This week I’m doing an extra special blog post for my one-year author platform anniversary. It’s been one year since I launched my writing ventures online through this blog, Twitter, Instagram, and, Facebook. So, I thought I’d celebrate by doing a little author Q&A and compiling all your questions and answering them here. Thank you to all my readers and followers for being a part of this crazy journey with me. Without you, this process just wouldn’t be the same! Here’s to another year of fun writing and literary adventures!
Q: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on or would like to go on?
A: Wow, that’s a cool question. I haven’t been on any literary pilgrimages yet but, I would love to visit the following locations in my lifetime:
Shakespeare’s The Globe Theater in London
The Ralph Waldo Emerson Museum in Concord, MA
Edith Wharton’s house “The Mount”
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Virginia
Edgar Allan Poe’s grave
The Algonquin Hotel, site of the Round Table gatherings.
Q:What is the first book that made you cry?
A: I actually don’t remember! But, three books that I do remember had me sobbing uncontrollably (as in massive ugly cry with snot falling out my nose) were Ove, My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and The Light We Lost.
Q: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
A: I would have to say it does both. There are days when I am super inspired and excited with what I am working on that it feels like electricity is flowing through my fingers. It is as though I am transported to another time and place where I am not in my current reality. However, there are days where it just feels like sludge and writing is the last thing on earth I want to be doing. I’ll get in a funk and it feels like my mojo is missing!
Q: Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
A: No. I am really proud of my work and I stand behind it. Besides, there is nothing in my writing that I feel like I would be ashamed or embarrassed to have people read. I suppose I would consider it if I ever wrote erotica but the likelihood of that happening is slim to none.
Q: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
A: I learned so much from publishing my first book and I continue to learn something every time I release a new project into the world. The publishing world is ever-changing and I enjoy learning and understanding all its ins-and-outs. I realized after publishing my first book that the real work begins after the release thanks to a little bugger called marketing. I also try to get some basic formatting done as I am writing so that it won’t be so challenging at the end.
Q: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A: Hands down a book cover designer for my novel and an illustrator for my children’s books.
Q: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A: An owl because owls are my favorite animal. In Native American culture, the owl as a totem animal belongs to those who find wisdom in silence. They are also able to help give a person strength in order to open their eyes and look into the shadows. The owl is a symbol of being able to navigate any darkness in life and provides a strong connection to the mystical world.
Q: Which do you enjoy more stories or poetry?
A: I really enjoy both, but I feel more emotionally connected to poetry. It just hits on a raw and vulnerable place that allows for such a wide range of emotions to be expressed. Poetry is freeing and deeply personal.
Q: Favorite genre to read/write?
A: I will read almost anything, but my favorite genre is historical fiction. I also enjoy writing in a variety of genres because I get bored easily and like experimenting with different styles, story structures, and ideas. I write poetry, horror, suspense, and my current novel is a historical fiction/romance hybrid. There are only two genres I avoid and they are sci-fi and erotica.
Q: Describe your life in a nutshell
A: To quote from one of my favorite films, “buckle your seat belts it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
Q: Is there a particular kind of attire you like to write in?
A: Pajamas and fuzzy socks are my writing uniform.
Q: People believe that being a published author is glamorous, is that true?
A: Um, if you think being constantly sleep deprived, stressed, under deadlines, hustling to market your book, punched in the gut with rejections, criticized, and riddled with self-doubt is glamorous then….sure!
Q: Is it true that authors write word-perfect first drafts?
A: If there is an author out there who writes word-perfect first drafts I would love to meet them so that I can tell everyone I found big foot. I’d also tell everyone I hated you (behind your back of course).
Q:Music or silence?
A: I like to write in complete and total silence. I live in an apartment building so this isn’t always easy but, seriously, if you are intentionally making noise or playing loud music…I will find you and I will kill you.
Q: Do you Google yourself?
A: No. I am actually not someone who enjoys technology or constantly looking at a screen. When I am on my computer, I just write and then shut it down. I only use google for research purposes…besides I don’t find myself that interesting!
Q: Epitaph on your grave?
A: She did it the hard way.
Q: Have you written any other books that are not published?
A: I actually get asked this question a lot! Yes, I have two novels that are “finished” that I have yet to publish. I still need to put them through a rigorous editing process but, I am hoping to get at least one of them released next year. I also have about five children’s books that are done and ready to go but I’m spreading out the release on those as well. Stay tuned!
Q: Who is your favorite author?
A: I really adore Dorothy Parker and Bill Bryson. I enjoy their humor, wit, sarcasm, and ability to tell it like it is. I also have an affinity for Edgar Allan Poe. I started reading his work in 5th grade and grew enamored with his style. I have read many biographies on Poe and I really can relate to his struggles as a child and the losses he endured. He had such an incredible mind and unique genius that just was not appreciated during the time he lived. Other authors that I can’t leave off this list are Paula Brackston, Susanna Kearsley, Karen White, William Shakespeare, and Virginia Wolf.
Q: Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
A: Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher back in 2011 when Ms. Reynolds was auctioning off her large MGM/Fox movie collection.
Q: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction who would you write about?
A: Well, I sort of already am accomplishing the answer to this question in that my next book is a historical fiction novel on the North Berwick Witches of Scotland. I love writing about witch trials because I find the psychological and sociological aspects of these Witch Hunts fascinating. I’d eventually like to write a compilation book on all the lesser known yet, equally important, European witch trials but that is a massive undertaking as it will require extensive research. I do feel compelled to write the book eventually because their stories need to be told and never forgotten.
Q: What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
A: Honestly, as long as I’m writing I don’t care what I’m writing on! I love the feel and sound of an old-fashioned typewriter and the elegance of a fountain pen with ink. They both make me feel like I have been transported back in time and I can imagine some of my favorite authors pounding away at their typewriter keys or sitting by candle light at their desks dipping their quills into a jar of ink. It evokes a certain vibe and feel that infuses me with inspiration. On the other hand, I like the ease and convenience of using a computer. When I make a mistake (which is often) all I have to do is press the delete key! Plus, I can add or rearrange scenes fairly seamlessly. Finally, I still write in notebooks and journals so, I guess that means I haven’t totally abandoned longhand. Heck I’ll even write on a napkin if that’s what happens to be available!
Q: Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
A: Never! I am always reading…I can’t function without a book.
Q: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
A: Yes, and only the people who know me extremely well would pick up on those things. Besides, if I told you then I’d have to kill you and that would just be unfortunate.
Q: Writers are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?
A: I love this question! As you all probably know by reading my tweets, I’m a very proud introvert! So, I believe the answer to this is a resounding yes! Is it true for everyone? Of course not, but writing can be a lonely venture. Writers often spend hours upon hours alone researching, reading, and creating drafts. Although it hasn’t been proven in any kind of scientific study, I would argue that writers, like myself, are generally introverts. We enjoy connecting with others through our written words, which can be less draining and stressful than having a face-to-face interaction. As author John Green said, “Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.” Additionally, I think writers are naturally drawn to the quiet solitude the profession requires because we like to spend time reflecting and spend time expressing all the ideas we have built in our minds. So, if you enjoy your alone time, are an observant listener, and have something to say, writing might just be your calling.
Well, that's all I have for you! Thank you again to my readers and followers for a fun year of writing antics. The writing community is amazing and one of the few places where it's totally acceptable and encouraged to be weird. Thank you all!