What is your writing process like?
This is a pretty difficult question for a person who's a bit willy-nilly about how I write. Of course it starts with an idea, a very rough idea. I read about things that might be relevant to the book, I spend a lot of time thinking about scenes both before and after I've written them, and I always wait to be surprised by what my characters get up to on the page.
From a day to day process of writing, it's much more planned. With a toddler in tow, when I can write depends a lot of when someone is willing to spend the day with him. I'm very lucky to have friends and family who love to take him off my hands for a while. One great thing is that he is now getting better at occupying himself, so that means I can stand at the kitchen counter and get some work in as well. Before having a child I thought I needed to "gear up" to write. I needed large chunks of time. I needed the right writing environment. Now I just write when I can. Oh, everyone is quiet? I'll write a paragraph. Oh, you're going to the supermarket honey? Take the baby. I'm going to write.
Of course, this shift has been a bit difficult for me. I'm a start to finish writer. I like to set out to write a book and then a few weeks later have a draft done. I wrote the first draft of Play Me in a weekend about 12 years ago. I wrote Against Her Rules in 11 days. Hard as Ice. 2 months. And now, 21st Century Rake has taken 5. FIVE MONTHS!
Still, I'm working to figure it all out. Here's hoping book 5 comes sooner!
Do you listen to music to enhance your writing?
I like background noise of all sorts when I'm writing. I think it stems back to my former work as a journalist. Newsrooms are busy places. Loud places. And yet, we have to produce with a tight deadline. I crave public places to write. Coffee shops, cafes, even our local museum. So when I'm writing at home, as I often do, I need music to fill the empty space.
My choice in music depends on the scene. If it's a romantic scene, I want romantic music. I love going to Songza and just putting on a random playlist. In fact, that's where I get most of the music I listen to while writing. I find the mood I'm trying to capture in a scene, and find a playlist that suits. It's perfect for me.
What two songs best describe your overall body of work?
This is a hard question, because there are songs that I've played over and over while working on particular books, but there's never an overlap. So I'm going to cheat, or perhaps take the easy way out, and just share the two songs that I've been playing a lot of lately while I finish 21st Century Rake.
First, 2CELLOS version of With or Without You by U2. It's hauntingly romantic and has served me well with this story.
And second, Sean McCann, formerly of Great Big Sea has a new album out. His song "Help Yourself" has really helped me figure out Asher in some scenes.
And now that I'm done, why not pop over and visit awesome author Dani Jace and see how she answered these questions?
See you next week!