Writers on Writing: Stefanie London

stefanie-london-smlStefanie London is the USA Today bestselling author of over ten contemporary romances with humour, heat and heart.

Growing up, Stefanie came from a family of women who loved to read. Thus, it was no surprise Stefanie was the sort of student who would read her English books before the semester started. After sneaking several literature subjects into her ‘very practical’ Business degree, she got a job in Communications.

When writing emails and newsletters didn’t fulfil her creative urges, she turned to fiction and was finally able to write the stories that kept her mind busy at night.

Originally from Australia, she now lives in Toronto with her very own hero and is currently in the process of doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, lipstick, romance novels and zombie movies.10996090_1603341489879313_3655922765488318212_n

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

That you have to find a healthy balance between trusting yourself and taking advice. It’s absolutely possible to edit the life out of a manuscript by taking on every piece of advice you receive (especially if you’re getting feedback from multiple sources). However, some of the best changes I’ve made to my manuscripts were based on editorial feedback. The more you write the better you’ll be able to tell the good advice from the not so good.

How has this helped you as a writer?

It’s made my editorial process a little less stressful, because I’m able to trust my gut more when making decisions on how to refine my stories. I’m better at picking up when something isn’t working and figuring out how to fix it. Whereas before, revisions were a lengthy process because I was still learning so much and I didn’t always trust myself to take a story in the right direction.

Mac or PC?

I have always been a PC kinda gal, but I bought my first MacBook a few weeks ago. I’m still trying to figure it out!

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Both. I’ve used Word for most of my writing life, but I recently started playing around with Scrivener. Initially I wanted to use it for creating series documents/bibles. But now I’m starting to see how it might work for my process of writing stories as well.slws

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

Nope. I use my iPad for internet browsing and reading eBooks only.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Does needing to have a coffee with me at all times count? Not really. I tend to write later in the day (after lunch) because that’s when I’m most creative, but otherwise I sit down and write. Sometimes I re-read sections, sometimes I don’t. I usually just go with the flow.

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I usually start by doing some high-level plotting and digging into my characters. This allows me to come up with my concept, a rough guide of what the story is going to be about (including my turning points) and the main goals and conflicts of my characters. Whether or not I research depends on the book. Because I write contemporary romances, the level of research purely depends on the topics/subject matter covered in the book. Some have a lot of research and others have very little.millionaireunderthemistletoe_500x750-2-e1475860407826

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

In my apartment with a coffee and a blanket.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

In summer, I sometimes venture out to cafes to write. But I have such a nice spot to write at home, I’m perfectly happy there as well.

Visit Stefanie’s website for the latest news.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Writers on Writing: Debbie Johnson

debbie-johnson-author-photoDebbie Johnson is a best-selling author who lives and works in Liverpool, where she divides her time between writing, caring for a small tribe of children and animals, and not doing the housework.

She worked as a journalist for many years, until she decided it would be more fun to make up her own stories than to tell other people’s. After trying her hand at pretty much every genre of writing other than Westerns and spy dramas, she has settled on women’s fiction that seems to make people laugh and make people cry, often at the same time.

Her books include The Birthday That Changed Everything, Pippa’s Cornish Dream, and Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe, all published by HarperCollins. She also ghost-wrote model and presenter Abbey Clancy’s debut novel, Remember My Name.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

That it’s a craft that needs to be learned, as much as a natural gift. I do think to some extent you have to have a natural talent to tell stories, use words, create pictures and character – but that will get you as far as a couple of scenes, or a lovely few chapters. The rest of it – how to structure a whole book, pace, balance, writing for certain audiences – is a skill. Some of it you can learn through other people, and by reading analytically – but mainly I’d say you simply need to get stuck on, give it a go, and constantly be looking for ways to improve. Don’t be afraid of criticism, always remain open to the fact that your work of genius might not be quite as brilliant as you like to believe!christmas-at-the-comfort-food-cafe-2

How has this helped you as a writer?

It’s helped me to progress from being someone with some great ideas to being someone with some books published! If you want to write for your own pleasure, to create art, then go for it. The world needs that. But if you want to write with the aim of making a living, and if you want other people to read and enjoy your stories, then you have to counter the creative process with commercial realism. I’m not saying you need to chase trends – that doesn’t usually work – but that you need to think beyond your own satisfaction, and try to imagine your book being read by someone who isn’t you. Have you explained your heroines motives in a way that makes the story believable? Have you answered all the questions that need to be answered? Would anybody other than you give a damn? A good editor – or a good friend – can help you with all of this, but you can also get into the discipline of doing it yourself as you gain experience. It’s a good idea to be your own benign critic.

