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whatever happens

April 2017

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whatever happens

Writer's meme! (courtesy of gregx)

1. When did you start writing?
I've been telling myself stories (using glass, ceramic, and plastic animals, mostly) for as long as I remember. At least as far back as age 4. But I didn't start putting words to paper until 7th grade.

2. First drafts: Handwritten, typed, or some combination?
I handwrote until I got a typewriter. I typed until I got a computer.

3. Do you keep any kind of notebook or writer's journal, and if so, what kinds of things go into it?
I do, but I'm less than diligent with it. I need to do better. I want to babble endlessly about my characters and the process of writing, so that's where I do it.

4. Do you set any quotas for your work (number of words per day, number of hours per day, etc.)? Why or why not?
Only in November, for Nano. I don't because my real life is so restrictive. But I should anyway!

5. Are you most comfortable writing short stories, novels, or something else?
Novels. Short stories are hard! Heck, I tend to not even have my characters nailed down until I've done 80 pages.

6. What's your favorite kind of story to write?
Fantasy and Regency romance.

7. Talk about a story of yours that was easy to write and one that was difficult to write, and why.
Wow, that's a toughie. All my stories tend to be easy in some places, hard in others. But, OK, let me try to nail two of them down. An easy one was my published short story, "The Sow's Ear". It took me only two hours to write and polish almost to its current form. I had the final image in my head, and the rest just came. A hard one has been "Prelude". The characters of Cowboy Bebop are hard to write, and having to make sure that I get all the facts scattered throughout the show has been complicated and nervewracking! But the hardest is trying to make up activities for a couple of gangsters. I'm just not a criminal type, I guess.

8. Which of your characters is closest to your sense of self? In other words, who do you most identify with in your own work to date?
Although I never seem to tire of my own company, I think I'm pretty boring. All my characters have some part of me in them, but not much. It's much too interesting to explore new people. But if I have to nail one down, then Georgie from Mr. Harding Proposes.

9. What work are you most proud of right now?
I want to say "Redhand", because that's the one that I want to succeed. But the truth is, "Prelude".

10. What do you feel your strengths and weaknesses are as a writer?
Strengths: I write fast and reasonably well, and I'm good with characters. Weaknesses: A tendency to cliches, and being a bit too sparse.

11. Name a few writers who have influenced you or your work in some way.
J.R.R. Tolkien, Shakespeare, Georgette Heyer, Cecilia Holland, Harlan Ellison, Anne McCaffrey, Barbara Hambly, Nora Roberts.

12. Talk about something you've written that you later found embarrassing for some reason.
Awww, come on! This is painful! Some things I've written that I've found embarrassing are sex stuff, and I can't write about that here!

13. Talk about the earliest stories you remember writing. What were they about?
The very earliest was a spoof of James Bond, seen from the eyes of a super-intelligent German shepherd dog. The dog was the spy's pet, and he was the one who actually did all the cool, heroic things the "hero" got the credit for. Mercifully, that never went far. After that, I jumped into fanfics about Francis Crawford of Lymond (whom y'all won't know, most likely) and Star Trek.

14. If you knew you would be successful, what would you most like to write?

15. What inspires you?
The characters. I love the characters. Seriously, when I get stuck somewhere, or mentally jammed, I can break the jam by just throwing in some random character. And sometimes, those characters decide they want stories of their own!

16. How many projects do you tend to work on at once?
I generally stick to one at a time, but if the Muse pops me on the head, I'll sidetrack until I satisfy her, then go back to one again.

17. Who reads your work before it's released to the public? Do you have beta readers, a critique group, etc.?
I have a couple of good friends who beta-read for me, bless them. And my roomie, also to be blessed, who has read almost everything I have ever written.

18. When you're not writing, what do you do for fun?
Read, watch movies, and play a couple of video games.

19. Advice to other writers?
Read a lot. Read stuff that is well-written - it does rub off. Write - all the time, whenever you can. Don't be a perfectionist, just keep getting better. Remember writing is a craft as well as an art.

20. What are you currently working on?
"Prelude", of course. Two connected Regency romances. Some RK fanfic. And in the wings waiting to be edited are two Regency romances and Redhand.

21. Share the first three sentences of a work in progress.
The first three sentences of Redhand ~
Naia shifted the weight of the pack on her shoulders and tried once more to pay attention to what her teacher was doing. Enath, the village shaman, paced slowly around the spiral set in the ground, her long, grey-streaked braid swinging as she bent to study it more closely.

Naia knew she was supposed to be learning.