Guest Post by Urban Fantasy Author Diana Rowland & a Giveaway

Mark of the DemonMy Review

Blood of the DemonMy Review

Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland

Today, I have the wonderful pleasure of Diana Rowland’s company here at Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings! Diana’s newest urban fantasy novel Blood of the Demon, book two in the Kara Gillian series, recently released. It’s an outstanding novel which I just had to finish reading in nearly a day’s time. Yeah, it’s that good. If you haven’t read Blood of the Demon or started this terrific series yet, after reading this post there’s a sweet giveaway at the end.

Welcome Diana!


Author Diana RowlandThe Ugly Truth about where writers get their ideas.

“Where do you get your ideas?”

It’s probably the one question writers are asked the most. Sometimes there are variations on it, such as “Where did you come up with that concept?” or “What made you decide to make your magic system/alternate world/strange characters like that?”

Many writers come up with cute, clever, or snarky responses to questions like these. “I subscribe to a service that emails me fresh ideas every month, and I can return the ones that I don’t touch for a small handling fee.” “I get them from your head.” (Often accompanied with a manic look.) “Your mom!” Or, the one I use: “I have a sick, sick mind!”

But the reason that writers come up with silly responses like this is because the truth is dark, dangerous and...

Okay, it’s not dark and dangerous at all. The truth is boring.

We make them up. Seriously. It’s not exciting or interesting at all. And writers don’t have a special “creative brain” that non-writers lack. The only difference between writers and non-writers is that we go ahead and explore those off-the-wall ideas that everyone gets now and then. Seriously, anyone can do it, if you give yourself the freedom to do so. Most writers have not only given themselves the freedom to explore strange thoughts, but if they have a deadline, they have a demand to make some strange crap up! (Yes, if I have a book due in five months, I’m under a fair amount of pressure to make some stuff up, and it better be cool and good, too. Ulp!)

Making it all up can be real work sometimes, but at the same time it’s easy if you just know how to let yourself do it. Ideas happen all the time. They come from everything around you--life, experiences, overheard conversations, random observations. You get ideas all the time too, but perhaps you don’t give yourself the freedom to let your mind wander and explore that idea.

So, here are some tricks and techniques that can make it easier to make it up:

1) Write things down!

This is the most important one for me. I tend to have the short term memory of a gnat, and I can’t count the number of times my mind has been wandering and I’ve come up with a really cool plot twist, or a really neat direction I can take a character... and the next day when I sit down to write I can’t remember anything about it. [cry!] It’s especially bad when I’m drifting off the sleep. For some reason my brain loooooves to torture me by coming up with Perfect Solutions to major plot issues right when I’m all warm and comfy and relaxed. And I’ve tried repeating the Perfect Solution over and over mentally, in an attempt to shove it into long term memory. But it never works. By the next morning I’ll be lucky if I even remember that I had a Perfect Solution, much less what it was.

So, now I make myself write things down when they occur to me. I have a notebook in my purse and in my car, and I have a pad and pen on my nightstand. (And, I have the flashlight app on my iPhone, so that I can write things down without turning on the lamp--for which my husband is quite grateful!)

2) Think about it.

How often do you think of something kinda cool and interesting? Now, how often to do you sit back and muse about that cool and interesting detail? If you wrote your brilliant ideas down earlier, make sure you go back and look at them and let them fester in your brain for a while.

Which leads us to #3

3) Allow yourself to go off on tangents.

Go wild on the “What If?” Take that festering idea, and throw another idea at it. “What if vampires can go out in the sun, but instead of burning up they get an allergic reaction, so you’d see vampires raiding clinics for epi-pens...”

Okay, so that’s a bit of an odd tangent, but that takes us right in to #4

4) Brainstorm--don’t throw any ideas out.

Okay, so you might not want to use the epi-pen idea, but keep it in your head anyway, because you never know where that might lead you. When I was developing my concept of the demons, one of my “What If?”s was “What if these demons aren’t from hell at all?” which led to “What if they aren’t evil?” which led to “What if they have a completely different goal in mind instead of corruption of the good?” which led to “What if their goal is actually [spoiler redacted]?” (At which point I sat up straight and made an Oooooooh! sound!)

And, finally:

5) Put the whole thing where you can see it. Sometimes the strangest things make connections and spark new ideas.

Diana's Plot WallFor about $7 you too can build a Plot Wall. (Butcher paper and painters tape!)

It helps to have clear wall space and an understanding (or at least tolerant) spouse, too. But I can’t say enough about the value of being able to stand back and see ALL the ideas and the tangents in one place. More connections will leap out at you, and more ideas will form, and before you know it, you’ll have something that might possibly be a Workable Concept. When I’m starting a book, I have several iterations of Plot Wall. Actually, the first Plot Wall isn’t about the plot at all--it’s about the brainstorming and the ideas and the connections, and all of the things I talked about earlier. But once I have a Workable Concept, then I can go on to figuring out what happens when and how to put all the pieces together in a well-paced and plotted format.

