Author Survey question of the day survey. . . Part 1
all of the questions taken from https://www.facebook.com/deborah.rileymagnus
She starts it with. . . . “Author survey question of the day …”
Is anyone getting distracted by the coming Holidays? I fear that if I don’t decorate my house at some point this week, it won’t get done at all this year! (And it wouldn’t be the first time, either.) This question was posted during Christmas; however, now that it is Easter. I don’t feel I really get distracted around the holidays. I’m not into decorating, but I usually take a day or two off to cook the main dinner.
I won’t see you all again until after the New Year! So today’s question is … What are your writerly plans for 2013? More books? More book sales? Learn how to knit? This was obviously an older question. . . so I will answer this with two answers. . . in 2013 I wanted to write as much as I could, but I was very busy looking up housing and organization which lead me circles (I should write a few stories about it.) Now that it is 2014, I plan to write at least 20 days out of each other and through the first quarter, I have done very well have written over 100,000 words.
After you finish writing a book, have you ever gone back in and added more to the end? Or changed the end completely? I have changed the ending to a few of my stories. Endings are hard for me to write, because I hate ending projects (I love starting them), and this also means that I have to edit it at sometime.
“It was a dark and rainy night.” Do you use weather to create mood in your writing? Has weather ever been treated as a character in any of your books? Yes, in fact, a few of my vampires in my series use and control the weather with their emotions. However I have never used weather as a character yet.
Do you still like to write with pen and paper? Do you plot with pen and paper then move to the keyboard? Or are you like me and hand write whole chapters when the ideas strike? I am a list and outline writer and usually write by hand (with colorful pens and paper), and then type it up. I will type up stories when the ideas strike as well. I used to using a pen and paper, because when I was younger I didn’t always have a computer at my disposal.
Are you a desk eater? I mean, do you eat your meals while writing, leave crumbs in the keyboard and risk soda spills, all in the effort to keep the muse alive and buzzing? Or do you take a real break and eat your meals at a table like normal people? I am not normal! I don’t usually take breaks. . . I will go out of my way and get drink holders just so I won’t spill my drinks. I usually take notes, and go to the bathroom during breaks, so I am ready for the next word sprint, especially during NaNoWriMo.
For 10 days I watched the surf, wrote beautiful words, ate fabulous food and thought about all of you! Today’s question is … How many of your actual, REAL experiences make their way into your fiction? I always have something about me in my work . . . whether it’s my experience, my personality, people I know.
What is the BIGGEST, most unavoidable distraction that takes you from your writing? How do you attempt to control that distraction? The Internet is my biggest distraction. . . Facebook, but if I have to keep the Internet on, then I start word sprints (a time frame in which I type to write as many words as possible.) I turn off the Internet when I edit.
To write well, you must read well. What author’s style, technique, or plot approach has influenced your writing the most? I love reading King, Poe, Christie, and Rice. However I think I write more like a mixture of King and Christie.
Do you explore spirituality, organized religion, or politics in your writing? Yes, I usually put more spirituality aspect in my writings. I try to avoid politics, but there are just times when you can’t. I do research different spiritual and politcial aspects.
Is being a writer and/or author what you thought it would be? No, there are times where I am starting out of the window on a sunny day, and I know I have a deadline. I also thought it would be easier at times to get my ideas out there are times it is just a struggle. These are the times it feels like work, but deep down I would go crazy if I never got to write.
I never talk about this subject, but I thought a rainy Monday might be a good time to explore it. WRITER’S BLOCK … ever had it? How did you get out of it? Yes, I have had it. (There are those who say it doesn’t exist, but they are just kidding themselves. . .) I do different things. . . if I have burned myself, then I walk away and go out and do something even with a deadline. I look at it like a cold, take one day off and get better than to be down for several days. I also do surveys like this. . . I also write blogs, paint, cook, bake, hang out with friends, listen or sing with music, or watch movies for inspiration. I have several writer block tips on this blog. . .
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since you first began writing? Just like Rome, novel does not happen in just one day. . . you need to keep up with it.
What do you love to see in a book cover? Do you like the abstract (like the Twilight series)? Or do you like the straight forward cover art concepts? Does the book cover determine if you’ll open or buy the book, or walk right past it? I think it depends on the book. . . it’s more of the colors and title that pull me in. I will pick a book just based on whether there is a ghost or fangs on the cover. I perfer abstract, (but I do not like Twilight.) I have my boyfriend take pictures for my books. He is really good with nature shots.
Do you use frightening or scary experiences from your real life in your fiction? Yes, I have a fear of car accidents, and I just finished a novella trilogy based on a serial killer who kills with car accidents. It really didn’t help my fear, but I hope I was able to put some scary elements in the written work.
