Earlier this week fellow @authors18 author and blogger Dianne Freeman talked with Pamela Kopfler about her debut novel, Better Dead. Today I’m going to ask Pamela questions on one of my favorite topics: a writer’s creative process.
First, here is a brief description of the book:
A feisty B & B owner believes her cheatin’ husband deserves to choke on his divorce papers and spend eternity roasting in hell after nearly bankrupting her Louisiana bed and breakfast. At least, she’s half-right when he turns up dead, but she’s dead wrong when she accidentally calls him back from the grave. Unfortunately, he has unfinished business. Unless she wants to be stuck with her ghostly ex forever, she has to wedge him through the pearly gates by cleaning up the mess he left behind—a smuggling ring he started behind her back at her B&B. Now she has thirty days to solve her not-so-dearly-departed’s murder or she’s stuck with him for life. Or worse, she may be doing life.
Minerva Spencer: How long did you take to write this book?
Pamela Kopfler: It took seventy-eight days to draft Better Dead. The revision took much longer, but I don’t remember how long. Revision is something that is never really complete.
MS: What kind of research did you do for this book?
PK: Oh, it was grueling…I visited many historic homes that had been converted to beautiful bed and breakfasts, sipped lots of cocktails, and ate some of the best southern style food on earth. Don’t pity me too much though. (Excuse me while I bless my own heart before you do.) Actually, that part of the research was serious fun! Other than that fun B & B research, my family has orders to bleach bit my computer to hide my search history.
MS: What did you remove from this book during the editing process?
PK: I cut ten thousand words. I had a subplot that my editor felt needed to go and she was right. I hope to add some snips from the editing room floor to my newsletter. I really did cut my darlings.
MS: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
PK: Both. I have a general idea of the whole story and an opening when I put my keys on the keyboard. After I get the opening down, I write a short synopsis just for me. As the pages pile up, sometimes the plot changes because I’ve found a better twist, so I go with that.
MS: What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?
PK: Revising. It’s like makeup. Everyone looks better with a little lipstick on.
MS: And finally, what is the most challenging part of your writing process, and why?
PK: Starting, hands down. Once I am writing the real world fades away, and I’m in a timeless place where the story comes to life.
Thanks for sharing your writing process with me, Pamela, and congrats on your debut!