Tag Archives: Spooks

Exploring the Creative Process-Part IX: Interview with Abby Vegas

Just in time to bid farewell to another month and celebrate the release of her Lucas North-inspired novel, Clean Break, here’s our interview with Abby Vegas. abby_vegas
What type of environment do you need to write?
Someplace comfortable! In the summer I write on my screen porch, and in cold weather I write inside by the fire. Background music is a must for getting words on the page, but when I’m editing I usually prefer to work in silence.
How do your ideas come to you? Do you always write them or do you let them disappear?
Clean Break was my first novel and I drew inspiration from so many different places — movies, books, fairy tales, Spooks, real-life experience, and pure imagination. It took some time for the whole thing to come together. In the process I’ve absolutely let some ideas come and go. You can’t pack everything into one novel.
Do you plan a story from the beginning to end or start with an idea and let the chapters come to you as they do?
Clean BreakA little of both, although I think I veer closer to flying by the seat of my pants. With Clean Break I had a definite idea of where I wanted to start and finish, but how I’d get there was still a mystery when I started writing. The characters didn’t really come to life in my head until I had them on the page, talking and moving and thinking, making mistakes and learning from them. And some directions I initially took the story didn’t work, so I had to rethink my approach and try again.
 
Do you prefer writing easy, quick stories or long, layered stories?
 
Both! Short stories are a lot of fun because they don’t take two years to write (and edit and publish.) But there’s something very satisfying about a long-form story, too, and that’s why I wanted to try my hand at writing a novel. There’s freedom to explore in all that space, and I loved bringing in the secondary characters and taking time with some of the thematic elements.
 
Which do you find easier to write: dialogue or description – or are they equally hard/easy?
 
Writing dialogue is definitely easier for me. Description and introspection are a hard nut to crack – but it’s immensely satisfying to nail it, which I hope I do on occasion.
 
Is there anything that you won’t write or feel uncomfortable writing?
 
I wouldn’t say I *won’t* write it, but explicit sex scenes and erotica are not my forte. Given a choice, I’ll leave that to the experts.
 
What do you do to cure writer’s block? What advice can you give to new writers who might be scared to post their stories?
 
The only cure for writer’s block is to write. I’ve learned to embrace the wretched first draft as a necessary part of the process.
 
My advice to a new writer would be: start small. Try writing a one-shot fanfiction, post it on an appropriate site of your choosing, and see what kind of feedback you get. Then repeat the process. Fanfiction is an amazing point of entry for new fiction writers (I call it my gateway drug) because you have this built-in community of voracious readers and fans who are already invested in the characters and their stories. And connect with other writers in your genre! The fanfiction sites are an excellent resource for that kind of networking.
 
What is your favorite book and why?
 
Shining Through by Susan Isaacs — I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this novel. It’s a historical romantic spy-thriller chick-lit masterpiece with a kick-ass heroine. It’s just so good.
 
Abby´s Official Website:
http://www.AbbyVegasAuthor.com (includes bonus material for Clean Break + four nonfiction RA fandom adventures)
Twitter:
You can get her “Clean Break” at Amazon.com and AmazonUK.
 Visit Abby’s site and read the first ten chapters of the novel for free: FREE SAMPLE
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Through the Looking Glass

In Einstein’s equation, time is a river. It speeds up, meanders, and slows down. The new wrinkle is that it can have whirlpools and fork into two rivers. So, if time-travel-clockthe river of time can be bent into a pretzel, create whirlpools and fork into two rivers, then time travel cannot be ruled out.
Michio Kaku

A few weeks ago, wholly immersed in the heartbreaking and horrific journey of Richard’s latest creation for the small screen, I couldn’t help but wish I could conjure up H.G.Wells’ proverbial time machine to have grown-up Dolarhyde meet Reba before there was no turning back or to provide baby Francis with the loving and nurting family he was denied.

Let’s face it, how many times during our exploration of Mr. Armitage’s body of work have we asked ourselves “What if?” or yearned to rewrite painful, implausible, sloppy or out-of-character storylines?

Life might not give us a chance to rewrite the past, but if we let ourselves believe, we can pour ourselves a cuppa, sit back and enjoy a good story in which our favourite character gets the lady of his dreams, takes a different path and lives to see the final credits roll.

