Book Talk with Imogen Markwell-Tweed
When did you become interested in writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Originals, fan fictions, stories half-way between were how I spent most of my time when I was growing up. In college, I started ghostwriting romance as a part-time gig.
It quickly grew bigger than that and after a few years of working in the industry as a ghostwriter, I decided to start publishing my own original work.
I started writing for Bryant Street Shorts over on Scribd, an exclusive platform similar to Kindle Unlimited. I’m starting to branch out to selling my own stories now. I’ve been very lucky in my journey to be able to write about things that I’m super passionate about.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
It sounds cheesy because it’s the one I’m promoting right now, but definitely Life After Love. The absolute first iteration of this story I wrote was actually a short TV pilot for a class I took in undergrad. It was a little less romantic and a little less gay, but I’ve always been able to really see the cinematic aspects of this story.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was given a word count, a genre, and free reign from the editor where this story was originally published. “Write whatever you want in paranormal romance.” So, in a lot of ways, Life After Love is the most fantasy-fulfillment story I’ve ever written because it was entirely just what I wanted to read.
There’s this scene where Danny is commenting on Adam being able to wash dishes in super hot water because he’s a ghost. After it came out, my best friend messaged me with about twenty laugh emojis and said “You made your dream man: a ghost who can do the dishes for you.” And that’s truly what this story is to me: just my dream story.
I don’t know that I really was inspired by any one thing, it was just everything that I love about romance, about paranormal shorts, and about queer fiction. Two best friends slowly falling in love, with the literal universe against them, fighting against all odds.
How did you come up with the names of the characters in the story?
It’s not a fun answer but honestly what I do is, assuming the characters aren’t meant to have a particular religious, political, or ethnic background, I just Google the most popular names from the year they’d be born and choose two that I like and think fit together. It’s such a boring answer but it’s the only way to keep me from falling into crippling ennui about naming so many characters.
What did you learn during the writing of your recent book?
I think I learn something in every single book I write. I write in the format of fast-fiction, which basically means I spend very little time, objectively, on each book.
On average, from conception to finished draft, it’s about 30 days. It’s not the easiest way to write, but one of the things I love about it is that it doesn’t allow me to second guess myself, my characters, or my stories. I have to jump in, commit, and finish it. I think the process of writing that quickly and that consistently— it’s been my full-time job for about a year, and part-time for years before that— is that I am constantly testing myself, developing my skills, and redefining what I personally think is a good story.
In my latest book, I’m learning that the characters don’t need to be perfect to be the perfect fit: their flaws can stay flaws, as long as they’re still changing, adapting, and healthy for each other. Tying up the loose ends is important, of course, but I want them to feel real, human, and full, and that means flawed. I’m trying to play with that as I write my current book about an Alpha Male. Continue reading