Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Way Back Wednesday: 5 Things About Me

 Six years ago,
 a fellow author posted things she wanted her readers to know about her. I thought that was a pretty cool idea, so I jotted down a few ideas of my own, sharing five writer-type things I want my readers to know about me.

Most of them are still true, though I'm doing a much better job of making time for reading. I still sample an eclectic mix of titles in various formats (traditional books, e-books and audiobooks) but in the past year, I've set a goal to finish the ones worth completing, which has done wonders for my reading habit. 

And now, on this side of the pandemic, I'm absolutely certain that my 2016 conclusion is true. The very things that compete for time with my writing are the things that give me something to write about.

It all starts with the characters. For me, everything begins with the people -- the story, the plot, the entire book. I start by creating a cast of characters -- who they are, what they like, what they dislike, what they want -- and a problem or inciting event. From there, the rest of the story emerges.

I'm a pantser. I don't plot. Sure, I have an idea of where I want the story to go, but my characters usually express their opinions, too. In the end, I may or may not end up where my synopsis said I was going (I usually don't). You've heard of flying by the seat of one's pants? That's how I write.

I enjoy promotion. Although I truly dislike promotion of the "buy my book" variety, I love any form of promotion that puts me in touch with readers. I like writing newsletters, crafting blogs, tweets and Facebook posts and meeting people at book signings and events. It feeds a different part of my creative side than writing does, and the feedback I receive really does get filtered into my books. One reader comment can trigger an entire subplot. 

I don't read nearly as much as I'd like to -- at least not when it comes to novels. As much as I try to squeeze in my stack of novels, I end up reading mostly non-fiction unless I'm on vacation. During the school year, I read a lot of articles and books in the psychology/social science realm, but, since I believe everything we read impacts us in some way, I draw inspiration from these materials, too -- not just for the classes I teach and the articles I write, but also for my fiction, if indirectly.

I find a lot of my reading material on Twitter. My Friday Feature has become one of my favorite things to write, and I often find the article that sparks it all in a tweet. I read very little in the way of print media any more, instead finding the "latest and greatest" via social media, which leads me to the electronic version.

As much as I complain and become frustrated over a lack of writing time, I really do believe that a writer can't write unless she has a life and experiences to inspire her. Fortunately, my life provides plenty of those things. 

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