What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another? (ie: Intensive plotting? Music?)
A: I’m still (too) prissy. I need absolute silence without interruption for a known amount of time before I can even settle down enough to begin drafting. If I expect an hour, I’d darn well better get that hour, or woe betide the creature that knocks on my office door.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?
A: “Walk into your fear.” If doing it makes you nervous, you’re probably supposed to be doing it. Writing, sharing your words with critique partners, pitching, submitting queries…anything that gives you butterflies, go forth and do.
What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?
A: Any advice that implies (or insists) that “This is the RIGHT way to write.” When I see a sentence beginning with “Real writers…” I turn the page. The process is as unique as the individual, and while there are patterns and practices that may be better for you than others, no one else is in charge of your story or how you write it.
What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?
A: Purely from a cultural literacy standpoint, the King James Version of the Bible. From cliches to high works of art to Lady Gaga’s music, it permeates the fabric of Western culture. If you’re pressed for time, go to the Song of Solomon. It’s only four pages.