Phantomwriter143, aka Inkcouragement tagged me for the “Liebster Award.” Details about this and other Blog Awards can be found on the Ephemera page. I’m not sure I can find many qualifying bloggers who are willing to participate, but here are my answers to the assigned questions, which all have to do with the writing process:
1. What kind of music do you like to listen to while writing, if any at all?
It’s always instrumental (lyrics derail my train of creative thought), and sometimes it’s one track for several hours at a time. I also have music playing when I sleep. When I was writing Irish Firebrands, it was Irish trad, soundtracks and classical. For The Passions of Patriots, so far it’s mostly Wagner’s operatic accompaniments, some Beethoven, and a few soundtracks.
2. What is it about writing that keeps you going, even when you’re not sure you want to continue?
Now that I’m disabled, writing is the only creative outlet that I have left.
3. Who is your favourite author?
Any author who loves language, commands an advanced vocabulary, and isn’t afraid to use it, will have my business.
4. What genre do you read, but swear you’ll never write?
If I wouldn’t write in a genre, I wouldn’t be interested in reading it, either. Actually, my answer is the reverse: I wrote Irish Firebrands in the Romance genre, which I don’t read.
5. What do you do when you tell yourself something along the lines of ‘I’ll only procrastinate a little bit longer’?
I check deadlines to see how much leeway I have. I know how long it takes me to do things, so it’s easy to tell if I’m in the green zone, the yellow zone, or the red zone.
6. What brings you right into a writing mood, and how do you keep it that way?
Re-reading my current work-in-progress. There’s always some editing to do, even if I’m temporarily short on new material to write. I’m an “organic” writer (or, a “pantser”), so writer’s block doesn’t exist, for me.
7. Favourite series, and favourite stand alone?
I don’t read series, although a few of the books I like enough to re-read have had one sequel. Probably my all-time favorite is The Robe, by Lloyd C. Douglas.
8. Have you ever seriously screwed up your sleeping schedule because of a book? Was it worth it, and what were you reading?
Of course I have, and of course it was, and it’s happened so often, I can’t put a finger on any particular title, but because I’m currently engaged in research for my historical novel, I’ll go out on a limb and say the last one might have been one of Siegfried Sassoon’s novels.
9. What do you do to remember those ideas you come up with when you’re not able to write?
I use what I call a “paper brain,” meaning that I write longhand notes on whatever scrap of paper is handy at the time, for future reference.
10. Are there any books or series that you thought were great, and then the ending just ruined everything for you?
In my experience, a story that ends that badly usually gives advance warning, because it exhibits serious writing flaws throughout the book, so the end isn’t a surprise. There have been too many of those to count.
11. Why do you write?
Writing is my calling, now. When I was in my early twenties, a wise old man admonished me to develop my writing skills, so that I would increase my influence for good in the world. During the next thirty years, I wrote a lot of non-fiction: mainly research papers (while I was earning my undergraduate and graduate degrees), plus two self-help manuals and some crochet patterns published in two craft magazines. I started writing fiction five years ago. Now the occupation I list on my income tax return is “independent writer,” although I’m nowhere near the break-even point.