I feel like I should quote Samwise Gamgee here and say, ‘Well, I’m back!’. I have really missed this blog and so much has happened since the last post!
Where have I been?
Working. A lot. Following Crowning Heaven’s publication, I picked up a third job, drafted a new novel (or two or three), I took an author business course, started training with a huge three-year-old Irish horse, and did a ton of behind-the-scenes work for my next book release this summer!
Since it has basically been a year since I was last here, I thought it would be appropriate to restart the blog with a little Q & A from some of the questions I’ve been asked online in the last number of months. Here goes!
Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Are you going to participate this year?
Yes! I have participated ever since 2014, and it is my yearly happy excuse to speed-write a novel. And this year? As of right now, I plan to. 🙂
What’s your best advice for new and old writers and what’s your best advice for writers looking into self publishing?
Best advice: Love your art and keep at it. Overthinking, comparison (especially if it’s to raise yourself up) and going stagnant (different from resting/taking breaks) are your worst enemies.
For writers looking to self-publish: surround yourself with quality and seek out professionals that will help you achieve that. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice even if you think you’ll sound stupid. Chances are, you won’t. Deliver on your promises and don’t compare yourself unless you intend to compare yourself constructively. And if you have random questions, find a fellow self-pubbed author or two. Often we are happy to share what we’ve learned.
I think I remember you saying once that you could use both hands as your dominant hand…HOW ON EARTH DO YOU DO THIS AND CAN YOU PLEASE TEACH.
So this is half true. I can use a sword equally with both hands. Writing, eating, not so much. And I practiced. And practiced and practiced. Nothing fancy, just time.
What’s your favorite ice cream?
Mint chocolate chip!
Who is your favorite character from Crowning Heaven?
It changes with the day. Today it is Breac Harward. 🙂
Top book that you’ve read this year?
That’s hard. I really enjoyed The Light Between the Worlds by Laura Weymouth.
What would be your ideal writing retreat?
Out in a northwoods cabin near a large water source or in a cottage by the sea, good food, a few good friends to talk story with and a crazy big goal to accomplish.
If you had to pick only one genre to read in for a year, which would you choose and why?
Historical fiction would probably be my favorite, since you could go all over time to all manner of places.
Would you ever write a book with yourself as a prominent character?
That’s a very good question. I do not like to cast myself usually, however, I did once. So the answer is sort of yes?
What is your outlining process and the writing schedule you follow to complete a book?
It varies from book to book, but here’s the gist:
First draft: When I first get the idea, I write down any ideas in a notebook or notepad on my computer, I often make a playlist and a Pinterest board as well, just getting down the impressions I have of the story. This helps me go back to the original feeling of the book when I hit the middle and get disillusioned.
Then I begin drafting. I usually have some important plot points in place but I do not outline everything because I want some flexibility to see where the story is going. Drafting often takes 1-4 months, depending on how busy I am. I try to set a consistent amount of words per day/week, and I often set a “finish date” so I have something to aim for.
For the actual writing itself, I will often set a 15 minute timer and race it. On very good days I can write 2k an hour, though I’m usually a little slower than that.
What’s your favorite genre to read?
Probably historical fiction, like YA historical fiction. There are so many incredible stories in that genre. However, I am getting fond of certain types of fantasy and sci-fi. Heroic characters are my jam, so wherever I find those, there go I.
Now I have some questions for you (answer any or all!):
What is your top book outside of your regular genre you’ve read this year?
What are you looking forward to the most this summer?
If you could make everyone read one book that you love, what would it be?