Years ago, I took a writing class where the teacher advised us not to give our stories away. By that, she meant that we should not talk too much about them before getting them written. Talking about our stories, she said, steals some of their energy. The more we talk them out, the more we lose some of the drive to actually capture them on the page. I have found this to be true and often have to hold myself back from submitting a project to my critique group too soon. I do better to keep my stories close as they develop. So I'm going to keep my answers brief.
1. What are you working on right now?
I'm polishing two picture books and drafting a YA suspense novel.
2. How does your YA suspense novel differ from other work in its genre?
As I write this, it's getting late, and if I fret over this question too long, I'm not going to get to bed, and then I'll be cranky in the morning. So in the best interest of all the individuals who I will encounter tomorrow, I'm going to skip this one.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I wrote short stories, articles, and essays for years before having the courage to tackle a book. Writing for a YA audience has always been my first love, so it was a given that I would try my hand at YA novels. And writing flash fiction has helped me to be concise - very helpful with the ever decreasing word counts desired in picture books these days.
4. How does your writing process work?
Until recently, my process consisted of snatching as many moments at the computer as I could. Those moments were hard to come by, so I never squandered them. Now that I have more time, I'm realizing that I have a real need for structure. Although I've always considered myself a pantster, with my current WIP, I've deliberately tried something new. I've done a ton of planning. I'm hoping this means the actual writing will go more quickly. I guess I'll have to wait and see.
5. Any departing words of wisdom for other writers?
As best you can, focus on your work and trust the process. The more we get involved with social media, the more distracted we can become with the successes of others. It can seem like everyone is moving ahead but you. Nothing good comes from comparing ourselves to others. We're all on our own journey. We all have to find the way that works for us.
Now this is the point where I'm supposed to nominate other writers to answer these questions, but I think this has made the rounds pretty thoroughly (and like I said, it's getting late and I really want to get to bed.) So, if you're reading this, and you'd like to share a little bit about your WIP, please consider yourself tagged. And do stop back and let me know you've posted so I can come by and read your answers.