To get you started, I have put together a list of stories featuring some of Richard’s best-loved creations- and one that is seldom written about. There are both time-travelling journeys and plots where past and present juxtapose and characters from different shows cross paths.

Take your pick and  let yourself be led to the fourth dimension by some of our fandom’s most creative authors.

  • Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South

Kleindog’s “How Far the World Will Bend”

After having her fortune told by a gypsy, Meg Armstrong moves through a mirror from 1920s England to 1850 Milton–and finds out she has stepped into the shoes of Margaret Hale. She has been sent back in time with a mission to fulfill–to save John Thornton’s life. But will she be able to fulfill her mission without losing her heart?

Longhairedtoad’s “Once Upon a Time”

Based on the classic novel North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell, this modern story of John and Margaret takes them on a magical adventure filled with intrique, suspense, and romance.

John Thornton spends all his waking hours working in the family business. In his leisure time, he hunts for antique books. When one literally falls on him, he is shocked to find the ancient looking text is written about him.

Margaret Hale has no time for love. Having started a bakery with her best friend Tara, she needs to concentrate fully on that venture for now. But at her cousin’s wedding reception, a stranger approaches and explains he is the man she will marry in three months time.

Julia Daniels’ “Master of Her Heart: A Time-Twisted Tale of North & South”

Modern day Margaret Bryce is in a jam. Her graduate dissertation is due in mere weeks, and despite the enormous help her adviser, J. Whitman Bell has provided, there’s something missing from her paper. Dr. Bell decides the best option is for her to travel back in time to a Victorian mill town, so she can better understand the struggles–both economic and personal–people of that era faced. She agrees to his insane scheme, knowing it’s only a joke, a way for her to dig deeper within herself to find the answers. Only, when she wakes up in Milton, and finds the year to be 1851, she knows she’s in trouble…

  • Agatha Christie’s “Ordeal by Innocence”

theearth’s “What if? Philip Durrant”

Philip looked around. He found himself on the bed in the shabby guesthouse from yesterday’s dream. He could feel his body, he could feel his legs! The same old carpet he remembered from back then, faded and wrinkly. Even the stain from the glass of red whine he had knocked over a day before. No, not a day before. In truth he was sitting in his wheelchair in the library of his house a few years later, reading a book. He’d wake up later, but wake up from what? What was that?

  • Robin Hood

Therapne’s “The Tale of the Hologram”

A student takes a step too far when she plays with her friend’s ‘hologram’ and finds herself thrown into a strange medieval world. But that experience is nothing compared to the problems she encounters when she escapes the ‘hologram’s’ clutches and has to face the music with the authorities.

  • Robin Hood/Spooks

VelocityGirl1980’s “A Matter of Life and Death”

Lucas North’s life is unraveling fast and the walls are closing in. Alone and cornered, his flashbacks take on a new intensity, including new visions of a strange time gone by. But he has no time to work out what they mean. He plunges to his end from the Enver Tower, but ends up somewhere else. Full summary inside. Not entirely serious. Mostly RH fic.

VelocityGirl1980’s “A Fate Worse than Death”

A life taken in violence is like a shout in the mountains: it leaves an echo. A life left un-lived cannot pass on in peace, especially when a destiny is as important as Marian Knighton’s. Murdered by a man who would rather see her dead than with the one she truly loves, something somewhere blocks her passage to the dead, and she wakes up somewhere far away.

Smithylass’ “Coming Home”

Set in the Charente valley in France right after the end of Series 8 of Spooks.

(Present Day) Marian Knighton sat bolt upright in her bed, panting for breath. Her emerald green eyes were wide with fear and exhilaration. She was soaked with sweat and shaking in reaction to the dream. It had happened again – he haunted her dreams and she had no idea who he was…

“Hello…” a deep husky voice broke the silence, making Marian jump. She turned at the sound and nearly dropped to the ground in shock. Standing in the doorway was the Domaine’s house guest – Marian stared into the stunningly beautiful face and piercing blue eyes of the black knight of her dream.

time-machine

A/N: The first two stories mentioned on this list are also published novels.

Nancy Klein’s “How Far the World will Bend”

M.Liza Marte’s “More than Words”

Please, feel free to leave your own recommendations in the comments.