So I got a message from a young lady the other day, wanting to know if she could interview me for a college research paper, because she wants to become a writer. I was very flattered by the request — but I’m also an opportunist, so I got her permission to post the Q&A here on the blog. Afterward, I brought up the fact that her name was the same as my mom’s maiden name, and it turned out that our parents are cousins (my mom/her dad). How cool is that?
So here’s the Q&A, which I am posting just because I thought they were pretty good questions.
1. How do you adapt to new situations?
I’m actually not good at adapting anymore. Maybe I’m getting too old now. Haha! I want things to be the way they are, all the time.
2. Has writing been all that you though it would be?
I don’t think I had any preconceptions about the act of writing, or the process of writing. I have been writing for as long as I can remember — storytelling and what have you — so to me, it’s second nature. And I believe that’s the case with all writers, all those who are born with a story under their skin. We go into it knowing that it’s going to hurt and that the rewards are few and fleeting, but we cannot continue on without having exorcised that story from our hearts, and so we share it by writing it down. It’s every bit as torturous as I expected it to be, but I would rather do nothing else.
3. Are there moments when you regret going into the career of writing?
Never, ever, ever. And I would go so far as to say that anyone who does regret it, should take up a new occupation immediately.
4. How was the schooling?
I may not be the best person to answer this, haha. I suffered with undiagnosed ADHD until I was finally diagnosed at 22, so I did not do well in high school (despite the highest SAT score in the class; I graduated with one of the lowest GPAs.) Similarly, I fizzled out in college. I’m now re-enrolled on college, on track to become a college English professor. It’s the “other” thing I’ve always wanted.
5. What was your inspiration?
For my book, Father’s Blood, the inspiration was my husband and our journey together. Originally I had planned to write it as a historical fiction novel, but I switched gears and made it a fantasy fiction because I felt that the genre would allow more poetic license, and I would only have to adhere to my own rules. Essentially, by writing in fantasy style, I could tell the story my own way. But it’s safe to say that without my husband, this story would never have come about.
6. What college did you attend? Did you like it? Would you recommend it?
I am currently enrolled at Ivy tech, and I would absolutely recommend it. Whether as a starting point for a longer academic career, or to complete an associates degree, Ivy Tech is a great and affordable choice.
7. What do you prefer to write about? Any specific topics?
I suppose I am moved most by love and by injustice. Those are two major themes in Father’s Blood that I don’t think I realized while I was writing it, but it’s true. The injustices suffered by Kathrynne (my female protagonist) and by Grissam (my female villain) really drive the story, and they are part of a larger picture of injustice — and these are only a reflection of the real-life injustices that exist in our world. But the idea that love can exist despite that pain, that is what gives us hope.
8. Do you have a favorite author?
Several, actually: Anne Rice, Stephen Lawhead, Ursula le Guin, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and JK Rowling, to name a few.
9. How do you come up with you creativity?
In the shower. Haha! No, I don’t really know. It finds me. As I said, the story of Father’s Blood would never have happened without my husband, but another story would have presented itself, I’m sure. I am driven by an almost manic need to create, so something would have come about.
10. Do you have any tips for a young adult like myself wanting to go into this field?
Self-publish. Do not peddle your soul’s work around to publishers to beg their approval before releasing the gift of your creation into the world. Don’t wait for anything. Self-publish, by all means. Other than that, just write the story you were born to write.
Fun, yes? I thought so.