12 or 20 questions
conducted by rob mclennan
I saw this on his blog. I wanted to contact him and see if we could conduct an interview but I couldn't find a way to reach him. Therefore, I am just going to answer this questions post my answers and acknowledge that these are his original questions. If he wishes for me to take them down he can contact me and I will.
1 - How did your first book change your life? How does your most recent work compare to your previous? How does it feel different?
For many years, i had always said that i wanted to be a writer, but i never really finished anything outside of school. I would always brag about my ideas to my friends and family, but eventually I would lose interest that really bothered me that I would say so much but not do anything. After talking to my uncle Steven Pressfield (author of the War of Art) and reading his book he helped conquer my resistance to actually writing. One day after buying my iPad 1 I just sat down and started writing. So how it changed my life was like helping to prove to myself that I can actually take myself seriously as a writer. My most recent is the fourth volume in the series. It compares in the fact that i have recently hired an editor so i don't have to worry about taking a shot in the dark with my work. I will actually be getting some quality help. Tales of Aradia The Last Witch I think is different because I have actually finished it and I take it seriously. Most of all, I own up to it's flaws. I am a newbie writer so saying I am an amateur is a bit of an understatement. But because it means so much I care about improving it!
2 - How did you come to fiction first, as opposed to, say, poetry or non-fiction?
I have always loved fantasy. Ever since i was little and make up games with my little sister. She said the best part about playing with me was the fact that I was so creative. In high school, I wrote poetry but it had too many rules and i like doing my own thing. I like non-fiction so I think I will start writing that later on in life. Such as biographies about my father and one of my friends and her family.
3 - How long does it take to start any particular writing project? Does your writing initially come quickly, or is it a slow process? Do first drafts appear looking close to their final shape, or does your work come out of copious notes?
I always do research first. This takes a while especially the Internet and separating all the info. Once I get going, I am virtually unstoppable in my writing. However, it's hard to motivate myself. I am huge procrastinator. The first drafts always look shoddy, but that's what a first draft is. I write without holding back and then I go over things. But only after I send it to my friends and family to look over. I do take notes, and bookmark my info. Always.
4 - Where does a piece of fiction usually begin for you? Are you an author of short pieces that end up combining into a larger project, or are you working on a "book" from the very beginning?
It always starts with an idea. Since I have become a TV addict I get my ideas from movies and tv shows and think that I can improve them. I know that sounds like copying, but everyone needs inspiration right? I always make sure in the end my idea is essentially different from the original. I never really much cared for short stories because they end up becoming more complicated than necessary. Either way I like novel so I write those.
5 - Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process? Are you the sort of writer who enjoys doing readings?
I like giving support to fellow writers and people who have Aspergers Syndrome like me. But I have never really liked public speaking so my editor does it for me. I hate being in the spotlight because there are a million things that can go wrong. So no I don't enjoy readings.
6 - Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?
I like writing about real-life concepts, but if I base it on fiction no one can take offense by it.
The questions I am trying to answer or more like trying to prove is that teenagers and younger kids care a lot more about the world than people wish to acknowledge. They care about politics, violence, people, and other things too. With my current work I try to work in angle that if you were the last of your kind what would you do about it? Most of all, if you had the opportunity to change everything for the better would you take it.
7 – What do you see the current role of the writer being in larger culture? Does s/he even have one? What do you think the role of the writer should be?
I think the role a writer has is being a source of inspiration and role model, which is I think how it should be. If I become famous (and it's very likely I will not because there are over a trillion better writers then me) I hope to become an advocate and role model for people with Aspergers Syndrome.
8 - Do you find the process of working with an outside editor difficult or essential (or both)?
I consider it very essential. I maybe a good writer, but I do need an editor. Everyone needs help, and I am no exception.
9 - What is the best piece of advice you've heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?
Never be afraid to ask for help.
10 - What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?
Currently, I am in college and i made a promise to my mother and sister over a year ago not to let my writing ruin my education. I passed my first semester, but i did hit a few rough spots. My father supports my writing, but he thinks my writing was to blame for that. I don't know for sure if that is how he feels, but he is a typical dad who likes to blame other things besides his little girl. Either way, next semester I have made a promise to my father to put off my writing until the end of it. I always keep my promise to my family so I keep my writing routine adjusted to that. In order to pass college I am always taking classes so a typical day is after studying i try to write a little.
11 - When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration?
Ironically, I watch TV or listen to music.
12 - If there was a fire, what's the first thing you'd grab?
13 - David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art?
I like to believe that everything from my past, to present, and everything around me influences my work. So all of the above
14 - What other writers or writings are important for your work, or simply your life outside of your work?
My mentor of course who is my uncle Steven Pressfield. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes who published her first book at thirteen. Alexandra ivy who made me realize a book could be serious and make you laugh at the same time.
15 - What would you like to do that you haven't yet done?
Have my books become best sellers.
16 - If you could pick any other occupation to attempt, what would it be? Or, alternately, what do you think you would have ended up doing had you not been a writer?
17 - What made you write, as opposed to doing something else?
I have just always had that knack for it. My parents always told me the happiest they ever were was when they say me writing for the first time.
18 - What was the last great book you read? What was the last great film?
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Romeo Must Die.
19 - What are you currently working on?
A ten volume series entitled Tales of Aradia the Last Witch.
20- If your fans wish to contact you what should they do?
Go on my blog firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me.
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