Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Author Q&A.


I thought I would share a bit about my work with my readers today, and answer some questions and answers about my book series. Enjoy!

As of Monday, April 1st, these are the stats for the entire series: 
  • 921,334 words
  • 9,659 pages
  • 18 books
  • 1 editor
  • 0 titles
My goal is to have one book ready to publish by October of this year. I am badly in need of some titles!


***These questions were taken from Author Quiz at Blogspot. You can view the blog by clicking on this link: I skipped several sections because they do not yet apply to me. Enjoy, and happy reading!***


Section 1:  Writing In General / About Yourself

1.     What is it you love most about writing? The escape. I can be in another place, anywhere I want to be. I can be who I want to be. Anything is possible.
2.    What's the best and worst thing about being an author? I’m technically not an author. I could be wrong, but I feel like author is a title given to a published writer. The best thing about being a writer…there are lots of things, really. I can’t just name one. The worst thing about being a writer is that it is a sedentary profession. You sit or lie around on your bum, in my case, for thirteen hours on a typical work day. If I could, I would write while working out on the exercise machines, while I’m lying in the tub, while I’m walking around the park or the mall, or while I’m cleaning.
3.    Are there any parts of being an author that you dislike? As I previously mentioned, I dislike the whole sedentary thing where you sit all day. I also dislike those few and far between moments where I get stuck on something and can’t move on.
4.   Is there anything about you or your writing that makes you unique from other authors? I’m not sure yet. A lot of people seem impressed by the fact that I’ve written eighteen books. I’ve been called a “marathon writer” by several people in the industry. *shrugs* I really don’t know.
5.    Tell us a bit about yourself and your work as an author. I actually wanted to be a writer since I was four going on five. I used to copy the junk mail advertisements when they came in the mail to practice writing. Then, I grew up and left the dream behind. In 2009, things were going terribly wrong in my life, and my husband’s life. My husband was unfairly sacked from his job, so he decided to go back to school. I was concerned about what we were going to do, and when I voiced these concerns, he felt like I was trying to take his dream away from him. We weren’t on the best terms for a while. To escape, I got online. I had characters that I had created and I wrote bits and pieces about them and shared their stories with my friend, Shelly. She told me I should put them into a book. I didn’t think much about it. Then, she started sharing my stories with her family and a few mutual friends, and they said the same thing, put them into a book. Since my friends really and truly believed in me and supported me, I decided perhaps I should listen to them. So I really started writing more and more, and put even further effort into the characters, andShelly offered input that changed the entire story. She was there when the story was in its infancy, really. Even now, I look back on my writing from three years ago and shake my head. Oh, and my husband finished school, graduated with honors, and we’re much better now. Anyway, to make an already incredibly long story short, I was tired of life and the way things were going, so I started writing as a way of escape, and it became something bigger than I could have ever imagined!
6.   If you had to sum up your book, (insert title), in three words, what would they be? I don’t know.
7.   What are you working on now and what projects and ideas do you have lined up next? I go all over the place, which isn’t difficult with eighteen books. One book is a sequel, two books are prequels, and the rest are the series. I switch back and forth, depending on where inspiration strikes. I can’t really say what projects exactly. I’m just telling a story…an incredibly long story.
8.    Do you ever feel yourself becoming quite emotional when writing a particularly intense scene and is there a specific passage in particular where this was the case? Yes. I do tend to become emotionally involved in my character’s lives. I feel their emotions like they are my own. For example, I was a mess when one of my characters tried to commit suicide. He thought he had lost his wife and his children because of his addiction to alcohol. This particular character grew up in a very dysfunctional home. His father was an alcoholic who abused his wife and children, and his mother was an enabler. He was the very middle of five children, and he was essentially raised by his oldest brother. When his father died, my character was so grief stricken that he dove into the addiction head first. This happened starting with the night he got the news of his father’s death. He said he was celebrating, but he realized despite everything, he was depressed that his father died. I can’t give away much more, but he and his wife separated, and he started drinking. One night, he drank so much that he experienced alcohol induced psychosis, and he hallucinated his father. That’s when he tried to commit suicide. Now, to properly write this part, I put myself in a dark place because I wanted to be in the room with him, experiencing it. I did research on the subject matter. I listened to music that he may have been listening to, and I imagined what would happen if I were in his shoes. I felt like this would enable me to write about his experiences, and I sobbed through the entire process, and it took days. The minute I stepped away from the keyboard, I immediately took a two day break, I watched some comedy, read some uplifting books, hung out with friends, and I basically did whatever I could to pull myself out of that dark place, and I was successful. 

