I realize that I have not done a proper check-in since the first of the month, and that’s really my bad. I’ve just been busy with work and primarily with writing. I’ve hit a good stride with some first drafts, and I’m just enjoying the pace of it. It doesn’t motivate much to update here though, which I need to rectify. So consider this a very belated week two update! Writing is going well, as is the editing process. I actually did a full read through and surface edit of Before That Winter, so that’s something I feel pretty proud of!

I found a list of interesting ask-the-author type questions online, so I thought I’d pad this update by answering a couple of them for fun. It’s intriguing to peek into the writing process, or so I think, and I just wanted to share a bit!

What is your favorite childhood book?

This is such a loaded question! I read a lot as a child, and still read a lot now, and I had a lot of books that I loved very much. I was a really big fan of animal stories, especially dogs, and so there were several of those that I turned to frequently. My childhood copy of Where The Red Fern Grows is so worn out the cover is long gone and the pages are literally just held together by the glue on the spine. I mean I read that book so many times I completely decimated it. I also read The Incredibly Journey a lot, though I didn’t quite wear it out in the same way. The Baby-Sitters Club books were my life though, and I still have all of them and re-read them now and then for a good time. If everything else in life was getting me down, I knew I could always fall back on the BSC. I also harbored a deep love for Judy Blume that still lingers as well, and I especially love Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Just As Long As We’re Together. We also can’t leave Beverly Cleary out! Ramona Quimby is just everything.

As you can see this question is too much, and I have to walk away. Otherwise we’ll be here all day hashing this out.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It honestly just depends on the story, the time of year, and how much I’ve thought about the book beforehand. A Crooked Mile and A Different Shade of Blue were both written for/during NaNoWriMo in November (one in 2017 and one in 2018) and I finished them both pretty quickly. A Crooked Mile’s very first draft was done in about 9 days or so, but it took a bit longer with Blue. I finished it in a couple of weeks after breezing through the first 50k pretty fast. I took a break at that point and then came back to finish it up before the end of the month. I also finished Before That Winter and Rag & Bone in about a month, which included days of writing a lot and then taking small breaks.

Other books, however, take a lot longer. It took me a couple of years to finish Endless Numbered Days. I started it for NaNo and then just let it sit for a long time. I worked on it off and on, and then over the course of a couple of months finally finished it up. Then there are instances of just real writers block with a  story, like with Crimson. I’ve worked on that thing off and on for years, including full re-writers, and it still isn’t finished. So it just really comes down to the story itself and how I’m feeling it. If I’m into the characters, if I connect with them, it can go incredibly fast. If there’s some disconnect there or not a concrete enough storyline, well, it might never get finished.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I am actually friends with a lot of other writers, believe it or not! Two of my very best friends are also writers, and though we’re all different when it comes to what we like to write and our styles we all click and connect well with one another. We’re writing partners, and we frequently get together to write, critique, and help one another. We help each other edit, develop ideas, and encourage one another. During NanoWriMo we do sprints together, and have group discussions about our writing. We share our stories, and we ask each other for help without feeling fearful about sharing our work. It’s a blessing to know them, and to be able to work and write with them. They challenge me to want to do better and to come up with new and original ideas like they always are.

I know others too though, and connect with them frequently. Some are fantasy writers, others are also illustrators. Some write romance, some are poets. It’s incredible to know other authors and writers, to be able to understand them and have them understand you in return. It’s always important, I think, to reach out and connect with others who are part of the same artistic craft as you. Nobody else will ever understand in the same way or be able to reach that part of you so efficiently. They are all wonderful, and they make me want to be my best so I can impress them the way that they impress me.

So that’s about it for this post! I’ll be back in a few days to check-in if anything interesting comes up!

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