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Posts Tagged ‘The Big Reveal’

  1. The Big Reveal

    April 25, 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.
     

    Have you ever written any novels that required a lot of research?

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Yes, Most of my novels seem to be research oriented for some reason. Even though I know I can make my story be any way I want, I still like to have some sort of “truth” behind it and then put my own spin on it. I do research before and during, it helps the writing process. I have learned some amazing stuff of Norse Mythology and the Wiccan beliefs.

     

    Jackie Felger
    I do research before and during, and there are times I’ve done research in the revising process, too.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I never done anything with a lot of research, but I do research locations and what not as I go. Pretty much all my research takes place on Google Maps. :)

     

    Stephanie Faris
    Usually the research topics come up as I’m writing. I do most of it online. When I wrote Piper Morgan Goes to the Circus, I wanted to go to the circus so badly! There were no circuses anywhere nearby for months, so I had to watch circus footage online.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    All my books require research. Most of it was done years ago, but in the moment, some things come up. Umm… how do you build a sod house? I have discovered some things that blow my mind. The one that had me the most curious led to an entire series. It was about this journalist who believed in a Utopian society. He was always there reporting events as they happened, all over the country. Given the time and how hard it was to travel he had me curious how he was managing that! And that led to a magical idea.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    I co-authored a YA historical titled SWEET MADNESS. It is a historical re-telling of the infamous Borden Murders told from the point of view of Lizzie Borden’s maid, Bridget Sullivan. I had to do a fair amount of research on Bridget’s background as well as the overall sentiment toward Irish Immigrants in 19th Century Fall River. As for interesting facts, here are a few I came across:
    ~The year of 1892 (the years Andrews and Abagail Borden were murdered) was a leap year
    ~Lizzie Borden had a Great Uncle Laddy whose wife drowned two of their three children in the basement cistern.
    ~ The skulls of Andrew and Abagail Borden are buried in a separate box behind their gravestone.

     

    Do you do a lot of research for your novels?


  2. The Big Reveal

    April 17, 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 a long process for you?

     

    Stephanie Faris
    My word counts are always much less, but if I were to write a 70,000-word novel, it would take two or three months. If I put my day job (freelance writing) aside and just wrote fiction, I could finish it in less than two months but few writers get to write fiction 40 hours a week!

     
    Tanya Reimer
    Just writing? Writing for me is split into several processes. The first is the actual vomiting out of the basic storyline. It doesn’t take long. A few weeks and is about half the size of the finished work (30k). The second is a rewriting and workbooking stage. This usually brings the book to double its size (70-80k) adding in much of the detail I tend to overlook in my excitement. This could take up to a year, as I have to let it sit at various points, however I do have books still in this stage after ten years. It takes what it takes.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    This is a tough questions because it depends on the WIP. THE SECRETS WE KEEP took me approximately eight weeks to write. I was in a good writing spot and my muse was cooperating with me. However, other WIP’s have taken me upwards of six months to even hack out a readable first draft, not to mention the time it take to revise those beasts.
    .

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Oh geez… I am the worst person to answer this question. My writing process… squirrel!
    I’m horrible, let’s just say I have a problem focusing on one concept when I have a whole tribe of characters and plot lines vying for my attention in the back of my mind. However, if I was serious and could focus without a fulltime job, kids, husband, activities, I’m sure I could knock a 70,000 word out in a few weeks.

     

    Jackie Felger
    This is a hard question for me, because each manuscript is different, and I tend to edit as I go, though, I’ve been trying not to do that as much. I’d say anywhere from three to six months, depending on how much fuss I make with the editing as I go.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I used to write super fast, but as my kids get older, the responsibilities multiply so it takes longer. I’d say about three months.

     

    Does it take you a long time to write a novel?


  3. The Big Reveal

    April 10, 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 read or write book reviews?

