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Posts Tagged ‘The Big Reveal’

  1. The Big Reveal

    September 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.
     

    Do you read or write reviews?

     

     
    Chad Morris
    I read some reviews, just to get an idea of how well the book is being received. I don’t usually read reviews of other books. I either pick it up because I’m intrigued by the premise, it was recommended by a friend, or I love and trust the author.

     

    Shelly Brown
    I occasionally read book reviews. Particularly when I’m looking to see if there is objectionable/intense material in a story. I only rarely write book reviews. I have to like the book to write a review. Why? Because as a writer myself I know that the author of that book spent hours and hours trying to craft something that they hope others will like. When I don’t particularly care for it I don’t feel the need to slam the work or the author.

     

    Crystal Collier
    I typically read one really good and one really bad review of a book before picking it up. (Very judicious of me, eh?) Granted, I’m not likely to pick it up at all if it has less than a 3.5 star rating, and I’ll put a book down if the bad review proves the more realistic one within the first couple chapters.

    It’s been a practice, especially since getting published to leave a review for every book I read…unless I’d give it less than 3 stars. (Super rare.)

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I don’t really read book reviews unless I’m unsure about a book. I usually go more by word of mouth or suggestions from friends. I’ll write book reviews once in a while if the book really stands out to me. But no, they don’t really affect if I read a book.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I read/skim book reviews, and they will sometimes affect whether I decide to read the book or not. I’ll write the occasional book review, where I try to focus on the positive aspects of the book and how the story and characters made me feel, etc.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I usually only read reviews once I’ve finished a book—I don’t want to be spoiled or influenced before I read. I don’t write reviews since there are so many people out there doing a better job than me already!

    Do you read or write reviews?


  2. The Big Reveal

    September 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.
     

    Do you tend to over-write or under-write?

     

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I want to say I under-write, but actually, my last three drafts have been pretty long…maybe somewhere in the middle. My first four novels were all around 50K, and the next three closer to 100K. The most I’ve added is 14K from first draft to query ready, and the most I’ve cut is only 10K. Maybe this means I’m learning how to draft better stories? One can hope!

     
    Chad Morris
    Under write. My first time through a draft, I’ll skip over entire scenes if I don’t feel like writing them. I write what I’m excited about and then come back and fill in the cracks.

     

    Shelly Brown
    My first drafts tend to be right in range for my target audience. But that’s tricky businesses because I still have to add and take away stuff in editing keeping it close to the same size.

     

    Crystal Collier
    I’m a minimalist. I write lean on a first draft, fattening it up with details and the like in later drafts. If I’ve got a deadline, chances are there won’t be much trimming, mostly just adding. If I’m writing for fun, there may have to be some culling in the end.

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I tend to under write. My manuscripts are always light when I get done with them and I have to add to them.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I tend to over-write my flash fiction, then need to cut to find the heart of the story. I usually under-write my novels – I form the bones, the skeleton, then go back in and add muscle, flesh everything out.

     

    Are you an over-writer or an under-writer?


  3. The Big Reveal

    August 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 like to re-read books?

     

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I’d like to re-read more books than I have but so many new books call to me! So many books, so little time!

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I used to re-read books a lot more but now I have so many new books to read that going back doesn’t seem possible. I still make time to re-read things I really loved or old favourites. There are books that I could probably recite from memory, I’ve read them so many times.
    .

     
    Chad Morris
    The only time I reread books is if it’s been years since my last time through and I don’t remember the story very well. I just reread The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. I think the last time I read it was in elementary school. (And it was still fantastic!) The exception to the rule is historical and religious books.

     

    Shelly Brown
    I seldom reread books. My pick of rereads are usually snappy rhyming picture books (Madeline’s Rescue, Jamberry), East of Eden, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gifts from the Sea, Tess of d’Urbevilles, Shakespeare, or Jane Austen. If you can’t tell, I’m fond of classics.

