Bad Girl For A Day: Virginia James – “Am I Normal?”

Thank you to the lovely ladies of Bad Girlz Write! I’m super excited to be an honorary Bad Girl for a day.
I had the pleasure of meeting three of the Bad Girlz at the 2012 Moonlight & Magnolia conference and
let me say, I’m psyched in a goofy-grin-semi-but-not-creepy-stalker-kinda-way to be here! You guys are
a blast and I kinda feel bada$$ saying ‘I’m a Bad Girl’ today!

Let’s play one of my favorite games. Am I normal? But we’ll play the writer’s version.

I day dream about my characters in scenes and plot lines that will never see print. Am I normal?

Of course! To be honest, it’s probably why it takes me so long to pound out that first draft. In my YA’s, I
inevitably make them older and put them in a ton of scenarios that just can’t make it into YA. Nothing
weird or X-rated, just randomness. Did Marleigh go to Prom? Will Sam be a lawyer or antique dealer
and have a fancy TV show. What if they got married? Wait, they’re in totally different books, can’t do
that…oh oh oh! I have an amazing story line for another book!( A writer’s secret revealed) Good books
don’t just fall out of our heads onto paper. It takes time—and lots of daydreaming.

I saw my character at the mall. Am I normal?

Very normal indeed! Though, the poor teenage girl probably thought I was a weirdo because I couldn’t
stop sneaking a peak at her at the food court and wondering if the cookie maker guy would make a
better boyfriend or fallen angel.

I was shopping the aisles of Target when a fellow writer’s Antagonist was shopping the snacks aisle.
Darkness and Evil on aisle 3! I literally stopped mid-stride (attempted to hold in my gasp) then spun
around to look at soda’s before he noticed my near melt down that the dark humanity ending evil was
about to get me. Crazy? Meh, sort of but also the mark of a great writer.

I shop for my characters. Am I normal?

Again, yes! Not only do I shop for my own, I see stuff my writer friend’s characters would like as well.
Ginny’s character would love that scarf. Mag’s guy would totally wear those jeans. C.E.’s chick could
totally rock those pumps! Even our fictional ladies love to shop!

Whose voice is that in my head? Am I normal?

Chances are, if you’re a writer, then it’s perfectly normal! That is my favorite moment in writing. It’s that
moment you’re doing the most mundane task and the argument suddenly burst into a knock-down-
drag-out-fight (and you reach for a pen instead of Googling “psychiatrist”.) If I could insert an over the
top sigh right here, I would. It does get annoying when your Muse refuses to keep them quiet when you
should be listening to your boss, checking homework for the kids, or feeding the dog Cool Ranch Dorito’s
because you were distracted by the intense scene in your head.

I’m a writer. Am I normal?

Of course not! Normal is boring (unless it pertains to medical work or money). Embrace what others
call crazy. To quote the adorable and loveable Leo the Lop: “The rabbits though and thought. “If we’re
normal and Leo is normal, then normal is whatever you are!”

Thanks again BGW for the opportunity to be Bad for a day! Hope to see you guys over at Laptops &
Lingerie soon!

Virginia

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