Mac or PC?

PC.

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Word. I don’t even know what Scrivener is!

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

No, I am old school and use a little notebook and a pen.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I get myself into the right frame of mind by drinking vats of coffee, and trying to ensure that nothing else is lurking in the corners of my brain to distract me – because it will! I drop my kids off at school, come home, make the coffee, mess around on social media for half an hour, then plunge right in. I usually work for a solid four hours or so, before doing a few jobs around the house and going off to get the kids from school again.

Do you start by writing or researching first?

It depends on the book, and the topic. It’s easy to get so hung up on research that you lose sight of the fact that you are writing fiction. It’s important to get authenticity, but not so much that you spend the whole day on google maps, or reading up on the history of the Mafia, or whatever!

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

On my sofa, with my dogs by my side!

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

As above – although it is sometimes nice to venture into a green space and enjoy the sunlight.

Visit Debbie’s website for the latest news.

Follow her on Twitter  or on Facebook – but be warned, she mainly talks about dogs.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Writers on Writing: Honorée Corder

honoree-31Honorée Corder is the author of 20 books, including You Must Write a Book, Vision to Reality, Prosperity for Writers, Business Dating, The Successful Single Mom book series, If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules, and The Divorced Phoenix. She is also Hal Elrod’s business partner in The Miracle Morning book series. She also does all sorts of other magical things, and her badassery is legendary.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

Good writing comes from a consistent writing habit. The more you write, and work with editors to help you develop your writing craft, the better you’ll get. Developing a writing habit, that is exercised daily or at least 5-6 days a day, is crucial.

How has this helped you as a writer?

I think I’m a better writer than I was when I wrote my first book 12 years ago (at least I hope I am!).

Mac or PC?

Mac, of course!

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Both.ymwb-cover-front-final

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

Yes, I use Evernote on all of my devices. I love using my iPad (with a keyboard) to write in moments of inspiration when I don’t have my computer.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I write every day at 6 a.m. I listen to up-tempo music (everything from classical to classic rock).

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I start by forming an idea, and writing an outline. Then I write and research simultaneously.

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

On my couch with a pot of coffee, followed by a cup of tea.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

Same as in the winter. 

Visit Honorée’s website for the latest.

Social Media

Twitter: @Honoree
Facebook: /Honoree
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Honoree-Corder/e/B005DO6BPQ/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/honoree

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Writers on Writing: Talina Perkins

talinaperkinsTalina Perkins is a bestselling romance writer of steamy military and paranormal romance books with fast paced plots, strong heroines who are always up for a challenge, and kick-ass alpha heroes.

Born and raised in Mayberry USA, this small town country girl spread her wings at the young age of fourteen and moved to Mexico where she’s lived for the past eighteen years. High on adventure and loving life, Talina now resides in sunny Puerto Vallarta with her four children and is married to a U.S. Recon Marine-her very own smokin’ hot hero.

By day she works as a cover artist and by night she spins her creativeness into intricate webs of words.

Talina also writes sweet romance as Roma Frost Hart. You can find out more about her forthcoming releases on her website.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

That’s a tough question. I’d have to say accountability to myself. Being your own boss comes with great responsibility. No one is going to stand behind you and tell you what needs to be done. You are solely responsible for putting your butt in the chair and getting words on the paper, whether it be digital or the old fashion way, indie or traditionally published.

How has this helped you as a writer?

It’s taught me to be independent and how to rely on myself, make solid decisions in my business and to consider my job as just that—a job. It’s also taught me how to reach out to my fellow authors for help. The actual writing process might be a solitaire job, but everything that comes afterward is a team effort and I wouldn’t be anywhere without my husband, friends, and editor.

Mac or PC?

PC, but I am counting down the days until I get my hands on a Mac if only for the convenience of auto sync between devices.

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Word. No bells and whistles for me. The more I have to play with, the more I get distracted. It’s all about getting the words on the paper. Since I am a linear writer, going one scene to the next, Word works best for me.bearwitness_adm_tp

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

I take massive amounts of notes using my iPad. OneNote is my go-to app whether on a mobile device or my computer at home. No matter where I am—out to dinner, shopping, stuck in traffic or watching TV with the family— all of my notes are at my fingertips. I’ve learned that if I use scrap pieces of paper here or there my thoughts and random ideas for a story get lost. Since I work on three series at a time it is very important I keep my ideas straight. I would hate to have one of my dragons casting a spell that my witches should be working. 😉

Do you have any writing rituals?

