Q1. What genre are your books?
Answer: I write Science Fiction and Fantasy with a bit of Romance and Humor thrown into the mix. I enjoy those genres because I like the escape from real life and the fact that I don't have to obey the laws of physics, which I find onerous. I'm kind of tired of gravity and the forward progression of time. So much more fun to breathe underwater, fly over mountains, magically dress in beautiful finery, visit alien worlds, travel in time, pet unicorns, and push the boundaries of the imagination. To me, science fiction and fantasy are ways for the mind to fly. I like to include humor in my stories because I love to laugh. Real life is not funny a lot of the time. So laughter is the antidote for all the really depressing, terrible things humans do to one another. And I love Romance because there is nothing like a really hot kiss to brighten one's day.
Q2. Where do I get my inspiration?
Answer: I get my inspiration from everywhere. I notice what makes me emotional. Sometimes it's something on the news, sometimes an event or experience that happened to me or to someone I know. Ideas come to me when I am laughing with friends. I like taking something that exists and twisting it in some way to make it fresh. The really cool thing about being a writer is that writers exist in the world in a different way than other people. We notice the tiniest of details: the way the light slants through the dust motes in a room or how a smell takes you back to a particular event from childhood so fast it is astonishing. It's an honor to live life this way. Every moment is filled with opportunity. Writers pay attention.
Q3. How important are names to you in your books?
Answer: Well, anyone who has read Mermaids and the Vampires Who Love Them knows that the names are very important to me. I name all the characters for the story before I begin. Sometimes I spend an entire day or more on one name. Some names come easily; others are a lot of work. Pickles came to me in an instant. Pierce Knightguard took me days. Many writers spend a lot of time finding the perfect name. JK Rowling for example. I love how her names all tell us something about her characters. I end up doing a lot of Googling when deciding on character names. I look up popular names for the year my characters were born. I look up good names for mermaids or vampires or hippies, etc. I make sure the first and last names sound good together. And one last thing, I try not to use names that end with "s" because it is such a pain when writing the possessive.
Q4. Why do you write?
Answer: I write because it makes me happy. Because I love words. Because I feel like I have something to say. Because I love my readers. There is nothing like making someone laugh or feel something or just letting a person know that he or she isn't alone in this crazy adventure we call life. Writing is a way of connecting with other people. And if I can make even the tiniest change in the world by increasing awareness of the environment or that love, in all its permutations is noble and good, then I am satisfied.
Q5. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Answer: I could write a whole book on this, and indeed, other people have. So number one, if you want to improve as a writer, learn about the craft. There are lots of amazing books out there for writers: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Making a Scene by Jordan Rosenfeld, The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, On Writing by Stephen King and many, many more. Number two is write. All the time. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to master a task. Number three, write something unique. If you want to publish, then your book must be unique in some way. Ask yourself what makes your book different before you even start writing. If it is exactly the same as something else, then twist it up. You will thank me for this advice when it comes time to write a query letter to agents. Other advice—include lots of sensory detail. Don't ignore smell. Put us in a place. Make it so the reader can see, feel, smell, hear and taste the setting. The story doesn't take place in a white room. Readers only know what you tell them. Write what you're passionate about. It will come across on the page. Have fun. Don't beat yourself up. Never deride your own work. We are all learning and most of what is on Wattpad are works in progress. The reading community here is incredibly supportive.
#5Qi - August 21, 2015