     

    Crystal Collier
    The only books I reread are religious ones. If I’ve read a piece of fiction, I’ll never forget it.

     

    Jessica Salyer
    If a book really resonates with me and I really like it I will reread a book or if I liked the book and the movies coming out I’ll reread the book before watching the movie. The book I’ve read the most is probably the Twilight series.
     

    Do you re-read books?


  4. The Big Reveal

    August 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.

    What social media do you use?

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I have a blog and don’t use it much anymore, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and a website. I probably spend the most time on Facebook. I try to stay away from Pinterest because I get sucked in and never come out. Lol.

    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I have a blog, and I’m on Goodreads. But I probably use GR way more as a reader than as a writer. :)

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I have a blog, which is becoming more and more neglected. I like Twitter but it can feel like I’m always trying to catch up on conversations or that my voice is just another one in millions. I have Goodreads but I don’t really use it properly—I think I have six friends? I just use it to keep track of books I don’t want to forget about, really. Pinterest is just for fun and less for writing purposes. And then I have my tumblr…tumblr is my jam. That’s where it’s all at. I LOVE IT. It can feel like a complete waste of time but in the best possible way. I like how one minute there’s an article about feminism or a beautiful poem and then there’s a cute cat gif. It’s the best.

    Chad Morris
    I use it all, but my favorites are facebook (https://www.facebook.com/chad.morris.5?ref=tn_tnmn) and twitter (@chadcmorris).

     

    Shelly Brown
    Social media is a weakness so I limit my usage. (Read between the lines: I talk to much) You can find me here:
    FB: Shelly Brown
    Twitter: @sbrownwriter
    Google+: Shelly Brown

    Crystal Collier
    Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, blog, pinterest, tumblr, Wattpad, and a few others. I try to be active in all of them, but I really lean toward Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. I keep track of my reading through Goodreads and enter the occasional giveaway. The rest of these platforms get a cursory glance from time to time.
    What social media do you use?


  5. The Big Reveal

    August 14, 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’s your process for naming characters?

     

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    Sometimes the perfect name just strikes me – love when that happens! – and it stays with the character throughout the whole writing process. Other times, I go with a name that feels right at the time, realizing it could change later. I sort of “collect” names. When I come across a name – a person’s name, a street name, etc – I jot it down, keep it for future reference.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I usually pick names randomly—sometimes depending on the personality of a character. If they’re going to be confident and loud, they might have something unusual, but if they are a quieter, shy character, it could be something sweet and short. I use baby name sites and nymbler.com to find names.

     
    Chad Morris
    It’s all about what feels right for the story. Some names I make up (Ms. Entrese, Mr. and Mrs. Trinhouse), others have been names I’ve heard before and thought “that would be a great name in a story” (Mackleprank), and some are named after famous historical figures (Abby = Abigail Adams, Derick = Frederick Douglass).

     

    Shelly Brown
    I have a degree in history, so my research nerd shows up when I start naming characters. I like my characters to have names that are both time period and location appropriate. Then the name just has to feel right. That process is harder to explain. Intuition. But we all know that a Jessica is not a Bianca.

     
    Crystal Collier
    Occasionally their names come with them. More often than not, I’m searching cultural and baby names listings. Usually I start from a symbolic angle. What part does this person play in the story? What is their key defining feature (personality wise)? What were the circumstances of their parents or family that would have influenced their name? For me, it’s a science of getting to know their culture and background.

     

    Jessica Salyer
    Sometimes I have a really hard time naming characters. I usually just feel what the character names should be. This last book I just stared I new what their names were right away, It was almost like they told me their names. For a short story I wrote I did make up my own name.

     

    How do you find your character names?


  6. The Big Reveal

    August 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.
     

    Where do you usually write?

