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Today's guest is author Jenna Hilary Sinclair, who has been writing since 1991, and whose first published novel Admit One was placed on many readers' 'Best Of 2009' lists. She has several other short stories and novellas published at Dreamspinner Press. I 'met' Jenna as a fellow Dreamspinner author, I was delighted by her story in the 2008 Advent Calendar Gifts of the Season, wrote to her to say so and we've been in touch ever since.

Today's she's talking about her particular addiction - to writing :).

Buy it HERE.

Her Blurb: For years Jenna Hilary Sinclair approached creative writing as if she were looking over the edge of a cliff—the view was terrifying but seductive. She couldn’t comprehend how anyone could compose a complex plot and have the patience to put it on the page. But one day she sat down, picked up a pen, and much to her astonishment, a novel began to take shape.
Since that day, Jenna’s been in an exhilarating free fall. She lives her own life plus the lives of her characters, searches for the answers to the most important questions—What is love? Where is courage? Why is there fear?—and has a wonderful time writing gay romance.
Jenna is fiercely in favor of GLBT rights, kindness, keeping promises, and mountains. She lives in the Great American Southwest with her beloved husband, two cats, and a hundred characters dancing in her head. Some of them dance together. She hopes the music never stops.

Visit Jenna’s blogs HERE and HERE.
Her GLBT bookshelf page is HERE.


Hi. My name is Jenna Hilary Sinclair, and I’m addicted to writing.

I write in the morning, I write in the afternoon, I write when the sun goes down. I have scribbled in central jury rooms, on airplanes, and in the back seat of the family car when we’re on vacation. My eyes glaze over at the dinner table and my two (grown) kids exclaim: Mom’s plotting again!

I am a certifiable writing nut.

Despite what some folks might think, it’s not really a sexual thing. It’s true that when I first discovered gay romance nineteen years ago (naturally, via a fanfic), the entire continent moved. But this thing that’s got hold of me (kudos to anyone who knows that reference), it’s not based on guy-on-guy action, no matter how enjoyable that might be. Oh, if only it were that simple! I realized that I wanted more. Wanted explanations. Wanted background. Wanted realism. Wanted a short story to become a novella, and a novella to become a novel, and what in the world is wrong with a series of novels thoroughly exploring the lives of my characters?

I remember the first time I wrote fifty pages without a single kiss, much less a hot and sweaty tumble in the hay, and how satisfying that experience was. I was doomed. Is there any better occupation for a set of fingers than tip-tapping on the keyboard?

I used to take vacations from writing. You know, it’s healthy to take breaks, to breathe different air, to gain a new perspective. I’d finish a novella and not write for three months. Really! I’d do that deliberately and not because of the dreaded Writer’s Block. (I feel really uncomfortable even typing that. Nice muse. Good muse. The Muse is My Friend.) Now, the thought of three months without trying to write makes me shudder. I. Wouldn’t. Know. What. To. Do. With. Myself.

Come into my parlor, please, and let’s talk. But don’t look at the books on the bookshe…. Oops! No, I’m not embarrassed that you’ve seen my copy of The New Joy of Gay Sex. That’s actually there for legitimate research. It’s the books on writing that I really had meant to whisk away. I see you’ve noticed that there isn’t any dust on them. Yes, I…I really do read them for pleasure. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King: ambrosia. Manuscript Makeover by Lyon: the finest wine. A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation by Lukeman: my daily bread. (No, really, that is a fantastic book.)

Those of you who are also writers, you know why I am this way: that moment, that incredible, utterly addictive moment when something clicks in your head and…you aren’t here anymore. You’re there.

You stay there and live with your characters. You shape them, they shape you. You reach down into yourself and ask the hardest questions. If you’re really, really lucky, you feel as if you’ve discovered something that matters.

Some people call this experience the zone. Or flow. Catch me when I’m grinning and it feels like paradise. There’s a feeling in my stomach that is wholly fulfilled. Time warps: three hours feels like three minutes.

For this, I’ll stare at the screen, thinking, until I topple from sheer exhaustion. I’ll abandon exercise (but not food). I’ll frustrate my incredibly supportive and long-suffering spouse, who definitely deserves a seat at the right hand of the angels for his understanding and love.

Anything to flow into the zone. Anything.

To use a phrase familiar to readers from our genre: Give it to me, baby.

I’m Jenna Hilary Sinclair, and I’m addicted to writing. What do you think, do I need help?

