When I signed up for a knitting class this fall, my instructor’s bio said she knitted for the same reason she did yoga—for the meditation of the experience. The way that unrelated things can somehow organically connect is kind of how I write.
For example, in June I visited a favorite Chinese garden with a good friend, showing it off to her. The picture I took there wound up as part of the illustration for an upcoming book, Sahara Blue.
In my upcoming holiday novel, Sam’s Reviews, I had fun giving my ex-marine hero a yarn shop to run. What better way to write about the beautiful wool and silks I liked to work with and the joy of discovering a new craft?
I do much the same with many of my stories. Born to be Wylde’s Ken Ito is a Japanese-American potter and I have studied with a potter very much like that. Right now I’m still trying to learn something of making a tea bowl which is very complex. Do you know that for Matcha tea bowls need to have a little dip at the bottom for the residue of the tea? You don’t know how complex something is until you try to make it.
In Jesse, I had a great time this summer exploring the world of the carriage ride business. I visited a tourist town and told the driver I was writing about people who guide horses through city lanes—next thing I was sitting up next to the driver, feeling the lines connecting him to his horse, experiencing exactly what it is like to drive a carriage. It was a beautiful day and a really memorable experience and best of all I made a good friend whom I now email when I want to check some detail in the horse world.
Like my exploration into painting and crafts, I like to explore different worlds with my stories which is why this fall I’ll be writing my first ménage romance. In the mean time, some of those strange connections came together for a western historical out recently. I have a young doctor who loves to read poetry, a wandering man with an enigmatic scar and even scenes in the story where a bear is given first aid—before the time of stun guns. It was quite an adventure to write but I hope that will be true of everything I do.
She feels you can’t fully understand characters until you follow their journey through a story world. Many kinds of worlds interest her, fantasy, historical, science fiction and suspense—but all have one thing in common, people finding a way to live together—in the most emotional and erotic fashion possible, of course!
Visit Jan’s website at: www.janirvingwrites.com