Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Writing Soundtracks... Er, Playlists

Typically when I’m writing I have some kind of music playing in the background.  Sometimes I’m hitting up the soundtracks of Rent, Lord of the Rings, or even my most recent addition of Disney’s Rio.  Lots of the time I simply tune in to my Sirius account and listen to various satellite radio stations throughout the day.  I’ve been known to listen to classic Bach, Beethoven and Vivaldi.  But when I’m deeply immersed in a story (whether it’s The Chosen, The Gifted, or Immortals) I tend to put my trusty iPod on continuous repeat and sink myself into one of the ‘writing’ playlists that I’ve created for myself – full of songs that evoke thought and a variety emotions that I can channel into the characters and stories that I’m writing. 

Whether its Evanescence’s My Immortal (which ironically I don’t often listen to when I’m working on Immortals), The Killers’ Human, or Candle (Sick and Tired) by The White Tie Affair, the music becomes as much a driving force behind my writing as the dreams that first brought them to life.  The characters in the stories may come to be represented by a particular song.  A particular scene or chapter may be directed by a set of songs that give them meaning or power during the writing process.  The music infuses me with the emotions or perspective that I want to take and allows me to more easily flow through the situations that I create and describe as I write.

As an example, and to give you a peek at the songs that I might listen to when working on emotional scenes between my two lead characters, my playlist includes (but is not limited to):

Garth Brooks – The Dance
Blake Shelton – Austin
Allan Gray – Best I Ever Had
Five Times August – Better With You
The Wreakers – The Good Kind
Matt Nathanson – Faster
Hedley – For The Nights I Can’t Remember
Sara Bareilles – Gravity
Rascal Flatts – Help Me Remember
Darius Rucker – History in the Making
Gavin Degraw – I Don’t Wanna Be
Jason Mraz – If It Kills Me
Faith Hill & Tim McGraw – It’s Your Love
Christina Perri – Jar of Hearts
Taylor Swift – Love Story
The Killers - Mr. Brightside
Lady Antebellum – Need You Now
Kate Nash – Nicest Thing
Franz Ferdinand – No You Girls
O.A.R. – Shattered (Turn the Car Around)
One Republic – Stop and Stare
Katy Perry – Thinking of You
Scouting for Girls – This Ain’t a Love Song
Coldplay – Viva la Vida
Thriving Ivory – Where We Belong
The Fray – You Found Me

So what do you listen to when you write? Or when you’re working on something? Or are you the type of writer who needs silence to create?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So This is What I'm Doing

I once described how I came up with the stories that I write.  (To see that post go here.)  It’s what works for me as a creative process.  Of course there are the inevitable ‘dry’ periods where for whatever reason I’m just not coming up with anything new.  During those times I do whatever I can to keep writing – and being a busy mom, sometimes student, and occasionally gainfully employed person, the time I have to write can sometimes be pretty scarce… Case in point: January through August of this last year.  In the last two posts I’ve mentioned the three stories that I have in the works (as LD Ferris) and I told you little bit about where each of them stood.  Now I want to tell you a little bit more about each.

The Chosen

The idea behind this one is something of a universal good vs. evil plot.  There are a few twists, a couple turns, an (almost) love triangle, shades of grey, and that question that seems always to be asked – how much are you willing to sacrifice to achieve the end you seek? 

Lynora Montgomery is the oldest of three sisters who grew up in Massachusetts.  She’s an honor student at Yale, a kind, caring, and generous individual, who is popular, serious, and most importantly, a witch; a really powerful, really ‘good’ witch.  There are a lot of extenuating circumstances, a few complete surprises (even to me) and some really good friends.  When the darkness of evil starts to thicken, she and all those around her know that they must do what they can to snuff it out. 

But what do you do, when the only way to save the ones you love is to give up everything that you are, and everything that you have within you?


