Christine, owner of the Romance Angels Networking Group, asked me to do an interview as a rising star within our circle of authors. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was relatively painless and seems to have been inspiring to some. I’ve taken the liberty of posting it here, in the event of helping someone else along the way. Here goes:
1. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your sixteen-year-old self?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write short stories and poems, but when I turned sixteen, I was mother to a beautiful six-week-old baby boy, my son, Christopher. I don’t regret it for a minute, but I had always planned on going to university to become a teacher. The year he turned three, I graduated high school. When he started school, I went to a local business college and studied accounting, which I worked at for many years. I guess my advice to me would be to continue writing, no matter what life brings, and not let it fall by the wayside, letting other things and people take priority.
2. What author are you reading at this moment?
I’m reading a Harlequin Intrigue by Jessica Anderson, Internal Affairs.
3. What makes you angry?
Injustice, domestic abuse, liars and thieves make me angry. Being constantly broke is right up there, too. LOL Rejections without feedback are mildly annoying. We need to know where we’ve gone wrong in order to fix a manuscript and make it saleable.
4. What authors would attend your dream dinner party?
My dream dinner party would include my online friends who have helped me along the way. I’d invite Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts except I wouldn’t want them to steal my thunder, after all, it’s my dinner party. LOL
5. Who would play you in the film of your life?
Me, of course! Why let someone else make the big bucks?
6. Have you ever suffered from being ‘stuck’ in your writing?
Occasionally, I get stuck, usually from having too many interruptions. It ruins the train of thought.
7. What did you do about it?
Went to bed. lol Usually, I’ll write little poems or ditties for my grandson, something easy to get the juices flowing.
8. How long does it take you to write a novel/novella from the first idea to sending it off to a publisher?
I wrote my first novel, a children’s book, in one weekend. My first adult novel took seven weeks, start to finish. The second, third and fourth I wrote from Sept/09 to Nov/09. So, about four weeks average per book. I edit as I go so it slows me down some. The one I’m concentrating on now was an idea I came up with over Christmas. Got it started (8200 words) and set it aside to do revisions. Started writing again last week and it is now 49% completed.
9. Do you work on more than one story at a time?
Yes, usually. I have two other novels started and a novella, but they’re on hold until I complete the one I’m working on.
10. What has been the hardest thing for you to overcome?
Demands on my time. Quite often, I turn the phone off. I’ve had to learn to say ‘NO’ on a regular basis. Just because I’m off work right now and living alone for the first time in my life, everyone thinks I can do whatever, whenever. Of course, if it includes my grandkids, that’s a different story. lol
11. What do you know now that you didn’t when you began writing?
I’ve learned a lot since I started writing seriously fifteen months ago. My main problem seems to be with point of view. I was doing a lot of head-hopping in my work. I also tend to start many sentences wrong. I’ll write: ‘Walking away from the…’ when it should be: ‘She walked away from…’ An editor kindly told me, “subject-verb-subject works best.”
12. What secret or unusual skill do you possess?
I don’t know if it’s secret or unusual, but when I’m writing I live the life of my character. By that, I mean I literally see what she’s seeing, feel what she’s feeling. My characters ‘talk’ to me and I pick up on what they’re thinking and where they want the story to go. I’ve both laughed and cried while writing. Have I mentioned that I’ve always had a good imagination? Lol
13. What phrase or words do you overuse in your writing?
Lots of them. I really have to be careful. Usually, actually, the fact that, and I love adverbs and adjectives.
14. Do you read romance while you are writing romance?
No. I reward myself with a good read when the current work is completed. I don’t want what I’m reading to influence my writing in any way.
15. How do you find doing revisions and working with an editor?
I think I’m weird. I actually enjoy doing revisions. To take the feedback an editor gives and work those aspects into your story makes it a lot stronger and definitely more saleable. In the end, that’s what we’re aiming for, an entertaining yet saleable product.
16. What is your ultimate goal?
To be published, of course! Especially in print. To be able to hold that first book in my hot little hands and know I’ve accomplished something great. Something I’ve put off for too many years.
17. Have you ever written for another genre?
Yes. I wrote and published children’s books and posters in the 90’s.
18. How do you develop your hero/heroine’s character arcs?
I start with an idea, conjure up a name and go from there, jotting down pertinent information as it appears in the books. The characters take on a life of their own once I get their story started.
19. What inspires you?
I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of learning something new and writing contemporary romance appeals to me. I’ve been reading them since I was fifteen and always said I’d write one someday. Having the time to indulge myself inspires me. Writing has always been a passion of mine. To know that I can get an idea and see it through to the end is my main inspiration. Knowing that people want to read what I write has been motivating. Also, in the paranormal I’ve started, I’m creating a whole other world and I find it fascinating.
20. What’s next for you?
After I get to hold that first book in my hands, I hope to continue being published, either in ebook or print form. I’m experimenting with a paranormal novella but I’m leaning toward trying my hand at writing inspirational suspense. As long as I’ve got ideas, I’ll continue to write. This is me doing what I enjoy doing and I’m loving it!
If you’re interested in joining RAN, the link is in the sidebar.