Today I’m going to tackle some of the questions that have rolled in from readers:
“I find a writer's life as fascinating as it is isolated. I'm curious what your primary motivation for getting published was and in what order you'd rank the following incentives:
1. To gain the respect of peers
2. To gain respect for yourself
3. To attain "fame and fortune"
4. To become fully self-sustaining in a profession you love
5. Some other reason?
Was there a specific catalyst in your life that prompted an escape into writing?
Before you had caught the eye of publishers, had you ever felt that getting published was unlikely in such a competitive market? Were there many naysayers to contend with?
Finally, once the Dark Days series is written and published, what happens next? Is it the agent who presses you for more material, the publisher, neither or both? Does a new contract get negotiated based on the sales of the previous series?”
For me the primary and only real motivation for becoming a writer is simply a love of the written word. I love stories, both reading them and writing them. It’s one of those things where I can’t imagine doing anything else. To me, the odds of “fame and fortune” are extremely slim in the publishing world and I didn’t know any other writers when I started so I wasn’t too worried about garnering their respect. For me, it all comes down to a love of writing stories.
As for a specific catalyst, I don’t think there was anything in particular. I loved reading books and one summer I had finished a retelling of the book Robin Hood, but it was the first time I finished a book with the feeling that something was missing – ie. A kick-ass female lead that could hang with the boys. So, I spent that summer rewriting Robin Hood, starting me down the path of being an author.
I always knew that it was extremely difficult to become a paid author and I never really set my life’s goal as being an author. It was always something I worked on in my spare time. My goal was to write great stories and if I got really lucky, I would one day be published. There were some quiet skeptics along the way, but they have since been pleasantly surprised.
Finally, what happens next… I can’t really say since I’m still learning. My first contract will be completed this fall and I’m hoping for a second contract so I can continue writing the Dark Days Series. In the meantime, I am constantly writing so that my agent and editor always have fresh material.
“Does your photography affect your writing or is it the other way around?”
I think my photography affects my writing. I do mostly landscapes so I think that it makes me more aware of my surroundings. But I think it also makes me more aware of how people interact with their surrounds and how it can affect their moods. If anything, I think the photography hobby helps to make me a better writer.”
“My question is what do you do when you get writers block?”
I generally don’t get writer’s block when I’m writing since I already have the book plotted out – I know where I am supposed to be headed. However, I will occasionally get blocked when I am working on the plot outline for a new book. For that, I will go back and look at old plot lines and see if there are things that can be woven in the outline. I will also pick apart the scene, examining each of the characters motivations. In essence, I will pick apart a scene from the different points of view until a new idea strikes me. And under the worst case scenario, I will walk away from the scene for a day and let my brain focus on something else. Sometimes you just need a little down time to get the creative juices flowing again.
Thanks for all these great questions! If you want to know anything else, feel free to ask.