Al from Hyperactive Pandemonium has been listening to me complain about writers block for a few days, and being the charming soul that he is, he threw some questions at me about writing stuff! This is those questions, with my answers, and some other writerly questions thrown in for good measure. I love hearing from my fellow writers, so I want all and sundry to answer these questions, you should add in at least one question of their own though!
Without further ado:
What time do you wake up in the morning when you have a day of writing planned?
I’m an insomniac, I sleep when my body crashes and wake up when it’s done crashing out. So there’s no planning there. I write when I’m inspired and that’s about as far as it goes.
Do you energise yourself with tea or coffee?
Coffee definitely coffee, tea is for relaxing 🙂
Where is your favourite writing location?
My sofa. I think I was supposed to say a pretty nook, or a trendy coffeeshop or something here…
Where would you love to visit and sit and write?
I’d love to visit Iceland and sit and write in that gorgeous, stark, landscape. It’s so harsh, so beautiful.
Do you use pens and notebooks? Pencils? Laptop? Computer?
Well… I use pens and notebooks for the initial note-taking and plotting. Then it goes onto the laptop and into Trello where the full outline is put together. From there I write in Typwriter, edit in word, and tidy up/format in Scrivener. I do sometimes write in Scrivener too, but I like the ability to change my backgrounds in Typwriter.
How do you relax after a day of writing?
With a glass of absinthe or scotch, of if people are around going out to a bar to have loud conversations with complete strangers.
Nibble you must have whilst writing?
I don’t really eat while I’m writing. I’ll have a bounty while I’m mulling over a plot point that I can’t quite get right, but when I’m actually writing it’s usually drinks only.
Favourite treat to offer yourself after writing?
This is a family friendly (ish) blog, so my really favourite thing is a night out at a bar. If that can’t be had, then a snickers bar and a good movie like Iron Man or Kingsman.
If you could choose one book to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Night Circus 😛 There’s just so much there, so much to explore.
If you had the chance to meet any author, alive or dead, who would you meet?
I have absolutely no idea! I’m so useless at these questions! I think I’ll have to say Maggie Stiefvater. She’s an amazing author, and she comes across as really fun and insightful on Twitter and her blog.
Name a character you feel you relate most to in one of your own stories and another authors?
Ronan from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.
Favourite factual book?
Clicker Training for Obedience by Morgan Spector. I was a dog trainer and that’s a fantastically well put together and informative book.
If you were to write an article on anything, what would it be about?
Most likely positive reinforcement, the importance of it, and how it can be applied to writing to increase happiness and productivity.
Would you rather be famous with a one hit wonder or stable With a long run?
Definitely the latter. I want to have a long and fun career. I want to have a whole heap of series that people go back and enjoy and recommend for years after they’ve been published.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Around about 5 weeks give or take. Witch Infernal took me 6 and it was driving me mad because it took too long and I wanted to move on and edit it.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Probably the fact that I cannot sit down and just write. I need the internet and controlled distractions. So much of the writing advice out there tells you to turn off the internet and focus for 30 minutes or an hour. HA! My limit it 15 minutes, then I have to go screw around on Twitter. I tried writing without the internet and couldn’t do it. I need that break between scenes.
Do you have any suggestions to help people become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Learn or at least dabble with other forms of writing. I’ve written essays, copy, poetry, and short stories. I tried script-writing but can’t do it to save my life. I spent a year really focused on poetry and surrounded by amazingly talented poets. They put me through my paces with both structured and unstructured poems, I learnt an incredible amount. My fiction came on leaps and bounds. Copy teaches you the psychological aspect of sentence structure and word usage, poetry leans more on the importance of individual words, the beat and rhythm. Short stories, flash fictions and such help make sure that you cut out all that unnecessary stuff. Essays make you think about your structure, it helps you figure out what it is you’re trying to say and accomplish.
How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?
I’m a polytheistic pagan, and I think that shows at least a little bit by the fact that all of my books thus far have featured lots of gods in them. There’s probably more in there, but readers can look if they so please.
Now go forth, answer these questions, and don’t forget to add in at least one question of your own!
To make it a little more official, here are some links to people I follow and would love to see this from:
If you don’t see your name here but you want to participate please do! I’m a bit hopeless and forgetful with blogs so you’re probably meant to be on the list! Don’t forget to tag me on Twitter when you post your post so I can read and comment!