Doing interviews

Recently I have done two interviews, they haven’t yet been posted so I can’t link to them. But it made me think about previous interviews I’ve done. I thought it would be interesting to look back over different ones I’ve done in the past couple of years. Here’s one of the first one’s I ever did (by fellow author Rachel Jones), just before my fourth book released. It’s interesting to see how things change and how others stay the same. Check it out:

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I loved to write when I was in school but I never actually thought I could be a “real” writer. When I was a teenager, a favorite aunt used to predict that I would be a writer since I loved books so much, but it wasn’t until my husband challenged me to give it a try when he got a little frustrated with how much time I spent reading. He thought it would be a more productive use of my time 😉 That was close to ten years ago now. Wow! The time has flown!

What genre(s) do you write?

So far, everything I have written has been Sweet Regency era Romance.

How many books have you written and how many of those have been published?

I have completed eight manuscripts. Three are published, one is in production (releasing May 5th) and a fifth is in final draft stage, about to be sent off to our publisher.

How many hours a day do you devote to writing?

Unfortunately, I tend to be very sporadic – for spurts of days/weeks I will write feverishly, then I will go weeks without writing. But the “business” of writing, now that I’m published, requires attention more regularly so I would say I average a few hours/week devoted to promotional activities and social media as Wendy May Andrews.

What’s more important: character or plot?

To me they are equally important although romance books are more character driven than plot driven. The majority of my books tend to have a mystery woven through them that requires the characters to interact and grow.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Promoting it 🙂 I would be as happy as a lark if I could just write and forget about trying to sell the books. The good news is, everyone says that the best promotional tool is the next great book.

What does your family think of your writing?

My parents are my biggest fans and have read every word I’ve written with enthusiasm, including multiple drafts of the same book. My husband is very supportive of the idea of my writing but has only read one of my books (he’s not a prolific fiction reader). But he’s very proud of me and is willing to order pizza when I’m deeply embedded in my writing cave. All three are very vocal in telling everyone they meet that their wife/daughter is a writer. That means the world to me.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Like all writers, I am an avid reader. I also like to be active, taking long walks around my city or in conservation areas in the outskirts of town. I also do a lot of volunteer work. And my husband and I love to travel. I think exposing myself to other environments and observing people makes me a better writer.

What authors do you like to read?

My favorite Regency writer is Georgette Heyer. I also love Julia Quinn and Susan Elizabeth Philips. I’ve also recently discovered a new favorite – fellow Clean Reads writer, Rachel Jones 🙂

Do you have future projects in mind?

I am working on a final draft of a sequel to my first Clean Reads release, The Duke Conspiracy. I also have a few other completed manuscripts that need sprucing up before submitting them to our publisher. And I have a fabulous idea for a Western Historical trilogy that has been scratching at the door of my muse so I’m hoping to get to work on that shortly.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Sweet romance of any type – contemporary, historical, romantic suspense, etc – I have yet to meet one I didn’t like. But I will read just about anything. I love cozy mysteries as well as thrillers and women’s fiction. I also like to read the news and advice columns.

Do you write every day?

I should, but I don’t. What tends to work best for me is if I block off a couple weeks or a month in which I plan to write a book. I prepare for it by freezing meals and scrubbing my house, then I clear my schedule and set my word count goals (5000-7000/day). Then I will write for 5 or 6 hours to accomplish the daily goal. This works for me because I am immersed in the book and keep track of the characters and story threads. It is not at all a balanced way of doing it but it has worked for me for my most recent few manuscripts. I love NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – which is every November.

How did your writing journey begin?

With a dare from my husband 🙂

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Luckily, I haven’t yet been struck with true writer’s block, but if I ever have trouble with a plot point, I have a circle of writer friends that I can turn to. And my critique partner is very helpful. We get together periodically and discuss our plots and any challenges we might be facing.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Keeping myself entertained 🙂

What motivates you to write?

I find it remarkably satisfying. This kind of ties in with the previous question. I find these two questions difficult to articulate. It just makes me happy.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep at it. Learn more about the craft of writing, no matter where you are in your career. We can all learn to be better writers and grow.

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