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Posts Tagged ‘Writers’

  1. 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 So you can probably imagine the number of unpublished manuscripts I have.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?


  2. 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?


  3. 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?


  4. 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?


  5. 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?


  6. 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?


  7. 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?


  8. Author visits… yikes

    December 8, 2014 by Suzi

    Recently I got to see Mindy McGinnis, author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, when she was invited to do an author visit in my town. I didn’t get to see the first session, which was at a local college, cause of my kids—you know all their crap going on, but I went to the 2nd night.
     
    I’ve followed Mindy since before her books came out, maybe even before she was agented. She’s got an interesting blog and she’s been active in the online writing community. She seems to have an awesome sense of humor, which is probably one of the reasons why I keep going back to her blog.
     
    After seeing her talk, it made me think. How in the world will I do what she did? She was funny, had good stories, and seemed to speak easily to the group, which was adults, even though her stories are YA.
     
    That’s a lot of pressure. I mean, a book signing wouldn’t so bad. One on one talking with others. But getting up in front of a group and being interesting. It’s not something I look forward to.
     
    But… considering I’m not agented or anything, I’ve probably got some time to prepare. “_
     
    Do author visits make you nervous? Have you ever done one?


  9. 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?


  10. 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?