This week begins a sort of artist spotlight that I'm calling Questions for Creatives. If there is interest, I'm hoping to make this a recurring feature on the blog.
Our first creative comes from Québec where she works in the communications field and writes in her spare time. CM Peters has penned everything from short erotica and fan fiction, to romance novels and elaborate fantasy epics. Her focus is complex, relatable characters, and she's currently editing her new romance/coming of age novel. An excerpt from her story "Body Heat" follows this interview, and you can connect with Peters on her facebook page.
Describe your passion or your current creative project.
I’m a writer through and through, with all the creative aspects, self-doubt, aspirations. I’m in between projects at the moment; waiting on news from a query and deciding what to throw myself into next.
How has your creative process changed or developed over time?
I’ve moved on from fanfics to original works and from writing in French to English. My native tongue in French, but since college, the inspiration to write in French has left the building, mostly due to creative differences and muffling of my talent by professors.
How do you continue to find new ideas?
I don’t find them, they find me. I have tons of characters walking around in my head. Some come a-knockin’, asking to be written. So, I usually go with what inspires me the most.
What was the first thing you created that you were truly proud of?
Wow, uhm… It’s hard to answer that question. Seeing people respond to something I’ve created, written or anything else, usually makes me proud. But taking pride in something, I’d say my first novel, Pawns. From a short story idea, I wrote twenty-eight chapters! I felt a void when it ended and missed my characters.
Do believe in creative block? And if so, what do you do to overcome it?
Very much so. It’s happened to me a few times, for different reasons each time. Time and patience, reading other works, but again, patience with yourself.
Tell me how you continue creating during emotionally difficult times.
It’s my anchor. Writing has saved me from myself more than once. I fuel my energy into it, sometimes to avoid those hardships, sometimes to feed from them.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given about creativity?
To allow myself time, to be softer with myself about my failures, to take a break once in a while.
What is the best quality for a creative person to have?
An open mind. You never know what’ll come to you.
What kind of research do you do before beginning a new project?
Extensive. It’s one of my joys to do research and plan a new project. I love being as specific and realistic as possible when my project takes place in the real world.
What would you say to people just beginning to explore their own creativity?
Don’t let fear stop you. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it! If you’re a writer, find a pencil and paper that are water resistant and bring it into the shower. The best ideas come while in there!
Excerpt from Body Heat by CM Peters
He roared when he reached her, pressing her against the door to kiss her. He rubbed his cold nose on her cheek. “I think it’s now time to toast me toes by the fire!”
Carina giggled, kissing his nose. “Alright. Go to my room, start a fire, and I’ll get some of tonight’s chili for dinner. The next customers to come in will only arrive tomorrow so we have the night to ourselves, so some time for some body heat,” she said, wiggling her eyebrows.
Liam purred and grinned. “Oh yes! What a lovely plan, doll!”
Snuggling in an oversized quilt in front of the fire for the evening, the couple made plans for a small Christmas, agreeing on only one gift for each other. With chili, corn chips, and whiskey, they were stocked for the night and didn’t move until Liam began snoring in front of the movie they’d started. Carina sighed and nudged him, so he’d wake up.
The evenings were started to get boring, barely three weeks after his arrival. She knew that he was working hard during the day, but she missed spending time with him. At least at the bar, we worked side by side. But she couldn’t hold it against him; he’d traveled thousands of miles to help her.
Harley Easton is a Renaissance woman dabbling in everything life offers. She's worked at a theme park, found expert witnesses, been a guest lecturer at a national museum, and worked with medical students. Putting experience and insanity to good use, she's become an author specializing in erotic, romantic, and speculative fiction.