I was invited by a writer friend, Lisa Cole Orchard, to participate in a blog hop interview. Lisa sent me some interview questions, which I have answered here on my blog. Following my answers, I tag 3 other writers who will, in turn, answer questions on their blogs next week, on August 12th. It’s been fun checking out the Blog Hops to see what other children’s authors have posted!
Lisa posted her answers to the questions at her blog, Lisa Orchard, on July 29th. If you care to check out her answers, you can leave a comment on her blog by simply clicking on her name. You can tell her that you connected to her through my link.
Here are my answers to the questions:
1. What are you working on right now?
Currently I am working on another Tween novel – for older MGers but definitely not in the YA category. It’s become a very slow work in progress. I don’t know if it’s because the main character is going to be subjected to such monumental emotional pain, or if it’s because I’ve become unsure whether or not it’s suitable for my audience.
I realize young people are thrown into chaotic and dangerous situations every day, but do they want to read stories that might reflect their own emotional turmoil? I don’t know the answer to that. I’ve personally read and enjoyed books with this same type of setup, and I can empathize with the characters. But I’m an adult. I can’t look back now and say whether or not I would have enjoyed them as a pre-teen.
The story is about a girl who has to adjust to a new family situation, but who resists forming friendships because she wants something different for her life – something she’s probably never going to realize. It’s about the relationships she develops, and the relationships she has to come to grips with from her past.
2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?
I admit I haven’t read nearly all of the MG literature available, but I do read as many new books as I can. I’ve read books with somewhat similar set-ups, but every author has a unique way of telling his/her story. I can’t, and won’t attempt, to compare my work to any other author published today, but I know books are out there that tell stories of heartbreak and a need for love.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I’ve fostered over twenty young people over the years, from infants to teens. The ones that touched me the most usually fell into the 11-13 age range. I don’t know why, unless it’s because this is such an important and impressionable age for young girls. There is a need and a yearning in their hearts – for the woman they haven’t yet become, and for the child who isn’t ready to turn in her dolls. I guess that age was such an emotional time for me, and I still connect with it today, even though it has been behind me for many, many years.
Each of these girls (there were very few boys) has a story. I would never use their personal stories for numerous reasons, but they helped me to understand more fully that the world is filled with children in need. Those needs span a wide range, but love and acceptance are two that are prevalent. I attempt to touch on those needs in my writing.
4. How does your writing process work?
I absolutely cannot write an outline – never could and probably never will. An idea comes into my head and I mull it over, sometimes for months, before I finally begin writing it down. My clearest ideas come either while I’m riding in the car, or in the middle of the night. If it wakes me, I get up and write down the basic concept in its simplest terms, and then go back to bed. If I’m in the car, I either dig a pen out of my purse and find a scrap of paper to write it on, or, if I’m driving, I pull off the road and jot it down. I’ve lost so many ideas before I started doing that, so it’s become standard operating procedure now.
Then I have to find a quiet time to develop the plot and characters. I don’t write well with distractions in the house, so the best time for me is at night when everyone else has gone to bed. Unfortunately, my house doesn’t have many areas that are totally private, so if I write at night I’m usually disturbing another family member. So I have to make do with daytime hours when the rest of my family is either at work or school. Summers are the most difficult time for me.
Usually I try to find several beta readers or reading buddies to share manuscript critiques with as we progress. That helps me a lot, except I tend to want to go back and revise and edit every change, and that slows me down quite a bit.
Well, there you have it. Probably more than you ever wanted to know about me, but it is what it is.
I think you will find it well worth your time, however, to check out the three authors I have chosen to continue with this hop. They are all quite talented and I've enjoyed getting to know each of them.