Thursday, January 23, 2020

Off The Moon 2009 Blog Tour - Author Interview

CRR Blog Tour – November 2009
Host: CRR  Nov.27

Permalink to Tour Posts


[This was a Release Day post where I asked FB friends to ask questions and used them as an author interview.]


~~ How does a struggling author cope with struggling?

Chocolate. And coffee. ;-)  Okay, in all seriousness, I’m a big believer in balance. There are many, many downs that come along with writing -- from not-so-great reviews to downright rejection -- and there are days I feel like standing up, turning off the computer, and never opening my Word program again. Of course, reality sets in and I know that’s not an option. So I let myself sulk a bit, then yank myself up by the boot straps and remember WHY I’m doing this. It’s what I am. The downs are just part of the territory and the ups will return, especially if I go into my ‘special’ file, which means the place I store not only my good reviews but also some very sweet words I’ve been offered along the way about my work.

I also walk away temporarily enough to balance my writing life with the rest of my life. I garden. I read. I chat with my family. I do yoga or aerobics. I watch a very few fun TV shows. I blast my music. I email friends and play online (yes, sometimes I play, it’s not all work).

And I constantly remind myself that with every down comes an up if I only stay in it long enough to allow it to come.


~~ How do you write what you feel compelled to write without editing and/or changing it to 'please' people?  In other words, how do you stay true to yourself in your craft?

This is probably much easier for me than it is for many writers, because I’m an indie. I don’t have restrictions or guidelines I have to follow in order to be accepted for a contract. 

On the other hand, there is always the issue of knowing, “Hey, my family and friends may read this and wow, this is … uh, kinda intense/embarrassing.” That thought does cross my mind, but then, I don’t write actual sex scenes, so although if I thought about my sensual scenes and family members reading them, I would be a bit embarrassed, but it’s not horribly embarrassing. I’ve learned to pretty well block that out of my head while I’m working on a book. I turn the outside world off and BE my characters. It’s their story, not mine. Some of my viewpoints are there, but so are some viewpoints I don’t agree with because my characters would. I like to present both sides of things when I can and like most literary fiction, I focus on the questions, not the answers. So if I’m talking about religious or political issues, for instance, I’ll generally have characters with differing ideas as to how they feel about it. I can still put my own feelings in there, but it doesn’t become preachy or know-it-all. 

I consider this being true to myself because I know I don’t have all the answers anymore than anyone else does. I do have a lot of questions and thoughts and opinions. If it makes readers consider things in different views, that’s a very positive outcome, even if they don’t agree with mine. ;-)  I find myself not pulling as many punches as I grow as a writer, though, and I think that’s a good thing, also. It’s a certain confidence that we all hopefully learn as we go with whatever career we’re in.

That doesn’t mean I don’t wonder about whatever reactions might come. I often do. I just keep going because that’s what feels right.


~~ How do you shut out your life and concentrate on writing?  Don't you find all the interruptions taking over sometimes?

It’s funny, when I first started writing novels instead of only dabbling with notes and scenes and such (13 years ago!), my kids were very young and I was writing everything long-hand and then eventually typing it into the computer my husband pushed me to use. Most of my work was done in the living room on the couch or at the computer desk where I could keep an eye on what was going on. With a three year old who liked to climb out his bedroom window and over the 6 foot privacy fence to find friends, or up the fence to the roof (honestly), my head was always first on him. It had to be. Much of my actual story planning was done while washing dishes and cooking and such. I got little progress done on paper in those days, other than nights when my husband came home and dinner was out of the way and I would escape into my bedroom and close the door with my loose-leaf paper and pencil. Even then, I was often interrupted by someone just saying hello. I couldn’t make them understand that a simple thing such as that could make me lose whatever I had in my head to say next.

Most of my writing life has been much the same, in between kids and jobs and moving. It used to drive me insane at times because my story was fully formed in my head and finding time to get it down was near impossible. Much of my actual work time was at night after the day job and dinner and clean-up and the kids were settled. At one point, after I stopped handwriting and started typing directly into the computer (much, much faster!), we were in military housing and had one very small room that served as living/dining/den, as well as hearing the kids next door thumping up and down the stairs. I was finishing my degree at the same time and had no choice but to learn to block the noise out. Over the years, I’ve also come to where, instead of being frustrated when something pulls me away and I lose what I was about to write, I can be mid-sentence, stop to answer a kid, and turn right back and keep going without skipping a beat. I had to teach myself to do it. Now I even write with my son playing his drumset over my head and hardly even notice it.

Writing, though, is how I jump out of my own world. It’s at the point now I have to remind myself to BE where I am in real life instead of where my characters are. I hardly go anywhere or do anything without my characters coming along, and I’m constantly picking up possible character traits or story lines when I am focused on the real world around me.


Thanks so much to Judah Raine for the fantastic tour she set up this month, and to all of my very gracious hosts!



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