How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?
I’ve been writing little stories ever since I learned how to scrawl down words on a piece of lined paper. The first book I ever finished was called James and the Big Blue Crain. It was for my brother James on his fourth birthday. I wrote it when I was five and I’m seriously thinking about publishing it. So I started when I was five. Which would make it about seven years ago. And I’ve been writing short stories and novels ever since.
I didn’t actually allow myself to consider myself a real ‘writer’ until I finished my first novel Hazel the Dreamer. (But secretly I’ve been considering myself a writer since I was ten. Don’t tell myself I said that.)
How/why did you start writing?
I started because I’ve always loved to read. After James and the Big Blue Crain, I took a break of about two years. Then I picked up Nancy Drew and loved the series. Then I learned that regular people publish books all the time. So the first thing I wrote for the intention of publishing was Me, April. I didn’t finish it, but I went on to write a mystery about April called April and Amy: First Case. I think it all started with April. I remember her fondly, but will never EVER try to get her published.
What’s your favorite part of writing?
The beginning of the whole process, when I come up with this idea, daydream about it nonstop, scribble down what ifs, and am sure THIS is the one that is going to be published.
When a select group of people read the first chapter or two and beg to read more.
When I’m done with the whole first draft. I JUST WROTE A NOVEL!
When I’ve finished with editing. Does anyone really enjoy editing?
When I’m done with anything and everything in the writing process.
What’s your biggest writing struggle?
WRITING. As in the act of sitting down in a chair, turning on my laptop, calling up my writing software, and actually typing comprehensive words, sentences, and paragraphs.
Editing. Ugh. Writing is nothing compared to actually editing. It lowers my self-confidence a lot.
Making enough time to write and edit. I have a pretty busy schedule, what with school, music, blogging, and other activities. It’s really challenging to write, but I try to make the time.
Do you write best at night or day?
I used to be a total night owl, which annoyed my siblings to no end. Now I’m more of a morning person. My morning routine used to be I woke up at six every morning and wrote a thousand words in forty five minutes, then got ready for school. My schedule’s been a little messed up lately, but I’m trying to get back on track.
What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)
I can’t show pictures right now because
a) I’m on a car trip and my desk is far, far away, and
b) It’s a mess right now and it isn’t usually, so I’ll have to use my powers of description to give you an accurate picture.
My writing space is a big L shaped cherry stained desk. My writing side is the smaller part against the wall. It has a nice nook for my NEW laptop *squee*, a bunch of shelves cluttered with my notebooks and writing books, and cupboards above for whatever I feel like putting in there. The longer side of the L is used for school, since I’m homeschooled I work there a lot.
How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?
My last few have taken about three months, but my next two are probably going to take only a month each. (Fingers crossed!) But the one after that, a historical, should take a little longer, just because of research and such. So it really varies on what I’m writing.
How many projects do you work on at once?
I only write one first draft at a time, but I can be editing or outlining another project while I write another first draft. It really depends on what projects I have.
Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?
I like bittersweet endings. The main character has lost something important to gain what they were striving for. My next two novels are more sweet then bitter, but my historical novel is probably going to have the saddest ending I’ve ever written. But even that doesn’t compare to some of the endings in YA today.
10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.
Caroline Keene (Nancy Drew) (Yes she’s not a real person, but so what?)
She was the first author that I read that when I read her, I had to read more. Okay, so now when I go back to read Nancy Drew I find it very cliché and all the good people good looking and talented, and all the bad people very ugly, and none of it is very believable. But I love Nancy Drew all the same. (And I also LOVED the Nancy Drew movie with Emma Roberts.)
Rick Riorden (Percy Jackson)
I think I was about ten when I discovered the magic of Percy Jackson. It was probably one of the first fantasies I read (up to that point I mostly read contemporaries and mysteries.) Percy Jackson introduced me to the wonderful world of fantasy, and from then on I started reading and writing a lot of fantasy.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter)
This is probably the most cliché answer of all time, but it’s true. Not so much her genre or plot, but her way of writing, the way it hooks you and engages you in the story, along with her superb world building and her way of weaving it all into an amazing story.
Trenton Lee Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society)
This is one that I’m not sure how to put into words. It just touched me in a weird way, and I think it’s made my writing better.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
THE BOOK THIEF! It is probably one of the best books ever (everyone should read it). I wrote a review of it if you want my full opinion. This was the first historical fiction book that truly engaged me, with characters and emotion. It moved me deeply. The Book Thief showed me that historical fiction can be just as entertaining as fantasy, or dystopian, or mysteries.
11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?
Yes. It depends though. Sometimes I use it for bribery, as in I let my little sister read the next chapter in my dystopian and she does something for me. Other times I want people’s opinions. It really does just depend.
12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?
I have a few
1. Become published
2. My novel becoming a best seller
3. Get my book blurbed by Suzanne Collins
The list goes on and on. (But truthfully? I’d be extremely happy if only the first comes true.)
13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?
WRITE. I’d rebel. And write. But I would still book blog (Is that a job?), and possibly become a librarian or bookstore owner.
14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?
A mystery novel. Mysteries shaped part of my childhood, and I think it would be cool to write one. I have tried, and even completed a MG mystery. (I had a BLAST writing it!) But I don’t think I’m ready to work on a full length mystery novel. If you all want me to post my short story here, just comment below.
15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go?
Three at the moment. A dystopian, a steampunk, and a historical. They’re all drastically different, but I love them all because of the characters and plots. And the ending for my historical is going to make me cry when I write it. (Note to self: don’t wear mascara while writing the last few chapters of Sun.)
That was so much fun to answer! Now I’m super curious: How did you all get interested in writing? If you did Beautiful People: Author Edition, I would LOVE to read it, so feel free to put the link in your comment. And don’t forget to let me know if you want to read my MG short mystery. (I checked and it’s almost two thousand words.)