A lot of interviews I do ask similar questions, so I figure they’re things ya’ll really want to know. Here are some of the most commonly asked ones:
It’s a natural fit for me. I’m impatient and have control issues, making traditional publishing difficult. LOL I’m also an entrepreneur by nature, and when I first started in 2010, I saw an opportunity in the publishing industry for new ways to achieve the goal of getting books from authors to readers. I find self-publishing empowering. It’s an exciting time to be a writer!
What are some of your other passions in life?
My kids, reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle.
What’s your favorite genre to write?
Right now, urban/contemporary fantasy/paranormal. I’ve had some ideas for suspense thrillers, but they haven’t gone anywhere (yet, anyway).
Do you have a writing playlist or soundtrack?
Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, Muse, Evanescence, Breaking Benjamin and the like. I think Linkin Park’s Bleed It Out is a writer’s mantra – I bleed out many, many words and end up throwing them away.
Do you listen to a particular style of music or other background noise while writing that keeps you in the mood, or do you require quiet solitude?
I do have playlists for each of my projects, but I don’t usually play them while writing. They distract me. But I do play them to get my mind in the right place, then, when I’m ready to actually get to work, I prefer quiet solitude with some white noise, such as a box fan, to drown out the sounds around me. This allows me to completely leave the real world and immerse myself into my characters’ world.
Complete the following sentence: When I’m not writing, I’m _______:
Revising. Or sleeping, cooking, eating and spending time with my family (when they’re around anyway). Maybe watching a movie or The Walking Dead, The Originals, or Game of Thrones. And when I’m lucky, going to the beach or riding on the back of The Man’s motorcycle. What I’m not doing? Cleaning! Blech. LOL
After living in ten states, is there one that is your favorite?
Each state has its pros and cons. Colorado is beautiful, but I don’t like winters much anymore. I loved living in the Washington, D.C. area, but don’t know if I’ll ever go back. I guess because I really like where I am now – Florida.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part about the writing process?
My favorite part is writing the first couple drafts – the creating part. I call it a brain dump or word vomit because my fingers can barely keep up with the ideas. My brain won’t turn it off, distracting me when I should be doing other things, like sleeping. It’s fun to play the “what if” game and to see where the characters take me. My least favorite part is the final polishing at the end. It’s absolutely necessary, but it’s tedious and slow. And by that point, I’m so sick of the story and it seems like the last-minute revisions are never-ending, so I just want to throw my laptop into the Gulf of Mexico because the story will never be good enough, I’ll never be good enough, and everything in my life is completely hopeless, especially this stupid book that isn’t fooling anyone. Yeah, that’s pretty much my state-of-mind at the time. Luckily, it does finally end and after a few weeks, I love the story again.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
When I’m gearing up to write or need to think something through, I listen to appropriate music and play Minesweeper. It’s the stupidest game, but it’s what my brain needs. The counting is mundane but enough of a distraction, and it uses the other side of my brain than writing, giving the creative half a break. If that doesn’t work, I’ll take a shower. LOL My best ideas come to me in the shower!
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Heh. I used to be nothing but a pantser. At that time, the only book I had ever completed was written by the seat of my pants, while all those others I never finished were outlined. I strongly believed I had to be a pantser if I was going to finish the book. I wrote like I read, staying up late into the night to find out what happens next. But even so, I had an idea of the end and a few other key scenes in mind, and pages and pages of notes as ideas came to me.
Now, I tend to plot at least the major points, and sometimes every chapter. The writing is slower because I’m thinking things through rather than letting the words fly from my fingers. But it’s also cleaner, requiring fewer revisions. Writing a series has forced me to overcome my fear that I’d never complete a book if I knew everything that happened, which has made me a better writer in many ways. And the fun part of plotting I discovered? Your characters can still surprise you! There’s often a twist I hadn’t seen coming until I’m actually writing the scene. It’s so much fun just going with it, and these unexpected parts are usually a great (and needed!) addition to the story. So I’ve come to realize that plotting and pantsing don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
What has been the most pleasant surprise about writing? How about an unexpected down side?
The most pleasant surprise is that people actually want to read my stories! LOL When I first started writing fiction again, I never expected to make it my full-time career. It’s been an amazing journey, and I m so incredibly thankful to all of my readers. The unexpected down side is when my passion starts to feel like real work. Writing a novel is never easy, but I love it, challenges and all. But outside pressures can make it feel like work, like I’m sacrificing my life and my family to produce, produce, produce. The passion turns to dread, and I have to force very word out. I never thought I’d hate to write, but there are days that I do. That’s when I have to step back, regroup, and find my happy place where I love to write again.
A Quickie Section
Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, old Stephen King, the Soul Savers and The Book of Phoenix series (haha!)
J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, I used to really like Dean Koontz, I loved Judy Blume and Madeleine L’Engle as a kid
Legends of the Fall, Braveheart, Harry Potter, The Breakfast Club, Say Anything, Avatar, The Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, Armageddon, The Fifth Element
The Kill, Kings & Queens, Closer to the Edge, all by 30 Seconds to Mars; Bleed It Out and Numb by Linkin Park; Are You Real by KJ-52; I Want You To by Weezer (love to turn this one up, it’s such fun!); and many others.
The Vikings, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Originals, Reign
Chocolate, Cheese, Chocolate, Cheese, Coffee, Coffee, Coffee