20 Questions Tag

Reading time ~8 minutes

I came across these fun 20 questions for authors tag on Inkblots and Iceburg’s blog. I decided to make it this weeks post, since next weeks post is going to be a Chirstmas Tag about my book! So, here is a bit more about me and my writing :)

  1. What type of writing do you do?
    I write fiction, aimed at young adult (YA) and new adult (NA) readers.
  2. What genres and/or topics do you write about?
    Right now: adventure, sometimes fantasy. Topics are usually about ordinary people finding the extraordinary within themselves, finding oneself, coming of age, romance, betrayal. I like to write a strong female protagonist.
  3. How long have you been writing?
    I talked about this in my about me as a writer blog, but I fell in love with writing when I was 10 and I realized I could create my own stories where anything was possible. Since then I have strived to write the kind of books I would want to read.
  4. Are you published?
    Not yet, but hopefully next year!
  5. What was the first story you ever wrote?
    I wrote a few stories as a kid for school before the age of 10, but the first one I count was a ghost story about a haunted hotel. I wish I could remember what it was called…probably something super creative like ghost hotel. I should try to find a copy of that…
  6. Why do you write?
    I write because I love it. Writing makes me happy and gives me a sense of peace and release like nothing else. In fact, when I am particularly crabby or burnt out my husband will kindly, and somewhat forcibly, suggest I spend some time writing.
  7. How do you find time to write?
    Haha, isn’t this the million dollar question! As a mom of a particularly high needs toddler, I have to sneak time when I can. This usually means that if she naps (a rare treat), I write. When I put her to bed at night, I write.
  8. When and where are the best times to write?
    Oh how I miss night writing! I miss staying up late and writing past midnight. Alas, with a toddler that is a fatal mistake and I pay for it dearly the next day. It’s a rarity these days to write past 10pm. If I do, I find it really hard to sleep because I want to keep writing. Now my dream is when I get a babysitter during the day and I can write for hours uninterrupted. As for location, I will write anywhere. I am currently writing on my laptop at the dining room table. I’ll write on my desktop computer in the basement, laptop on the bed, coffee shop. I am not location picky. As long as I have my headphones and laptop I am set.
  9. Favorite food/drinks while writing?
    Anything I have usually gets neglected while I am writing (looks over at stone cold tea made before starting this post). Sometimes I will have tea, but usually just water…oh and dry cereal. What? I have a toddler!
  10. Your writing playlist?
    This will be another post. No Spoilers! Ok one, right now I am listening to “All of the stars” by Ed Sheeran.
  11. What do family/friends/loved ones think of you writing?
    My husband Jared is super supportive. He is the one who encouraged me to explore the idea of publishing. He is the first person I let read my work. My parents are also supportive, and will babysit Emily for me so I can get some work done. My brother and sister-in-law are supportive/proud/excited. My facebook friends and other family have been AMAZINGLY supportive. I have been so blessed with their amazing comments of support. My new writing friends are always there to give me some support and encouragement when I am having a bad day. All in all I have been so SO lucky with how much support and encouragement I have received. I know a lot of first-time authors whose family and friends see their writing as a waste of time.
  12. Parts of writing you enjoy the most?
    I know this is a controversial answer, but I love me a first draft. It’s so exciting, and you haven’t re-read it to realize how rough your writing actually is! You can still delude yourself into thinking it’s brilliant. I am a pantser (meaning I don’t do a lot of planning, and write by the seat of my pants) which is very different than the rest of my life, where I am very much a planner. So first drafts are as much as surprise to me as they will be to the reader in the future.
  13. Parts of writing you find challenging?
    The first read through is an embarrassing, humbling experience. So many incomplete sentences. So many overused words (how many times does one actually sigh in real life, because my characters may have a medical condition). Sometimes it can be overwhelming when your “needs work” notes or highlights are longer than the original book, but then a few drafts in you rediscover the magic and the excitement returns. Then you send your book out for beta reading and rediscover that your book isn’t for everyone. That can SUCK, but the feedback is important, no matter how much it stings.
  14. What do you write with and on?
    It depends. My spelling is atrocious(not even going to tell you how I spelled atrocious for the first time there) so computer is certainly best. I have a few stories on paper still, like if I get an idea while on a plane, on vacation, or at my cottage. I will usually continue them on the computer when I get home. I love using google docs because I can access the same document easily from any computer, plus it saves all of your revisions. This means if you hate something you changed you can easily look back at an earlier version. I use a few other programs for storyboarding and editing, I’ll do a blog on that later. For editing, I LOVE editing with pen and paper, but that isn’t a practical option when you have over 150 full sized pages single spaced to revise. So, I am learning to suck it up and edit on my computer.
  15. How do you overcome writer’s block?
    Good question! I used to suffer from writer’s block a fair bit. I would only write when the perfect mood struck me. The Guardians series has probably sat for over a year in the past, not being touched. I think having a kid changed that. I don’t get to choose when I can write anymore, and so I just have to write when I can. I learned to write through the writer’s block. (psst, I have an upcoming blog post on this topic! So much to look forward too) ;)
  16. How do you motivate yourself to write?
    As mentioned above, I write when I can. Somedays I am honestly too exhausted, so I don’t write. I give myself a free pass on that. If it starts happening too many days in a row I force myself to spend at least an hour writing that night, and that usually gets me past whatever hump I was stuck on.
  17. Authors who inspire you as a writer?
    Obviously J.K. Rowling for Harry Potter. This really helped me start to love reading, which in turn has made me a better writer. A HUGE shout out goes to Jenna Moreci. Not only is she a great writer but her youtube channel is pure gold. She is hilarious, and gives great writing advice. I admire her ability to establish and maintain a successful writer’s platform as a self published author. Check her out if you are at all interested in writing: click here
    John Green as well, he is a wonderful writer and seems like a great guy! He also has an interesting youtube channel with his brother, Hank (not all about writing, it’s about pretty much everything). click here
  18. Books that inspire you as a writer?
    All of Harry Potter, obviously. The Outsiders was one of the first books that taught me that a book could exist in our world (not a fantasy world) and still be interesting. The Fault in our Stars; heartbreaking and amazing. Violet Eyes series by Nicole Luiken, Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, Glimmerglass by Jenna black, Sarah Dessen books. I guess I have a thing for book series!
  19. Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?
    Read all of the things. Reading makes you a better writer. Read at the level in which you want to write. Also, bonus advise: keep sucking until you suck less. Almost everyone has to write A LOT before their writing is any good. Even then it’s not guaranteed, but at least you have a shot :)
  20. Writing goals this year
    This year, my goal was to start using my twitter account and get my blog up and running, which, YAY! I was also hoping to make some writer friends, which I did! So, awesome! Next year I am hoping to nail down a cover artist and editor for my first book, and maybe publish by the end of the year.

TAGS: For this post I tag my blogging writer friends: @ScarlettOlivier @Sachula @LadyWulff @ab2fsycho @NancyLumgair @EKsShadows @RyanMedinaX

Thanks to all of you who read all the way to the end, or those of you who scrolled down here to see if I had anything else to say! Next Monday I’ll be back with a post to get in the holiday spirit! I created a fun holiday tag about my book characters :)

-Alison

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