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I write book reviews, but I don’t read them unless a friend of mine wrote it. However, I will glance at the star rating of a book occasionally, and that might affect my choice.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I only write five-star, positive reviews. If I didn’t like a book, you won’t hear a word from me about it. I always read the Amazon sample of a book before purchasing it and if I don’t like the sample, I don’t read further. Life’s too short to read bad books. As for reading reviews, absolutely not. I prefer to form my own opinion about a book and reading reviews ruins that. I sometimes will read reviews after I’ve finished a book and the process is dizzying. For every person who hates a book, there’s someone who says it’s the best book she’s read all year. It’s all just personal opinion.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I will write reviews for a book a really enjoyed. I love reading them after I read the book and already wrote my review… to see how others responded to the work, but it won’t change my opinion on a book, especially if I loved it.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    I do not read book reviews, although I am a sucker for a beautiful cover. Most of my book recs come from friends who know my taste in literature.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Sometimes to all. Once in a while, if I’m on the fence about a novel, I will go ahead and read the reviews. If the book gets lots of great reviews then I will read it, if not, well, I do not. Once I have read a book and absolutely LOVED it, I will write a little review about what made it worthy of my attention.

     

    Jackie Felger
    I skim book reviews here and there, just to see what others have to say, but reviews don’t affect whether I read a book or not. I’m not good at writing reviews; I’d rather rate them.

     

    Do you read or write book reviews?


  4. The Big Reveal

    March 27, 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 tend to over-write or under-write?

     

    Jackie Felger
    I over-write. Every. Dang. Time. The most I’ve cut from a novel is 30k, which was a grueling process slash learning experience. I do try to be careful with my word choices, but even still, some words creep in that aren’t needed. Sometimes, though, over-writing is important to me. Sure, I may not use the info in the manuscript, but it helps me to understand my characters.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I usually write at the required word count—and I’m stretching to do that! Most of revision for me is completely rewriting scenes!

     
    Tanya Reimer
    My very first draft is always around the 30-50k mark. This seems to be what I need to get the story out in its rawest form. I don’t aim for any number, this is just what I noticed. This first draft is usually starting at the wrong spot and has no climax. It will be missing vital research but it has everything I need to build a story. From there I grow my story by adding in and cutting, digging in to the lives of the characters and their motives, moving things around and researching. This will bring me up to around a 90-110k word count. Then I polish it and my final drafts are anywhere from 80-100k. My longest MS was 120k and I cut it to 100k. I’m still working on it and expect it to be around 80-90 when I get it where I want. I don’t usually worry about word count, a story takes what it takes, but if a romance is over 70k, I start asking myself if maybe this is two stories or if I overdid something? I usually did. If a fantasy is under 90k I start to wonder if I was too easy on the hero or if I missed setting? I usually did. Since I have written so many novels, I know what to expect from myself, but at the start, word count meant nothing to me and it confused me why people worried about it.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    When I am writing a short story, I over-write by about 10,000 words then I come back in scale it back. When I am writing a full length novel, I generally underwrite. It is my CPs, agent, and editors who help me figure out which parts need to be more fleshed out.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Under-write. I always need to go back and more details or “fluff”.

     

    Are you an over or under-writer?


  5. The Big Reveal

    March 20, 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 re-read books ever?

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I used to re-read Harry Potter all the time, but I haven’t done that since I started writing. Writing makes reading harder :)

     

    Stephanie Faris
    Very rarely. I’ve read Stephen King’s The Stand more than any other book, but I prefer to discover new books.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I hate the idea of re-reading a book. First of all, the magical feeling it gave me that first time was an experience I don’t like to ruin and the re-read always does this for me. But yes, I do re-read. I re-read parts that I noted for research. I re-read books I loved to my kids. I re-read something I hated in case a new perspective will give me a new view on it. I re-read things I loved to pick out exactly where it hooked me. A book, good or bad, is a writer’s best friend. Revisiting them is important for so many reasons.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    I do. I have pile of books on my nightstand that I’ve read at least a dozen times. They are my tried and true favorites, the ones I pick up at 2am when insomnia gets the best of me. And because I have read them so many times, I can skip to my favorite scenes and instantly get lost in the character’s world.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Nope, I’m definitely not a re-reader. I have far too many TBR’s and not enough time to read something I’ve already read.

     

    Jackie Felger
    Absolutely. If I really love a book, I’ll reread it later on or go through and read my favorite parts. The Fault in our Stars, Stardust, Twilight, The Notebook, and Blood Promise are books I’ve re-read several times.

     
    Do you re-read books?


  6. The Big Reveal

    March 13, 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.
     

    What social media do you use?

     

    J.A. Bennett
    I mostly use Facebook. I feel like I can connect to other writers the best that way. But I also use Google Plus for fans of my fanfiction. I can talk about something I like, make friends, and find an audience. I should mention Google Plus is only good for Kpop since it’s directly connected to YouTube.

