What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?
The last thing: Notes for my fourth novel.
The first thing that I still have: A recipe for Snow Ice Cream that includes “shuger and venila.” I also have a journal from when I was eleven. I have a story in there about a talking Teddy Bear.
Sure, emotions are good writing tools. Read it more than write it.
Favorite genre of writing?
To write? Women’s fiction. To read? Literary works. Women’s fiction. I enjoy character-driven novels. Really, I’ll read anything. Lately I’ve been a little obsessed with the dictionary.
Most annoying character you've ever created?
Annoying..interesting word. I’d say the grandfather in the novel I’m currently editing. He’s a sick man and I believe he will annoy readers.
Best Plot you've ever created?
I like the way the story I’m editing unravels with twists and interwoven themes. The story idea for my second novel is very original (one of those where I actually debate whether it has ever been done before). I also have a compelling outline for novel #4 and a strong premise/POV for #5.Coolest Plot twist you've ever created?
It’s happening in Noble Efforts to Engulf the Moon. Two characters end up switching roles in a satisfying way. It’s so fun to reread as it happens.How often do you get writer's block?
I had writer’s block the entire time I breastfed. Since getting back in the game I’ve yet to experience this. Sometimes I’m bombarded with so many ideas I have trouble choosing the best ones to put on the page.
~~~Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I don’t feel like writing. But since I don’t live based on feelings…I write and I’m not blocked by that. Writing is one of the best ways I know how to feel fully present, awake and engaged in life so I don’t tolerate blockage.
Write fan fiction?
Do you type or write by hand?
Both. I take a lot of notes by hand. I have sticky notes littered all over my house and car. But the meat goes on the computer.
Do you save everything you write?
Pretty much. Even the sticky notes when a novel is finished.
Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?.
Yes, if it’s haunting me or if something about it feels unfinished.
What's your favorite thing you've ever written?
I like the characters most in Noble Efforts to Engulf the Moon. And I’m fired up to write the next novel. There are lines that I’m editing where I know I’ve nailed it.
~~~I feel like I’m choosing among my kids. They’re all my babies and it’s hard to pick. My goal is to improve every time I sit to write.
What's everyone else's favorite story that you've written?
I received great feedback about my first novel. People really got into the characters. My writing group has enjoyed some of my short stories. I’ve never had one person read all of my novels/short stories so I don’t think I can answer this one.
Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?
Not really. My second novel involves a married couple. Their romance is based on enduring a horrific situation together. Not so much kissy kissy stuff as long haul compatibility.
What's your favorite setting for your characters?
I’ve spent most of my life in New England. It’s where my writing came to life again. Perhaps I feel I owe it to my novels to have them based in the Northeast.
How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Editing my third novel. Furiously taking notes for my fourth novel. I write devotionals for several websites, articles, short stories and book reviews. On any given day I could be drafting or working on any of the aforementioned.
Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Depends on whether you count Honor of Distinction on my transcript an award. I earned it by writing exceptional essays in college. I also won a title contest in 9th grade English. It was an impetus to get me thinking about the writing life.
What are your five favorite words?
Palpitations. Accentuate. Radiance. Hilarity. Ethereal. (Because of my dictionary addiction this list was hard to truncate.)
What character have you created that is most like yourself?
I can easily identify with all of my MC’s. I’m probably most like Lily from my first novel and I believe I’ll be most like my MC from #4.
Where do you get ideas for your characters?
Sermons, dramatic events, articles, the endless tunnel in my brain, past experiences, people I know and observe, empathy…
Do you ever write based on your dreams?
Not so much my dreams, but my thoughts are extremely active just before I fall asleep. I find myself go through the mental debate…If you are a writer you need to write them down. You are not a writer if you don’t write them down. I often submit and…write them down.
Do you favor happy endings?
I like realistic endings, endings that complement the story as a whole. I cringe when an author tries to tie it all up with a prissy bow and it doesn’t match my sense of reality. Life isn’t about being happy. I like endings with some form of resolution.
Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
At times. I told Comma to meet me out back after school. I’m pretty sure he’ll show, but I don’t know if I’ll know the right time to clock him.
Does music help you write?
Absolutely, though oddly I don’t always opt for having it on when I write. With the chirps from my little girls I find I fight off enough distraction. Also, I’m picky about songs. A song could screw up a mood I’m going for and throw me off course entirely. I might just be too influenced by it.
Quote something you've written. Whatever pops into your head.
Writers and photographers share a lot in common. While the photographer views life in a panoramic way to capture the best detailed shot, the writer absorbs the story behind the visuals. The writer is forever experiencing multisensory glimpses of story in the picture and beyond.
From Noble Efforts to Engulf the Moon:
“In moments of darkness and despair Lindsay attempted to picture her dad like the dwarfed Wizard of Oz hiding behind a curtain, but whenever she tried this she could only conjure up the bulbous octopus head yelling at Dorothy and her friends.”
All my socks have holes in them. (I write this not to show off my excellent writing skills, but to let you know all my socks really do have holes in them. Christmas is coming. I’m just sayin’.)
And to the above five, give yourself that panda award while you’re at it. I appreciate your clever comments. I was supposed to select three. Just goes to show I’m not good at math or rules.