What advice would you give someone who wants to be a published author?
Rejection can’t hurt you, so put yourself out there! When I was submitting my work to agents and received a rejection letter, I realized my life was exactly the same as it was before I opened my email (or mailbox), but the possibility the answer could be “yes”—and everything would change for the better—kept me going.
Do you think a writer needs to have the entire story plotted out before he or she starts writing?
I was raised by two professional TV writers who had very different attitudes about this. My father used to say you must have the story completely outlined – to the point that all you had to add was dialogue (and God forbid, a character would take the story someplace new). My mother would have a general idea, start typing and see where the story went. I started out like my father, but I felt constrained. I am inching towards my mother’s approach, but I don’t think I will ever feel comfortable attempting a story without a beginning, middle and end. I also love plot twists, and that’s hard to do if you just throw yourself into a story. My characters all attempt to run off with the storyline; they win some, they lose some.
What is your favorite part of writing?
I get caught up in research. In The Wolf Sisters Books, the physical center of the novels is a tea shop in Venice, California. I found myself spending hours researching the history of tea. It may be a diversionary tactic, but easier to justify that hours spent on social media.
Do you write and then edit, or edit as you go?
One of my best friends does Ashtanga yoga, where you do a series of different poses…adding poses as you progress, but doing the same order every day. That’s my model for writing. I start at page one every day and just start reading through it, making small changes as I go and then continue to progress.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
Ideas start piling up in my head; I have written and audio notes all over the place. I finally feel as if my head is going to explode if I don’t sit down and start working. I don’t want my head to explode since I just got new carpet.
Photo Credit: William Christoff Photography