Real Life & Romance Blog
|Posted on 24 November, 2016 at 9:35|
Welcome to one of my favorite authors-Anna J Stewart!! Anna and I met and became fast friends at RWA Nationals a few years ago and now she's my date every year for the Harlequin and Berkley Publisher parties lol! I love this woman and her books!
What does your writing process look like?
When I first start a book, I use a number of different writing books to lock in on the characters: Tami Cowden's book on Archetypes, an Astrology book, and the Character Naming sourcebook. I write out all the information I need/think I'll need by hand in a spiral notebook then go back and highlight want I believe connects to the characters. Then I dive in to the first 100 pages, with a character list in front of me and the general conflict between the two. The deeper into the book I go, that's when I research and flesh things out. I hit Pinterest for images to inspire me, where they live, what they look like, what they drive or where they work. The middle takes me forever to get through it seems, but eventually everything clicks into place and the last 75 pages or so just flies.
I'm also one of those writers who edit as she goes. If something changes in the story as I'm writing, I immediately go back and fix it earlier. It makes for an easier editing job once the final first draft is done.
What advice has been the most helpful to you in your career?
Honestly? Write. Write, write, write. And read. The more I write, the faster the story comes and the words flow. Whoever said writing is like a muscle is absolutely right. When I haven't written for a while, it's difficult to get into the swing of things again.
The other piece of advice is to always keep the internal conflict in mind for whichever character's POV I'm in. Whether they say something, do something, or think something, the conflict has to be on the page, otherwise the reader won't know why to cheer them on.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I would have loved to have gone to cooking or baking school.
Do you read reviews? How do you celebrate the good, get over the bad?
Alas, I do. I've learned to embrace the bad ones as a badge of honor, but it's tough to hear almost cruel criticism of your work. I have a one star review for one of my books and it was my first bad review (from a reader, anyway), but when I read the whole review I realized she'd read the whole book, so, in the end, I won. I don't celebrate the good ones and I try not to bemoan the bad ones. Not everyone is going to love everything I write. It's just the way it is.
What type of scene do you find hardest to write? Scary, funny, romantic, sad?
No contest: I have the worst time writing love/sex scenes, LOL. It might be why I like writing sweet romance so much, but when I finally lock in on what the hero and heroine have at stake emotionally by being together, that usually makes it easier.
What is one subject you’d never write about as an author?
If you'd asked me a few months ago I probably would have said writing about a hero or heroine who had lost a child, but given I recently sold a book that will deal specifically with that subject, can't say that anymore. Probably something having to do with injuring animals. I tend to go for as much happy life as possible...the conflict will just have to suffice.
What is one career goal you’ve yet to achieve that you are striving for?
I want to be writing single title print books. I've come close, and written single title books that were released digitally, but...yeah. That's still the dream!
Moving on to the Fun Questions:
Do you have a recurring nightmare?
I used to have one when I was growing up, about ants carrying my family away from the house. Giant, people sized ants. *shudder* I hate ants.
Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I have a small scar across the bridge of my nose from when I was about a year old. Apparently I fell and hit my face on the edge of a toy chest.
Do you have any tattoos? Where & What?
Not yet, but I'm planning to get one soon! I'm hoping it'll be a thistle (in honor of my Scottish heritage) with a few symbols from my favorite TV shows thrown in.
Ready for the Lightning Round of ‘Have You Ever?’
Grab your coffee and take a sip if you have done any of these things.
Have You Ever…
-Written naked? No sip
-Gotten arrested? No sip
-Gotten into a bar fight? No sip
-Lied on a resume? No sip
-Pee’d in public? No sip
-Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick? Sip
-Had a crush on a friend or co-worker? Sip
-Lied about your age? No sip
-Taken candy from a baby? No sip
-Snuck in contraband snacks to a movie? Gulp
That’s it!! You survived Coffee Time With Jen!
Thank you for being a guest author!
Categories: writing life