Section 2:  The Creative Process
1.     Where did the inspiration for your first/latest* novel, (insert title), come from? I hated my life, and a friend told me that if I hated it so much that I should do something to change it. I started writing stories to escape from my life, not knowing that I was in fact changing it. My friends encouraged me to put the stories into a book. I would say that a combination of my hatred for the way life was going, and the encouragement of my friends are what inspired me.
2.    Why do you enjoy writing in your usual genre, or what is it about your usual genre that appeals to you most as a writer? I’m not sure what you would call it, but I call it realistic fiction, because it’s real places, real events, real scenarios, but fictional characters. I like writing about things I can really experience.
3.    If you were to write a novel outside your usual genre, which genre would you like to experiment with and why? When I was a teenager, I wrote horror stories, and even those were not typically about the supernatural, they were written about real things, like my story, “The Bombing of _______ High School,” which was written after the high school I attended experienced a fortnight’s worth of bomb threats. My story was about what would really happen if the threats were not just threats. Instead of turning me into the principal, (which is what would happen if a teenager wrote something like that today) the librarian thought my story was well written and entertaining, so I shared other horror stories with her as well, like an untitled piece I wrote about a student who had been pushed too far. I may explore writing realistic horror. I’m playing around with the idea of composing a story about a huge fear of mine. I have so many that I could probably write a book of short horror stories just about my fears alone,
4.   When you first get the idea for a new story, do you find that the finished product tends to differ quite significantly from your original idea, or does the original idea remain more or less intact? The original idea remains, but with realistic fiction, that doesn’t seem difficult.
5.    What came first, the idea for your first book or the decision to write a book? The idea for my book.
6.   Would you expect yourself to be most creative as a writer shut off on a desert island or immersing yourself in a busy social life? Sadly, I crave solitude most of the time because I have my characters, but I try to have a good balance between solitude and having a social life. I can become inspired anywhere. I would love to have the opportunity to work with the ocean as my backdrop, then spend time with my friends, living it up, or spend hours writing in a huge modern cabin with large multistory windows, a stone fireplace with a roaring fire in it, and snow covered evergreens and mountains, then experience a day of skiing and snowboarding with my husband.
7.   Have you ever had an idea which was inspired by a real life incident, but which you ultimately decided not to include in your story because readers would think it was too farfetched? No. Many writers quote about truth in fiction. There are bits and pieces of my life woven throughout my book series that only family or my friends may catch as they read it. It could be something as simple as a favorite hat from my childhood, or an inside joke that only a friend would laugh loudly about, or something I learned from someone else, stuff like that.

Section 3:  A Bit Of Fun...  Movies/TV/Other Media

1.     If your book, (insert title), was made into a movie who would you want to play the main character and why? I have a few ideas for characters, but I know three of the characters are going to be very difficult to find people to play them due to certain physical attributes that make them who they are.
2.    If you were to write a story featuring a fictional character from another author’s novel, who would you choose and why? I would probably write a sequel about one of Judy Blume’s characters, like Sheila, or Peter and Farley Drexel Hatcher (FUDGE), from Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and Superfudge, tell the story about where they are now.
3.    If you were to write a story featuring a fictional character from any movie of your choice, who would you choose and why? I really don’t have an answer.
4.   If you were to write a fictional story based on a real-life celebrity, who would you feature and why? Again, I’m not really sure who I would feature.
5.     Would your book, (insert title), work best as a movie adaptation or as a TV series? It could go either way, but it would probably be best as a television series due to the length. The movie, even if it was a trilogy, or five movies, like the Twilight series, there would still be stuff that would have to be left out.
6.   If your book, (insert title), was made into a movie, and you were asked for input into the soundtrack, are there any songs that would work especially well for any particular scenes? Definitely. I can’t list them all, but my characters have their own music playlists on two of my accounts. The suicide attempt of my character that I mentioned in a previous answer, there is a song I played that really set the mood as I wrote that piece. I’m not sure how the artist would feel about it if it was used in that manner.
7.   Is there a particular scene from your book, (insert title), which would translate well to canvas and provide a powerful inspiration for a dramatic or emotional piece of artwork? Yes. There’s a piece in my sequel series, yes it’s a series all by itself, where one of the main characters passes away. The character was born with an inherited illness and the character died young, but this particular person leaves behind a legacy for family and friends, and the character’s name lives on due to this legacy.
8.    If you could choose someone famous to record your book in audiobook format, who would you choose as the voice and why? This answer is an easy one…Patrick Warburton, because I love his character in Rules of Engagement. He can make toilet paper sound dramatic! *LOL*