When real life difficulties, troubles, and stress come into your life, are you the kind of person to writhe through them? Or are you the kind of person to set the writing aside until the storm has passed? I write about them usually as they happen. . . I would sit in the eye of the storm and if an idea comes, I will lose sleep to get it out. My muses will not let me live it down if I don’tr.
Who is your biggest fan? Husband or wife? Family member? Lover? Pet? Teacher? Student? Total Stranger? I think it’s a twin between my mom and my boyfriend. . . they have just been the most supportive and extremely patient with my writing (and my many moods while writing). My boyfriend is even helping me edit my vampire series.
I’ll be speaking at a Pennwriters mini-conference on Saturday, http://www.pennwriters.org/prod/ It’s a great opportunity to spend time with other authors. What’s on your agenda for the weekend? (Again this question is pretty old, the conference is over. I believe the site still works.) This weekend I am posting some blogs (on my personal, writing and spiritual blogs). . . Saturday, I made chicken stir-fry. Today, Sunday, I plan to finish this survey, edit my first novella, fry up a feast, and watch Wrestlemenia with my boyfriend.
I love to read series books, but I hate when the book ends with an abrupt cliff hanger and the book can’t stand alone. Today’s question … Do you write full size series fiction? How do you pull the reader from one book to the next? I am working on a vampire series (eight books total. . . seven the story goes together, the eigth book is a diary.) I outline all of the books together, and then again indiviually. I try to have the end so that each could be on it’s own, but works with the story. The last book will have a bridge and an unbridged version.
Yesterday while out shopping with my mother, I came face to face with one of my characters! He looked exactly like him, moved like him, and when he spoke to the cashier, he even had the character’s Midwestern accent! Today’s question … Has this ever happened to you? I have never met my characters yet. . . I have based characters based off of people I knew. I have seen my characters in my dreams.
Here in the States, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a time for reflection and gratitude. Today’s question … As a writer and/or author, what are you most thankful for? (This question was posted in November). . . I am grated for my many muses, my many ideas, and my supportive mom and boyfriend. . . he is editing two of my books in the next two months.
List 10 books that have stayed with you. . . Ten Little Indians (Also known as. . “And Then There was None”) by Agatha Christie; Everything Eventual by Stephen King; Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice; Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice; Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice, Mennoch the Devil by Anne Rice; Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by JA Rowenings; Dark Wishing Well By Lucian Wilde (I’m in it); Outwitting Writer’s Block and Other Problems of the Pen Jenna Glatzer; Hachet by Gary Paulsen; 1984 by George Owell ; and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Of all the books you’ve written that have been published … which is your favorite cover and why? Show us that cover! The Whispering Path. . . This is my neighbor’s yard (Note: add picture)
Are you a “map addict” when you’re writing? Checking for locations, travel distance, time zones, seasonal weather patterns, flight numbers and departure/arrival times? How deep do you go into the details? Yes, I look for the history of places, and I try to get older maps to keep the theme going. I try to keep up the details. . . it helps when I have to describe a setting.
If there was a Santa Claus, what writerly thing would you ask him for? I would ask him to make my brain work with my hands, so I don’t forget so many words when I type. (Realistically free Internet at the house or a printer with a year supply of ink and paper.)
We’re facing the first full week of a whole new year. Are there any new “habits” you plan to implement? I want to write something every day even if it is just a to-do list or a personal diary entry.
We’re facing a real winter blast here in the northeast of America. Today’s question … do you use weather as a plot tool? I have not yet, but I plan to in my future novels, since I am writing a vampire series, I think weather comes in handy for plot.
Have you ever changed the end of a book? Did you do it because of a publisher or critique partner’s suggestion? Did you do it because your own instinct told you to it should be different? I have never changed an ending, because a reader or editor said to yet. (However I always keep myself open to all feedback.) I have been told that to strengthen the ending, and I have strengthened it (four rewrites later.) I have changed ending on my own account, because I felt it wasn’t write or I had changed as a writer. Ending are very tricking for me, because I feel it is the last thing the reader will remember: you don’t want to keep it predictable but not too complicated either.)
What is your favorite location that you have ever written about? A castle? A mountain? Outer space? A room? A pond, ocean, or lake? Country? It’s complicated, but I have a dream realm in my vampire series. . . since they are not alive, but no dead, then they go to a different realm when they are in deep sleep. I love this realm because it brings out my fantasy muse. . . I can create anything in this realm, and no one can say that it’s wrong.
