My writing process changes from book to book. Most of the time, I know the characters first. After an extensive character interview, I find the conflict that drives the story. In my romances, the hero and heroine have opposing issues. In the only mystery I have published, my protagonist is at odds with her personal goal of getting out of solving crimes. She’s not able to because she cares more about her uncle who is accused of murder than her own needs.
Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida involved a different process. I started with the setting and brought in characters who were likely to be in this wonderful, romantic, beach town. Since Treasure Island is a tourist destination, I wanted one of my characters to be on vacation. This put him at odds with the other character, a local who never knew her father–a beach bum her mother met while he was visiting.
No matter where I start, I always do a character interview to get to know the people in the story. As I learn more about them, I discover what motivates them and what conflicts keep them from getting what the want. These conflicts drive the story. Secondary characters come into play when I need to show something significant about the hero and heroine.
I often go to bed with an unfinished scene in my head, only to be awakened at 3:00 AM with the best solution possible. If I go back to sleep, I can never remember what I need to do, so now I get up and let my muse take me where she wants me to go. I do my best writing when I’m not fully conscious.
What I like best about Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida is being able to explore all the different relationships of the characters in the story. Not only do I show the relationship between the hero and heroine, I have quite a few secondary characters who have important roles. The hero’s parents, the heroine’s sister and mother, and a little boy are vital to the resolution of the conflict in this story.
Debby Mayne says this about herself: I grew up left-handed, an only child, and a military brat. So I have several excuses for not being normal – but who wants to be normal? Certainly not this creative person. Fortunately, one of my college professors saw my potential, and he suggested trying my hand at writing. It took me a while to hit my stride, but since my first sale, I’ve seen more than 400 short stories and articles in print, 11 books, and 5 novellas that have been in 6 anthologies. One of my favorite things to do is entertain and inform people through the written word.
Debby’s novel Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida will be available on June 1, 2009, but you can preorder it now from Amazon (and likely elsewhere!) A three-in-one collection, Peachtree Dreams, came out in April.