~~Jenna Hilary Sinclair~~



Today's Quote:
"Here's to the bright New Year, and a fond farewell to the old; here's to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold."

Today's Daft Google Searches for 'Clare London':
"Kansas lawmakers to debate ban on texting while driving" It wasn't me... :)


Follow this month with Clare (look at the goodies so far...):

Jan 15 : Jen of Well Read savours the memory of food, and seeks it in her fiction!
Jan 16 : Author Mel Keegan tells us why we should all be visiting the GLBT Bookshelf.
Jan 17 : Author Cassandra Gold discusses the wonderful world of the romance sub-genre.
Jan 18 : Author Wren Boudreau asks "Who am I...and am I okay with it?"

Jan 08 : Jessewave wonders - tongue in cheek - where the less shiny guys are!
Jan 09 : Anne Cain shares her art and encourages a show and tell!
Jan 10 : My latest release Upwardly Mobile is out at Amber Quill today.
Jan 11 : Author Lee Rowan discusses why love should not be a garotte.
Jan 12 : Author Jaime Samms asks if readers prefer short or long stories.
Jan 13 : Author Erastes explains why her submissions keep aiming for the stars!
Jan 14 : Author Daimeryan Rei describes the rewards of writing both fan and original fiction.

Jan 01 : The New Year brings the release of the Immortal Fire anthology IN PRINT.
Jan 02 : author Chrissy Munder asks if current affairs in fiction is delightful or just dates us.
Jan 03 : author Madeleine Urban describes how her characters hijacked her brain.
Jan 04 : author Theda Black's inspiration reaches from a bionic penis to the power of Pan.
Jan 05 : author Josh Lanyon shares some exceedingly good books with us.
Jan 06 : author K. Z. Snow questions what all the fuss is about authors 'making shit up'.
Jan 07 : Josie aka 1more_sickpuppy compares her life and friends online and off.

Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? Email me at clarelondon11 @ hotmail.com and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
My Name is Angela Stone and i'm addicted to writing... LOL!

I totally know what you mean by being "There" I stayed up until 330 last night (before I just passed out from exaustion, not becuase the scene was done...) writing a certain scene that I spent a 5 hour drive envisioning...

i'm starting to get worried that my novel will not be finished in 60 000 words...

I don't think you need help until you stop eating, stop sleeping and start running around with out clothes on in public- then you need help. Everything else is just a Health obession!
Jan. 19th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
Hello, Angela! Nice to see we're in the same club.

Being *there* is so compelling, isn't it? And there's more to it than "addiction," there's dedication, and having a vision and being determined to fulfill it, and the honor and pride of a craftsperson. Writing is *hard work.* Those who think it all comes to us in a blast of inspiration at midnight and suddenly it's done don't know how hard it is.

I would bet good money that your novel will zoom past 60,000 words, especially if you're spending five hours envisioning one scene. Who wants to stop? LOL! But seriously, I am the world's worst estimator when it comes to guessing how long a piece will be. I honestly do my best, knowing I always under-estimate, and I invariably write at least 50% longer. I aimed for 70,000 words in my last novel, ended up with 122,000. Sigh.

Good luck to you in all your writing endeavors!

Edited at 2010-01-19 03:08 pm (UTC)
Jan. 19th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
YAY! there's a club now...

Ahhh dedication I like that word, much nicer than addiction (although there is some of that as well...)

It totally is Hard work!! I've been working since just before christmas, I thought I'd never even be concidering an end now i'm worried I won't have enough wordage! hee!!

Ahh yes but to be fair, there is nothing to do for the 5 hours other than to dodge potholes and stare at trees... (I love living in Rural Canada..)

I've never estimated a word count before so I just picked the minimum of 60 000 words and am going from there. Glad to know you can go past the estimate...

Thank you! *big hugs* *bounces off to finish that scene...*
Jan. 19th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
Nice post, Jenna!
I don't think you need help. Uh-uh. Not at all. When you have the intravenous tube shunted in, then we'll talk!

I can't say that I'm addicted to writing. I'm addicted to creating scenes in my head, though. When I'm driving, exercising (what little there is of that), laying in bed at night, cooking... there are always the people who live in my mind doing stuff.

Ah well, at least I am entertained!

Jan. 19th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
Whew! It's good to know that I'm not as far gone as I thought. Check for intravenous line before panicking.... LOL!