     

    Jackie Felger
    Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. My favorite is PINTEREST. I’m addicted. I can use it for story inspiration, character development, and plotting. Also, I find yummy recipes on there as well as various methods of organizing… which I rarely use, because I like to procrastinate… on Pinterest.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I probably spend the most time on Facebook, but I’ve been increasing my Twitter usage lately. I think with Twitter, there’s almost too much out there. It can be overwhelming at time. I also have an Instagram account, since it’s popular with younger social media users.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I use them all, although I recently quit some. I ask myself daily; WHY AM I ON THIS? I only have so much time to invest in my writing in a day or night. So each moment counts. WHY must I be on Pinterest today? If the answer is to find out how light enters a castle when the curtains are drawn, then I am on the right site! Every social media I am on serves a purpose and I must remember it while on it. I sometimes find a new purpose for it, but it still has to matter to writing. It has to help my creativity, my marketing, my career. If I can’t answer WHY? I quit and invest that time in my manuscripts.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    HA! All of the above! Twitter I am probably most active on. I love Pinterest, but I find it to be a total time suck for me. Once I am on there, I spend hours looking at pins of everything and nothing. I lo on looking for 2105 book covers and end up staring at pictures of hobbit houses. For hours.
     
    I recently discovered Instagram, and I love its visual format. (Probably related to my people-watching skills. J) Tumblr… now there is a form of social media I’ve vowed to become more active on in 2015. What I need to do is find a Tumblr guru to show me all the ins and outs of the site so I can dive in head first.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    I use all of those: Blogger, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram. I’m frequently on all of them but my favorite would have to be Pinterest. I love pinning!!

     

    What social media do you use?


  7. The Big Reveal

    March 6, 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.
     

    What’s your process for naming characters?

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Picking names is kind of easy for me and also my favorite thing about writing. They usually come from dreams, people I know or sometimes they simply fall in my lap.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Usually it’s random, but Stealing the Stars was different. Most of them are named after my siblings (I have five siblings, so plenty to choose from) and the main girl is named after a constellation :)

     

    Jackie Felger
    If I like how a name sounds, I’ll jot it down and save it for a story. I’ve used baby books as well as online baby name searches. Also, I use my kids class lists from school.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I have a spreadsheet filled with names I chose from a baby-naming site for the year my characters would have been born. I check those off when I use them.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I love to create names: Terror, Dreems, Watcher… Names always find my characters. If I don’t have one I just start writing without one and suddenly it appears as if by magic. Sometimes they evolve. Once I had Penny and Peers in the same book and all the P’s were driving me nuts but he had to be Peers and she needed an –y name (no idea why). So I changed her to Hadley and everyone was much happier. Sometimes I research them to make sure they fit with the time period, the culture, or that they stand out among the other names in the book, (I avoid Mitch, Marc and Mathew as brothers… But Andrew, Jip and Kim seems to work!). Some characters just need a small snappy name and others need a longer name that can be shortened to something sexier. I do love to use baby books to see what a name means, especially for a secondary character because if I need someone strong on the sidelines should he be Charlie or Charles or Chuck? These little details matter to the magic.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    To be honest, I never really thought much about this. Character names have never been a struggle for me. Book titles… now that is a completely separate story! I’ve been known to go through my kid’s school directory, saying the names out loud until one clicks. But my characters have pretty traditional names, so I usually come up with one rather quickly.

     

    What’s your character naming process?


  8. The Big Reveal

    February 27, 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 have any trunked novels?

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I’ve been writing since 1995 and have only had two novels published so far. So you can probably imagine the number of unpublished manuscripts I have. There are a few I’d love to see published someday, but I always have so many great new ideas, I’m more eager to move forward on those than to revisit old stories.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    The very first novel I wrote was twenty years ago. It is the best garbage I ever wrote and it should remain in a trunk and tossed at sea. But! I do believe that every story should be told. So, now that I have many years under my writing pad, I thought I’d take another look. Unfortunately, what it needs is beyond my abilities and will take me another twenty years to master. However, what I did see was chemistry between three minor characters who needed life. What I did see was a strong heroine needing a better plot. So I ripped them from their home and gave them a new genre and new missions, creating two new stories that pushed me in very different directions.

