Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Blog Hop: Writers on Writing

I've never participated in a blog hop, but given the opportunity, I'll try just about anything! Thanks to Tiffany Ems Pitts, author of Double Blind, for including me.

Now to the questions ...

Where do you like to write?
It depends on the stage of writing and my state of mind. Usually I take the first jab at a new scene at coffee shop table surrounded by other writers frantically scribbling words on paper against a timer. Notebook in hand, I return to my wonderful little home office with a window to the backyard. There, I key those words into a running manuscript, piece by piece, like laying bricks, until a first draft is complete. Then the cycle repeats itself, over and over, draft after draft, until it's as good as I can get it.

Which part of researching your current novel was most interesting?
My current novel deals in part with relations between African-Americans and African immigrants. The most interesting research I've done to date was to attend a colleague's sociology course at the college where we both teach. As an ESL instructor, I had a one-sided view of this situation. In contrast, colleague's classes tended to be a diverse mix of American born and immigrant students of different ages and religions. The group I visited was no exception. I prepared a survey that jump-started a conversation which continued after the class ended. The students' varied perspectives on the tensions between these groups helped tremendously. 

I also had the opportunity to view the film Bound: Africans vs. African-Americans at the Seattle International Film Festival. A film I hope makes it to your part of the world.

How important are names to you in your books? How do you choose them?
Names are important not only in what they portray about a character but also in making it easier for readers to follow the story. The other night I was talking about my first two novels in the Alki Trilogy with my husband and he was getting confused (it happens, right?). But then I realized I'd used two female names beginning with the letter C and two male names that begin with J. I'll be more careful in the third novel. Promise.

Do you read your reviews? How do you respond to the bad reviews (if you get them)?
I tend to read them in the beginning, when the book is first released, when I'm begging folks to post those much needed reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I want to know how readers are reacting to the story, what they like, what touches them, what infuriates them. 

If a review is less than stellar, I remind myself that all readers are different and reviews are subjective. Then I have a gin gimlet and a good cry. And keep writing.

What are your favorite books to give as gifts?
The age and interests determine my choices, of course. My latest favorite gift for young readers is Dancing on the Edge by Kit Bakke. And of course, I love giving my own books as well! 
In Seattle we have this funny little free neighborhood libraries. Here's a Seattle Times article about them. I have great fun sticking in copies of my books around town!

Thanks for reading! To follow this blog hop check out K.M. Randall's blog:
K.M. Randall

As a girl, K.M. always wished she'd suddenly come into magical powers or cross over into a Faerie circle. Although that has yet to happen, she instead lives vicariously through the characters she creates in writing fantasy and delving into the paranormal. When K.M. is not busy writing her next novel, she is the editor-in-chief of a blog covering the media industry, as well as an editor with Booktrope Publishing. She has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree in English-Lit from Nazareth College of Rochester. K.M. lives in Upstate New York's Finger Lakes region with her husband and her extremely energetic little boy. Fractured Dream is her first novel.

No comments: