Monday, October 17, 2011

M L Lacy: You Can't Have A Good Plot Without Strong Characters

ML Lacy

 It’s our pleasure to welcome Madonna Lacy, w/a  ML Lacy, to our blog. To most of us, she is a familiar face and formerly served as secretary-treasurer for Greater Fort Worth Writers. She has completed one series and the beginning of another will be released in the spring of 2012. So sit back and relax, and enjoy a visit with Madonna.

Thank you and Greater Fort Writers for having me. It’s great to be back with friends.

What is this journey like for you?

It’s exciting. I’m enjoying every aspect of it. It’s also scary. You put yourself out there in your work and waiting on the feedback can be a little nerve racking.

What keeps you going?

All the projects in my head. Honestly, if I could sit and write 10 hours a day, I would.

Could you share a bit about your book and characters?

Chrysalis – The Awakening, is the first book in a series.
Bree, is the heroine of the story. She knows nothing of the magical realm, or who or what she is to become. She joins her grandmother thinking they are attending a reunion, but the real reason is to make her aware…and reunite her with Stephen, the hero, the man who has selected her for his mate and he is one of a vampire clan that has protected her since she was a girl. The villainess of the story, Esmeralda and her henchman Thomas, will stop at nothing to keep Bree from ascending to power. Will Bree’s archenemies succeed or will she and Stephen form a powerful pair to fight Esmeralda?

What inspired you to write in the paranormal genre ?
Because you can open your mind and anything is possible. I have a vivid imagination and ghost, vampires, witches have always held my interest.

Was it difficult to get into character for witches, and dragons, and with other worldly traits?

Not for me, because I write fantasy/fiction, my worlds are my way. I don’t follow the old rules…I’ve made up new ones along the way, keeps things fresh. Plus…I think it would be so cool to be a witch…a good witch of course, but to be able to do magic, and disappear and fly, it’s easy for me to get into that frame of mind and write.

Which is more important in your stories character or plot?

They are both important. You can’t have a good plot without strong characters and characters make the plot work. Even the most ridiculous plot works if you write your characters the correct way.

I know you say you don’t outline, or plot but you’re writing a series. So how do you plan which secondary character will become the main character in the next book?

As I tried to answer this question—it dawned on me that in a way, I guess I do outline- just not the normal way. I have the entire series planned in my head and it has stayed true through all three books. I know exactly how it is going to end…what my characters are going to do along the way…who the bad people are, who her seven are and when she will know who they are.
So having said that, when I go to write each book, I decide how I’m going to keep moving forward to get to that end and those points, and by the time I sit down to write, I know how I want the book to start and end and key points needed to achieve in the story. That is all the planning I do (and I guess that’s a lot) and then I let the story unfold on its own—I can be more creative that way.

People often think of writers as having “overnight success.” How many years have you been working toward “overnight success”?
Five years of writing and 50+ years of dreaming.

What do you find most rewarding and disappointing about your writing career?

Most rewarding: When I hear how much someone enjoyed the story.
Most disappointing: When I don’t hear how much someone enjoyed the story. (lol)

If you could give writers one small piece of advice, what would it be?
Stay true to your story. Stay true to yourself. Do not let others change your voice, because that’s what makes your story yours.
I write in 1st and 3rd person. My heroine (Bree) is in 1st person, she is you…as you read it, you are saying “I...I…I” you become my main character. You get top billing in the story.

The 3rd person gives the story more depth. The plot thickens on itself. You, as the reader, can see what’s coming, but you, as the character, haven’t a clue.

What is something that you often see beginning writers doing wrong?
Trying to write like another writer. Everyone needs to find their own voice, it may take a while, but you’ll get there.


If you could have a beer, coffee, or tea with a literary luminary living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would have a beer with JK Rowling and asked to see what her first manuscript actually looked like and how many rewrites did she have to do!!! I may take more than one or two beers, but…

What’s next for you?

I have another series, Firstborn’s Destiny, scheduled for release in April 2012.

Finally, where can we find you on the web?

Books may be purchased at Barnes and Noble and

 My website is   and  facebook fan page/ M.L.Lacy

Question for readers. If you read the paranormal genre, which type characters do you like most–vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches, elves, hybrids of werewolves and humans, or hybrids of werewolves and vampires, demons or dragons.


Claire said...

Welcome Madonna! It's great to see you again. Congratulations on all of your successes! I know you worked hard to get here. I haven't heard the story(1st one)since you read for the group for a critque a long time ago. I need to buy it now and find out the rest. :)
Good luck with all your endeavors!

Claire Hickey :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and giving all of that wonderful information. As a fellow urban fantasy writer, I'm sorry to have missed you as a regular in the group. I do look forward to picking up your books and see some successes that came from the GFWW.

As far as types of characters, I prefer less common types. I write with Djinns, demons, dreamwalkers, shadow-walkers and the type. Of the options given I'd have to go with witches. They can be written in so many different ways that the term 'witch' is practically its own category.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for such an informative interview. It's always good to see members from a group do well.

Ruby Johnson said...

Finally, we get to visit again. Thanks so much for visiting our blog. Great information. Looking forward to Friday's excerpt.

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Robert Gillespie said...

Congratulations on your publications! That is exciting news!

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