    I have many novels in cooling periods at various stages. I work on them when the fit takes me, trying to grow my writing abilities.

    Claiming a story as truly done is very hard to do, putting it in a trunk and tossing it to sea is somewhat easier. Thankfully, I live far from the sea.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    Oh yes… several that are so God-awful I hope to forget about their mere existence. I have one in particular that I love. My CP’s seem to think has merit, but the market timing is off, so it sits on a lonely shelf awaiting its time.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Sadly, I have set them all aside. I have started five… yes five novels, and I’ve sat them all aside. But luckily I have not lost my love for them and will one day finish… one day.

     

    Jackie Felger
    Oh yeah! I have two that I’d love to take a look at again, but part of me can’t help but think they’re trunked for a reason.

     

    Do you have any trunked novels?


  9. The Big Reveal

    February 20, 2015 by Suzi

    Yay! I’m glad to have my blog back. I’m not sure what happened, but for about 2-3 weeks there I couldn’t get into it. Couldn’t view it. And many people told me they couldn’t either.
     
    I don’t know if somebody fixed it or if whatever glitch went away, but it’s back. And now I can return to blogging again.

     
     
    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.
     

    Where do you usually write?

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I am a writing addict. I write all the time: in public, in secret, in short exciting doses or even in longer weeklong binges that almost kill me. I even write at the dentist office, and when waiting to pick up the kids. Are the kids fighting? Then it’s a perfect time to work on that fighting scene. I’ll even ask them to pause so I can get the way her hand wraps around his torso just right.
    My dream place to write would be in the actual story I am working on. If I could just get in there and see the world the way I need to, it would really help.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    I’m old-school; I have a writing desk. It was my Grandmothers and now it is mine. I have tried writing at the library or a coffee shop, but I get easily distracted. Plus, I am a chronic people watcher, so ask me to write anywhere in a public setting and I will get nothing done.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    My writing setting is pretty much whenever the mood strikes me to write. However, my ideal setting would be in some cabin tucked away in the mountains somewhere in Montana in the middle of summer.

     

    Jackie Felger
    I can write with noise or when it’s quiet. I don’t mind either way, just as long as I get words down, that’s all that matters to me.


    The beach would be my dream setting to sit and write, with my tootsies in the warm sand and listening to the waves.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    People think it’s crazy, but I write with the TV on, usually streaming on my computer. I don’t know why, but it helps me focus on what I’m doing. I’d love to write in a house with a good view, perhaps of trees or the mountains, but often a view is too distracting. As for snacks, I love chocolate, but I try to stay away from it. My go-to drink is a bottle of water with Crystal Light in it.

     
    J.A. Bennett
    I like to write at my desk. Even though I have a laptop, I also have a comfy office chair. It’s nice that I can take my computer elsewhere when I need to. I only drink water when I’m writing. If I eat or give myself a treat, I tend to get distracted. So only the essentials.
    Where do you prefer to write?


  10. The Big Reveal

    January 30, 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.
     

    Old fashioned book or E-reader?

     
    Jackie Felger
    I’m not picky. Either way is fine, just as long as I read. I have a kindle that I do like to use, because I can put my own manuscripts on it and read them through a different view.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I have an Amazon Kindle and I read everything on it. I’m not a fan of having “stuff” around, so my Kindle lets me have hundreds of books without worrying about storing them.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I love my Kindle as a writing tool. I use it to polish my work. This means, when I try to read other books on it, I am harder on them, editing as I read, judging the plot instead of just kicking back and enjoying a good story. So if I really want to just read for fun, I do have to have a book in my hands. (Plus, I love holding a book.)

     

    Trisha Leaver
    Old fashioned book! I have a kindle, but I very rarely use it. There is something about the feel of a book in my hand, physically holding the words and turning the pages that I love.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Old Fashioned Book all the way. I love their weight in my hands, their smell, and the way they make me feel with each turn of the page. Overall though, I adore Audiobooks!

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Old fashioned. I read an article once that said holding a book in your hands allows you to retain a better remembrance of the words. There’s something about the textile action of turning a page that gives your brain a gateway to think more clearly. That being said, I still use my e-reader a lot. It’s really convenient for when I’m stuck somewhere with nothing to do. I have plenty of ebooks to keep me busy.

     

    Do you prefer old fashioned books or E-readers?