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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

INTERVIEW: F.L. BICKNELL

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes F.L. Bicknell whose latest release Making Love in the Rain was released last month from Freya's Bower. Leave a comment on this interview and you might win a $5 gift certificate to Freya's Bower.

"Olivia is a woman who is careful about how she portrays herself, but when she meets Ben, she truly does throw caution to the wind," Faith told me. "Sometimes love can make us do things we’d never normally consider, so I like that about Making Love in the Rain."

Growing up, Faith read Walter Farley's books over and over again. Her father's side of the family lived and breathed rodeo for years, so Faith grew up around horses and wanted to be a jockey when she grew up. Unfortunately, by the time she was ten, she was pushing 5'9" and 115 pounds.

"My dreams of winning races were dashed before I even hit puberty," she said with a laugh.

She also wrote, though, from the time she was a kid. She wrote her first story when she was six and wrote story after story—moving from crayon to pen to typewriter to word processor and now to computers. While she was in school, other students would pass around short stories and novels she had written, and she still has a handwritten manuscript of a fantasy adventure that is around 200 pages long.

Her mother always had a book in her hand when Faith was growing up. Her grandfather was the same way, plus he liked to write as well.

"I guess wanting to write is hereditary," she told me with a laugh.

Her mother enjoyed reading Terry Brooks, Alice Hoffman, and Stephen King and would pass the really good books on to Faith.

"I’d sit and read them, especially when we had really long, hard winders here in these hills," she said.

Faith told me that she doesn't do very much developing of plot and character with her writing—that they pop into her head nearly intact.

"Sounds odd, " she admitted, but that's how my mind works."

"What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?" I asked her.

"First, knowing the basics of grammar and creative writing before the writer starts pounding out the story, and secondly a clean, flowing style is a definite plus. Writers need to learn that once h/she is finished with that first or second draft, the manuscript must be put away for a minimum of two weeks before another revision is done. That way the brain and the eyes are fresh and don’t jump over obvious errors. Way too many stories are pounded out, given a lick and a promise, and then sent to submissions."

Often unexpected things will appear in Faith's work that startles her.

"Irony often pops up in my stories, like giving a character a name that is opposite of their personality and then the character grows to fit that name," she explained. "Foreshadowing appears a lot in my work, and most especially symbolism. Many readers have told me how much they love the symbolism in my stories, but I truly am not aware I do this until it’s pointed out to me."

Faith's interests are diverse and she's constantly hungering to learn more about things unusual or historical. Her thirst for knowledge constantly fuels her stories with new and unique ideas.

"How do you personally distinguish between pornography, erotica, and erotic romance?" I wondered.

"Hmph. Nowadays I’m not so sure. I see more and more material published that’s labeled erotic romance, but once I start reading I’m bombarded by graphic sex and no emotion. If the emotion is absent, the material is porn, period. Porn fiction degrades one of the characters and is simply for instant sexual gratification. Erotica is about the sex and the plot revolves around the sex. If the sex is removed, the plot falls apart. Erotica isn’t as easy to write as many writers believe."

From time to time, Faith has problems with writer's block, and she finally realized it was caused by stress.

"Stress from family, friends, life, or whatever ties me up in knots then settles in my writing, preventing me from working."

"What do you do about it?" I asked.

She laughed. "Cuss a lot."

I asked her to tell us about her writing space.

"For the time being, my pc isn’t compatible with the new wireless, and my laptop needs replaced, so I sit in my bedroom (with the only outlet my laptop will function on) by the window that faces the pond. It’s quite lovely in the morning, especially if there’s mist rising from the water. We have two Canadian geese living here this summer, so it’s always comforting to watch them. Also, the bullfrogs at the pond do a great imitation of the Bud-weis-er croaks," she said, laughing.

When she's working online, from time to tome her husband and kids will give her very strange looks. The reason? If someone asks Faith a question on Facebook or in email, she answers it aloud before she starts typing.

"Have you ever eaten a crayon?" I wondered. Faith laughed. "No! However, my mother said I was horrible about stuffing paper up my nose when I was a toddler. She said she was constantly sprinkling pepper on my nose to get me to sneeze the paper out. But if I were to eat a crayon, it would be red. I like red."

Finally, I asked, "If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?"

"I would ask God or the Powers that Be to plan my birth in the 1940s. I have said over and over that I got into publishing at the wrong time. I should’ve entered publishing 20 years before I did. I love e-publishing, but my dream is to get into traditional publishing and maintain a good career through it. The problem, though, is that people nowadays have very short attention spans—texting, games, fast-paced movies—so it makes it very difficult to work in traditional publishing. The love and beauty of how words and sentences are put together have given way to shorter paragraphs, common words, and instant gratification. It’s sad because the written word is a true gift no matter what language."

Faith wanted to leave you with her two favorite quotes:

"Better to write for yourself & have no public than to write for the public & have no self."~Cyril Connolly.

And

"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ~Stephen King.

