I recently posted a Call to Writers, asking those of you who write to allow me to interview you for a guest spot in my blog. I was astounded by the response (and if any of you still want to participate, please contact me for details). I asked thirty-five questions and gave the interviewee the freedom to answer only what they wanted. My friend and fellow-blogger, Marlaina Gray, had some wonderful responses which I’m sure you will find as fascinating as I did. When you’re done reading the interview, please go on over to Marlaina’s blog and make sure you follow her for more charming stories. And now, I present for your pleasure, Marlaina…
1. Please tell us your name (or pen name) and a little bit about yourself:
My (pen) name is Marlaina Gray — I write snarky-funny first-person novels and also children’s books that are not so snarky.
2. Please provide the link to your blog (and website, Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc.):
3 .How many books have you written?
A novel and part of a sequel, and 6-8 children’s books in various stages of development.
4. Has any of your work been published yet? If so, please share the link(s) to purchase it:
Not yet but I remain hopeful. 🙂
5. How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Probably 7 or 8? I started writing poetry in grade school, then moved on up to stories. I’ve always known I wanted to work with words for a living.
6. What would you say motivates you to keep writing?
I’m good at it and it makes me happy. Also, these stories would keep floating around in my head anyway so I might as well do something useful with them.
7. Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading (or what is the last book you read)?
Adult: Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Peter Beagle, Jane Austen, Anne Lamott. Jennifer Weiner is so funny. Children’s: Mo Willems, Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss. I’m currently reading “The True Secret of Writing” by Natalie Goldberg.
8. What is your preferred reading method? (i.e., Kindle, Nook, paperback, hardback, etc.) Why?
Paperback. I don’t yet own an e-reader, though I’m betting I’ll have to cave and get one at some point.
9. Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?
All of the above, depending on the story. I prefer grown-up novels in first person, children’s books in third person, though I’m currently working on a children’s book in first person so I’m breaking my own rules.
10. Do you “always read” or do you take breaks between reading books?
People take breaks between reading books?
11. How many books would you say you read in a year? How many at any one time?
Wow, I have no idea. I go right from one to the next. Usually one at a time, unless it’s two.
ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BOOK::
12. What is the title of your current work in progress of the most recent manuscript you’ve completed?
I’ll stick to the novel here: It’s called “My Last Wedding,” and it’s about a veteran bridesmaid-turned-newlywed who gets pulled back into the wedding planning game, in classic “one last job” fashion, to play a friend’s matron of honor in what degenerates into the wedding from hell.
13. What is your novel’s genre? Would you say there is a sub-genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?
Women’s fiction, and I think most books that deal with weddings or wedding planning either over-romanticize the process, or make the comic setbacks too over-the-top. So many things can and do go wrong with weddings, you don’t need to make things up.
ABOUT HOW YOU WRITE::
14. How often do you write?
I strive for daily, and get there when I can.
15. What is your method of writing? (i.e., Do you write the entire manuscript, then go back and make changes? Do you plan chapters as you go along or write the story then go back and add chapters? Do you re-read as you go along or after you are done with the first draft?
With this one, I wrote the whole thing first, then revised, got editing help, revised some more, and I’m having my critique group go through it for further feedback. I had a rough idea of where the chapters were as I went. I’m not sure I’ll take this approach as I continue the next one, but then, maybe I will.
16. Do you have any “must haves” to help you write? (i.e., a full cup of coffee, a view of the ocean, etc.)
Silence and somewhere comfy to sit.
17. Do you only write during a certain time of day or in a certain location? If so, do you make yourself stop after a certain time?
I have a day job and small children, so any spare time is writing time as far as I’m concerned. I stop when I realize I’m falling asleep.
Thank you, Marlaina, for allowing me to interview you. I hope everyone else has enjoyed learning about you and your work as much as I have.