Saturday, July 3, 2010

Every-Author Questions

Dear readers, I am breaching unknown territory! I have been looking for an opportunity to begin conducting author interviews, and I think I have finally found my breakthrough. In preparation for what I hope will be dozens (dare I dream, hundreds?) of author interviews, I have decided on a formula. I have created ten "Every-Author" questions which are exactly what they sound like--ten generic questions that I will pose to each author. I intend to supplement these questions with author-specific questions. So it seems only fair that I answer my own questions, right? Without further ado...

10 Every-Author Questions

With Baley Petersen

1. Do you write with pen and paper or on a computer, and what are the tools you require for your writing process?

I am almost strictly a pen and paper writer. I find that writing on the computer limits my creative flow. That may be a bunch of horse pucky, but if I feel more connected to paper than to screen, where's the harm, right? The only tools I require are pen and paper. Preferably a ball-point.
2. Do you maintain a regular writing schedule, and can you tell me about it?

I write at night, right before my head hits the pillow. It's a kind of mental purge for me, to release all of that creative mess from my brain onto the paper. If I don't write before I sleep, I am haunted by seriously weird dreams.
3. Do you heavily self-edit, or do you write it and forget it?

I hate editing. I know, I know, I'm a nightmare writer. The truth is that I write primarily for myself, so I just write to get the confusion out of my head and onto the paper. Once it's written down, I'm more prone to just forget it.
4. What makes you a unique writer?

I was told once by a professor of fiction that because of my poetry background, my fiction is concise. I learned to say the most with the fewest words through poetry, and that skill translates itself well into fiction writing. I believe that my fiction is emotionally charged with direct language. At least...I like to think so!
5. Where do you find your inspiration?

I am inspired by EVERYTHING! Music, poetry, children, sunshine, scents, movies... I am an observer at heart, so everything I see becomes a story.
6. Can you name one writer that has most inspired you?

Francesca Lia Block. That woman is incredible!
7. What is the one book you could read over and over again?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Cliche? Maybe, but it's just such a wonderful novel. And I do read it again and again, every December.
8. What is the most important relationship a writer needs to create and maintain?

In my limited experience, a writer most needs a strong support. We experience all kinds of crises, from a total loss of self-confidence, to inflated ego. It is so important to have that one person who will remind us of who we are and what's most important.
9. How do you approach the editing process, and do you have any creative ways of overcoming editing-block problems? 

Again, I hate editing. It is not my friend. I get so attached to my words that when I'm presented with critique I find myself at a total loss. I've tried the straight-forward style of receive critique, re-write, repeat, and I find that I usually end up with a weaker version of what I started with. So I work at creative editing methods. My favorite is letter writing. I have a fantastic friend who is always willing to read my stuff, so when I get stuck, I sit down and write her a letter about what I'm working on and where the trouble lies. When I can talk about a piece of my writing objectively, I can see the major fault lines and start over on the problem areas.
10. What is the hardest step in the publishing process, and how do you navigate that step?

I wish I knew! I haven't yet put my foot through the proverbial publishing door, which I suppose is the hardest step for me. The shameless self-promotion and constant rejection is a lot to handle.

1 comment:

  1. I like your self interview! Oh, Little Women. It IS delightful in every way. I even love the movie (the latest one) AND the soundtrack is fantastic. Everyone likes it!