But that’s a topic for a post of its own.

(There are more elegant forms of Plot Wall that use white boards, or that white board paint, or some variation thereof. I personally like the butcher paper and permanent marker format, simply because I have Kid and pets and Husband, and I don’t want to risk having a Brilliant Idea accidentally rubbed out.)

So, there you go. Now you know where writers get their ideas.

Told you it was boring.

Diana


Not boring at all but an informative look into an awesome writer’s mind. Thank you Diana!

Places you can find Diana: Web Site | Blog | Twitter

~*~*~*~*~*~* This giveaway is now closed *~*~*~*~*~*~

Giveaway:

I’m giving away a copy of both books in Diana Rowland's Kara Gillian series: Mark of the Demon and Blood of the Demon, a winner for each book. Here’s how to enter:

  1. In the comments, tell me which which book you’d like to win in the Kara Gillian series: Mark of the Demon or Blood of the Demon.
  2. Leave your email with your comment if it isn't part of your profile. Email is the best way to notify the winner.
  3. Open to anywhere the Book Depository ships internationally. US winners will receive their books from Amazon.com.
  4. Deadline to enter this giveaway is Friday, March 26th at Midnight CST.

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

79 comments:

buddyt said...

Oh ! I am the first commenter.
Maybe that is lucky for me if St Pat is on my side !

I haven't read either of the books so I would like the first one Mark of a Demon.

I am an International entry.

Thanks.

Carol T

~Jennifer~ said...

I loved this post. It seems like common sense, but writing can be so intimidating that common sense tends to be overlooked for the "easy answer."

I would love to read Mark of the Demon.

jennsicurella at verizon dot net

Amanda Leigh said...

This was a great post! Happy St. Patty's Day! I would love to win Mark of the Demon. I've been meaning to get it for awhile now.

bianca_riot said...

Hopefully i have some luck, i havent exactly seen evidence that i have some yet :)
I would love to win Mark of the Demon!

-Bianca
email:
bianca.riot.08(@)hotmail.com

International entrant.

Bookie said...

I have heard wonderful things about this series! I would like to win Mark of the Demon.

dawnpnr(at)aol(dot)com

EVA SB said...

Fun interview!
I would love to win mark of the Demon

Hilda said...

Not boring at all, Diana :)
Useful tips. Love the idea of a Plot Wall, I was actually thinking of it today - what a coincidence!

Either book is fine by me! They're both on my TBB list anyway!

lill said...

I've had my eye on this one. Mark of the Demon please!
Thanks!

lill said...

sorry forgot
jenlilley at hotmail dot com

vslavetopassionv said...

I would like Mark of the Demon since I havent started this series. Looks great!

Jase
vslavetopassionv(at)aol(dot)com

Elie said...

Great interview. Love to plotting ideas.

I loved MOTD, I would love to read Blood of the Demon. Great giveaway!

jacabur2008 said...

I have to say that both books are on my wish list but would like book 1 as start of the series by Diana. Thanks Donna and Happy St Patricks day to you today!

jackie b central texas
jacabur2008(at)gmail(dot)com

jacabur2008 said...

I have to say that both books are on my wish list but would like book 1 as start of the series by Diana. Thanks Donna and Happy St Patricks day to you today!

jackie b central texas
jacabur2008(at)gmail(dot)com

jacabur2008 said...

Sorry it posted twice the button on my computer hung and it went out twice....

jackie b central texas

Stacy said...

Happy St. Patricks Day!

I would love to win Mark of the Demon since I have not read this series yet, but it has been on my wish list for quite awhile!

Blodeuedd said...

May the luck of the Irish be with me ;)
I'd love to read the first book, : Mark of the Demon.

That plot wall is such a cool idea

Pearl said...

I have MOTD very high on Mt. TBR and BOTD is on my TBB list so I'd love to win BOTD.

Have been hearing a lot of good stuff about this series! Can't wait to start it.

my email is part of my profile...

Janicu said...

I love the plot wall. And you can save it as a memento, heh.

I've been wanting Blood of the Demon. It's a book I visit at the bookstore.

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included for Mark of the Demon, I'm always looking for new series to read! tWarner419@aol.com

Simply Stacie said...

Mark of the Demon is my choice.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

VampFanGirl said...

Great post Diana!

Unfortunately it probably won't stop me from asking how an author came up with an idea. I think as a non-writer-reader, I'm just fascinated with how a person can imagine something so amazing as an entire novel. I just don't have those same thoughts swirling through my mind so despite your very informative answers, I'll still be asking the same question because I'm constantly compelled to do so by my own internal wonder. I can't help it.

