What’s Needed to Write
Before we get started. I’d like to thank everyone at The Novel Approach for having me here to talk about my newest release from Dreamspinner, Whither Thou Goest, which is the second book in the Finding Home series. They’ve also give me the opportunity to discuss something I love—writing. Thanks muchly!
When I’m about to start writing, I need three things—plot, (gotta have one of those, otherwise you just sit and stare at a blank monitor) characters, (yep, need them too) and a title.
Okay, four things. There’s also the matter of character names, which can be fun. As well as books that offer 20,001 names for babies, I have websites bookmarked for just about every nationality: Celtic, English, American, Russian, Ancient Rome and Greece. It’s also intriguing to choose a name due to its meaning. For instance, once I came up with the name Shani Amala, which is a combination of African and Arabic and means wonderful hope.
You’d be surprised at how important a name can be just in the process of getting the story written. In Whither Thou Goest, you’ll meet a character named Dutch, who’s first mate of the August Moon. He ordered Johnny not to shake his ass around the men. Fine, right? That was the way things were throughout history. But then he showed some sympathy to Johnny, and the story screeched to a halt, because let’s face it, Dutch can be one or the other, but not both. But then the light bulb went off and I came up with Nick, the wireless operator. He would fill in the slot as a friend to Johnny quite nicely. And the story moved on once more.
Another thing about Nick. He wasn’t originally supposed to be of Norwegian extraction. I used a couple of Norwegian words, stor and jente, (well, actually Lillegard used them, I just wrote them down) and I needed a way to explain what they meant at the time they were being used, in addition to placing a translation in the author’s notes. And abruptly, it made sense for him to become Nick Hendricksen.
But let’s get back to considering a title. Of everything I’ve mentioned, the title is the most important, because I’ve found if I don’t have that, nothing gets done. I’ve named stories really dumb things (even going so far as Looking for a Title), but as long as there’s something at the top of the page, I’ll be able to write.
I’ve used whatever I can get my hands on; song titles, a quote from Shakespeare, lines from songs, lines from poems, a line of dialogue from a movie.
That’s not to say what I’ve come up with remains the title. One book, Where the Heart Chooses, went through three different titles, while another, Two Lips, Indifferent Red, had files with four different names before I finally settled on a fifth.
Even this book had its share of titles. It started as The Adventures of Johnny and Chet (I know, totally lame) and from there segued to Into the Fray, which really didn’t make much sense and which I didn’t care for either. And then Chetwood told Johnny to stick with him, and Johnny replied, “Sure thing, Mr. Chetwood. Whither thou goest, right?”
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! *cough*
I know a good cover can draw you when looking for a book, but how likely are you to make a choice based on the title?
This book and these characters are like my children. As their Mom, I love them. As the reader, I hope you will as well.
About the Book
Series: Finding Home: Book Two
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Christine Griffin
Categories: High Fantasy/Fantasy, Historical Romance
Blurb: Johnny Smith meets Church Chetwood during the dark days of the Great Depression. He knows Mr. Chetwood can’t be his forever. Why would the handsome and charming director want to stay with a young man who has nothing but his body and skills in bed to offer? His Mr. Chetwood can have any women—or man—he wants, but Johnny is going to keep him as long as he can.
When they have to leave suddenly on the SS August Moon to evade the process servers trying to find Church, Johnny is glad they’ll have more time together. But the crew rises up against the good Captain Johansen, urged on by a stowaway who wants the August Moon for himself. Johnny and Church, together with the captain, the cook, a wireless operator, and the little girl Johnny saved from prostitution, are cast off into a small lifeboat—and doomed to the open sea. Their other option is to try to land on the island where Church once discovered a saber-toothed tiger. The problem is, the last time Church was on this island, twelve men paid the price with their lives. Will Johnny, Church, and their friends make it out alive this time?
Buy the Book: Dreamspinner Press
“Whitey, ain’t you got some work to do?” Dutch growled from across the deck. Whitey recoiled as if he’d been jabbed with an electric wire.
Dutch kept order among his men with his fists and a truncheon, and even though Whitey claimed he was a good friend of Dutch’s, he didn’t dare disobey. The look Whitey sent me promised vile things if he ever caught me alone, and he clearly had every intention of catching me alone. He disappeared down the gangway.
“Thanks, Dutch.” I let out a shaky breath. “He was getting a little pushy.”
“Yeah, well, what can you expect when you shake that ass of yours around my men? Stay away from ’em, Smith, or I ain’t gonna be responsible for what happens.”
A hard flush crept up my cheeks. It wouldn’t matter if I told him I hadn’t been shaking anything around any of the men. Whitey wasn’t the only one who believed I could be had for the taking. So far the only thing that kept them in line was the fact that Mr. Chetwood had winged one of the crew when he’d tried to jump me, and the skipper had put the man off at the next port.
Avoiding Dutch’s contemptuous gaze, I gathered up the tray and broken bits of crockery, then edged past him and went down to the galley.
About the Author
Tinnean has been writing since the 3rd grade, where she was inspired to try her hand at epic poetry. Fortunately, that epic poem didn’t survive the passage of time; however, her love of writing not only survived but thrived, and in high school she became a member of the magazine staff, where she contributed a number of stories.
It was with the advent of the family’s second computer – the first intimidated everyone – that her writing took off, enhanced in part by fanfiction, but mostly by the wonder that is copy and paste.
While involved in fandom, she was nominated for both Rerun and Light My Fire Awards. Now she concentrates on her original characters and has been published by Nazca Plains, Dreamspinner, JMS Books, and Wilde City, as well as being self-published. Recent novels have received honorable mention in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Rainbow Awards, and two of the 2014 submissions were finalists. At the moment, she’s working on Just the Thought of You, Book 3 of her Mann of My Dreams series.
A New Yorker at heart, she resides in SW Florida with her husband and two computers.
Ernest Hemingway’s words reflect Tinnean’s devotion to her craft: Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.