About the Author: F.L. Bicknell's work has appeared in a wide range of genres and publications such as: Would That It Were, Touch, GC, and Ohio Writer magazines as well as with publications in Canada and Turkey. Under her pseudonym, Molly Diamond, she was a regular contributor to Gent and Ruthie's Club and has had fiction published in Hustler's Busty Beauties, Penthouse Variations, and Twenty 1 Lashes. Ms. Bicknell is the author of several e-book and print titles, also writing as Azura Ice. She has served as co-editor and managing editor for three different publishing houses. She is represented by TriadaUS Literary Agency.

Find the author online at:

www.FaithBicknell.com
http://www.facebook.com/faithbicknellbrown
www.facebook.com/F.L.Bicknell
www.Twitter.com/FLBicknell
www.myspace.com/faith_zinnia
www.kinglegraph/authors/FLBicknell

Olivia is a single mother struggling to raise her daughter, finish college, and work at a popular café. Her ex-fiancé has tainted her view on love, but a chance meeting on a rooftop with a new tenant in her building changes Olivia's life forever.

When Ben meets the fiercely independent Olivia, he knows he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. However, neighbors catch them making love in the elevator, and the repercussions might end not only Olivia's livelihood but their budding relationship, too.

Do they have more to hold them together than one night of making love in the rain?

19 comments:

Faith said...

I'm late getting here, but has been a crazy week! Thank you very much for the lovely interview.

Anthology Authors said...

I am amazed at how much you are able to get done, Faith. One day, we will meet, and it will be change the world. (g)

Marci

Faith said...

LOL, you sound like my hubby on the "change the world" thing. He keeps telling me he's going to retire soon.

daintress said...

I think that Cyril Connolly quote is one of my new favorites as well. Great interview!

I particularly relate to characters emerging fully-formed, and unintended symbolism. These are amazing gifts. I look forward to reading your work!

Faith said...

Afternoon, Daintress!

Thank you so much for reading, commenting, and also your lovely compliments! :-)

Patricia said...

Loved the interview. Your writing space is one I envy, being able to see the mist over the water and the ducks, or was it geese? Nature, for sure, would help my stress level, but the cussing would do as well!
Good luck in your future writing endeavors, Faith. I enjoyed reading your definition of the different genres.

Faith said...

Hello Patricia!

LOL, it was geese, although I've been telling the hubby I'd like to have a couple ducks as pets. However, I'm afraid with all the predators in these parts that the ducklings would be eaten. I'd have to take them to and from the pond every day.

I shouldn't cuss and I try very hard not to, especially now that I have four very young grandbabies.

Janice Seagraves said...

Great interview, Faith.

The unintentional symbolism is interesting.

Janice~

Cassie Exline said...

Love your work area, especially the mist rising off the water, the frogs and we can't forget the geese. Great quotes.

Faith said...

Hi Janice and Cassie. Great to "see" you both!

I had to move heavy furniture in the bdrm to make my work area, but the view, birdsong, and other sounds of nature were worth it. :-)

Celtic Chick said...

Hi Faith,

I think it's great that you grew up in a family of readers. My father was an avid reader and that rubbed off on me. I remember reading adult books like The Andromeda Strain at a very young age because I would borrow his books.

Best wishes to you and your recent release.

Louisa Bacio said...

Interesting that you've like to be born in the '40s. I can understand your comment about wanting to "live" within the traditional publishing world. Exciting times are happening now, though!

Jenn Nixon said...

Congrats on your release. Sounds great!

Desirée Lee said...

I, too, was fortunate enough to have a family member who fostered my reading addiction. In my case, it was my grandmother who always had books around and let me have full access to them whenever I wanted.

I love your work Faith and wish you success with your latest release.

Carpe Noctem,
Des

Desirée Lee
Putting the Romance back in Necromancy
http://www.desireelee.com
des@desireelee.com

Kate Richards said...

Love learning new things about you...and the title Love in the Rain is wonderful! I have to read it.

Anthology Authors said...

I have to wonder how many authors have unintentional symbolism. It just makes me think of the classics and writing book reports. LOL How many reports I wrote where the symbolism meant specific things. It makes me wonder if that is really what the author meant or just what the professors decided it meant.

Teresa D'Amario said...

I have noticed the same things about symbolism, Faith. We just throw things out, writing the story as it comes to us, then later you look back and Wow! Symbolism sneaks in at the oddest of times!

Faith said...

Wow, lots of comments today, thank you!

I realize many parents nurture the desire to read in their children but I think it's not as common as it was. Too much chaos and stress in so many lives. It"s easier to feel a kid to go play a game or watch tv. When I was very young we only got three channels, lol.

Sumbolism is a cool tool in fiction, but yeah I wonder how many use it unintentionally, too.

Long and Short Reviews said...

Congratulations to Daintress, the randomly drawn commenter on this post. Please send your email address to lasreviews(at)gmail(dot)com