Interview with Myself
I think I've always enjoyed writing, because I can remember that I used to write short stories a lot for fun (even though I read them now and cringe inwardly) and I've toyed with the idea of being a writer without ever taking it seriously at several times in my life. For example, I once wrote a "series" of books and "bound" them myself. I used to keep these in a briefcase. But it's only been recently that I've decided that being a writer will be my career. It's only recently that I've realised that it can be. I would say that I decided this halfway through Year 11. If you think about it, it's a short amount of time in the grander scheme of things.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Well, it's hard to answer this one. I've rarely finished a "book". Short stories can take me anywhere from a few hours to a few days just to be happy with them. I've only ever finished two novella length manuscripts, one of which I sent off for publishing, but I don't really take the story very seriously anymore. That took me about a year to work on. The novel I'm working on now, which is THE ONE for me has been in the works for a while now. I had the idea in late April, and began my first draft after much planning in August. A first draft is nearly complete now, but I doubt that it will be complete before I finish my tertiary studies.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Erratic. I write mostly by the security of night. Nothing really encroaches on my focus then, because every thinks that I am asleep and I have to maintain that illusion. Sometimes I'll feel frustrated with myself because I haven't made any progress, and I'll make myself write during the day. But I can't stick to a schedule, per se.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I wouldn't say I have any quirks that the average Joe would find interesting. Hmm, I don't know. Perhaps that to really get focussed, I have to be listening to music which would be the soundtrack of what I'm feeling in the text. But lots of writer's do that. A friend of mine told me that Stephenie Meyer did that while she was writing Twilight.
How do books get published?
I wouldn't have a clue. I suppose I'll learn in the next decade.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Year 12 History! I became obsessed with an era, and the atmosphere that seemed to go with it. I also used a certain album in this case.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I would have been 5 or 6. The first story I wrote that I'm aware of is one that I gave to my grandparents and it's about Winnie the Pooh trying to decide what to buy with a 50 cent piece that he found. It's incredibly silly.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I read a lot... talk to friends over the internet, or see them in person if it's possible...I don't really play sports a lot at the moment, so not that, although I do run if I can be bothered.
What does your family think of your writing?
There was a moment in time where a few people thought that I was underselling myself, but mostly they are really supportive. I can't tell you how my siblings feel about it, though, because they don't really like to read my work. They have their own lives to work on, so that's fair enough. One day they'll read it, and I think that their reactions will be worth a lot to me as far as feeback goes. My Grandpa is a tough critic as well. I know that if I can really interest him with what I'm saying, and even impress him, I've done well.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I'm what's called a romantic. Even though most people would call me a bit of a cynic from time to time, the romantic element of my really comes through in my writing. I need to try and expand away from that a bit too. It makes it very easy to insert Mary Sue characters.
How many books have you written?
None that constitute actual books. Publishing material length novella manuscripts? 2 and a half.
Which is your favorite?
I have to say it's a toss up between the first one and the current one. If the one I'm working on now has a really superb ending (and it will) then it will definitely be that one, because the first one I wrote had a very BLAH ending. One day I guess I'll have to rewrite it. When I learn how not to write BLAH endings, that is.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?
Interesting, because I am being asked this by myself. I guess I'll just give a general set of advise. Write everyday, in some form. In a journal will do. Plus, learn stuff and store it away if it interests you. It's always useful later.
Do you hear from your readers much?
Readers of this blog, rarely. I doubt that there are many at the moment, but I plan to change that.
What kinds of things do they say?
Mostly that they like the way my writing style reflects my personal voice. Apparently I write in my own quirky tone.
Do you like to create books for adults?
That's the only kind I like to create. Children's books don't have the depth of themes and emotion that adults books do.
What do you think makes a good story?
A well developed sense of character, a surprising ending (or at least an exciting one) and a lack of cliches.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?