So I was tagged for this by the lovely and awesome Faith McKay. She’s funny, her books tackle hard topics but still make me laugh, and she has a badass collection of sunglasses. I met her on Twitter somehow–I don’t really remember how it happened but I’m very happy it did. We clicked and now we’re friends. And then a few years ago, she was gracious enough to join me on a panel I put together for GeekGirlCon about Strong Female Characters In YA Lit. Recently, she and I have exchanged some wildly long emails. She is much wise and I’m lucky to count her among my friends. Writing is hard, publishing is hard, and it’s good to have friends you can talk to about how insane and wonderful and whacky the world of books really is. (I currently owe her a reply to an email and hope she’ll forgive me for doing this first.)
You should absolutely check out her blog and her books, as well as keep an eye on her because I know about some of the stuff she has coming down the pipeline and it’s going to be amazing. You’re not going to want to miss it.
Anyhow, she tagged me in this blog hop which comes with this handy graphic:
11 Questions from Faith
What was the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote a lot of little stories as young kid but the first story I remember writing was an 8-page mystery called Inspector Vicki and the… Well, I don’t remember the title. I was 9 years old and I pulled out my mom’s typewriter and typed it up (this is how old I am D:) and gave it a construction paper cover. Vicki, a shameless self insert, was a bumbling idiot of a detective and the mystery was solved by her trusty assistant based on my then-best-friend, Lisa. Vicki then took all of the credit. What this says about me, I don’t know. I’d rather be comic relief, I guess. I wrote a series of Inspector Vicki stories through middle school.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. I read all of the Fudge books, but that one was my absolute favorite and I must have read it a thousand times. I related to Peter on a spiritual level.
You get to have dinner with your favorite fictional family. Who’s at the table?
Oh, man, I can never pick, because my favorites seem to change so much. Probably the After the End Times crew from Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series.
What’s your favorite season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? (If you’ve never seen it, I’m giving you the look.)
My favorite episodes are the Spike Episodes, hands down, so they defy seasons. School Hard was the episode where I knew this was my show. Spike was so cocky and Dru was so out there and I loved them to pieces. I think Seasons 2 and 3 are probably my favorites, but the later seasons have some good moments. (Season 2 of Angel remains my favorite of that series.)
Do you prefer drafting or revising? Why?
This is hard. It depends? Drafting can be super fun and I love watching my characters do things without my permission and finding out new things about my world and cast. But at the same time, it can feel like bumbling around in the dark slamming into walls. Revision is great once I get going, especially if I have a clear path and know what to revise, but it can feel monumentally overwhelming to change things and then see how those changes ripple through the whole story.
Do you have a process for naming your characters?
Babynames.com, Surname lists. Sometimes a character’s name just comes to me. Sometimes I pick something random. I rarely pick names for a reason other than I like the way they sound, although with last names it also depends on a character’s ethnicity and family history.
How do you handle telling people you’re a writer? Do you tell them what you write?
I do tell people that I write and what I write (young adult books). Usually the next question is “What have you written? Do I know your work?” and sometimes I joke and say, “Maybe. It’s call The Hunger Games…” But then I laugh and wave it off and explain that none of my stuff is out there yet. It will be nice to finally have a book to point to!
What do you listen to while you write?
SILENCE. Sweet, sweet silence. Sometimes music, especially if there’s a tense or sad scene, and then usually something that I can listen to without too much distraction. Score soundtracks, Lindsay Stirling, stuff without lyrics. I do usually make playlists for books although I’ve fallen out of habit of doing that lately, but I don’t often listen to them while I’m writing. Editing, maybe.
Do you prefer to write in the morning, or at night?
I’m not a morning person, but I find it’s easier to get my focus earlier in the day (mid-morning to noon). And I usually have a good hour or two of productivity in the late afternoon or early evening as well. Once in a while, I’ll get a great idea and bust out some words late at night, but usually by then my brain is tired of looking at words and all it can handle is watching Top Chef.
Do you pick favorites with your own characters?
I mean, I have favorites and I have a type; I tend to like surly, antagonistic characters a lot. You will soon meet one of my favorites when The Demon’s Deadline is published. And I think the narrator is usually one of my favs too, or I wouldn’t have written a whole book about them. But in general, I tend to like or at least appreciate all of them. During the course of drafting, I usually write at least a scene or two from nearly every character’s POV just to get a feel for how they’re taking things or how they think, etc. etc. So even though I’m usually writing first person from one POV, I know where everyone is coming from and that makes it hard to dislike any of them, you know? But yes, I have favorites.
What would your dream writing office look like?
It wouldn’t have to be big. It would have purple walls, pretty art (probably of sea creatures), and a small bookshelf. A desk and decent office chair–I really need to invest in a good office chair, seriously. And in the corner, it’d have a big purple easy chair with a foot rest where I could use my lapdesk to write when sitting at the desk got tiring.
11 Random Facts About Me
- I am left-handed.
- My favorite color is purple. I’m also partial to blues, greens, and black.
- I used to live and die by my coffee but these days I stick to tea and caffeinated sparkling water.
- My first ambition when I was 4 years old was to be a Ghostbuster.
- I am a huge fan of radio and audio productions and actually used to do some audio work. I know a lot about microphones and adore audiobooks. I also listen to a lot of radio shows and podcasts. (Yes, I was obsessed with Serial. Yes, I <3 Sarah Koenig.)
- Once I broke my leg by tripping over a box. Yeah.
- I worked as a waitress/bartender for almost a decade. Tip your servers, folks.
- I love vampires and vampire things.
- I saw whales while I was in Hawaii this past January! I NEVER see whales. I always hear about being seeing them and never do. This trip, I saw them twice. Very exciting.
- I watch a lot of reality television. Someday I will write a YA Reality TV book. Someday.
- My level of excitement for the new Jurassic World movie cannot measured. It’s too big.
(Those are some ridiculous “facts.”)
I’m going to state right here that I have no idea how many followers people’s blogs have and so I’m just going to disregard that part. If I tag you, and you have wildly more followers, I suggest you just ignore that aspect as well. I get that it’s about blog discovery and trying to give smaller blogs a chance to be seen, but all the same. Also, as always, if I tagged you, don’t feel obligated. Maybe you’ve already done this three times or maybe you just don’t have time or energy right now. Totally cool. 😉 /tag disclaimer
(That’s not 11….)
11 Questions For The Tagged to Answer:
1. What’s your favorite kind of scene to write?
2. What was the first story you ever wrote? (Stealing that one from Faith because it’s a great question.)
3. What’s your drafting process like? Are you an outliner or a messy drafter or some combination of the two?
4. Name a book you think everyone should read and explain why.
5. What would you say is your greatest skill as a writer?
6. What’s a genre or category you’ve never written in but would like to try your hand at?
7. If you could spend a week writing anywhere in the world, where would it be?
8. Do you make playlists of songs for your Works in Progress? If so, what’s a song from the current list?
9. What’s been the most challenging aspect of writing or publishing for you so far?
10. What’s one trope you love to pieces even if it’s overdone?
11. Describe your writing style in three words.