Posted on December 2, 2015
Recently, I was asked to answer a few questions for Carolyn Howard Johnson’s blog. Carolyn is the author of the Frugal Book Promoter. I leaped at the opportunity.
Just in case you don’t see her blog, I’m posting the questions and responses here.
1. What is your genre? Is it fiction or nonfiction? Fiction/murder mysteries
2. What made you want to be a writer? I like to read.
3. Of all the authors out there, who inspired you most? Alexander Dumas and Jane Austen as a teenager; right now Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See. Each writer teaches me something new about how to tell a story.
4. What is your writing style? Do you outline? Linearly? By scene? Why? I’m a hybrid seat-of-the-pants planner. I begin where the story tells me to, typing as fast as I can to keep up, and when the plot gets complicated, I start making a timeline that spans the entire framework of the novel. The timeline isn’t a cage. The story can escape from it at any time, but it does help me to see where I’m going.
5. Do you write every day? How much? How long? I write every day, including weekends; in the morning for as long as it’s productive, so sometimes for four hours, sometimes longer. I don’t count words or pages.
6. Do you think reading is as important to writing for an author? Why? Reading is critical to good writing. The more you read, the more you discover about your craft. But it’s also simply pleasurable. Books are good brain food.
7. What are some of the things you would like to share with budding authors? Read everything. Write down lines when they come. A good line can zoom by like a ping pong ball in a vacuum. Don’t be in a hurry; writing is a long process and it’s okay if your first draft is a mess. Get in a writers group that meets weekly and let other writers hold you accountable.
8. Do you have any marketing and promotional advice, referrals, tips you would like to share? I’m still praying for a book maven to promote my novel so I can reach that all-critical tipping point!
9. Do you think conferences are beneficial? If so, what have you learned? Which ones do you frequent? Sometimes conferences are beneficial, depending on who is speaking. I recently went to the F. Scott Fitzgerald Writers Conference in October and was inspired by the presenters, two of whom were Pulitzer Prize winners.
10. Where can we find you, your books and when is your next event? My novel, Cromwell’s Folly, is on Amazon, B&N, and wherever books are sold. In my local indie book store, Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown, it is one of the store’s “best sellers” and shares a shelf with The Martian and All the Light We Cannot See, to my knee-buckling astonishment. My next signing event is on Dec. 12th at the Christmas Market in Charles Town, WV from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.