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victoriawallintheauthor

I Kill People for a Living

Do you ever get tired of people asking about your job? No matter what your job is and whether you like it or not, questions about your work can be really annoying. It’s usually the first thing a stranger asks you when you first meet them. “What do you do?” is always a safe card in small talk after the polite introduction and name swapping procedure is done with, as if your work equals who you are as a person. Whether you are at a party or on a first date, the issue of your profession can take up more time than it should.

Like I said, whether you like your job or not, these questions – because there are always more questions that follow – can be very annoying. I love being a translator and a writer, but I don’t always love telling people about it, dreading the inevitable “Oh, really?” that is bound to come. The follow up questions are usually “So you must be good at learning languages? How well do you speak German then?” and “Are you any good at it (writing)?”. Why would you ask someone if they are good at what they do? People seem to think that it is a justifiable question when you have a creative job. If I was an accountant, they wouldn’t ask me “Are you any good at it?”, would they? Accountants get follow up questions too, I’m sure, the issue is you don’t really want to have deep conversations about your job on your day off or justify why you chose that profession to strangers.

If you are a writer and you’re really unlucky you might even get a “What’s your book called? I might read it. But it better be good!” with a sarcastic laugh. Thanks, jerk. I hope you don’t like it, that it is a complete waste of you time. Just as you are wasting my time, right now. I have actually started refusing to talk about my job sometimes, especially if I’m on a first date. There are more interesting things to talk about which will tell you more about the person; their taste in music, where they stand politically, if they like animals, etc. Once I was so annoyed by a stranger I told them I kill people for a living. “In my books, sure, but I’m kind of a psychopath. You should see my browser history,” I wheezed. Remember, you don’t have to talk about things you don’t want to with people. Especially if they are strangers, and/or jerks.

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Boosting Your Creativity

Here are some helpful tips that I use to boost my creativity for writing:

  1. Indulge in your story! Nothing gets me more excited than coming up with a new story and putting all the pieces together, creating characters and scenarios etc. All that juicy stuff will send my creativity through the roof and keep me up half the night writing.
  2. Do other creative stuff other than just writing, or write other types of texts for variation. Sometimes I write short poems or help musician friends with lyrics and I enjoy writing in different formats immensely. For instance my novel requires a different style and tone than my short story crime series on Detective Patrone. I also paint, draw and sketch a lot too. Going to museums is another favorite thing to do. Looking at art really inspires me.
  3. Exercise! Sitting in front of the computer for hours can be really draining and exhausting, so I make sure I exercise on a regular basis, to get the blood running and that whole body-mind flow going.
  4. Go outdoors. This could be part of the exercise of course, but being outdoors and breathing fresh air and getting some sunlight is important on its own. Just being in nature can be very spiritual and healing.
  5. Take a lot of breaks. Again, sitting in front of the computer can be tiresome. Taking several short mini breaks is probably a good idea. I usually lose track of time and realize a few hours later that I forgot to have dinner, due to number 1 above haha. But the writing process also consists of thinking about your story a lot, and sometimes you need to press pause for a longer period of time and not think about your story or your characters at all. Let your mind rest.
  6. Get friends and family to beta-read your story to get new ideas or suggestions that might open up your mind to a new flow of creativity.
  7. Listen to music! For some people this may fall under number 2, but for me music is such a huge source of inspiration that it needs a category of its own. Discover new genres, bring out some oldies goldies, find a song that fits the mood in a scene. Music never fails to inspire me.
  8. Do fun and silly stuff that makes you laugh. A good laugh is the remedy for anything, so make sure you surround yourself with people who will make you laugh and are not afraid to get loose and do silly things with you, or get a pet. My cat is very silly.

 

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Daisy tries to look like a vampire

Writing and Music

I love music and it is always an inspiration to me when I write, sometimes more and sometimes less. It could be that the music itself puts me in the right mood or fits a character somehow, or that the lyrics are about the same subject I’m witing about, or both.

For my Detective Patrone series I have been listening a lot to Bruce Springsteen. There is something very straightforward about his music, what you see is what you get, and my leading man Detective Joe Patrone is very much like that. Furthermore Springsteen tells you a story, it’s working class, it’s tough times and life is pretty hard on the streets of whatever town he is writing about. It sets the mood just right for me, and it also helps me to get inside a male’s head. Springsteen’s lyrics are not always as tough as the music, with lots of guitars. They can be romantic and vulnerable, but from a man’s perspective and that is very appealing to me.

Billie Holiday

As I was writing the romantic comedy/drama A War of Wits, which takes place in the late 1930s, I was hugely inspired by Billie Holiday and some of her songs in particular. Billie Holiday became successful in the 1930-40s and that whole jazz vibe and her amazing vibrato along with some very poetic lyrics just kept my mindset in the 1930s permanently during the writing process.