Section 4:  Your Characters
1.     If you could invite one character from your novel(s) to a dinner party who would it be and why? One character? Really? My character, S. He is an oncologist who later becomes the chief of medicine of a certain fictitious hospital, and he has a HIGH IQ, he’s a hyperpolyglot, and he is very cultured. He has beautiful hands. He’s just beautiful inside and out. He would be extremely interesting to listen to, and to learn from.
2.    Are any of your characters based heavily on people you know or have met from real life and if so, would they regard it as a compliment or an insult to discover they were the inspiration for the character in question? My female character, L, is a lot like a combination of my friends Shelly and Allison. Both of those friends look like I picture L does. They’re both blond and they’re both intelligent and gorgeous, but they’re not stick figures, and neither is L. L is 5’10 though. L is intelligent, and she’s a pediatrician, but unlike Allison, L does not get the hang of motherhood for a while. Shelly also reminds me a little of my female character, G, who is a bit spoiled, gorgeous, and VERY into fashion. And a later character, K, looks and acts like Allison did in high school. My female character, D, I have no idea where she comes from because there really isn’t anyone in my life like her. My husband is a combination of my male characters, P and R. R has my husband’s birthday, and he’s quiet and somewhat introverted like my husband, but P loves the outdoors as much as my husband does, and he loves corny jokes, also something my husband inherited from his father, and children. P is a big kid with a goofy grin. My husband can be like that sometimes, too. A later character, J, looks like my friend, Danielle, with green eyes, I even gave J Danielle’s birthday. She has that gorgeous black hair and darker complexion. I hope my friends are not offended that some of my characters remind me of them, or they remind me of some of my characters. Some of the character modeling that happened was accidental.
3.    Are any of your characters based on yourself and if so to what degree, and do you find it easier or more difficult to write characters based on yourself? My characters each have different aspects of me here and there, but I am probably the most like my female character, T. She’s a lot stronger than me. She has quite a bit more of a backbone than I do, and she’s much meaner than I am. It is easy to write about her in certain aspects, like when she told her eventual husband, P, that the last thing she needed was another man, I actually said that to my eventual husband!
4.   Without being too specific and without revealing too much about the plot, have you ever killed off a character who you felt particularly attached to and if so was it an emotional experience writing the relevant scene? Oh yes. There was a secondary character that Shelly wanted dead. It was symbolic of something that had gone on in her life, and she wanted me to tell her story in so many words, and in my words because she knew someone would read it and relate to it, and perhaps it would change their view on life. This was all last minute, too. So I did this for her since she supported me from the beginning, and because I had actually written about this character’s life, as a main character when I first starting writing stories to escape, it was tough. We both cried, but I wouldn’t’ go back and change it.
5.    Have you ever written a supporting character, who took on a life of their own or turned out to be far more popular than expected and if so do you have plans to feature them as the lead character in a story of their own? Yes, he’s T, S’s best friend from Japan. I’m already thinking he’s going to get his own section now.

***There are some sections I have skipped because I’m not published yet***

Section 10:  Promotional Section / The Big Sell

1.     Why should people buy your book,(insert title)/books? I will have to have a friend answer this question because I really can’t. I know that’s perplexing.
2.    Who do you see as your target audience? I write a bit about people of all ages, so I would think it may appeal to a bit of everyone.
3.    Why would you recommend your book, (insert title)/books to other readers? To escape. That’s why I started writing was to escape from something.
4.   What would you say is your biggest strength as a writer? Persistence and focus. The fact that I could write for thirteen hours per day is a huge strength, at least I think so.
5.    What target audience would you recommend your book, (insert title)/books to? Probably teenagers and adults of all ages.
6.   What sort of audience will your book,(insert title)/books most appeal to? Adults of all ages.
7.   Of all your books, which would you say was the best starting point for a reader to be introduced to your work? From the beginning. It’s an ongoing story.
8.    Is there a TV series or movie which you think would appeal to a similar audience as your book, (insert title)? I’m not sure.
9.    Can you list a few other books which you feel would appeal to a similar audience as your own book, (insert title)I’m not sure. My series is a bit about everything. You get a look at different career fields, such as medical, law, political, just to name a few. One of my characters is a stay at home mother of two, who also works from home. Another character gets a chance to work from home, which is convenient since he and his wife have four children, (two sets of twins), but he still has to be at his office to meet with people on an as needed basis, and his wife has a demanding career, so family often steps in to help when he can’t be there. So as you see, my book is not a medical drama, or a political drama, or a crime thriller, so I’m not sure how to answer this question.

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