All right. So I bought into the challenge. A good friend and author, Christy Jackson Nicholas, who blogs over at Green Dragon, challenged me to answer these 10 questions. Here is the blog where she issued the challenge. So I answered her call.
Here are my answers. I hope you learn a thing or two, or at least are entertained.
What is your dirty reading pleasure?
I really don’t have one. I love to read pretty much anything. Working in acquisitions for a publisher opened my eyes to a lot of genres, but also taught me what I did not like at all, and things I just didn’t enjoy, even if I could read them.
Do you ever create characters based on living people? Are they people you know or celebrities?
Yes, but I will never tell. I don’t use their real names (or maybe I do, you don’t know). But they are not celebrities. Generally, they are people from my life. I am looking for readers who want characters named after them in some upcoming books.
What’s your least favorite part of the writing process?
I don’t have one. That may sound weird, but I love all of it. The research, the writing itself, and the editing. If I could write all day, every day and do nothing for work not related to writing in some way, I would.
Wait. That is what I do every day.
What do you think the worst books have in common?
Lack of passion. You can write about paint drying and fascinate a reader if you have a passion for it and can impart that passion to the reader. If an author is not motivated by passion of some sort, passion meaning strong emotion, it will suck.
Passion does not have to be happy, just intense. It can range from fear to joy, ecstasy to depression. The author must drag the reader in, and make them feel that intensity, or at least empathize with it. Do that, and you have a winner.
Do you like listening to music while you’re writing? What type?
All types, all the time. Well, not all the time. Sometimes I do crave silence. And not all types. It is rare for me to be in a country mood. Right now Electric Love by Borns is playing on my Spotify, and a bit ago it was Disturbed followed by Disclosure. You never know, but you can follow me there, and watch what I am listening to.
Have you ever had a book end completely different than you thought it would?
At least three times. Redemption, my first novel, was the one where I learned this lesson first. The characters drive. I just channel them, and sometimes they don’t tell me where they are going.
With my current WIP, I have no idea who is going to live at the end, the good guy or the bad guy, so I don’t know if this will be a series or a standalone.
What is your favorite type of plot to read – character-driven or plot-driven? Is that also how you write? Why or why not?
Character. The story should flow from the character’s experiences in my opinion. I think the plots are better served that way, not that I don’t ever have a plot in mind when I write, but the most common one I write is the man in hole.
Tell me about your favorite character in your work in progress. What’s your favorite thing about them? What is your least favorite thing about them?
This one is tough. Right now my favorite is a serial killer named Greg. My favorite thing about him is that he is an overcomer, despite the way he has risen above his circumstances.
The thing I like the least is the fact he sees the need to kill as a result of being a sociopath, rather than turning to a more positive expression. But the cop that is after him is a sociopath too, though. So neither of them are “healthy.”
Book club. Who do you invite? Dead, alive, etc.
Man, another tough one. I’d invite Stephen King, and tell him to bring his guitar. Hemingway, Vonnegut, Dean Koontz, and then probably some writer friends so we could all hang out and talk.
Not sure what book I would make them all read, though. That would be a tougher call.
Why do you write?
That one is easy. Basically, because I suck at everything else. Not that I suck at it, but doing anything else long term not related to writing just never works out for me.
I’m a writer, born this way. As I move forward I just find more ways to make money writing and working in the changing publishing industry. I really can’t see myself doing anything else.