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H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS YA BOUND BLOG TOUR
Blogger 3: Author Interview
Hello and thank you for little me interview you today.
Was writing your first love?
Yes, but…I waited a long time to begin my love affair!
When I was a child, I told people I wanted to write books when I grew up.
But then I grew up! I got my law degree and practiced law because…well, it seemed like the sensible thing to do at the time.
About ten years ago, I began writing because I had a story in my head that wouldn’t let go. Then I wrote another. And another, and so forth.
I recently published my sixth novel. The love affair is still going strong!
Where do you like to write?
Some writers I know hang out in cafes or coffee shops to write. I do that from time-to-time, but I’m easily distracted. *squirrel* ;-)
I converted an extra bedroom in my house into a Bohemian writer’s den. J Purple walls, a red wool carpet, lots of tapestries, fabric and candles. When I’m ready to get lost in my story, I light some incense, close my eyes and create worlds.
Is writing everything you though it would be?
LOL! No. And yet it is more than I thought it would be.
When I was still writing as a hobby rather than full-time gig, I had romanticized ideas of what a writer’s life would be like. Writing the next great novel in a fabulous café while managing to look fashionably bookish, the words flowing out of me like I had a direct line to the writer’s muse.
In reality, I spend a lot of days alone in my office with noise-canceling headphones on (to tune out the family during writing time) while wearing a comfortably-worn T-shirt, jeans and flip-flops, my hair (maybe washed, maybe not) pulled back sucking down K-cup coffee from my slightly cracked, stained favorite old cup.
But writing is also more than I thought it would be, thanks to my relationship with readers and fans of my work. I’ve met so many wonderful people! Some have become friends, and I treasure converstations we have at sci-fi/fantasy conventions or comic cons about stories, writing, books we love and just everything. That is something I could not have imagined—that by writing, I’d meet lots of interesting people I’d otherwise not know. And it is by far the best part of my job!
Who is/was your favourite character to write about?
I’ve truly loved writing all of the characters I’ve created. But now that the H.A.L.F. series has ended, I’ll miss writing Tex (aka H.A.L.F. 9 aka Bodaway) the most. He is the half-human, half-alien character at the center of the H.A.L.F. series. Because he was kept away from humans in an underground lab, when he escapes, everything is new to him. It was fun to be “in his head,” and to explore our world and human relationships through him. I cried when I wrote the last chapters of H.A.L.F. because I’m going to miss writing the series that I spent a total of seven years on!
But I’m looking forward to meeting new characters. J
How do you form your story ideas?
Some of my story ideas have come to me in dreams (like Emily’s House, my first novel). Often I’m inspired by music. I’ll “feel” a scene and it’s like I can see it in my mind’s eye.
Most of the time, my story ideas come together more as a process. Maybe it begins with a feeling or idea, sometimes inspired by news stories or mythology or a song. I begin a Pinterest board and start a “Soundtrack” of music, brew the coffee and set to work!
Do you keep notes during the day, in case something inspires you or, if you had a lively conversation and thought Hey that would be great in a book?
I should keep a notebook, but I’m not that organized! I have notes here and there and even in my phone or voice memos. Mostly I keep it in my head (and hope I’ll be able to recall it when I need it!).
What was the last book you read, did it live up to your expectations?
I’m currently reading the Wheel of Time (WoT) series by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson). I’m only in book four, so I’ve got a ways to go!
I think the WoT just keeps getting better and better. Rand Al’thor is my current book boyfriend—I love Rand! But alas, he’s going a bit crazy due to the taint of the Dark One on the male side of the One Power. I’m rooting for him to stay sane long enough to save the world.
Do you like warm or cold day?
Hmm, both. I live in southern Arizona, so it’s not cold very often. But I do enjoy an occasional cold day. I miss wearing sweaters! But for the most part, I enjoy the arid heat of the desert and have no desire to live somewhere (again) where I have to scrape ice from my windshield.
Tea, coffee, or rum? (or preferred drink, I’m a wine person myself but I do love a good latté)
During the day, my favorite drink is a latté—hot in the winter, on ice in the summer. When out with hubby or chilling with friends, my current favorite libation is Tito’s vodka with ginger beer and a splash of pomegranate. Yum!
Halloween is coming up, do you like scary stories?
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and times of the year! But I’m not much into scary stories. I’m more into old B-movies, like black and white dracula and Frankenstein movies.
We always have a party at our house and we all dress up, drink wine and enjoy the parade of kids in costumes trick-or-treating. Our neighborhood is busy—I usually give out at least 500 pieces of candy! It’s like carnival or Mardi Gras and I love it!
Do you write in one sitting or in bursts?
My writing process is not one to emulate! I set a terrible example.
I should write every day, but I don’t. Partly this is due to my travel schedule (for the past two years, I’ve traveled over 10,000 miles/year appearing at book festivals and comic cons). But—true confession time—partly I procrastinate by playing Xbox games or Elder Scrolls online.
When I’m starting a new project, I often put it off because I’m not sure where I’m going with things yet. So there’s a lot of thinking time before writing. It looks like I’m not doing much because the page is still blank. But when I finally get it together, I typically produce 3000-5000 words a day and can spin out a first draft one of my novels (they’re generally 100,000-125,000 words) in about two months. Of course it will be 9-12 more months of rewriting and revision, but once the first draft is written, it always feels great!