In many ways my fascination with the paranormal, the fantastical, the mythological and (lol) the beauty of Greece combined in to a dream, an idea that then became Immortals.  The immortals, or the Athanatos (thanatos=death in Greek, a-thanatos=undying) as they call themselves in this story, were created, bred and born by the ancient gods and goddesses.  Though the primary mythological backgrounds in this story are based in Greek mythology, there are also aspects of Celtic, Viking, Roman, Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Sumerian mythology as well.  
Identifying Mark of the Athanatos

This story is centered on Alexis Vasilios, a young woman born in Greece and raised in the USA, who discovers that she has strange abilities, powers that exceed the imagination, when she is in a car accident with her best friends.  Through her extraordinary efforts she is able to save her friend, thus making her realize that somehow, someway, she’s different from every one she’s ever known, although she doesn’t, indeed can’t recognize how truly different and superb she really is.  It is Xander NIkitas, the Athanatos seeker who manages to track her down and explain her remarkable heritage to her.  Yet as they learn more about her history, they are both shocked by the depths of truths that they find.   

Alexis’s story is about her self discovery, not only of her abilities but of a place and a people who she feels she can belong with.  Through her incredible journey she also manages to uncover a secret power play within the Athanatos community, she forges friendships that will last forever, and finds the one man who she can see herself loving through time immortal.

The Gifted

This story is set close to home… literally.  With settings near Magrath, Pincher Creek, Lethbridge, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria, as well as some locations throughout Europe, this story is told, more or less, about right here at home.  Interestingly enough, though not really surprising when you think about it, when imagining and describing some of the characters personalities, I’ve found bits and pieces of myself and the people actually in my life appearing on the page in front of me.  (You may have noticed in the introduction of Dawn McKenna that I said she took a job teaching dance at a studio in Lethbridge… And everyone who knows me knows that I danced for years, and still consider teaching.)  It’s been an interesting process, so far, telling a story about places that I actually visit all the time – some more than others. 

Photo from
As for what the story is actually about, well, to put it simply: the gifted.  Individuals, and whole groups of people, that are gifted with supernatural and extraordinary abilities or talents.  It’s not about witches in the way that The Chosen is, or beings created for a specific purpose as those in Immortals, but it’s about a world, our world, that exists along side a whole host of other similar worlds, all connected together.  From those other worlds, beings of supernatural origin have come across into our world and over the millennia have congregated in groups for survival.  There are vampires, fae, were-creatures (including lions, cougars, panthers, bears, wolves, etc.), sprites, brownies, leprechauns, berserkers, and other species.  

The Gifted tells a story about six people (the three Tallant siblings, Dawn McKenna, her cousin Shayla O’Conner and her best friend Bradford Lawrence) and how their lives come together and change, until they aren’t just six people, and they aren’t just siblings, or cousins, or friends.  Through their experiences, through the challenges of responsibility and even fate, they become three couples, and they become a family. 

So that is what I’m working on, most of the time anyways.  It’s so much fun creating these stories – the ‘worlds’ that they exist in, the characters and people who inhabit them, the things both real and amazing and those that are fantastical and imagined.  It can be aggravating, frustrating, annoying, complicated, mind numbing and hard, difficult work, but it is so worth the effort and the time it takes.  To read, even an unfinished work-in-progress, is so rewarding and enjoyable, and really, really, just fun.  I honestly love it.  Every single part of it.  And now, I’m going to get back to it! 

See you again soon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Meet: Dawn McKenna

Here I am again, later than I’d intended this morning, but back again with another update.  I’ve been busy writing – for The Gifted, as well as blog writing, and the short stories I’ve got on the go over at Becoming Dawn.  So I don’t have a lot of time to take with this update but I do have an introduction to make.  I’m very excited to introduce you all to another character (my leading lady) from The Gifted: Dawn McKenna.

This, like the introduction I gave you to Dylan many months ago, is just a sneak peak at her.  As I go along I’ll keep introducing you to more of the characters, but also I’ll give you more information about each of them, in bits and pieces… Something like a puzzle, all of the info you get will eventually go together to make them understandable.

So here she is…


She’s used to being in control. 

Since her own parent’s death several years ago, Dawn McKenna has been in charge of running ‘McKenna’s End,’ the ranch that her father and his own brother started together when they were young.  She has lots of help, advice and input, from her uncle and her cousins, as well as from the others who live on and work the ranch, but in many ways McKenna’s End became like her very own fiefdom.  But more than that, it became a safety net and a place to hide from the rest of the world.