I thought I needed rituals when I first started out, then I discovered it was just a way for my muse (aka me!) to procrastinate. The only thing I do is think how close my deadline is and that usually gets my fingers flying. I also like to leave my characters off in a sticky situation so that when I dive back in it’s not hard to pick up where I left off from the previous day.tpchristmaswiththebear-adm-tp_4_orig

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I start with researching everything that has to do with the current story I happen to be working on as I plot. For example, I researched the local flora and fauna of Alaska before I began writing my Wylde Den series. Though most of it didn’t show up in book one, book two and book three show a lot of the setting which plays a big part of both stories.

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

My desk! I have a little area in my bedroom (homeschooling four kids has driven me into the only place of silence in my home!) where I can slip out of the mundane world surrounding me and into the world of my characters. As soon as the noise canceling earphones go on the limits are only bound by the imagination.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

LOL My desk. 😉 Rarely do I want to move out from under the cool cascade of air conditioning. My desk happens to be parked directly beneath our mini-split. Having lived in Puerto Vallarta for the last eighteen years, our summers consist of running from one air conditioned room to another.

Stay connected and up to date on upcoming releases, giveaways, and more. Sign up to her newsletter and never miss out on the romance! You can also follow Talina on Facebook, Twitter, and Google + and at her blog. She loves to talk with readers so please don’t be shy!

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Writers on Writing: Kendare Blake

Kendare Blake dock.jpgKendare Blake is the author of several novels and short stories, most of which you can find information about via the links above. Her work is sort of dark, always violent, and features passages describing food from when she writes while hungry. She was born in July (for those of you doing book reports) in Seoul, South Korea, but doesn’t speak a lick of Korean, as she was packed off at a very early age to her adoptive parents in the United States. That might be just an excuse, though, as she is pretty bad at learning foreign languages. She enjoys the work of Milan Kundera, Caitlin R Kiernan, Bret Easton Ellis, Richard Linklater, and the late, great Michael Jackson, I mean, come on, he gave us Thriller.

She lives and writes in Kent, Washington, with her husband, their two cat sons (Tybalt and Tyrion Cattister) and their red Doberman dog son, Obi Dog Kenobi.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

It’s hard to choose just one thing. I think the most important thing to remember for me, is that there’s always something else to learn. To keep on reading, and pushing myself. To try out new things, new styles, new points of view. New genres.

How has this helped you as a writer?

It keeps it interesting for me, and what keeps me getting better, rather than falling down and sucking intensely.

Mac or PC?

PC. Though Macs are very nice, I hear. And so pretty.

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Word. Though Scrivener would undoubtedly make my writing life so much easier. All the organizational tools for revising…I hear wonderful things about it from writers who swear by it. But why would I want to make my life easier? So, Word it is.

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

Nope. If I take notes they’re by hand or word processor. One time I took a memo in my phone but that was only the one time and I didn’t like it when it was happening.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Not really. Is a lunch break considered a ritual? Because I always take my lunch break. Not MY lunch break exactly, but I have a dog with acid reflux who needs to be fed rather regularly. Other than that, my process is that I think on an idea for a few years before it really starts to come together. But once it has, I just sit down and let it wrangle itself out on the page.

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I research on the fly. Or in revisions. I daydream first. Then I write.

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

There’s only one spot that I really write, and that’s in my office at my desk, with a Doberman on my feet and a Rottie mix beside my chair, occasionally with a Siamese-tabby looking over my monitor.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

However, I also like to get together with my writing group at a little coffee house we know. They have excellent paninis and white wine, and a bit of conversation makes the hours fly by.

Visit Kendare’s website for the latest news.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Writers on Writing: Author DNC

headshot_1DNC is an emerging writer, poet and inspiration pusher who’s debut novella, Untraditional: A Collection of Passion-Fy Short Stories, hit Amazon’s Best Seller’s list several time in its first year. With the goal of merging contemporary romance with poetic innuendos of erotica, and empowering women to pursue their personal passions in their unique way, DNC is creating a moment for something new and real in the writing arena.

At an early age in St. Louis, MO, DNC fell in love with writing. Creating her own books, with just a stapler and folded loose-leaf paper, she composed stories about best friends who travel to unknown islands and beat monsters in dark caves. As she grew, her relationship with writing translated to more mature topics like puppy love and its pain. However, their relationship would be become tested by grammar rules and her creativity began to dissipate. It was then, that she decided to take a step back and sever their connection.

