High Five / Andrea Portes


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Author Andrea Portes gives us the five creative resources she can’t live without:

I would not be able to do what I do without Google. I wrote an entire book that was set in Michigan, and I’ve never even been to Michigan. Google Images in particular allows me to come up with imagery that is always better and more specific than what was in my mind. So if I’m writing a scene that’s set in a really divey bar in another state, I can search for images of bars in that state and come up with details like a black and white tile floor or even the name of a bar like “Dreamers”, which was perfect for the story I was writing because for these characters the bar was where all their dreams are actually over. The things that are real are always so much better than what’s in my mind.

Similarly, I go to realtor.com constantly to look at other people’s houses to figure out where I want to set things. The book I’m working on now is called Rich Kids and it’s set in the world of the very wealthy. I’ve been in some nice houses in my life, but to be able to actually look at the inside of a $12 million estate in Amagansett gives me the type of detail that I never would have expected.

Whenever I’m actually carrying a notebook with me, I never get ideas. But when I’m just out in the world driving around and hanging out and doing whatever I’m doing, the most amazing bits of dialogue will come into my head. Significant passages in my books have originated from a pen and crumpled up receipts from the bottom of my purse.

If I’m ever stuck or feel like I’m doing too much, I will take a break and go to an 11am movie by myself at the ArcLight Hollywood and it gets me out of where I am. Stories are stories – so even in a movie like The Edge of Tomorrow, which has absolutely nothing to do with what I do, there is a consistency to the structure of stories. I go to the movies to escape but also to be inspired.

My family, in particular my son Wyatt, are what keep me going. There are just so many reasons not to do what you need to do. Wyatt is my inspiration and my reason for doing everything and finishing things and trying to dream big, because I want to make his life better and make the world a better place for him.

Image: [andreaportes.wordpress.com]

Copy Editor: Noelle Hale is a writer/editor/proofreader/wordsmith who in a former life was a lawyer and senior sales executive for legal research and education companies. She has known Nada Jones for 20 years and one of their first collaborations was the ill-advised completion of the LA Marathon without actually having trained for it first. After many wonderful years spent living and working in New York and Los Angeles, Noelle and her husband and their two children are now happily ensconced in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado.

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