     

     

    Jessica Sayler
    I usually write in my living room in my chair with earbuds and music playing. I can usually write anywhere as long as I have my music to just tune everything else out. As for the dream place to write a cafe in Paris would be awesome. Lol.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I am a creature of habit. I write best in my home office, a cup of hot coffee or an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts at my side. I prefer quiet but sometimes noisy neighbors or rambunctious tortoises get in the way. :)

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I write all over the place—mostly in my kitchen during the day or at my desk at night. I used to write with music but now I find it better to work in silence. My ideal location would be next to a beautiful pool with plenty of comfy cushions and a steady stream of tropical drinks. That way I can reward every 100 words with a dip in the pool! Might not get much writing done, though…

     
    Chad Morris
    I write on the bus ride home from work, in my office at home, at the kitchen table, on the couch, at the park while my kids are playing (and then I get sucked in and play with them). …etc. I can’t listen to music when I write, or I’ll start singing along and lose focus. I love a bowl of cereal while I’m proofreading. And as far as dream settings go, I like Mark Twain’s octagon gazebo at Quarry farm (It’s at Elmira College now).

     

    Shelly Brown
    I am trying to train myself to write with music in the background but alas I still prefer silence.

    I have an office desk and a rolling chair so I am hooked up for ultimate writing comfort. Really comfort and silence are all I need. Oh and a tall glass of ice water. Yeah, I dream big.

     
    Crystal Collier
    Give me a desk, a keyboard, mouse and window behind my setup with a scenic view. Beyond that, I don’t need anything. Truth, I can write anywhere and in any circumstances, but it takes a little priming in a new setting. Often I’ll write to music, but just as often I won’t. Guess it depends on my mood or if I like the soundtrack currently playing through my head.
     
    Where do you usually write?


  7. The Big Reveal

    August 1, 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 have any trunked novels?

     

     

    Shelly Brown
    By trunked do you mean thrown in the trash? ;) I have the three novels that are on draft #TooManyToCount and still have a shot at making it out of the rubbish receptacle one day.

     
    Crystal Collier
    I don’t trunk novels. I do set them aside and reboot them later. Currently I have about 30 projects waiting in various stages of completion. Oh that I could freeze time and just write. =)

     

    Jessica Sayler
    I have two trucked or shelved novels. They both have about twenty thousand words so far and I do plan on finishing both of them when I have more time and when the characters speak to me again.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    Ha! I recently cleaned out my office closet and went through boxes of trunked novels, along with tons of rejection letters. I finally tossed the form letters but I did keep a chunk of the personalized ones. Some of those trunked novels will never see the light of the day, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a few that definitely have promise.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I have a few trunked novels that really never, ever need to see the light of day. One of those features characters that I’d like to write again, but if I ever do it will be a completely new draft of a completely different story.

     

    Chad Morris
    Yep! My first novel had a really fun premise, but I couldn’t quite make it work. I’d love to reinvent it sometime

     

    Do you have any shelved novels? Permanent or temporary?
     


  8. The Big Reveal

    July 24, 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.
     

    Old fashioned book or E-reader?

     

     
    Crystal Collier
    I do both. I’ve read on the computer, kindle, and tablet. I prefer computer reading for editing, but for pleasure reading, it’s most comfortable to kick back with my kindle. Still, I LOVE the feel of paper. My reading is sometimes 50/50, and sometimes as high as 70/30 in favor of digital media.

     

    Jessica Sayler
    If you would have asked me this question a few years ago I would’ve been adamant that I would always love my paperback, but now that I’ve been using an e-reader I’ve found I love it. I have a Kindle and use it at home and I also have the Kindle app on my iPhone. I love the convenience of it. I always have a book with me and they sync to each other and keep my page. I love that I can read at night and not bother my husband cause it lights up just enough for me to read. I still do read some paperbacks, but for the most part I read everything on my phone or Kindle.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I still prefer physical books but I do read ebooks occasionally, and I plan on reading more of them when I get my iPad mini. :)

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    Old fashioned book. I have read a couple of books on my iPad but I just can’t get into it. (I still buy actual albums instead of downloading, so maybe this is just a thing I have.)

