MIRREN JONES is the pseudonym for the creative writing partnership of Marion Duffy from Scotland and Elaine Atkins from Wales. Authors of The Eight of Cups, they've been writing together for 17 years: non-fiction books, journal papers, articles, academic courses, workshops, short stories, poetry and a novel. And they’re still good friends! Their current novel-in-progress is Never Do Harm.
Currently, I'm working on three projects. My next release will be Dreaming of the Sea, the second novella in my Once Upon a Time Today collection. These stand-alone stories are contemporary fairy tale tellings. Dreaming of the Sea is a retelling of The Little Mermaid that features the Sea Witch as the central figure.
I'm also working on revising and editing my fantasy series. The first two books in the series were originally published in 2012 as The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series. It will be re-released as The Daughter of Light series, and will have a whole new look, with the first two original books combined into a single edition.
My final project is a yummy paranormal romance about a young witch who bakes magic cupcakes. It's a collaboration with Billie Jean Limpin, and we're having a lot of fun working on it.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Every good character has some evil qualities, and every evil character has some good qualities. I like the plot to turn on those ambivalences. For example, in Beautiful Beautiful, the main character, Kerrin Mayham, who's a talented film director, is so taken by the superficial aspects of beauty she's lost her way in the realm of love relationships. In Daughter of Light, the main character, Melia, experiences pleasure in the midst of her visions of violence and desolation... But both of these female characters are fantastic people!
Why do I write what I do?
I believe stories that fuel the imagination are our greatest hope for the future. We're capable of creating great joy in our lives, however, we must conceive that that is possible. As a reader, I've always been drawn to stories that either gave me a sense of joy and possibility, or brought me some sort of comfort or clarity with regards to the darker aspects of living. The awareness of how valuable those stories have been to me—and still are—infuse my work.
How does my writing process work?
For me, I have to always remind myself that talking about writing, and thinking about writing, is not writing. When I sit down to write, even when it's a slog, something magical happens. A different part of my brain engages and the story begins to unfold. Sometimes it reveals itself somewhat as I've imagined it, sometimes it veers off in a totally different direction. Thus, the greatest challenge of my writing process is simply getting myself to sit down and write. That's the trick. That's the key. Beyond that I'm flexible, and don't have any particular process that I use. Every story is different, and I approach them all differently, as regards to research, plotting, characterization, etc.
Don't miss next week when Kari Ann Ramadorai, Meradeth Houston, and Cat Amesbury share their writing process!
Kari Ann Ramadorai is the author of Olivia's Field. She belongs to the Pacific Northwest, though she spent plenty of time in the Sonoran desert. Keep the grass green and the sky overcast, and Kari Ann's a happy person. She loves research and putting phrases together. Human nature and theology fascinate Kari Ann. She also enjoys working with livestock and watching the trees. Keeping active includes family and friends, farm and fun. In her spare time, Kari Ann reads until the bookshelves overflow and enjoys general geekery. She's married to an asteroid miner and mother of kids who will someday run the world. She'll match your geek knowledge and raise you a website. When they come up with an internet IV, Kari Ann will be there, waiting with a screen.
Meradeth Houston is the author of The Sary Society. Although she's never been a big fan of talking about herself, here are some random tidbits about her:
>She's a Northern California girl. This generally means she talks too fast and use "like" a lot.
>When she's not writing, she's sequencing dead people's DNA. For fun!
>She's been writing since she was 11 years old. It's her hobby, her passion, and she's so happy to get to share her work!
>If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she's terrified of heights.
Cat Amesbury is the author of the contemporary fantasy book, The Guests of Honor. She's determined to write contemporary adult fables that draw inspiration from Lewis Carroll, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Sun Tzu. She is also determined to have a hard time explaining her stories to other people. Cat has lived in both the small town and the big city, but knows that all the best mysteries are hidden where you least expect them. Her thoughts and stories are drawn from a lifetime of looking underneath the rocks and inside the trees rather than where she was actually going.