February Author Spotlight: Sabrina Garie Part I

Hello, again, readers! It’s time for a new author spotlight! February’s spotlight is the wonderful Sabrina Garie, a dear friend of mine. Today, Sabrina is discussing her writing process for our benefit. So raise your glasses and give her a toast! To Sabrina!

Part II will cover her smexy book Fires of Justice! Here’s a sneak at the blurb:



Always read the fine print when swearing an eternal oath to gods and guardians…

Beholden by the sacred vows of her coven, fire witch Calista Reid agrees to temporarily mate with shifter Cullen McMahan to fulfill a mission assigned by the guardians. When Tall, Dark and Damaged arrives on her doorstep, generating enough heat to scorch a fire witch, Calista finds herself drawn to his battle-hardened body and broken soul. His pain speaks to her own deep-rooted isolation and the intensity of his hunger slakes her passion like no other.


Cullen, scarred by a past that left him an indentured soldier to the guardians, resents yet another hump-on-command assignment…until he encounters the compassionate, fearless, incendiary redhead who detonates his body and reawakens the emotions sacrifice and loss had suppressed. But Cullen harbors a terrible secret—one that reaches back into Calista’s troubled childhood and threatens the foundation of their growing bond.

Smexy, right? Oh yes, indeedy!


So on to Sabrina!

A Logic of Creative Writing


I’m so pleased to be visiting with Fiona. She is a truly wonderful person and talented artist. Her writer’s voice is fresh and authentic, her graphic images bold and inspiring.  She asked me to discuss my approach to writing so here goes.


I’m one of those people who thinks things to death.  Head and logic driven, I’ve been accused of being the more male persona by some of the men with whom I’ve been in relationships. My friends always yell at me to shut my brain done sometimes and just feel.  What does this have to do with writing, you ask?  It shapes my creative process in particular ways—by adding some structure and habits to prod and capture unexpected jolts of creative energy.


Training the Muse


To begin with, the logical mind (mine included) relies on data and research to inform (not make) decisions.  A lot of research suggests that creativity is best stimulated by some degree of structure.  Coming to the page with a pretty set routine—be it daily, triweekly, biweekly, whatever—is proven to enhance creative productivity.  Counterintuitive maybe, but as someone who has to sneak their writing in between full-time work, sole parenthood  and other community, family and social obligations, establishing a writing routine is the only way I can get something done.  And the fact it’s backed by research calms my android-type mind. 


I think of it as training the muse.  A bit Pavlovian?  Maybe, but it seems creativity gets used to a routine.  I write every morning.  The alarm goes off at 5:00, I pull my butt out of bed by 6:00 and write for half an hour to an hour before breakfast, guaranteed.  I may do some at night if I can, and on the weekends, but the morning is my writing time.  So my muse knows that it’s her time to come out to play. I don’t wait for her, rather I create the conditions that invite her. 


Given the density of my life, things like daily or even weekly word counts don’t work for me.  While deadlines ignite a fire under my derriere like most people, writing often has no real deadlines outside the ones we set for ourselves.  For me, habit works to move my writing forward.


Grappling with those recalcitrant plot points


Another strategy I use is to write down my plot, world and character building questions. Writing them down helps clarify the problem and shows both the logical and creative sides where to spend their energies. The problem is those answers come when they do, not neatly during my structured writing periods.  So, I always have a notebook in my purse, pens and journals in top drawer of my bedside table, and have learned to use the voice notes for those odd times in the car.  There’s even a pen in the bathroom. Just in case.


Those some of key strategies I use.  What do you do to keep your creativity fresh and available?


You can find Sabrina at her website, on Twitter, and on Facebook!

Ellora’s Cave   http://www.ellorascave.com/fires-of-justice.html

Barnes and Noble   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fires-of-justice-sabrina-garie/1112582075?ean=9781419941542


Technorati Tags: Fires of Justice, Sabrina Garie

About FionaDruce

  • Sabrina Garie

    Thanks for having me Fiona. I’m so glad to be here trading writing tips and talking about books with a peep. Always a great way to spend some time.

    • http://www.fionadruce.com/ Fiona Druce

      My pleasure! Thanks so much for stopping by!! And thanks for the tips…I think we all know how frustrating it is to feel beholden to our own creativity. -_-

  • http://www.fionadruce.com/ Fiona Druce

    So, I have finally two moments to rub together and am going to comment! :)

    I have a rule that each day I must write a certain amount. It’s an amount that works for me and fits with my schedule. Dean Wesley Smith (www.deanwesleysmith.com) has a really good layout on how to establish a daily word count.

    Then I have a general time frame with which I can write that amount. I’m a stay-at-home- *and* work-at-home-mom so my schedule is constantly in a state of complete fluctuation, but this gives me the lee-way to get done what I need to get done.

    In many ways, it’s really just a variety of the way that you do it. Which I really think is important for most people. Training that creative drive is like training for a marathon: gotta just keep running. Can’t finish the marathon if you don’t have the endurance. :)

    • Sabrina Garie

      I think we all need to do what works for us and our own schedules. Whenever else is facebooking about their 1000+ word days, and that is not even in the realm of my possibility right now, I focus on persistence, and just keep coming back to the page and making sure things move forward. I won’t cross the line first, but I will cross the line.

      • http://www.fionadruce.com/ Fiona Druce

        That is exactly the key, I think: finding what works for you. Otherwise it becomes a task and chore and you lose the heart of it. Motto mention adding unnecessary stress, lol

  • Ellie Heller

    “I don’t wait for her, rather I create conditions that invite her.” <– great line. :-)

    • Sabrina Garie

      Thanks Ellie.

  • Sabrina Garie

    By the way, I forgot to mention you do such a great job in designing the page. My blog posts have never looked this good, anywhere.

    • http://www.fionadruce.com/ Fiona Druce

      Aww, thank you! :D *beams* :D

  • http://twitter.com/JenniferJames34 Jennifer James

    I erected a shrine in my office replete with vampire salt and pepper shakers, the preserved exoskeleton of a tarantula, a fairy house, lots of books, swag, zombie posters, signs warning of imminent vampire attack, and on really bad days I break out the Pepsi and Jack with Honey, spiked Hot cocoa, or a Dirty Palmer. Then I sit at my computer and curse at it, get interrupted six or fifteen times, and maybe, just maybe, produce words like secret fairy dust I farted.

    • Sabrina Garie

      That sounds like just too much fun. I have coffee and a fat cat. I might go and find me some of those salt and pepper shakers and the wine (in the bottle) is never far away when writing in the evening.

      • http://twitter.com/JenniferJames34 Jennifer James

        The salt and pepper shakers are awesome. Friends got them for me for Christmas. The boy vamp is biting the girl vamp. :) (And all that stuff I listed, I really DO have. There’s also my high school and community college diplomas, a teddy bear with a cast and crutches, pictures my kids drew, a Happy Bunny calendar, a big blue circular chair…..)