RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘The Big Reveal’

  1. The Big Reveal

    January 23, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Writing or Editing?

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Editing. I can’t make a sculpture without stone, and I can’t make a complete book without words. Sometimes I feel like the words take forever to come, but I can play around more if I have words already.

     
    Jackie Felger
    I love to write, but I love to edit, too… not to be confused with the editing I do while writing… THAT kind of editing, I loathe at times, because it’s hard to shut off the inner editor. But the second-time-around editing, when the manuscript’s been through its first draft and has set for a bit, that kind of editing, I love, because I’m seeing it through rested eyes, and other ideas pop up when I read through it again.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    Writing! I’m a firm believer that these two skills do not go hand in hand, although I’m surprised how often it is assumed that they do. As a professional freelance writer, I’m often asked to take on editing jobs and I always turn them down. Granted, some writers are talented at both, but I’d prefer to write.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    Writing a first draft is heavenly, pure freedom and the best feeling in the world!!! Rewriting is amazing and when my work really starts to shine. Polishing is never fast enough. I used to hate editing. It’s still not high on my love list, but I do like the way editing shapes my work, so I spend a lot of time on it, rewarding myself with binge writing.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Editing. The hard part is getting my inner storyteller to show my story on paper. The easiest thing is to edit the already written story; the hard part is finished by then.

     

     

    Do you prefer writing or editing?


  2. The Big Reveal

    January 15, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you prefer writing with real or imaginary settings?

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    My current WIP, Timewalkers is my example of dabbling with both at the same time but I prefer imaginary. It’s easier to manipulate a scene when I can make it be whatever I want. The same goes for reading, I can really get into an imaginary setting. For me, a real setting seems restricting and hinders my imagination too much.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Semi-real? I like to put it in a mostly real place (my current book is supposedly in Little Falls, NJ, but I’ve made up a lot of stuff about it) I usually pick a general place, Like Colorado or the British countryside, then I try to write around the specifics of where it really is. In my head, that means people won’t look stuff up and tell me everything I wrote wrong. I don’t care about setting so much as long as story is good. I can’t think of single setting that’s stood out to me, unless you count Forks, WA. Hogwarts too.

     
    Jackie Felger
    As for real or imaginary settings, I don’t prefer one over the other. As long as the author can make me feel like I’m really there, then I’m happy.
    Can you think of a book that had a setting you absolutely loved? Harry Potter series, Vampire Academy series, and The Notebook.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    Most of my books are set in middle schools. I don’t really do the imaginary thing. I did love Stephen King’s The Stand, where he imagined a world in which most of the population had been wiped out and a small group of people had to start over. For some reason, things like that intrigue me.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    When reading I love settings in places I’ve never been. I especially enjoy underwater settings (probably because coming from the prairies, the ocean is a big mystery to me). Yes, Jules Vern’s 2000 Leagues Under the Sea was very cool.

    I absolutely love writing about the prairies. This magical place is a character of its own. The wind, the storms, the vastness… it holds magical secrets I just have to share.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    Real settings…or at least as close to reality as I can get. I envy those writers who can build these magnificent worlds with beautiful scenery and magical creatures. I would love to have half their imaginative talent. I however, seem to be firmly planted in the present day.

    A setting that I absolutely loved. There are so, so many; to narrow it down to just one seems cruel. But if I had to pick, I’d go with the Tudor England setting Laura Anderson re-created in the Boleyn Trilogy. The music, the gowns, the dialect, the cold stone floors, the wall tapestries…she just brought that whole period to life for me. More than that, she reignited my passion for historical fiction and now it is my go-to genre when I’m looking to cozy up on the couch with a good book.

     

    What do you prefer, real or imaginary settings?


  3. The Big Reveal

    January 8, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Is writing your ‘real’ job?

