On Pinterest, writing Maybe Baby and inspiration…

I think I’ve become addicted to Pinterest. I’ve been using it to make inspiration boards for my writing and it really helps me–especially when I am trying to imagine setting and what my characters look like. Before Pinterest, I had scrapbooks full of pictures, piles of magazines that littered my desk…it was wonderful chaos that could sometimes be distracting and become a bit of a nightmare. I am trying to bring a sense of order to my life and Pinterest, in its own little way, is helping. Well, at least it’s helping keep my desk While I’ve been working on Maybe Baby, my inspiration board just seems to get bigger and bigger. I’ve got 88 pictures pinned depicting the people who inspired my characters and the places in Copenhagen and Stockholm that feature in the novel. When I first started writing Maybe Baby back in November, I knew I wanted to play with the idea of a Dane as the love interest for my expat American heroine. I was in the middle of a dreary Swedish winter and Nanowrimo was the only thing keeping me from focusing too much on the gray winter skies. I wanted my Swedish main character, Niklas, to be like the Swedish seasons–beautiful and warm in summer, but in turns distant and emotionally unavailable.

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Rudi Køhnke

When I first began writing Maybe Baby, I initially had a Danish actor, Rudi Køhnke, in mind as  Mads. He had the same intensity that I thought Mads should have. But the more I thought about it, the less he felt…right. I’m not sure why he didn’t feel right but he never really became Mads in my head. Maybe he was a little too boyish-looking? Maybe he was too young? Mads is in his mid to late thirties and Rudi Køhnke looks a little too long. I started searching again for the right Mads and it took a couple of days until I realized I needed someone who looked more experienced and had a laid-back vibe. I didn’t want him to be too perfect. I wanted him to be flawed in a good way.

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Eventually, I realized the person I’d been thinking about as I wrote about Mads was actually another Danish actor, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Images of him pepper My Maybe Baby board. Once I switched to thinking about him as Mads, the scenes he was in were easier to write. I guess it helps that I was seeing him everywhere–on Swedish TV, in Game of Thrones, in old episodes of New Amsterdam. I showed my Maybe Baby board to some friends who’d been reading the unedited chapters of Maybe Baby as I posted my Nanowrimo progress here on the blog. They all agreed–he was Mads. So when I finally publish this and, if some lovely day, someone wants the film rights…it’s on one condition–Nikolaj plays Mads. I can’t really picture any American or British actor playing him.

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Kerry Washington

American actress Kerry Washington became the inspiration for Laney. I liked her vibe. I’d seen her in a few films and liked how she could exude vulnerability and sexiness at the same time. Just before I began working on Maybe Baby, I watched Lakeview Terrace. Kerry plays Lisa Mattson, one of the main characters in the film, and she is gutsy, sometimes frustrating and not afraid to show her fear, confusion and anger. She was the perfect Laney and every picture I found of her confirmed it for me. So maybe I need another clause for the day I sell the film rights…Kerry should play Laney to Nikolaj’s Mads. Writing the first draft of Maybe Baby took a month. Revising it has so far taken me four months. I keep finding small things that could be better. I had three months of author mentorship with author Misa Ramirez via Savvy Authors, and she helped me see when I wasn’t going deep enough with my POV, when my pacing was off with too much telling instead of showing and when the backstory was taking over. (Thanks, Misa!) 🙂 I’ve got a plan, and I am trying to stick to it. I’m a bit behind schedule but I think I can catch up. 🙂 In the meantime, I’ll keep writing and, when my brain stalls, I’ll search for pictures that inspire me and pin them on my Pinterest board. And I’ll keep you posted on my progress. 🙂

I’ve become a Game-of-Thrones-a-holic

I don’t know what to blame it on, this new obsession of mine. I can’t blame it on being bored. I have a lot to do at work and I have a lot to do with my own writing. That hasn’t stopped me from falling for the hype. It wasn’t supposed to happen. Really, it wasn’t. But I couldn’t help myself. I watched the trailer and I fell hard. Damn it… now I am hooked.

 

 

I blame it all on Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Yes, I have become a Game of Thrones junkie. I started watching the TV series, then decided I should read the series of books it’s based on. Just finished reading the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (that being A Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin and loved the huge cast of characters, the intense history of the Seven Kingdoms and how they came to be, loved the frigid isolation of the Wall and the Others and the Night Watch. The Starks of the North and the ambitious and conniving Lannisters of the West… oh the fantastic tensions, plots and conspiracies. It’s just what I was looking for this summer. And now I am so hooked, I have ordered all the other books in the series so this will be a nice distraction that should last quite a while.

So why do I blame Nikolaj Coster-Waldau? Well, it started when I saw the Danish thriller Nattevagten (Nightwatch, which was remade with Ewan McGregor–another favorite–playing Coster-Waldau’s role) back in 1995 when I first moved to Sweden. I thought he was a good actor and easy on the eyes. And then a few years ago he was in New Amsterdam, a series I loved but that Fox saw fit to cancel, in which he played a New York City cop who just happened to be immortal. And now Coster-Waldau is playing the deliciously evil Jaime Lannister and he’s just so…bad…so cunning… well, he’s the villain you love to hate and who happens to be very sexy. Awful, I know, but it’s what happens.

So now I am hooked–and I blame it on the Dane, but in a good way. My only complaint about the show? I don’t think Emilia Clarke (“Daenerys Targaryen” in Game of Thrones) is a very good actress but maybe she will grow on me. Otherwise, I am happy and it’s awesome to see Lena Headey (whom I loved in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Broken and 300) playing the bitchier than Lady Macbeth, Cersei Lannister.

So if you’re looking for me on a Wednesday night this summer and you can’t find me, it’s because I’m watching Game of Thrones…or reading Book 2–A Clash of Kings.