(“I don’t do a lot of tags,” she confidently says. Ha! Apparently The Orangutan Librarian tags me and that goes straight out the window!)
1. Should you participate in National Novel Writing Month to create a book?
No. I mean, if you want to, go for it. But should it be a sort of “requirement” for an aspiring author? No. It’s a big time commitment, and not for everyone in terms of the effort and planning and scheduling needed. I’m participating this year, and it is hard sometimes.
2. Self-publishing or traditional publishing?
Traditional publishing has not worked for me. I’ve tried agent submissions, magazine contests, and freelancing. I have not yet found a contest that wouldn’t accept my poem/essay/article without requiring a fee, and then if you did win, they insisted on stealing your copyright to the piece. So, no thanks. And agents don’t know what they’re talking about when they base their rejections on what books/genres sold well in the past year — rather than what readers are saying there should be more of.
So, self-publishing, all the way.
3. Write one idea at a time or write all the ideas at once?
One idea at a time. So there are no head explosions.
4. What genre is the easiest to write?
For me, fantasy. Although I’ve also done some contemporary romance.
5. Where do you need to write to get the work done?
On a remote island protected by Warrior cats.
6. Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere. In things my kids say and do. Movies. Books I read. On the back of tea boxes.
7. What age did you start writing?
Hmmm. Seriously, or just for fun? Just for fun, as long as I can remember being able to print. Seriously, probably as an adolescent.
8. What’s easiest to write? Short stories, stand-alones, series, etc.
Novels are best for me. Short stories can be fun, and sometimes I have an idea that just fits well into a short story. But most of the time, my head will blow up with all the unanswered questions if I don’t explore every last breath and depth of that plot/those characters/that theme.
9. Do you mill your books or take years to write a book?
Years. Trying to change that. Hence, NaNo-ing. It is very difficult to actually complete anything when you spend more than a year editing and re-thinking the project too much.
10. How fast can you type?
Pretty fast. (Does that include typos?)
11. Do you write in the dark or in the light?
Definitely during the day I am more productive/have more coherent thoughts. After about 7 p.m. my energy level drops significantly, after children have happened all day, so the chances of putting together paragraphs that make sense/are exciting/advance the plot or theme at that point just aren’t big.
12. Hand-written or typed?
Both. Generally I handwrite my first drafts, then when I type the manuscript, I edit.
13. Alone or with someone else?
Alone. No offense to anyone, but I have always been a lone lion. I just have trouble describing my ideas to someone else while they’re still in my head and not on paper yet.
14. Any typing hacks?
Not a clue. (I is lame?)
15. Are you already published?
No! But I will be soon! (Remember, doing it myself! Support your favorite indie author!)
16. When did you first consider being an author?
Several years ago, I considered it, then dismissed it, figuring there was no real way to make a living on it. I’d decided to go into teaching or counseling. But after I found out how much college, and funding, that takes, and that self-publishing is definitely a real thing now, I decided to go for the title of author. (Yay me!)
17. How many books do you have in draft form?
In draft form — 6. (I don’t count the Short Story Day Collection, because I’m leaving those be in their current incarnations, and considering them done and dusted, as far as editing goes.)
18. Do you outline or no?
Yes. Never used to. But since I started writing my fantasy series, and realized I’d consistently leave things out, or accidentally change details, I’ve found it very helpful to have something to refer back to with all my specs.
19. What’s your favourite note-keeping strategy?
Do sticky notes on my forehead count? Generally, just random sentence fragments scribbled on sheets of paper I stole from my oldest’s backpack. (What? He won’t need all of it for school.)
20. What do you think about writing in different genres?
I think it’s totally worth trying. I’ve attempted it, and in those cases, there was a very positive reader response to my results. But don’t pressure yourself. If you try writing outside your usual genre/style and it just doesn’t feel right, let it go.
(Queue the song.)