Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Guest Blogger, Karla Brandenburg, author of Mist on the Meadow! by DL Larson
Karla shares some of her insights we all face as writers. "What will our friends think of our writing? What will mom and dad say?" "Who do we please?" "Can we be true to ourselves and still write a dynamic book?" Here's what Karla has to say ...
Thanks for having me, Deb! And congratulations on your third “Promises” book.
I’ve just released my newest endeavor, Mist on the Meadow, which gave me an extra point to think about in my writing. Generally speaking, profanity in romance novels is kept to a minimum. As my mother always told me, it shows a lack of vocabulary. So imagine my surprise when, after writing a very intense scene with a high-strung hero, I found his vocabulary very colorful indeed!
When I’m writing, it tends to be from my head, through my fingers and I’m not always one hundred percent aware of the content until I go back to read through how it flows, works, etc. Yes, I knew I was typing those words, but often things go down on “paper” that will get cut later. As I re-read the first of Wolf’s outbursts, I paused to consider. Is that language really necessary? It is highly offensive to some people and could easily turn off a reader. So I reached out to one of my beta readers who had been following along with me and asked her the question. Her response was, “Absolutely it needs to be there. That’s who he is and his response is completely validated.” So I left it in.
Now, back to my parents. They generally like to read my work, and they generally get an inside view before it gets to publication. Mist on the Meadow went very quickly – sometimes stories do! – so they didn’t get that “first look.” When I was visiting recently, they asked when they were going to be able to read it, and I gave my mom the language disclaimer. Funny thing about my parents – and I’m going to digress for just a moment here – they’d done a read on the last book I published in an early stage, and my mother said to me, “it needs a little something more. More sex. More Violence.” MY MOTHER! My parents are very conservative, so that’s the last thing I expected to hear from her. That’s when I stopped worrying about offending my parents, or being nervous about their judgments on my writing. I’ve been grown up for a long time, but it’s funny how you never quite outgrow, “what will my parents think?” ANYWAY, back on track, I gave them the language disclaimer. My mother responded with, “Sometimes that’s what real life is like. It’s unfortunate, but true.” My mother, again, who is offended by movies with bad language. The book has only been out for a week, and I just received my “giveaway” copies, so the parents haven’t read it yet, but there’s a copy on the way to them.
The point of all of this is that there should be a sensitivity to your audience. You don’t want to offend people, and yet you have to be true to your characters. My heroine uses a tamed down epithet, her outbursts don’t require profanity. Men, on the other hand, are more often less reserved. Wolf has been through a lot in his life, and once those buttons get pushed one more time, he reacts in a less “civilized” manner, in spite of his resolve to maintain his self-control. It takes the calming hand of the heroine to “ease his pain.”
So what is Mist on the Meadow about? Here’s the pitch: Wolf Harper needs a Kundigerin, "one who knows," to close his grandmother's estate and save the failing family business; instead, professional baker Marissa Maitland rattles skeletons in his family's closet and ignites a passion Wolf has never felt before. Has he been bewitched?
Karla’s books are available through all the online booksellers or ordered by request at your favorite bookstore. Visit http://www.karlabrandenburg.com/ for more information or follow her blog at www.karlabrandenburg.blogspot.com.
Find out more about author Karla Brandenburg
Thank you, Karla, for visiting us today! Please feel free to ask Karla about her writing or other author-type
questions/comments you might have for her.
Til next time ~