One of the funniest and most original writers I know is here. She's such a well-behaved lass that she neglected to mention her recent (Mira 5/07) and upcoming (Mira 12/08) books! Plus she's got an entire world of kick-ass heroines and yummy heros. Here a SEAL; there a SEAL, everywhere a SEAL. What's not to like?
So, she's here for one day only to entertain and answer our questions about suspense.
I thought I would relate about my writing process.
Mine is like getting a massage. And I don't mean just a plain old ordinary massage because suspense is all about plunging into a series of action-packed scenes, with dangerous things happening to the hero/heroine, and of course, letting things slide out of control. And while all this is happening, the writer (me) has to keep saying, "Well, it can't get worse than this," and of course, I make it so.
I can hear you now. Come on, Gennita, massages are lovely and relaxing experiences, meant to make the mind zone out, and put you in the zen state. There is no such thing as a suspenseful massage.
Well, you're so wrong. Let me tell you about the Korean Super Special Spa Pack.
One day, my sister booked me for a spa appointment in
1) First step in suspense. Something odd happens.
I knew something was up when the Korean lady (who spoke no English) handed me a toothbrush. I took it from her and stared at it. Why would she want me to brush my teeth before a massage?
There was an open shower area and I guess I was expected to shower too. Okay. Did both.
2) Second step in suspense. Strange things begin to happen.
It didn't take long before I found out that the Special Pack was a total NEKKID facial and body scrub massage punching bag elbow rubbing head to toe humiliation process.
A half-nekkid lady appeared. I blinked. That was the last time I blinked because, the Special Pack also included a facial. If you're the claustrophobic type, this one ain't for you. I was wrapped in this seaweedy mummy gauzy padding and could barely see through the slits.
Remember, I was nekkid. And I thought (yes, you got it right), "How much worse can this get?"
3) Third step in suspense. It gets worse.
My masseuse (whom I couldn't see) started working on my body like it was a piece of meat. I kept thinking, in a oddly calm hysterical way, “A NEKKID woman is soaping me!” I have never had a nekkid woman soap me. The fun really began when she started to deep massage me and SMACK me. Not hard, just like: Smack, Smack! Massage, massage...Smack! Smack! Massage. I was having visions of being in a Bertrice Small novel and I started to crack up, except that I dare not laugh because seaweed would fall into my mouth...
And I thought (go on, repeat after me), "How much worse can this get?"
I was turned over. Whew, at least my boobs weren't staring up in embarrassed surprise any more. My masseuse started elbowing all the knots in my muscles. Then she SPANKED ME. SPANK! SPANK! I think I swallowed some seaweed. I was still cracking up when she started to punch my legs. PUNCH PUNCH! Massage, massage. Then she punched the BOTTOM of my feet. PUNCH! PUNCH! Massage, massage.
My arms and legs were moved in all sorts of positions that would rival the Karma Sutra. Trust me, some of these positions would make your face red.
Through it all, I thought, "It can't possibly get worse than that."
4) Fourth step in suspense. Prove yourself wrong.
THEN to TOP IT ALL, she CLIMBED ON TOP of me and started sliding her knees up and down behind my oiled thighs and calves. It felt great BUT A NEKKID WOMAN WAS SLIDING UP AND DOWN ME. ARgggghhhhh.
There was nothing I could say or do. I had seaweed in my eyes, on my face, in my mouth. I was supposed to be relaxed and feeling at one with the universe. I wasn't. And I couldn't run away. A naked, hysterical woman with weird stuff pasted on her face running down the street in
5) The Suspense Ends. Your Heroine and Hero Survive.
The last part of the Super Pack involved the Mummy Experience. My masseuse scalded me with the HOTTEST towels I ever had and deep massaged me. Then she cooled me off with cold towels. Repeat with Hot Towels.
I was finally unmasked...and had to hide my maniacal trying-not-to-scream smile. She cleaned me off, picking seaweed crumbs off my face, MY ARMPITS, even washed my hair and massaged the top of my head. I prayed that this part would NOT include smacking the top of my head. No thumping on the head, whew.
She poured milky stuff all over me and did a slow rub down. I almost slid off the table, the stuff was so slick. Finally, she matter-of-factly tapped my shoulder and pointed to the nearby spa pool to wash off. I crawled away in relief.
I will tell you girls, just like finishing a suspense novel, I couldn't walk properly the next morning. I still couldn't feel my body parts. I felt like I'd been in a Korean SPAR.
And *that* is my writing process.