It sounds like you have an active imagination...which can be the best company, can't it? May I ask, did that start when you were young? I told my siblings stories when we were little and then made up tales with high school friends as we walked here and there. The stories finally built up so high in my heart that they spilled over onto the page, and after that all my imagining/fantasizing was funneled strictly into the writing-- a sort of self-perpetuating loop.

In my opinion, you entertaining yourself -- especially in such a productive manner -- is a really good thing. May you have flights of fancy for a very long time!
Jan. 19th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
Yes, my imagination has always been in flight. I was the youngest sib in my family by many years, so it was more like being an only child. Plus we lived in an area without neighbors nearby. So I had to cultivate imaginary friends!
Jan. 20th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
My two kids, who are grown now, used to have an imaginery playmate named "Zeemon." He was a terribly bad boy and they had to constantly put him in the corner! They had *such* a good time playing with him!

When they were very young, I told them snippets of The Lord of the Rings saga, especially the Tom Bombadiel part. And then when they were old enough to read it all in their teens, they roundly accused me of ruining it for them because they knew parts of it already. Too late for me to learn my lesson!

I guess for some of us, story-telling, imagining scenarios, and imagining friends who aren't really there (I heavily fantasized Star Trek riding the subway when I was in college) are habits that persist into our adulthood. For me, at least, that's a big part of my writing.
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
Hey Jenna!

Heeee. I have a love/hate relationship with writing. When I can't write, I want to -- and when I have the time, the writing isn't there. ***grrrr*** But when you hit that zone it's amazing, and what's more, is that when you look up at the clock and time has passed and you look at what you've saved on your word doc, I often find myself shaking my head in wonderment. I did all that?!! And then the characters are chattering away so, that as a writer, it's exciting to tell their story.

I have a hard time finding balance with reading and writing. I want to do both 100% of the time. Sigh...

I've enjoyed all your stories, and I was very interested in the one where the student was kidnapped on the spaceship. His captor had a very interesting background, I would love to have his backstory as a story. A prequel, if you will. Maybe on those cold nights when you have nothing to do, and your fingers are itching for something to do, you might persue that?

I especially liked Admit One. Tom and Kevin were very real to me.
Looking forward to more of your work in the future and congrats on being a guest blogger.


Anne Dudly
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
Hee hee! Fat fingers. Can't even spell my name right.

Anne Dudley

Jan. 19th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh, you actually look at what you've produced and you're amazed you did all that? I wish I were you! I look at what I've produced (when I come out of the haze that's the zone --it's truly like surfacing from a long underwater swim for me) and I groan: Only that much?

So interesting what you say about balancing writing and reading. I tend not to read hardly at all when I'm deep in a writing project, and I miss reading so much. But I find that my own vision gets diluted if I read while creating, so I force myself to make that choice.

Thanks for saying you've enjoyed my stories! When you say you want the backstory of the captor in "Open Doors," you're talking about the conflicted undercover spy Max, aren't you? Many people have said that to me. Until recently, I honestly haven't thought I'd write more about him, but he truly is an intriguing character, and I've begun to think otherwise. The novel about him would be dark, violent, and yet ultimately sympathetic. Sort of like honey that could choke your windpipe. LOL! Max is an extremely contradictory man.

Glad you liked Admit One too! Tom and Kevin are real to me too. They are in Boston right now....

Thanks for stopping by Anne. May all your writing days be happy ones.
Jan. 19th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
*g* I have the Joy of Gay Sex also...as well as a book called "The Joy of Writing Sex"...it's primarily a m/f handbook for writers, but I had fun reading it. Then of course, tossing it aside because I thought I already knew how to write sex ;)

And I'm glad I'm not the only one who buys books about writing -- to read for pleasure! ^^
Jan. 19th, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC)
Hi, Rowena!
I got The More Joy of Gay Sex book right after I started writing, because I honestly knew almost nothing about gay sex. But...I've always maintained that writing a gay sex scene is exactly the same as writing any kind of sex scene, no matter the sex or number of the participants. The dynamic, the flow, the need to structure it properly, all that jazz, it's the same, don't you think? That's why when gay men have written to me and said "How did you get that so real?" I say it's because I'm writing about *people.* That's what's important.

LOL! I know I'm preaching to the choir here!

I'm glad you read books about writing as well. It really is fun, isn't it? Years ago, I'd not really understand or be able to implement the advice from those books because my writing wasn't up to that level yet. I'd be shocked when years later I'd remember something I'd read and say to myself: Oh, now I get it!

Happy writing and reading to you!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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