Some songs inspired entire scenes, like the song “Autumn in New York” which describes different parts of the city with such poetic words in the lyrics, it fit perfectly for when Michelle sees the City for the first time. Every time I read the scene the song keeps playing in my head. “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” is another song that I played over and over again for the cold and snowy scenes in NYC before all the trouble start for the couple. “Twenty-Four-Hours-A-Day”, “Lover Man” and “These Foolish Things” were also on repeat and are both romantic and upbeat and really fitting for a romantic comedy.

Crowded house

There was another song which served as a big inspiration and a big help that came from a completely different genre. Even though A War of Wits is essentially a romantic comedy it also has some dramatic features, including a death scene. When I was writing the death scene and the scenes after it, I listened a lot to “Four Seasons in One Day” by Crowded House. The song is written about the city of Melbourne, known for its fickle weather changes but I think it so perfectly describes the emotional rollercoaster you’re on when you have a sudden death in the family. The lyrics are much darker and poetic than just being about the weather. The lines “Blood dries up, like rain, like rain” is also representative for the strange thoughts you have when something so drastically happens to you; when someone close to you dies. My stepdad died very suddenly by simply disappearing from a boat when I was 19 years old. That is why I wanted to write about this sort of thing happening to one of my characters, in an attempt to put to words how strange it feels not to have this person around anymore, from one day to another, and how you feel angry and sad and guilty and in denial and all sorts of emotions and weird thoughts like “what is happening to his body in the water right now”. And no one wants to talk to you about it and no one understands. If just one person recognizes this and feels like they are not alone in this, my purpose as a writer has been fulfilled. The lyrics really helped me go through all the emotions, once again, and the music of the song has always been so comforting, I have Crowded House to thank for that. That song gave me comfort when nothing else could. As a music lover I would say that there is great music in every genre, just as there are great books in every genre. A War of Wits will be available to pre-order shortly on Amazon.

My Author Profile on Amazon

So, I have created an author profile on Author Central on Amazon where you can get the latest updates on my books, read more about me and other fun stuff, such as a live feed from this blog. There is also a forum for discussions, which I am very excited about. I love interacting with my readers. Follow my author profile via this easy link: amazon.com/author/victoriawallin

Have a great Sunday!

 

Discovering the Story

writer's blockI am currently experiencing what is called writer’s block on one of my book projects. Luckily I have several projects going on at the same time to put my focus on that are moving along nicely, so I’m not too stressed about it. I don’t often get writer’s block. I usually have found the story or the plot in its full before I even begin writing it. I say “found” the story, because that is usually how it feels. Before writing a word down I try to find the story in my mind. I might have figured out who the characters are already, but finding the story or the plot is like a discovery. It is a journey. And at the moment I’m sort of stuck waiting for the train to come and take me to my character’s world. Though this might sound irritating, waiting to discover the story is one of my favorite parts of writing, a lot more fun than the actual putting words down on paper, which can be tedious and requires a lot of hard work. Once I have discovered my story it is in a sense already finished, I have finished the journey. What’s next is simply telling it to others.

Whenever I am blocked it usually means I’ve taken the wrong path, it’s like a road block in the middle of the way, so I have to turn around and try another way. That is often times the solution and when I go another way with the story suddenly everything falls into place and the right story appears in the horizon. Writing is a creative process and it’s important to me to stay open minded about it. Don’t be hell-bent on a particular story for your characters. If you get really stuck chances are it’s not the right story for them.

Could This be the Perfect Murder?


Today you can download the thriller .38 Special on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Y4ktnX

Could this be the perfect murder?

The eternal bachelor Detective Joe Patrone can often be found in front of a television set watching a hockey game, a rerun if it’s not hockey season, or out running with his dog Jerry, a large and quiet Rhodesian Ridgeback. If he is not on a case, that is. This devoted cop leaves no stone unturned finding out who the perpetrator is.

In this case, however, Detective Patrone gets his hands full when he is assigned to solve the murder of a successful businessman named Michael Cordell. The victim is shot in his own home, in a nice neighborhood with no witnesses, found by his loving wife Laura, leaving detective Patrone and his partner with very few clues. The only piece of evidence is a single bullet of caliber .38 Special, one of the most common cartridges in the world, which can be used in both .38 revolvers as well as some semi-automatic handguns.

If the two detectives cannot rely on forensic evidence to solve this case, it will have to take some good old fashioned detective work and Patrone is determined to find out who the killer is, no matter how long it takes. Is it the wife? Is it a co-worker? Is it a robber? Patrone and his partner Wells have long hours of police work a head of them. Could this be the perfect murder?

For those who love a classic detective story in a modern take.

Cosy Day 

Today was one of those days where I had so much to do, I basically did nothing haha.  Back at it tomorrow!

 

Get the Kindle App Free

  
Did you know that when you buy an ebook on Amazon you can download the Kindle app for free so that you can read the book on any device? With smart functions it saves your reading, you automatically continue reading where you left off. 

Is there a Netflix for books?

 

Yes there is! It’s called Kindle Unlimited and you can get it on your local Amazon. For a small monthly fee you can read more than 700,000 ebooks, including my new crime novel .38 Special. What are you waiting for? 

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