    Trisha Leaver
    J I never really saw myself as a writer, more of a chronic dreamer. I dream mostly every night, some pleasant, most nightmares. About six years ago, I decided to put those dreams to paper…to finish what my subconscious had started and so rudely awakened me from. That day, I began sketching out endings to my dreams, adding in threads, and playing with characters that even three days later still plagued my every waking thought. Since then, I haven’t stopped.

    When I am not writing, I am wrangling three kids and on rather irreverent black lab. My kids range in age from 8 to 18 so there is never a dull moment in my house!

     
    Danielle Bertrand
    I wish writing was my paying profession. I am a Specification Specialist for a world leading wire company. What that ridiculous fancy title means in laymen’s terms, I read customer specifications and entry them into a system for future orders. I have always written little stories here and there while growing up but didn’t get serious until almost 6 or 7 years ago when Jackie talked me into getting back to my writing roots.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Since I haven’t made any money yet, I wouldn’t call it a job. My REAL job is being a mom, haha :) I wish I could find more time to write, but my kids need me a lot. ;) I’ve been seriously writing for almost four years now. I didn’t really write as a kid. I had my first real interest in it as a senior in high school, but I never thought I’d be doing it for real like I am now.

     
    Jackie Felger
    I’m a florist in a family business. Does that sound mobsterish? I’ve been writing for six years.

    I did write as a kid, mostly poetry and short stories. Then, I put it aside for several years, but I’m glad to be writing again!

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I started writing when I was in my mid-20s, so about 20 years. I began doing freelance work on the side in 2011 while working in I.T. for state government. I built up a strong client base and left my day job in the fall of 2013 to be a full-time freelance writer and novelist. I work when I want, although I probably put in more hours than any full-time worker I know! It just doesn’t feel like work.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I work as a community development officer for a Francophone community in a minority setting. This job allows me to be close to my children, to work in a field I strongly believe in and understand, while using all my skills and testing my limits.

    I’ve always been a storyteller but I wrote my first column for the local newspaper around the age of 15. I wrote my first (and most horrible) murder mystery novel at 18. For the past several years, I write every single day, which improved my confidence.

     
    Is writing your ‘real’ job?


  4. The Big Reveal

    January 1, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Did you choose your genre or did your genre choose you??

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I rarely think about genre in a first draft. But! That means in a later draft I have to revise the manuscript for any spots where it slips because a Suspense has different elements than a Mystery, a Paranormal different ways to present the supernatural than a Horror. It is much more satisfying for a reader to get what they came for, so I make sure to deliver in my rewrites.

    I am working on different heat-levelled romance writing. I love to learn and try new genres until I master them to my liking. I have no idea if they’ll ever see print or if the experience will simply serve as a tool in other works. But it’s interesting and fun and really pushes me to work outside my comfort zone.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    Hmm…good questions. I would have to say my genre choose me. When I sketched out my first nightmare *cough* book (aka CREED) I hadn’t really envisioned the age of my character. I was more focused on the setting, how the characters back-story impacted her current struggle, and what forces were contriving against her. Her voice – that of a seventeen-year-old girl – was almost a secondary factor to me.

    My favorite genre to read is Adult Historical Fiction. I think it is because I spend so much time crafting YA stories in the present world that being transported to a different era is like my own personal mind-vacation. As for writing historical fiction…on the YA side, absolutely. I love to write historical re-imaginings, especially those surrounding infamous crimes or local lore. My first foray into the YA Historical genre is a book titled SWEET MADNESS. It is a reimagining of the Borden murders told from the maid’s point of view and is set to release summer of 2015 with Merit Press.

     
    Danielle Bertrand
    It’s hard to say. I’ve always been drawn to Fantasy, Paranormal and Horror, even from a young age. Yes, my writing genres are pretty much the same as my reading genres. And no, I kinda love my genres too much to venture out.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Um, Romance choose me. I’ve always wanted to be fantasy writer because it’s my favorite thing to read, but I like romance too. It’s kinda fun doing both. I think my experience writing romance is making my fantasy work stronger.

