Where do you do most of your writing?
My day job requires a desk, so when I write I avoid desks at all costs. My writing space changes with the seasons. In the winter, I’ll pull up a comfy chair near our woodstove; in the summer I sit by the window looking out on my garden. But mostly I work in my bedroom, because it has the least amount of distractions. Just give me my laptop, Lizzie, and lots of pillows.
What are some important things on your desk? Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?
See the picture above!
Who is your favorite author? Who inspired you to write?
I started writing around age 10 after reading Lassie Come Home – I came up with a near knock-off (with a horse instead of dog). Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Mary O’Hara are my most influential authors, but I have many others too. Most recently I’ve been captivated by the writing of Rachel Hartman in Seraphina.
Do you write everyday? How many hours a day do you spend writing? What are some of your worst writing distractions?
My worst distraction is a good book that just begs me to keep reading it. Over the years I’ve developed all sorts of nifty tricks for getting into writing mode but my basic rule is: turn off the internet and if you're stuck, try these bullets. (they won't hurt, promise)
Why do you write?
Because of writer’s high: when I hit my writing stride and the words and ideas start flowing, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. Writing also helps me sort out my issues and remember my passions. I love moments that make me catch my breath and wonder, things that catch me by surprise and make me scramble for a paper and pen to write them down before I forget.
2011 interview by Akoss Ket
Coffee, Tea, or...?
Tea, but only if it’s been boiled in a kettle (not in a microwave) and only if it’s black pekoe and only if you have some half and half and sugar to go with it. And a proper teacup and saucer.
Oh, I’m sorry – I forget how high mainentance I am. Just water, please!
It’s ok to be high maintenance about your tea. :) How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was 10 years old, but I got serious about improving my writing craft around 2000, right about the same time I also started a family. And the family grew. And I’m still trying to figure out how to balance my writing with my family.
Do you have a preferred genre?
SF/F and historical, which is why I’m thrilled that historical fantasy is now considered a sub-genre. I write for older kids and teens primarily, but I also have a women’s fiction story that is very dear to my heart.
What do you like most about being a writer?
This quote sums it up well: We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect (Anais Nin).
I also love to write because it takes me to incredible places and to meet amazing people. It’s constant adventure and discovery and learning.
What do you like most about blogging as a writer?
As I learn things about writing craft from reading books and other blogs, I’ve found that blogging about what I’ve learned really reinforces the concepts and helps me apply them. Plus, I love the community. Almost everyone is helpful and encouraging, and often inspirational.
Name one author that influenced you or your writing.
I discovered C.S. Lewis when I was 9, and I’m still reading his books (he has over 30) but each one provides new insight into life.
Anything special you want readers to know about you?
I LOVE mythical creatures. I like to think my four children have a few drops of chimerical blood that gives them their capacity for trouble.
Any twist on unicorns and dragons is great, of course, but I also love discovering the lesser-known creatures of other cultural mythologies, including Japanese and Hungarian.
Mythical creatures can serve so many functions: as unusual characters, or to add tension and intrigue, even symbolism… and as the parnormal genre proves, a lot of people seem to resonate with these creatures.
Share a little bit about your upcoming book, favorite manuscript, or current wip in 140 characters.
A genie in a lamp is 1 thing, but Sidain finds 2 genies who are immortal enemies, and more trouble than a Greek tragedy. So much for 3 wishes.
Muffin or cookie (biscuit)?
Both. I have to feed the muse too, you know.