older, physical aging will slow, granting them, perhaps, centuries of life through their immortal parent’s aggressive and persistent physiology. But that is not all they inherit. Damphere typically have all the powers of the vampire, with the freedoms of a mortal. Although some suffer a mild thirst, they usually eat solid food. They have the advantage of daylight tolerance, making them potentially lethal enemies. It was one of these who killed Lysander, one time Elder and sire to Antonia, the only woman on the Council. It’s no wonder she acted the way she did on discovering Catherine’s condition.

The most recent addition is a boy of nine, the product of a demented vampire’s tendencies. His mother failed to survive confinement, leaving him to the protection and support of the Chancellor of the Savant. Unfortunately, Lorenz suffers from autism, along with isolated motor and language deficiencies. Carloman and I are placing all our hopes in my uniquely talented Dragon/seer friend, Hope, that she find a way to break through the boy’s isolation and bring him out to the real world before the power growing inside him destroys himself and all those around him.

I hope this answers your questions. Please feel free to ask more. In fact, I look forward to suggestions for my next article. Thank you for dropping by, Cherished Readers!

~Tamara Monteau

Arguing With Myself – The Power of Dialog

Carrying the story through dialog is the best way to write a novel. All authors, at least those who produce well-written stories, know this to be one of the most important elements in leading readers along. But I’ve discovered hidden power in surrendering to dialog while solving problems. I call it arguing with myself.

I’ve often maintained that my characters do all the writing, that I sometimes feel my role is one of secretary, taking notes and putting their thoughts in logical order. I write, basically, by the seat of my pants, allowing my muse, and my carefully constructed characters, to take the lead. Whenever I have a problem that research and contemplation fails to resolve, I turn it over to my characters, close my eyes, and let the solution run its course.

A good example lies in a conversation near the end of Midnight Skye, the book I’m currently putting the finishing touches on. In this book, I introduce a new line of characters – the Sen Aesir, an evil vampire offshoot from ancient times, and Adept, wizards who work with elemental magick. Interaction I wrote early in the book that has since been withdrawn for later use (for reasons I’ll explain after Midnight Skye is released) revealed the fact that vampires cannot drink from Adept. Since the problem resurfaced in a meeting near the end, I had to come up with a reason why.

And so, I asked the question of my knowledgeable King and Council through my confused heroine, when she learns the Community are holding two Adept prisoner.

“I don’t understand,” Summer argued boldly. “Why can’t you just take control of them?”

“We cannot drink Adept blood, and blood is what helps us secure our connection,” Lucien explained.

“You can’t…why not?”

“They’re marked as paranormal beings, though not immortal, and are followers of nature,” Jason answered. “Vampires exist outside nature, our very presence a violation of her most basic rules. Drinking that contrary power would render us nullified for a time, which would cause both our bodies and spirits great distress, as well as make the task of forcing a servant bond impossible. It would also leave us more vulnerable to intrusion and mortal injury.”

The solution was so simple I should have understood from the beginning. But when my vampire expressed his confusion over why he couldn’t drink from the young woman standing before him (again for reasons I can’t reveal right now), his confusion stuck with me. It took me asking, through my newest and least experienced member, to find the answer. And the answer came, believe it or not, just as I finished typing the question, as if Jason had been waiting for just the right moment to speak up. Surrendering myself to my characters and letting them argue it out has since become an easy habit.

This probably isn’t true of all writers. Then again, maybe more than a few have had similar experiences. Our imagined friends, whether they stick with us through a series or only inhabit one story, very often have minds of their own, insisting on paths we’d prefer not to take. There have been times when I was the reluctant follower, and when I placed my faith in my inner vision, these altered paths led to more important consequences than I ever could have imagined all at once.

After all has been said and done (and written down), isn’t it more interesting to read a story where the characters are involved and emotionally interactive, instead of page after page of dry explanation? My characters come to life in the minds of my readers. This is the power of dialog!

~Tamara Monteau