     
    Jackie Felger
    Paranormal, Sci-Fi, romance, and contemporary are my go-to genres for reading and writing. I do like a good horror book, too, and thought it’d be fun to write one, but I think I’d creep myself out.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    My first book ever was a young adult novel but in the 90s, YA wasn’t selling. In the 00s, as the market opened up, I started writing YA again. I was writing it the way YA was in the 80s, when I was growing up (Sweet Valley High, Cheerleaders, etc.). I was immediately told my voice was too young for YA and I should write middle grade and chapter books. I like sweet, happy, fun books. I don’t seem to be able to write the dark stuff, but I admire those who can.

     
    Did you choose your genre or did your genre choose you?


  5. The Big Reveal

    December 19, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    What word(s) or phrases show up way too often in your work?

     

    Stephanie Faris
    In fiction, I tend to rely on “said” too much, or so I’m told. At some point early on, I attended a workshop where we were warned to just use “said” instead of trying to come up with fancy dialogue tags. Apparently that rule has changed, because both my editors and my freelance writing clients have complained that I use “said” too much. In my freelance writing, I’ve realized I like to use the word “today” too much to start articles off. (“Today’s busy professionals don’t have time for…”)

     
    Tanya Reimer
    Every manuscript is different, but I find my characters use words in that first draft that help me identify their personalities. For example, my earth god uses DIRT a bit too much: “What in all this dirt is going on here? Give me that dirt. You scared the dirt right off me.” I don’t always notice because it’s how I identify them so that’s where good readers come in handy.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    Just, smile, hummed (as is tossed)…which oddly doesn’t translate outside of Cape Cod I found out :) I have a list of crutch words that I have accumulated from CP’s, editors and my agent. When I write, I ignore that list and simply let the words flow. But after the last word is typed, that list comes out and those words get slayed.

     
    Danielle Bertrand
    I don’t have a phrase per se but I have tendency to repeat words in a short period of time from one another. Which leads to my impulse to edit while I write instead of waiting until I’m done.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I probably have a zillion things that I’m not even aware of, but right now I think the biggest ones off the top of my head is my affinity for the words that and just and the phrases I mean, and of course. My characters are always tipping and nodding their heads too.

     
    Jackie Felger
    I “just” did a search in my current WIP … the word “just” made an appearance way too many times. In past manuscripts, I overused the words grin and smirk, among others. Thank goodness for critique partners who catch things for me!

     

    What word(s) or phrases show up way too often in your work?


  6. The Big Reveal

    December 12, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Pantser, Planner or in-between?

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I am totally a pantser. I wish I wasn’t. In everything else in life I’m a planner, but writing is something I have to do without too much thinking. It seems like it comes from out of nowhere. Most of my projects are submitted as partials now, so it helps that I’m forced to stop at three chapters and write a synopsis. This forces me to plan the last half of the book.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I always called myself a pantser. But! I realise the way I fly by the seat of my pants is a little planned out. My goal is to allow my characters (in that first draft) to run wild. I do not play god until later drafts. I give them an opening chapter, an end or near end chapter and plunk them in a world they must create. How they get there is up to them, yet along the way, I have markers that require they do things or arc or find something. They always hit their mark without much probing from me.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    When I start a WIP, I have a solid grip on the beginning and a vague idea about how I want things to end up, but everything in the middle….that is fair game. I’ve tried outlining my books, even taken workshops on plotting out chapters, but I can’t seem to make it work for me. It’s like once I’m locked into an outline, my muse disappears and I end up churning out what reads like a boring textbook. But give me a blank piece of paper for my characters to dance on and I can write all day long.

     
    Danielle Bertrand
    I’m usually a total planner. Characters, plot, names, places, timelines, outlines – everything is planned. Unless some crazy-cool idea starts bouncing around in the ol noggin and some little voyage goes astray; then I let it happen and it typically works in the characters advantage.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I’m a pantser by nature, but I always follow Blake Synder’s beat sheet. I usually write out my beats before beginning the story. Then the story usually changes as I go, so I adjust my beats. Sometimes I just write until I hit a beat, then I figure out the next beat and write to that point. It works for me.

