Recently, I posted a Call to Writers, asking my fellow author bloggers to allow me to interview them for guest-spots on my blog. (If you are interested in participating, please contact me.) I asked everyone thirty-five questions — some were basic, and others were multi-part inquiries — and I asked them to answer only what they wanted to or what was applicable. My friend and fellow-blogger, Viv Drewa, had some very captivating responses which I’m sure will enchant you, as well. After you read her interview, please be sure to hop on over to her blog and follow her for a regular dose of her charm and wit. And now, I turn the microphone over to Viv…
1. Please tell us your name (or pen name) and a little bit about yourself:
2. Please provide the link to your blog (and website, Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc.):
3. How many books have you written?
Two novels and one short story. I’ve also contributed two short shorts to two collections.
4. Has any of your work been published yet? If so, please share the link(s) to purchase it:
The Angler and the Owl, eBook
The Angler and the Owl, paper
The Owl of the Sipan Lord
From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life
Ashtrays to Jawbreakers Book 1:
Ashtrays to Jawbreakers Book 2:
5. If you have been published, did you self-publish or use traditional publishing? Why? If you have not been published yet, what are your plans for the future?
I initially self-published but my WIP will be through a publisher.
6. How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Since I was 9 to 10 I wanted to be an author
7. What would you say motivates you to keep writing?
My imagination and the desire to create.
8. Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading (or what is the last book you read)?
I have so many favorite authors it would take a whole page to list. I just finished “Paranormal Persistence ~Caveat~: :True Experiences” which was fascinating!
9. What is your preferred reading method? (i.e., Kindle, Nook, paperback, hardback, etc.) Why?
I really like Kindle eBooks but if the book isn’t available as an eBook then paperback is fine. I like to read and an eReader can hold a lot more books than my book shelf.
10. Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?
Third person, either tense. It depends on the story line and if I feel it’ll be better in past or present tense. I also tried to publish one of my novels in the first person, present tense and received bad reviews.
11. Do you “always read” or do you take breaks between reading books?
I always read and never take breaks between readings.
12. How many books would you say you read in a year? How many at any one time?
Depends on the length but I’d say about 20 a year. I tried reading two at a time and decided it was too frustrating. I didn’t know which book to pick up.
ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BOOK::
13. What is the title of your current work in progress of the most recent manuscript you’ve completed?
“The Owl of the Sipan Lord” is my most recent completed novel
14. 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?
Primarily paranormal. The sub-genre will be thriller or murder mystery. There’s a little romance in them, too. I like to think ‘outside-the-box’ when I write to make them different.
15. What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed?
I love South America. Their cultures and traditions so I think of a way to build a story around on the countries.
16. What is your target audience’s age, gender, etc.?
I don’t have a target audience.
17. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your story?
Martin and Clare Montgomery worked as an archaeological team until Martin’s accidental death at a dig they were working on in Peru. Clare swore she’d never go back, but after having a dream about the dig that didn’t add up to the finds of the area, and the help of the Peruvian Pygmy Owl and a blue-eyed spirit, she did.
Her long-time friend and mentor, Carl Windmueller, believed in following dreams and encouraged her to go. He tries to research what she saw in the dream but is visited by a red-eyed spirit that causes him to have a massive heart attack when he gets close.
Unfortunately, Clare doesn’t understand what Carl was looking into by the books on his desk. Her friend Cord gets a team together and they head back to Peru.
The re-eyed spirit does all it can to keep the team from finding it’s secret that has been kept for the past 1300 years. Near fatalities plague the team taking her back to the day her husband died. But she kept on until the truth was fully discovered.
This is a story about a widow who, with the help of an owl and blue eyed spirit, solves her husband’s murder, and a 1300 year old mystery in Peru.
ABOUT HOW YOU WRITE::
18. How often do you write?
I try to write daily but sometimes the day gets away from me.
19. Approximately how many words do you write at each sitting?
About 500 or more. It depends on how much time I have.
20. Do you do your own editing or send it to someone else?
I had a friend edit them, but now that I’m going with a publisher they will take care of the editing.
21. 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?)
I plan out the whole novel and start writing. Sometimes I will go back because of something I think of that would add to the story.
22. Do you have a muse? If so, please elaborate. If not, what inspires you?
No, I don’t have a muse. My novels are inspired by different things, really. Not any one thing.
23. How long does it take you to write a full manuscript?
Depends on the length and whether I run into ‘writer’s block’. The longest it took me was eight months.
24. Do you give yourself a word limit for each day or a time limit to finish your novel? If so, please elaborate.
I don’t give myself limits on a daily basis but I do limit the time it takes me. I plan on eight months, since that was the longest it ever took me. If I finish sooner great, if not, no problem.
25. How do you come up with your character names and geographic location / business names?
After I interview my characters (something I read to help develop characters in a writer’s magazine) I read over the interview and come up with names.
26. How long (or how detailed) are the notes you take before you start writing?
My second novel, “The Owl of the Sipan Lord” required a lot of research so my notes were extensive. I even contacted a well-renowned archaeologist for help. He was very helpful suggesting research pages to help with my questions.
27. Do you have any “must haves” to help you write? (i.e., a full cup of coffee, a view of the ocean, etc.)
28. 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 write in the morning when it’s quiet.
29. Does your real life ever neglected because of your writing? If so, how do you feel about that?
No. I’m very organized and have a good routine. It’s usually the opposite: my writing gets neglected because of real life.
30. What is the quirkiest thing you do or have ever done when writing?
I don’t like to have shoes and socks on. I feel my brain gets more oxygen this way.
ABOUT YOUR WORK::
31. If you have written more than one novel, which is your favorite and why?
I can’t really claim to like one more than the other.
32. If you could be one of your own characters for a day, who would it be and why?
I would be France Hunter form “The Angler and the Owl” because she’s an ornithologist who specializes in owls and I’ve love them all my life.
33. If one of your books became a movie, who would you choose for the “perfect cast” of main characters?
Wow. I never thought about that. For “The Angler and the Owl” I would choose Harrison Ford for the part of John Sinclair, Sigourney Weaver as France Hunter and Michael Ely as Doc.
34. What is the oddest thing you have ever researched for one of your books?
Burials in Peru during the Moche period. I was excited to see how they buried their dead in the early 200 CE
35. What is the most difficult thing you have ever researched for one your books and why?
That would be for my WIP. I wasn’t able to find out anything about the police investigation techniques in South America so I’m using our local police procedures.
Thank you, Viv, for allowing me to interview you. I hope everyone else has enjoyed learning about you and your work as much as I have.