When her cousin, Shayla O’Connor convinces her that they need to get away for a couple of months and explore ‘the world’ beyond southern Alberta, everyone at McKenna’s End pushes her to go.  And since she wanted to visit some of their extended family who lived in Europe anyways, Dawn finally agreed. 

Part way through Dawn finds out about the death of the Tallant’s parents and rushes home to attend the funeral.  And that’s when everything begins to change and she starts to realize that you can only ever control things to a certain point.  After that, you have let fate have its way.

To remain close to Tallants’ in the months after their loss, Dawn takes a position as a dance teacher at a Lethbridge studio.  Using the travel distance as an excuse, she moves from McKenna’s End (which is located at the base of the Rockies) to Dylan, Aidan and Winter’s house in Lethbridge.  But that’s exactly what it is, an excuse.  There is really a much better, much more important reason for her desire to move, especially her desire to move in with them.

Through it all she struggles with maintaining a balance between having control and not, with sharing herself but not sharing too much, and finding a way for everyone to be happy.

(Ah there’s that control issue again…)

[All characters and information is from The Gifted.  The Gifted is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblence to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.]  
copyright 2010 Lacey Ferris

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Getting Back In To Things

Surprise! Amazing I know, but yes… I’m back again with an update.  It’s probably going to be short but it’s an update. 
I’m trying to put all my blog updates onto a schedule this fall so that I don’t end up with one blog having updates all the time, while my other blogs stand lonely and, more or less, dead. If, and I really stress that if, things go according to what I’ve worked out for myself, then you should see at least one update a week here on Inside My Mind.  Actually you should see about an update a week on my reviews blog and my other writing blog too. 
[Me? I’m keeping my fingers crossed…]
About that other writing blog I mentioned… Becoming Dawn is a new blog that I’ve started that is going to showcase the contemporary writing that I plan to do – it may be romance, mystery, suspense or just plain old fiction (which, let’s be honest, includes all of the aforementioned aspects).  Because that writing will contrast somewhat sharply with what I generally write I’ve decided to write it (and publish) using a penname.  To see more on this, or to find out what I’ve got going in that direction please feel free to visit Becoming Dawn anytime.
For the writing that I talk about here and whatever I may showcase or spotlight here on Inside My Mind, I will continue to use Lacey Ferris, or LD Ferris.  It’s just easier for me to separate that which I write as fantastical from that which I write as reality if I ‘separate’ the authors’ identity.  Even if I and everyone else know that they are actually the same person.
So what did Lacey write this week?  Hhmm… She wrote this blog.  Which granted isn’t much but I’ve had kids going back to school, extra-curricular’s to organize and schedule, and started on a cleaning sweep through the house.  Exciting, huh?  LOL – I was sort of a boring but busy woman this last week, and everything that I was doing seemed to revolve around someone else.  This next week is mine though… right?
I am diving back in to The Gifted soon though.  So, realistically I should have another one or two character profiles that I could put up soon. (Click here to see the first of the character profiles for The Gifted.)  And I’ve been thinking of trying to scour through celeb pictures online to try and find faces that come close to what I’m seeing in my mind.  I haven’t decided whether I want to do that yet though because I’m always scared that I’ll slack at describing them because I’m thinking to myself ‘it’s the girl/guy in the picture.’
I’m still working on the edits for The Chosen too.  That story is by far the most done and closest to being complete.  It still has a ways to go but with a good 60,000 words I have it at that point where it’s comfortably uncomfortably waiting for me.  I’m going to have to turn my focus back to it soon though, I think, because I actually had another dream about my characters there and what they’re telling me now is something slightly different from how we began.  I’ll manage to straighten it out though, I always do.
And Immortals is merely waiting for me.  Once I get some more out of Gifted and Chosen though it’ll be full bore ahead on this one, especially since it was only meant to be novella length in the first place.  And yes, my immortals are growing as impatient with me as my witches and shape-shifters are. 
Can’t you hear them yelling?
“Hurry up and tell the bloody story Lacey!”
I guess I better listen.
Talk to you again soon… (next week if all goes according to my plan!)  
Tootles! Lacey :-)