How do you come up with your stories? Guest post by YA sci-fi author Deborah Rix

It is a pleasure to have as our guest today Deborah Rix, author of the young adult science fiction novel, EXTERNAL FORCES.  Deborah explains to us that it's perfectly normal to hear voices in our heads.  It makes for good writing.

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I have heard other authors say that they 'hear voices in their head' and that is how they write their books: the characters are telling their stories. Not being a writer myself, that concept has always intrigued me. 

When some people hear voices, we get them medical attention, others end up becoming writers. Does this happen to you? How do you come up with your stories?

Well, Susan, sometimes there are voices in my head. Just a moment ago it was my own, wondering how you can possibly follow hundreds of blogs about books and still have time to read any actual books. Do library associates in South Dakota have some secret powers around the reading of books? Hmm.
I started writing in an attempt to gain control over some part of my life, because most of it was wrapped up in red tape from the building department at City Hall. You can’t tell building permit issuers what to do, they won’t listen. I needed my characters so that I could tell someone exactly what to do, and they’d do it. While I pretended at control in a delusional act of self-preservation, my characters ended up telling me exactly what they were going to do and I’d better not try to stop them.
I’ve heard other writers describe this, but I was still completely astonished when my fingers seemed to be typing of their own volition. My daughter heard me gasp as I stared at something I’d just written and wanted to know what was wrong. “You won’t believe what Charlie just did!” was my answer. True story. I found that dialogue became easier as I went along, because what came out was them “talking in my head.”  Not as if they were beaming in from outer space and I needed to wear a tin foil helmet to stop the mind control, that would be crazy. I would imagine the character, as though I was in conversation with them, and watch their face and body language. And then they would speak and I would write down what they said. That’s not mind control, not at all.
Deborah Rix’s favourite position for reading a book is head almost hanging off the couch and feet up in the air with legs against the back of the couch. She’s been reading too much from Scientific American for research and ideas and needs to get back to some fiction. She has a long standing love of science fiction, some of her favourite authors include William Gibson, Philip K Dick, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Douglas Adams, Iain M Banks. A bit old school.

Deborah enjoyed a successful career in entertainment publicity, live music promotion and event management. Which means she slogged through muddy fields for music festivals, was crammed into concert halls with too many sweaty teenage boys and got to go to Tuktoyaktuk (that’s in the Arctic Circle) for a Metallica concert. She lives with her family in Toronto, Canada, where she is the proprietor of The Lucky Penny, a neighborhood joint in Trinity-Bellwoods.
External Forces is her first novel.

Visit her website at

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