Realistically, I love describing the main character’s house in my novella trilogy Driving Lies. Her father was CEO of a paper company. . . so they had very nice house with the fancy chandiler, leather furniture, and bar counter in the kitchen. (It’s kind of preppy dream house of mine.)
How long ago did you start writing? And how has your writing style changed since then? I started writing in elementary school, because we had a program called “Young Authors.” I wrote for myself for years before a semester college made me believe that I had a reall noche for writing. I have gotten more mature and advanced in my writing style. . . when I first started to write I used the words as a lot, and now I watch how I place the words. I also have improved the show versuses tell with my work. My third draft is always very different than my first draft.
Have you ever written a scene or entire story, then very soon afterward discovered a news story, movie, or television show telling the same story? This happens to me all of the time, so I tried to add twists when I edit. (This happens especially with Vampire Diaries and The Orginials). . . Some times, I feel that someone steals my ideas when I talk about with my boyfriend. (It’s like the book 1984. . . how “Big Brother” is always watching.)
What is the most exciting thing to ever happen to you as a writer? When I get that idea hit me so hard that lose the world for hours. I’ve had readers tell me that they want to read my second book; they cannot wait for me to write it.
Are you the kind of writer who can tap deeply into your personal pain and emotions and translate it into your stories, characters, and plots? I’m NOT talking about memoirs here, I’m talking about getting those powerful emotions into your fictional characters. I have cried when my characters have been heart broken or killed. I get mad at my own villians. I try to just for my character’s actions.
How do you keep track of details – like hair or eye color, cities, time line, name spelling – while writing a book? Lists? Cards? Pictures? Memory? I have a documents of notes, character sketches, book outlines, folders with maps and pictures. I have enough research and notes that I can make a novel on that alone.
Have you ever driven deep into a writing project only to discover that you might be going the wrong way? Do you ride with the story as it’s developing? Or do you regroup, re-plot, and start again? It’s just like you have rebudget in the middle of the month when extra expenses hit. I have had to rewrite sense to make it fit the end. I have tweeked the end because it wasn’t what I had planned at the beginning. I allow my characters and muses to add to the story, but I always try to keep thinks pretty close to the outline. However there are just things that happen and it creates a complete twist. . . the talent comes in when you can take that twist and manage it back to the outline.
Do you listen to music when you write? Does it set the mood? Or are you the kind of writer who needs silence to get any work done? I listen to music when I write the story. I do make play list to fit the mood of each story/ scene/ chapter I am writing. I need silence when I edit, so I can read out loud. I’ve learned I catch the most mistakes when I read out loud.
Are you the kind of writer who loves to jump into the middle of an older, abandoned project? Or are you the kind of writer who prefers to always start at the beginning with something new? I love starting new projects . . . the fresh inspiration that pulls me in. . . the excitement I feel when my muses cannot shut up. I do like the feeling when I finish an older project as well. . . the kind of the project that had been collecting dust for months, for years.
What is your favorite place to write? I love to write by hand at the kitchen table with the radio blasting and my notes everywhere. I used to love to type at the apartment, but now it’s at McDonalds when I am not being burdened with everyone’s research and Internet things. I’m hoping to have my own space with a huge desk soon.
If you could step back in time to the beginning of your writing efforts and impart some of the wisdom you’ve gained about being an author since then, what would you say? I would tell myself to read more, study your vocabulary words, write for yourself first, edit for everyone else, and read out loud to edit.
If you could get on a plane right now and go anywhere in the world in search of inspiration, where would it be and why? Europe: England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and Poland, because many of my characters are from Europe.
Writing or editing … which do you enjoy the most? Writing, I love when I can create! Editing is torture for me.
Your characters have run amuck, your plot seems to have taken a turn for the strange, and your keyboard is on the fritz. You need a break! What do you do? Cook a big dinner for me and my friends. . . then we have a movie night.
Since nearly 90% of all books sold are sold in e-book format, I was curious … do you read on an e-reader? I have read books on a PDF reader on my computer, but I still perfer a paperback book.
This week’s topic is e-books and e-readers. Today’s question is … Do you download free and discounted e-books on to your e-reader often? Are you always pleased with the book, the writing, and how the story was represented? I have at least two dozen downloaded books, because I got them for free that I still have yet to read. I am easily distracted on the computer. . . I rather write or play games than read on the computer. I think books on a computer take away something than holding a book in my hands. . . smelling the ink, turning the page etc.
Still exploring the topic of e-books .. what criteria do you use for choosing to purchase an e-book? Authors love to read, but we also love to read well. Do you only purchase e-books published by recognized publishers? Do you only purchase books with great reviews? Do you only purchase e-books by authors you know? The only few books I have bought are those written by the authors I know or many have highly suggested. Then I will not pay the same price for an e-book compared to a paperback. (I will not pay more than 3.99 for an e-book.) There websites like www.scribd.com that allows you read books online for free.
