Interestingly, the questions lent themselves to a few obvious categories, so I've had the authors pick a question from each (yes, there is a food category, there were THAT many questions).
This week, I bring you the lovely Connie Keller! (*crowd cheers*)
Let's go straight to some Q & A, shall we?
The Writing Process: How do you develop a mental picture of your characters?
I’m a very visual person. When I read, books are movies in my head. When I write, it’s the same. The characters come into my head fully developed. And their physical attributes (height, weight, etc.) are set as well. However, since I am face-blind, I have no idea what my characters’ faces look like. To combat this, I either cut out a photograph from a magazine that fits my idea of the character, or I keep a detailed list of my characters’ facial characteristics.
The Publishing Process: If you decided to self-publish, what was the final push that allowed that decision?
I’m not a particularly brave person, so I wasn’t one who eagerly embraced independent e-publishing. And my previous writing experience has been more traditional. I have an English degree with a concentration in writing, and I worked as a writer for Harcourt, etc.
When my novel was finished, I went through all the traditional channels. And a lot of literary agents were interested. One of my dream agents sent me a glowing email, telling me how much she loved my book. I thought it was my big break, and I was euphoric. But a few days later, she declined to sign the book because another book with a similar plot element just sold. She explained that because of the market, publishers wouldn’t sign a book with an element similar to one that had already been sold. Apparently, she wasn’t the only agent who thought it would be a problem. I was so discouraged that I put my novel “on the shelf.”
Months later, my daughter and my writing friends began to push me to e-publish. Plus, more and more traditionally published writers that I know began to e-publish. Another friend who is a very successful author told me to do it. She said, “It’s the way of the future.” Still, I waffled. Then I bought a Kindle. I’d never thought that I could forget about paper. But I did. Quickly. I fell in love with Kindle and realized everyone was right. E-readers are the way of the future, and self-publishing gave me an entrance into that market.
Writing and Food: Does chocolate help with the writing process?
Chocolate, being one of the essential writing food groups, is a great boon to writing. I’m a firm believer in the tush-in-the-chair-for-at-least-fifteen-minutes-a-day school of writing. A square of Lindt dark chocolate (either sea salt, black currant or intense orange) is my bribe.
Weird or Random Questions: What is your stupid human trick?
I can take a cherry stem and tie it into a knot with my tongue. While this may not be an especially marketable talent, it will keep children occupied for hours as they try to do it themselves.
(I'm going to interject here and say DUUUUUDE! That was MY stupid human trick and Connie, you totally stole if from me (not really of course), but I forgive you. There is room in the world for all the gifted people who have achieved the cherry-stem-tying-in-the-mouth trick.)
Her book, Screwing Up Time, is now available! (Isn't that an awesome cover, btw?)
Happy Friday everyone, and thanks for stopping by!