Saturday, May 19, 2007

Between Annette and Marty

Annette and Marty Meyers Guest Bloggers)

Annette Meyers is the author of the popular Smith and Wetzon mystery series. Martin Meyers started his writing career with the Patrick Hardy series in the 1970s. Together, as Maan Meyers, they have written a series of historical mysteries, known collectively as The Dutchman, set in 17th, 18th, and 19th century New York. Annette is a former president of Sisters in Crime.

Marty: So. What’s the topic?
Annette: How we write.
Marty: Okay. Separately or together?
Annette: Separately. Everyone knows how we write together.
Marty: Yeah, with celestial joy.
Annette: More like two great egos fighting for supremacy. But really, writing for me is looking for, or happening upon, something that tweaks my interest.
Marty: I didn’t know that. For me, it’s the money.
Annette: What a joke.
Marty: I have two approaches: A story, a plot, a hook. The other is a character who I fall in love with. Excuse me. -With whom I fall in love.- The best is a combination of both.
Annette: That’s three approaches. And it’s a character that, not who or whom.
Marty: Picky, picky, picky. To me that character is already a human being at that point. Who. Since my first training was as an actor, I don’t know if I work the way everybody else does. For me, if I have the character and know what the story is about, I let the characters loose and let them talk. And act.
Annette: But you sit down and write every day, even when you have no idea what you’re going to work on. You look at a blank scene. I have to have what I call that divine inspiration to get started.
Marty: It’s important to know the time of day you’re most productive. That’s the time you should write. Also, I have to have no distractions. Answering the phone is forbidden. Stopping to eat is okay.
Annette: But you write with music playing from a CD or the radio. I can’t tolerate any noise at all when I’m writing. But I can answer the telephone. I must. It’s obsessive. But whoever is calling me is not going to get my full attention. Of course there are some people who call, ask if you’re writing, you say yes and they keep on talking.
Marty: You haven’t been paying attention –
Annette: I’m writing.
Marty: Very funny. You haven’t been paying attention. It depends upon the project. When I wrote “Snake Rag,” I needed music in my head. What I’m working on now does not.
Annette: So you’re working on something new?
Marty: Actually, I’m working on five things that are new. When I figure out which one is the most interesting, or important, all my energy will go into that one. I take that back. The first book I ever had published and which led to a five book series for Popular Library in the seventies starred an accidental P.I. named Patrick Hardy. That’s the idea I’m working on over all the others. It occurred to me that I’d like to know what Pat Hardy is doing today when he’s all these years older. What about you?
Annette: I’m working on the copyedit of a short story called “Not Just the Facts” that I wrote for the anthology Sisters on the Case, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Sisters in Crime and featuring stories by the current and former presidents. It’s due out from NAL’s new mystery imprint Obsidian in October.
Timer goes off.
Marty: Time to stop.
Annette: You’re going to work?
Marty: No. Lunch.

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