Last weekend I flew to Seattle to kill two birds with one stone. I visited my brother and his lovely wife and I attended a writer's conference. I arrived fairly early in the morning and wandered Pioneer Square all day...I took the train, several busses, and walked everywhere. It was great. Visiting the required touristy places was fun with no schedule or itinerary. The Sound, Pike Place Market, the Space Needle...all still there and all still great!
After the conference in the evenings, my brother took me to eat at his favorite places in Freemont. I had Vietnamese Pho for the first time and was instantly in love. We also went to La Petit, a cajun restaurant, and I had fried alligator tail, crawfish etouffee, and oysters rockefeller. It was totally justified research for my next novel, people. Yum!
For some reason, whether its the clean air or the artsy-fartsy surroundings, I always manage to get a tattoo when I'm out there. Coyote over at Apocalypse was gone...he's moved on to better skin canvas pastures. But I did find a great place called Hidden Hand just across the Freemont Bridge. I'd been planning for a while to get the drippy butterfly tattoo. Its more my speed, no offense to the colorful butterfly enthusiasts.
The conference itself was wonderful. The key-note speaker, Brandilyn Collins, a popular suspense novelist, had three workshops filled with awesome insights. She wrote a non-fiction book recently called, Getting Into Character: 7 Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors and it is such a great book, I had to mention it. Brandilyn takes the principles behind Stanislavsky's writings on Method acting and applies them to the writer.
Many fine actors use this method to build a character from the inside out. Rather than dressing up the outside with looks and gestures, Stanislavsky explains that understanding a character's core truth will result in the outward manifestation of their drives. For instance, you might have a shy character...but why is she shy? Is she deformed, abused, overly tall, a genius? The reason they are shy will color how they express that inner feeling...an abused woman might not make eye contact or roll the shoulders forward while an overly tall woman might slouch. Someone with a scar might subconsciously cover it when nervous...etc.
The workshops were so helpful and the book, which I purchased at the conference, is thoroughly highlighted in preparation for revisions on Ruby Dawn...and blocking out of Bayou Blue.
I had the opportunity to meet with a few acquisition editors and got the green light to send in proposals so I felt that despite my gorging on gourmet oddities and tourist silliness, my trip to Seattle was a success.
Looking forward to reading all of your entries on the 16th during the Flirt Fest Blogfest over at Critique This WIP.
Raquel writes across several genres including YA Steampunk and Gothic Mystery. Always looking for another adventure in which to partake she is never seen without her notebook.
As a teen she couldn't get enough Bradbury, Asimov, Poe, or Matheson. They informed her love of science fiction, mystery, and thrillers. One of her favorite stories is Something Wicked This Way Comes. It changed the way she looked at scenery and the world around her.
After finishing school, marrying, and starting a family, Raquel realized she'd fallen away from her love of the written word. She began in earnest in 2000 to hone her craft and connect with other authors and book lovers.
She connected with an agent and after signing with him, sold two series. One, a suspense series that also sold into foreign translation, and the other a dark Gothic mystery. Currently working on YA Speculative Fiction she endeavors to bring the same edgy characters and thrilling pace to the project.