     
    Jackie Felger
    In-between. I use a very rough outline, and then pantser my way through it.

     

    Pantser, Planner or in-betweener?


  7. The Big Reveal

    December 5, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Are you obsessive about backing up your work?

     

    Jackie Felger
    I do like to have a few copies, because I lost a big chunk of a story before… I hadn’t saved it. So now, I try to save my work in different places. Email and mem sticks work for me.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I bought a Sony Vaio with Windows 8 in 2013 and it has issues. Something locks it up about once a day and I have to shut it down by holding down the power button. About once a month, this corrupts something and I have to reload the entire laptop. SO, needless to say, I use a flash drive for my work and back it up to Microsoft OneDrive once a week. (It comes with Windows 8.1 for free and it’s cloud-based.)
    !

     
    Tanya Reimer
    Yes. Obsessive is an understatement. Multiple copies. Various computers. Various devices. Email. Kindle. Any other ideas I could use? I’m still trying to figure out the cloud thing. It makes me nervous to think that my work might end up floating around in some cloud, so that one is still up for debate.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    I wasn’t until this past spring when I lost three entire days’ worth of edits to THE SECRETS WE KEEP that I became fanatic about backing up my work. I was plodding my way through line edits and feeling really proud about the progress I was making. Then along comes a random thunder storm, followed by a power surge and poof…three days’ worth of work gone. Vanished. Not even a single track change to be found. Now I’m religious about backing up my work. I have two thumb drives, one I carry with me and one that stays in my desk drawer, but everything gets backed up at least twice a day to two different places.

     
    Danielle Bertrand
    One place! … Talk about anxiety! I backup my work to several places. Desktop, laptop, mem cards, and yes, I’ve even sent myself the trusty email. OCD is my friend.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I actually have this awesome program called Carbonite. It automatically backs up everything to a cloud the second you hit save. It costs like $30 a month, but it saves me a major piece of mind. It saves all my music and pictures too, so it’s worth it to me.

     

    Are you obsessive about backing up your work?


  8. The Big Reveal

    November 28, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you ever get story ideas from songs, TV shows or movies?

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Yes. Actually, right now I’m working on a sort story for an anthology. Half of the idea is from a Kdrama I watched called My Love From Another Star (terrible title, excellent show) anyway, it’s about a 400 year old alien who falls in love right as he gets the chance to go home. I really liked how they portrayed him as an alien. So I’m writing a story with a 300 year old alien who’s dying, but that’s where the similarities end.

     

    Jackie Felger
    Sorta. I’ll hear a lyric or a line from TV/movie and an idea forms, but it takes me awhile to figure out the plot and create an actual story from it.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    When I wrote romance in the 90s, there was a song on the radio all the time called “Fall from Grace.” Amanda Marshall was the singer. While driving back and forth to work, I’d hear that song every day. One day I started thinking about titling a book Falling for Grace. It seemed so unique. I never sold that book (or any romance) and after that, I saw that title being used numerous times, so I guess I wasn’t the only person who thought it was a good romance title!

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I usually find songs that fit my story ideas as if made for them, but never the opposite. In movies, sometimes the way a plot is organised inspires me to try something different.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    Nope…all of my story ideas come from dreams, or in some cases nightmares. Interesting fact…I only dream in black and white, so my first goal when I finally put pen to paper is to literally give my characters some color. Eyes, hair color, clothing…all of that I have to essentially re-imagine when I wake up and start writing.

     
    Danielle Bertrand
    Of course! Inspiration is everywhere. I started an apocalyptic WIP titled simply as Survivors, influenced by several shows, movies, etc. Certain music I listen to helps impact plot ideas and word flow. A single line in a song usually steers my narrative to go one way or another.

     

    Have you ever gotten a story idea from a song, a TV show or movie?


  9. The Big Reveal

    November 21, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     
    This week I have a whole new set of writers,
    so I’d like to say welcome, glad to have you here.
     

