Interview with the Author, Part I
Today’s blog post is an interview with this author, rather than with one of the characters in my novel. I thought my readers would like to learn a little about my . I found these interview questions on this website: https://lovewritinglife.com/author-interview-questions/. I’ll be posting answers to more questions on future blog posts, too. So, without further ado, I’ll get started.
What inspired you to start writing?
· I was inspired to start writing when I was younger from a fun assignment we had to do. I remember enjoying it so much because we had the freedom to write about whatever we wanted to. I think I wrote a fantasy story about dragons. I remember using the word “reverberate” and asking the teacher how to spell it. I laugh thinking about it because the teacher asked why I was using such a big word. I think I was in fifth or sixth grade at the time. I don’t think the teacher knew that word and she got angry with me and told me to look it up myself. I caught the writing bug because I could express myself so much more easily in writing than in speech and because it was fun. As an adult, I became inspired to start writing again when I learned of NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a month-long writing event where you try to meet a word goal before the end of the month. The first time I participated, I prepared for a month beforehand and had a novel written in a month. It was fun to challenge myself and, at the end of the month, I had a lot of material to work with. That novel is still sitting on my shelf, waiting to be revised. But it gave me the inspiration to write more novels.
How long have you been writing?
· I helped start a creative writing club in high school and had a passion for it. As an adult, I moved away from writing until six or seven years ago and I’ve been writing seriously since then.
When did you start writing?
· I’ve been writing since I was in fifth or sixth grade. I have enjoyed writing fiction since then.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
· Yes. I haven’t always written but I’ve always wanted to be a writer. It’s just recently that I’ve taken my dream seriously.
What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
· Don’t give up on your dream. It will be hard work and you’ll doubt yourself at times, but you have to keep working through the imposter syndrome. Sometimes this will take sheer grit and sometimes it will take educating yourself but you can do it. It’s the best gift you can give yourself.
How do you handle writer’s block?
· Some days, I just try to work through it. You can’t write only when inspiration strikes. You wouldn’t get anything done. Other days, I give myself a break and work on one of my hobbies, like knitting. I try to at least write in my writing journal every day, even if I’m not going to work on a project.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
· I think a great idea is important, so creativity is an essential element of good writing. But I’m a firm believer in the basics, such as spelling and grammar and sentence structure. The words have to roll off the tongue, yet be exactly as simple as required.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
· I don’t think there is a wrong answer to this. For the novel I’m working on now, Soul of the Silver Tree, the setting actually came first. The plot came next, closely followed by the characters. This has changed, depending on the novel I’m writing. In another novel that I’ve written but not edited yet, the character came first, then the plot. So, long story short, it depends on the novel.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
· This is a tough one. Sometimes they come from dreams, like many authors. One novel I’ve written was developed from the title; the plot and characters came directly from the title. This is unusual for me. Normally I start writing and eventually come up with a title.
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Usually, the titles to my books come from random word associations or (hopefully) clever plays on words. Soul of the Silver Tree came from the novel centering around souls and the name of the ranch being the Silver Tree Ranch, although it’s possible the title may change at some future point.
If you’re interested in being inspired or challenged to write your own novel, NaNoWriMo is in November and there’s another event called Camp NaNoWriMo in April that lets you set a self-determined goal. The website is nanowrimo.org. Happy writing!