     
    Chad Morris
    Both. In general, I prefer paper, but I love having books on my all on the time on my Kindle app. I also love audiobooks.

     

    Shelly Brown
    Paper books all the way but I read a lot on ereaders. They are more convenient for carrying in my purse so I have them on me all the time. I read on my phone on apps most of the time even though I own a kindle.

    Do you prefer ‘real’ books or e-books?
     


  9. The Big Reveal

    July 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.
     

    Do you prefer writing or editing?

     

    Shelly Brown
    Writing. I’m still trying to like editing.

     
    Crystal Collier
    Yes? Until about a year ago I really preferred editing, but this magic moment smacked me over the head and suddenly I understood the love of first drafts—probably because I adopted an in-depth outline and cut out much of the guess work. But editing? I could do that all day, every day.

     

    Jessica Sayler
    I prefer writing because I can let my imagination go crazy. I don’t have to worry so much about all the technical stuff, I can just have fun with my story.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I don’t have a preference – I like them both for different reasons. Writing is wild and limitless, pure imagination and crazy creativity. Editing is taking all of that and taming it, pruning it, so it takes a shape that can be easily understood/read.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    Editing. Drafting is really difficult for me—it takes me so much time and I have to force myself to spend the time doing it when I don’t want to. Editing is when I can finds ways to make the words say what I actually want them to, and seeing a story go from that first draft to a more polished product is always a great feeling.

     
    Chad Morris
    Writing. I love the creation of it. I don’t mind the initial rounds of editing because I can feel my work getting crisper, stronger, better. But after that, it gets harder and harder to go through my manuscripts.

    Do you like writing or editing better?
     


  10. The Big Reveal

    July 10, 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 prefer writing with real or imaginary settings?

     

     
    Chad Morris
    I like the imaginary stuff. Two of my recent reads had very intriguing settings: Coraline by Neil Gaiman, and I broke out of my genre and read Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson. Of course, I pretty much love Cragbridge Hall. I usually only prefer real settings, when the story is true.

     

    Shelly Brown
    I’m a little bit obsessed with fictional settings in my writing. As a child I struggled with contemporary novels and that probably sways my feelings. Except for Nancy Drew. I could read those all day long. Nowadays I can read either just fine.
    As far as a book with a fabulous setting there’s always Harry Potter. Setting was a HUGE character in those books. From bright fragrant candy shops to dank, snake-infested basements. From velvet-draped castle dorm rooms to the wind-whipped Quittich field. I could go on and on but it is clear that J.K. Rowling went through some trouble to make her locations memorable.

     
    Crystal Collier
    I love ANYTHING that takes me away. A time period, a foreign country, a new culture? I’m a sucker—as long as it doesn’t make me cry. I mostly read YA to stay up with my genre, branching occasionally into romance and thriller.

     

    Jessica Sayler
    I like to write both. With imaginary you can make up anything you want and anything goes, but with real you already know what’s there so that can be nice too. I also like to read both. Kelley Lynn’s Fraction series has beautiful imagery. It’s fantasy so the world she builds is fabulous and she does an amazing job of putting you right there with the characters.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    Most of my work takes place in “the real world” but I usually create the setting – making up the name of the town, etc. In my reading, I love when the setting is so strong it becomes a character in its own right, but I also enjoy when the setting is so recognizable that it fades into the background and I can focus on the story itself.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I would say that I do a mix of the two—I write contemporary, so my stories are set in the real world, but I often make up the actual towns or cities that I set them in. I find it easier that way, because no-one will be able to tell me that I got a specific detail of somewhere wrong. I mostly read contemp so I’m usually reading real settings, but a really good fantasy world will draw me in too. One of my absolute favourite worlds is Lyra’s Oxford in NORTHERN LIGHTS (and all the other worlds that appear in the rest of the series, too).

    Do you prefer writing with real or imaginary settings?