    For this first week, please let us know a little something about your current WIP. And then I want to know about titles. Are they hard for you?

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Title: Timewalkers, Genre: Mythical Fantasy
    Titles usually come easy for me. Once I figure out a premise for a WIP the title will follow shortly after. Creating a title is one of the easiest topics for me when it comes to writing.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Stealing the Stars — Contemporary Fantasy. I don’t have a process for choosing titles, which probably means they suck. I usually try to come up with something on my own, but sometimes I ask for help brainstorming. Titles are hard.

     

    Jackie Felger
    I’m writing a new adult contemporary romance for NaNoWrimo. I do have a title for it, but I’m keeping it as Untitled for now.

    I have several ideas for titles, even though I don’t have stories to go with them yet. My process is boring, in that, they pop into my head, and I write it down for later. But hey, it works.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    My book 25 Roses comes out in January 2015. Titles sometimes come easily, but sometimes I have to write an entire book before a good title comes to me. 25 Roses was one of those titles that came along with the idea. I was thinking about the carnation sales we had on Valentine’s Day in high school and I wondered what would happen if one of the students secretly purchased carnations and handed them out to the kids who never received any. 25 seemed like a nice round number, but 25 Carnations didn’t sound like a very good title. So I went with 25 Roses and made them chocolate in the book because…hey…chocolate!

     
    Tanya Reimer
    In the speculative fiction titles I’m working on are: Can’t Dream Without You (Paranormal fantasy), Cursed on the Prairies (Alternate history).

    I used to have a hard time with titles and just picked working titles but then I learnt a neat trick. Write the one-liner; who does what in the hopes of what—and slam that title at the end without thinking about it. Example: When a young man is bit by a spider he develops strange spider-like powers that allow him to save his city from a dangerous supervillain.—Spiderman

     

    Trisha Leaver
    My current YA Contemporary WIP is about a seventeen year old girl struggling to find her place in a family of virtual strangers. Its working title is a gripping, thematic WIP#5 LOL. So…yeah, titles don’t come easy to me. I usually don’t bother even pondering a title until the project is complete and I have a full sense of my main character and her struggles. Then I dig deep and try to come up with a title that conveys the theme and tone of my book. More often than not, this is a collaborative process between myself, my agent and my editor

     
    Do titles come easy for you?


  10. The Big Reveal

    November 7, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     
    This is the last posting with this set of writers. I’d like to thank everybody
    for being a part of my blog. It was fun getting to know you all better.
     

    How much do you read?

     

    Shelly Brown
    My goal this year was 100 books and I’m only in the 60′s as of writing this. But there’s time. I made this goal after reading just about 10 books last year and realizing how pathetic that was (it’s HARD to read AND write AND do everything else that is expected of me.) So I guess you could say that I’m all over the place when it comes to reading. But I’m not one of those people who can polish off a book in a night. I wish!

     
    Crystal Collier
    I start every day with ½ hour of personal study reading scriptures or uplifting articles, and later will read over several online articles or critiquing pages. Above and beyond that, I typically I read 1 to 3 novels a week, approximately 100 books a year. If you want to be a successful writer, you have to first be an avid reader.

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I read a lot when I have time. In a good week I can read 3-4 books. In a bad one I’ll read 0-1.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    A lot. :) I’d say about a book or so a week. If I don’t read for at least a little while every day, I get cranky. Just ask my poor husband.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I read about four books a month (usually all crammed into one week when I’m on a reading binge). I wish I could read more—my TBR pile is intimidating.

     

    Chad Morris
    I’m not that fast at reading, nor prolific, but I’m always reading or listening to something. Between my full time job, my writing, keeping up with my five kids, and dating my wife, I don’t get a lot of reading time. I mostly sneak it in on bus rides to and from work and at night when the kids are sleeping. But that’s writing time too, so they compete. I don’t know how many books I read a year—I never keep track–, but it wouldn’t be impressive.

     

    Are you a big reader?