Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?
A. I write in bed. It started during a chaotic childhood when my bed was pushed into the quietest corner of the house, a safe place to withdraw to and think, imagine, write. And now that I have my own house, family, garden, life….it’s still the place where I feel most connected to my imagination.
Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)
A. The minute my daughter walks out the door for school, I take a cup of coffee up the stairs. And I don’t do anything else until I’ve gotten a day’s work done.
Q. What is your mode of writing? (long hand? Pencil? Computer? Etc.)
A. I think the invention of the computer made it possible for me to be a writer– though I wrote my first book longhand. I’m obsessive about writing; I want to be sure a book flows without a hitch from beginning to end, with nothing to interrupt the reader and bring him or her out of that reading trance. So, I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite, staring at a paragraph until I see some essential unity, always thinking about how the reader’s mind is following the words. To do that on a typewriter would be like breaking rocks.
Q. Do you have a set time each day to write or do you write only when you are feeling creative?
A. I tend to feel really creative in the shower, at the gym, and when I’m driving. I don’t think it’s entirely coincidental that those are three times when it would actually be dangerous to use a computer! The pressure of wanting to write something really good is gone, so my creativity dares creep out to play. So, I take notes of what comes into my mind in those times and use it the next morning, when I am sullenly at work.
Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?
A. Overcome your perfectionism and your procrastination will go with it. Remember that you can always rewrite and just say the thing in your mind, as simply as possible. That’s the best way to begin anyway. Procrastination is the way of avoiding the suffering involved in seeing that what you write doesn’t live up to what you CAN write.
Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing and for how long?
A. Someone once told me that writing a novel is like swimming the English Channel. I think that’s exactly right. You dive in and pretty soon there you are, surrounded by water and with nothing but your energy and purpose to get you to the other side. From the moment I begin, I’m lost in it, my mind is totally taken up with it, and most other things seem to be distractions. It’s not really a good feeling! I’m hoping to get over it as I write the next book. Lost in a day’s work, writing from a deep knowledge of the characters– that is rare, but I love, love, love it.
Join us December 10th for Part 2 of this wonderful Interview!
PS “The House on Oyster Creek” gives you a terrific story and woven in is the farming of oysters. Fascinating!
DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with best-selling AUTHORS! “The Writer’s Corner”
In addition to my twice weekly blog I will also feature an interview with another author once a month. These authors have already responded and you can read their interviews by clicking on their name: Janet Evanovich, Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal, Karen Robards, Mark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Tasha Alexander, Patrick Taylor, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Cathy Lamb, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Raymond Benson, Andrew Grant, Heidi Jon Schmidt, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, Walter Mosley, and many others.
So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create! Patrick Taylor joined us in November. Heidi Jon Schmidt will be under your Christmas tree. Raymond Benson will be my January author. Slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter. Loretta Chase will be featured later this year. Raymond Benson is my January author. Sherryl Woods in our Valentine author. Janet Evanovich is March’s author.