Everyone loves a good game of tag. The weather's crappy today so instead of playing outside, we are playing blog tag.
Meet my agency sister, Corabel Shofner. If you read her blog, and you should, you'll see why she's a fantastic writer. VOICE. You can't buy that stuff.
Because we share an agency mom, Corabel tapped me to answer a few questions about writing. Her answers are better than anything I could come up with, so go read hers first. If you forget to come back, that's okay. I forgive you. The internet is a giant sink hole.
Now, the questions!
1. WHAT AM I WORKING ON?
Mostly I’m trying not to come unglued while waiting for the release of my debut. I've been working on worrying and fretting and hoping and fantasizing and hand wringing. If it sounds like a full-time job, it is. Trust me. Other writers keep telling me to enjoy this special time, and it's great advice, except it feels like trying to enjoy your insides being pulled out through your nose.
Oh, was the question about writing? Oops. My new book is a coming-of-age story set in Vermont in the 1970s. I adore the main character, Alison, and feel really badly about all the difficulties I've strewn in her path. Sorry, Alison! (Not really.)
2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?
If my genre is a women’s fiction, then I’m on the literary end of the spectrum, although I promise there are no references to Voltaire and no offhand mentions of obscure Romanian poets. My tone ranges from the sassy to the elegant, depending on the point of view I’m taking.
3. WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
I don't know! I just get ideas. My mother said I always had too many of them and she was right. She also said my ideas would get me in trouble. The jury's still out on that one.
I seem to be enthralled with family relationships and long-hidden secrets, but my main characters are a mixed bunch. Geneva, the veterinarian in HOUSE BROKEN, is a hard-headed, focused mother of two teenagers who is one disaster away from losing it. In my second novel (MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE, September 2015), the main character is a thirty-year-old woman who takes off into the high Sierra to sort through her tragic past. And now I’m channeling an eleven-year-old. Did I mention I’m absolutely smitten with her?
4. HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
You’d think that someone trained as a scientist would develop a detailed plot and know the complete history of their characters before starting to write. Nope. I tried that for about ten minutes. Too impatient. For the book I’m writing now, I don’t even know how the scene I’m writing will end, much less the chapter or the entire story. It’s a highly disturbing feeling for someone as organized as I am. No wonder I'd rather write a blog post!
I can’t write quickly. I search for the right word, the right phrasing, the first time around. I do try to write steadily, however, so eventually I get to the end. I keep obsessive track of my word count, charting my progress as if I was crossing a vast ocean which, in a sense, I am.
Okay, enough about me. Let's see if we can find someone who's got more sensible answers. Anyone?
Oh, look! We're in luck! I found Pam Jenoff!
Pam's is the internationally bestselling author of seven novels, including The Kommandant's Girl. Her latest, The Winter Guest, is the story of 18 year old twin sisters struggling to raise their younger siblings in war-torn Poland when one of them finds a downed American paratrooper in the woods. Pam's books are inspired in part by her work at the Pentagon and as a diplomat for the State Department in Europe.
She'll answer the same four questions I did on her Facebook page. Take it away, Pam!