As for the giveaway, I'd love to read this series and I'll need to start at the beginning so it's MARK OF THE DEMON for me please.

HUGS, VFG

Smokinhotbooks said...

I wrote all of this down on stikie notes!!

The idea of writing a novel sends me screaming into the other direction, the amount of time, planning, and skill amazes me. Hence why I'm a avid reader.

Great giveaway Donna!

wren boudreau said...

I haven't read either book, but I'd be pleased as punch to win one of them!
wrenboo (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

I love the plot wall! It's crazy that you have so many ideas that you need so much space to plot them out! Writing seems like a big adventure/ alot of work at the same time :). I already have both books and love them I just wanted to stop by and say hi - happy St. Paddy's day!

van_pham said...

I would love to win Blood of the Demon.

thanks for the giveway!

van p.
Littopandaxpress(at)yahoo(dot)com

s7anna said...

I loved Mark of the Demon and have slobbering for the next one in the series for what seems like forever...

I would be thrilled to win Blood of the Demon *squeal*.

I have no idea if my email is available on my profile *hmmm...must check that out* so I'll post it on here just in case.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!
Anna
s7anna@yahoo.ca

elaing8 said...

great post.
I have book 1 so I'd like to be entered in for Blood of the Demon.

throuthehaze said...

I would love to win Mark of the Demon since I have not read any of the series yet :)

Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy] said...

I just read Blood of the Demon, but I missed Mark of the Demon so that's my pick!

donnas said...

I have already read and loved the first one so I would like Blood of the Demon. Thanks!!

bacchus76 at myself dot com

jeanette8042 said...

I would love to read Mark of the Demon, it sounds a wonderful series!

lilazncutie1215 @ yahoo.com

dor said...

Happy Saint Patrick's Day.

I will be happy with either book. Thanks.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

LSUReader said...

Thanks for an interesting post. I'd prefer Mark of the Demon. Happy St. Pat's Day.

WonderBunny said...

I loved the butcher paper plot. That is awesome! If I had walls without bookshlves in my apartment I would do something like that just for random comments. :)

I already own both books but that interview was interesting, thanks!

emmad said...

I would love to win Blood of the Demon. I've already purchased and read Mark of the Demon so would love the second book :)

Marianna said...

I haven't yet read anything in this series, but I really want to!! So I would love a copy of Mark of the Demon!

Jen D. said...

I recently purchased Mark of the Demon so I would definitely like to be in the running for Blood of the Demon.

Thanks for the guest post and contest.

iiiioneloveiiii(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Robin K said...

I would love to win Blood of the Demon! Thanks for the great contest :)

Barbara E. said...

Great interview. Since I have Mark of the Demon, I'd really love to win Blood of the Demon so I can continue the series. Thanks for the chance to win.

jellybelly82158 said...

Since I haven't read either of these books. I would love to start with the first one - Mark of the Demon.

Julie S.

jmspettoli said...

Blood of the Demon for me please! (Canadian resident)

Thanks for the giveaway!

spettolij AT gmail DOT com

Christa Holland said...

Thanks for the giveaway.

I'd like Mark of the Demon if I win since I haven't gotten to start the series yet. : )

Thanks!

TimeWarpVintage said...

What great advice! And thanks for the chance to win these books.

I'd choose "Mark of the Demon" if I was to win.

Thanks again!

miss.savetheplanet@gmail.com

Elysium said...

I haven't read the books yet so I would like the first one Mark of a Demon.

I am an International entry.

crimson_haze(at)hotmail(dot)com

Sue A. said...

I'm going with BLOOD OF THE DEMON! Thanks for doing this awesome giveaway!

alternate email from blogger
magenta 2 red [at] gmail [dot] com

Julie said...

I would like to be included in the giveaway. I haven't read either of the books so I would like the first one, Mark of a Demon. It's good to read things in order :)

juliecookies(at)gmail.com

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Thank you for making this international!!

I haven't read this series yet, so I would like the first book, Mark of the Demon.

Thank you.

stella.exlibris (at) gmail DOT com

Terri P aka WindDancer said...

I think Brainstorming is an art and can lead to brilliant things.

I would like Mark of the Demon if I win.

Terri

crucible3 (at) cox (dot) net

Terri P aka WindDancer said...

I think Brainstorming is an art and can lead to brilliant things.

I would like Mark of the Demon if I win.

Terri

crucible3 (at) cox (dot) net

Alexia561 said...

Great post! And not boring at all! Love the idea of the giant plot wall, as I love the idea of writing all over my walls! :D

Already have the first book, but haven't picked up Blood of the Demon yet so would love to win a copy. I'm in the US.