Are you a fan of nonfiction books that help improve your writing, editing, or author marketing skills? Which book is your favorite? I’m always trying to find good nofiction books with writing tips. Outwitting Writer’s Block and Other Problems of the Pen By Jenna Glatzer is one I would highly suggest.
It’s the first official full day of spring. Even though it’s snowing outside, I can feel the newness! Today’s question is … What is your newest writing project? The one you can’t wait to start, or the one you just began recently? What’s new in your writing world? I plan to start writing book 2 of my vampire series by November, if not before. I have been researching for it. Currently I am editing Novella 1 of Driving Lies so I can get my free two copies by June 30th. My boyfriend is editing Melzela Book one of my vampire series. . . Crimson Shadow Collection. I’m just
When an unplanned new character arrives on the page of your current work in progress, do you point to the door and demand it leave? Give it a chapter or two to see what it wants? Or sit perfectly still and make no sudden movements for fear of what it plans? I usually work around it; sometimes they help the story, and sometimes they hinder the story which they disaper or die.
Sometimes life gets in the way of our writing and it could be days, weeks, or even months before we can get back to a manuscript. How do you keep the momentum alive during those too-busy-to-write times? Notes? Recording ideas? Let it all develop in the back of your busy mind? Suffer withdraw and sob hopelessly? I have done all of that. . . however I have learned when I do not write for a long period of time, I am horrible to deal with. If an idea is not clear, then I will stew on it for a few day. . . let me muses work out possiblities. I do write a lot of lists, notes, outlines, scenes, dialogues etc. I might even work on a short story just to put in a side. There are times where I will talk to muses in my head while cooking . . . Baking/cooking can be like my therapy.
When writers are in the groove, writing like crazy, and totally into the process, sometimes we forget the normal things of life … like stopping to eat a meal. What do you keep at your desk for those times you get a little woozy from lack of nourishment? Chocolate? Or something more healthy? I have never really forgotten to eat. . . I have blood pressure issues, (diabetic issues with my family) so I have to eat. I usually eat lunch or a snack before I write. I have had a bowl of cereal or candy while I write word sprints. However I make sure I have caffeine boost. . . soda, ice or hot tea. . . sometimes coffee. Once a while I will have chocolate covered expresso beans.
Sometime we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Sometime we’re upset with something in our lives … but we still write. Emotion and creativity come are often two sides of the same coin. Do your moods show up in your manuscript? Does your usually sweet main character suddenly become a harpy or a bully when you’re feeling off? I write best when I am miserable, I know it sounds weird. It just comes out better when I am that way. However I will NOT purposely make myself miserable just to write. (I do know why many writers did drugs or drunk themselves to death.) I usually try to write the dramatic scenes when I am in those type of moods.
It’s FRIDAY. Show me something you’re proud of! Post your website link, your favorite blog entry link, your book buy link…whatever you’d like to share! Let’s have fun and celebrate our triumphs today! Http://RebekahWolveire.wordpress.com http://www.facebook.com/RebekahWolveire
What’s NEW in your world? Technology is a big part of a writer’s life. What new-fangled app, software or hardware has entered your world and made writing easier for you? I use Open Office, because I can make my work into a PDF. . . I keep it simple really, and I don’t get caught up in complications of technology when I am writing.
I’m curious … What do you LOVE most about writing? And … what do you hate about writing? I love creating new characters, settings, drama. I love inspiration and the writing for hours at a time. . . I hate editing and dealing with endings.
Have you eve realized, halfway or more through the manuscript, that a character’s name had to be changed? That the original name simply wasn’t working? I’m actually in that situation right now. . . I have a proof of my book Melzela and my boyfriend and I agreed that we need to change a name of minor character, but she was in several chapters of Melzela and several chapters in my future books. I am very grateful for the find and replace feature.
Whether you’re a plotter, or a pantser, occasionally a plot goes wonky and you need to think about where the story is going. Have you ever had a plot decide it’s a completely different genre than you planned on writing? I’ve never had to change genre, but I have had to decide to change the death of certain characters. I have change things based on new research or twists in my story.
Social media creates awareness for us and our books. Today’s question is … Who likes twitter and why? I don’t mind twitter. . . I like the way that you can promote book and mingle with celebrities. However I watch getting on twitter because I’ve gotten viruses from it. . . it is also a huge distraction. I love the fact that currently I have more followers than those I am following. Http://twitter.com/RebekahWolveire