As a debut author, I've experienced the mountains and valleys of writing and publishing, and the challenge of writing a series. The creative part is fun (the marketing sucks, but more on that in the next few weeks.)
1. How long did you want to write a book before starting it?
I began writing BLOODGIFTED the day the idea popped into my head—one quiet and sunny, Sunday afternoon. With fingers on the keyboard I typed out the first chapter within an hour. Ten months later I had a complete novel, but it took another nine months (like pregnancy) to edit, polish and perfect it.
2. What prevented you creatively (blocks etc. - not external influences)?
Thankfully, I've never had one of those—the ideas keep coming. But saying that, sometimes I can hover excruciatingly on dialogue or the description of a scene. When that happens I leave my desk, and my beloved laptop, and go do some baking, housework and gardening, until my house is spotless enough to be featured on Better Homes and Gardens. By that time my mind has cleared and everything is flowing again. Needless to say, I have cleaning binges.
3. How did you approach writing (on the fly, lots of planning), did it change, and did you write more or less as it did?
A bit of both, I'd say. I'm 65% planner and 35% pantser. Initially I planned the entire story, even the genealogy and backstory so I know how it ends, who the characters are and their little traits and quirks. In between, I allow them to dictate the next scene, but only as long as they behave and continue to move in the direction I want. Nothing much has deviated from my original plot, only little things like name changes and scenes.
4. 1. If you were a planner or became one, what was your method?
I use the old fashioned A3 sheet with diagrams, arrows leading in all directions, which I then bluetack to the wall above my desk. It helps keep me focused. As anyone can see from the pic, it's not exactly high-tech stuff, and my handwriting can pass for Egyptian hieroglyphics, but hey, I can follow it.
5. 1. How did the process change over time (if it did)?
It didn’t really, as it works for me—I’m a visual person. To also save time, I refined my writing by setting deadlines, eg. 1,000 words a day as that’s achievable, and not stress over sentences and paragraphs that don’t do as they’re told. Editing will fix that later.
I also created profiles of each character—adding pics of actors I think would be prefect if ever a movie is made of my series. Hey, I can dream! I'm sure some of the faces are recognisable. Look closely and you'll see Thor, although in my Dantonville Legacy series he's Lucien.
6. Do you feel any changes/evolutions/adaptations in your writing helped or hurt your creativity?
If anything, my writing is evolving and improving all the time, and that’s what a writer strives for.
7. What would you tell the old you to get that book finished sooner?
Lol! Good question. I’d probably tell her to get off social media and write! The old me is still learning.
Well, that's it for now. If anyone has any questions to ask me, feel free. You know what to do—leave a comment and I'll get back to you.