Q1. What book do you wish you could have written?
Answer: This is a tough one, but I'm going to go with everything China Mieville has ever written: THE CITY AND THE CITY, and the NEW CROBUZON series, for example. His writing is weird and wildly creative. I would like to have a tiny portion of the brain power he has and for that intellect to show in my writing.
Q2. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Answer: Time management! Writing holds such power over me. I need to devote a certain amount of time to it for my own wellbeing. But it's not my day job. I have another career as a librarian. I have a child, a family, a garden that needs tending. I have a desire to break away from technology every now and then. There's only so much time to devote to writerly things and only a part of that time can actually be devoted to writing. So much of an author's career is about networking and marketing rather than actually creating stories. I love the networking component, but I know I'm not the only one who can find it distracting. As for marketing, well, trying to get published traditionally, for instance, is like taking on another job in and of itself. I find writing a synopsis of my work (often necessary when querying agents) to be a more laborious process than writing the whole novel! The idea of being a writer, sitting with your laptop and a cup of coffee while gazing out the window at a serene landscape, sounds quite romantic. But the reality of being a writer isn't like that, at least not most of the time. It's filled with a lot of mundane tasks, like tallying rejections, searching submission opportunities, explaining to my eight year-old why I have to stare at my computer for the next several hours even though I just got home from work, and of course... trying to keep off of Facebook.
Q3. What inspires you?
Answer: Reading inspires me more than anything else. Reading stories throughout the years has made me want to create my own. I'm also inspired by the give and take which exists between readers and writers. Thanks to Wattpad, I am able to communicate daily with readers, and their comments and feedback have resulted in me deciding to write additional stories I would not have otherwise. I don't know where I'd be without that exchange of ideas and encouragement.
Q4. Why do you write?
Answer: I write because I need a creative outlet in order to be a functioning and balanced human being. I have always needed a creative element in my life. I went to an arts high school and studied theater, I learned to knit and crochet in college, I dabbled in drawing along the way. Then, about three years ago, I began writing. The act of producing a story and sharing it with readers has ended up being the most powerful of all of the creative avenues I've explored in my life. There's no turning back now!
Q5. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Answer: One of my mantras is "never give up." Accept criticism, deal with rejection. Grow and move on. Keep writing. There's so much I could say about the importance of determination. If you are determined enough, you will continue to write no matter the obstacles placed in your path. Eventually, you will find yourself where you want to be as a writer, but it may take time, a long, long time. It may not be easy to accept the slow pace of your progress or the setbacks you may face along the way, but it's necessary.
Q6. Who is your favorite character out of all those you've created?
Answer: While I'm partial to many of them, May, the heroine of DESERT WAKE, really stands out to me. May's voice is fresh and different from the other characters I've dreamed up. She speaks in dialect for one, and she also knows how to turn a phrase. Because of the rough and tumble circumstances of her upbringing, she hasn't received any formal education. Still, I wouldn't want to be on the opposite side of her in an argument. It would be better to concede defeat before the debate even begins! Her extraordinary intelligence set against a dying world filled with dust storms and ne'er do wells makes her quite an endearing character.
Bonus question added. This option was offered to everyone.
#5Qi - August 27th, 2015