Thanks!

alexia561@yahoo dot com

Elizabeth said...

I love to read Mark of the Demon sounds like a great book and I like books when the chick is some kind of special agent because there tough chicks

Elizabethcerna2011@gmail.com

Patti said...

Where do you get your ideas? "Your mom" *snort* LOL!

That plot wall is brilliant - I should try something like that for a family calendar...

Would love to win Blood of the Demon!

Cathy D. said...

Thanks for sharing the plot wall. I do something similar when planing a theme vest. As a seamstress building a story with fabric and thread in a small area it is important to plot carefully. I never thought of doing the same for writing.
I have already read Mark of the Demon , and would love to get Blood of the Demon.

Rosie said...

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you had a happy St. Patty's day. I'd love to win Mark of the Demon!!

Tricia said...

I have the same short term memory problem I'll have great ideas but they never stay around long enough to make it to paper. No need to enter me I already have both.

Pamk said...

I read and loved Mark of the Demon so I would love to read Blood of the Demon and since i'm irish maybe that'll help me out here lol

heatwave16 said...

I'd love to win Mark of the Demon. I've heard a lot of wonderful things about this series, and I want to start at the beginning.

heatwave96(at)hotmail.com

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Thanks Donna!!!! I am going to try for book 1, Mark of the Demon.

I really enjoyed this post! The author may think it is boring but I found it very interesting to hear her process. Thank you! I am going to try and remember this. I always carry paper and note cards with me anymore, never know when the moment is going to come to you.

hayden392@comcast.net

Ina said...

Thanks for the interview - it was very interesting!!
would love to read Blood of the Demon :)
greetings, Ina

mis(h)takes said...

I'll be reading Mark of the Demon soon so it would be so awesome to have Blood of the Demon ready to go afterwards :D

I'd love book 2 if I won!!

I enjoyed Diana's post as well, thanks Donna.

(Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day)

Book Chick City said...

Great post! This sounds like a great new series to start so I would love Book 1 please! :)

Erotic Horizon said...

Please dont enter me for the contest...

I just wanted to say I really enjoyed the article and nice to see the trials and error process of making a wonderful book...

I love number three - what another person might say is day dreaming - can be your next great thing...

Congrats on your release Diana...

***Waves at Donna****

E.H>

BookFreak said...

OHH.
okay, so I am a HUGE paranormal person. I am currently writing a book about a demon girl and I know how I want to have my girl, but I would love to see how other authos describe their demons.

Thanks!
-Leilani

Email in under "contact me" on my blog.
vampiregoddess96.blogspot.com

Marsha Lockom said...

I would love to read Mark of a Demon! :)

MLockom@yahoo.com

Sheere said...

Both of them seem great! But I'd choose Mark of the Demon!

thank you =)

sheere.dry@gmail.com

Cathy M said...

It looks like I've missed out on an amazing series. Congrats on the great reviews, I loved the excerpt I read and would love a chance to win Mark of the Demon.


caity_mack(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bells said...

I would love to win Mark of the Demon. I have read so many great things about this series. I can't wait to read it!

skkorman said...

I'd love to win "Blood of the Demon"!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CrystalGB said...

Great post. I would love to win Blood of the Demon. I really enjoyed Mark of the Demon.

Emmagan said...

I have not read any of this books.

so i will go with the first one
Mark of the Demon

greendaygirl2009@gmail.com

Kelsey said...

I'd love to win the first book, Mark of the Demon.

I enjoyed the interview. She sounds like a great author and I'd love to review her book on my blog!

Thanks,
Kelsey
krae991@yahoo.com
www.thedoortowonderland.blogspot.com

Kelsey said...

Sorry. Please delete my previous comment. Forgot about not including the email.

I'd love to win the first book, Mark of the Demon.

I enjoyed the interview and she sounds like a great author. I'd love to review her book on my blog!

Kelsey
www.thedoortowonderland.blogspot.com

rose said...

I would love to win Blood of the Demon. I haven't read this series though (I seriously need to go to the bookstore!) but both books sound really interesting.
joonieshoney at hotmail dot com (international entrant)

pixie13 said...

Ooh, fun! Thanks for introducing me to another new-to-me writer!
I'd like Mark of the Demon if I won.

Bethie said...

These look like books I would really enjoy. I would love to win Mark of the Demon. Thanks for the chance.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Margie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margie said...

I've actually been interested in reading these for a while, but keep getting flung under a giant pile of work.

I appreciate the chance to win Mark of the Demon.

margie.willard at gmail.com

Stacy Stew said...

This was a very informative interview. Thanks.
I would love Mark of the Demon...Thanks, Stacy
samnstacyATmeDOTcom

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