She missed writing, but was unable to find a source of inspiration or motivation. It wasn’t until the devastating and sudden loss of her mother that she revisited her old love and turned to writing as her therapeutic outlet. She rekindled their affair, and would delve into darker, more sensual and alluring topics. One topic, in particular, catered to her personal imagination and intrusiveness-sexual exploration. She coined a new genre, passion-fy, that teeters the line between contemporary romance and adult erotica.

Untraditional, DNC’s debut novella, hit Amazon’s African-American Erotica Best Seller’s and was featured at the Emerging Writer’s Tent, during the 2016 Decatur Book Festival–the nation’s largest independent book festival. Her next project, a collection of poetry entitled Like. Love. Lust., will be released on November 27, 2016, and she remains excited about crossing over into new genres. She actively blogs within her blogosphere, Mid-WYFE Crisis, and shares short stories, poems and intimate details about her ongoing romance with writing through her creative writing microsite, Mid-WYFE Chronicles by DNC.

DNC currently resides in Atlanta, GA where she enjoys family life as a wife and mother of three amazing girls and two dogs. She continues to pursue her passion in writing while pushing to deliver on her most poetic dreams.20160911_073212

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

There is no formula but if you take risks and stay dedicated to honing your craft, you will always be proud of the final product.

How has this helped you as a writer?

There are a lot of standards set; “formulas” that some attempt to use. But what I’ve learned is each literary journey is different from those like Nikki Giovanni to J. K. Rowling. But the one consistent variable is always dedication and risk taking. So far, by being both, my debut, Untraditional: A Collection of Passion-Fy Short Stories has hit Amazon’s Best Seller’s List for African American Erotica several times and my readers are digging my words. That’s is the most important factor in the whole thing—reaching and engaging with readers.untraditional_coverart

Mac or PC?

Both. At home, PC is who captures my story while Mac follow’s me on the road.

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

I’m old school and stuck in my ways so I keep it simple with Word.

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

Neither. Is prefer either my old fashion spiral notebook or my cell phone.

Do you have any writing rituals?

When I’m at home I do, where I get my wine or coffee read which depends on the time of day, light my scented candle and get the mood right with the appropriate music.

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I write and research along the way. I use what I already know or believe and fact check as I fine tune the draft.lll_cover_winningcover_c_nov2016_front

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

My home writing nook, right next to my “Off The Wall” album and daily mood dice.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

On a calm beach with a Patron Margherita.

Visit DNC’s website for the latest news.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Writers on Writing: Hildie McQueen

hildie-mcqueen-author-photoBestselling author Hildie McQueen loves action, love and unusual settings. Author of western historical, Highland historical and contemporary romance, she writes something every reader can enjoy.

Most days she can be found in her pajamas hiding from deliverymen while drinking tea from her David Gandy coffee mug. In the afternoons she browses the Internet for semi-nude men to post on Facebook.

Hildie’s favorite past-times are romance conventions, traveling, shopping and reading.

She resides in beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt and two unruly Chihuahuas.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

I learned it’s more important to involve the reader in a story, bring them into the world so they can experience the adventure. It’s never enough to tell a story, but to write the book in a way that brings the characters to life.

How has this helped you as a writer?

The desire to bring a reader into my story has challenged me to become a better writer. Like any other craft, the more I write, the better I get at storytelling. My advice to new writers is to write daily. Constant honing of writing pays off’. Believe me every writer will notice the change in their craft as they learn and work to make their stories better.

Mac or PC?

I’m an Apple girl. I have a MacBook Pro laptop that I write on when I sit in my recliner or when I travel. Last Christmas my husband surprised me with a huge iMac computer that I am absolutely obsessed with. I love working on it every day.

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

I use MS Word to write. I got Scrivener and it confused me. I hear it makes things easier. I wish I could learn it, but I am so used to Word I doubt things will change.

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

I scribble on everything, but not on any electronics. When I do research, I write on strange things, napkins, toilet paper rolls, it doesn’t matter. The worst is when a story idea flashes on Sunday at church, I’ll write a romantic scene on the program. Don’t tell my pastor!

Do you have any writing rituals?

I make a cup of tea, then I settle at my desk and I check my book stats and email. After going through email and taking notes for things I have to do later, I make a second cup of tea and get my write on.

I write for about an hour, take a break and walk around, do a chore or something, then I write for another hour. I keep going until it’s time to cook dinner or run errands. Usually I try to do at least 3,000 words a day.hildie-mcqueen-graphic

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I don’t have to research as much anymore, so I start by writing. I have done so much research about the west or Highlander romance that I know most things. When I get stuck, I hit the Internet or email authors that are specific to a certain subgenre.

However, the funny thing is when I write contemporary it takes more research sometimes. My last research was to figure out what breed of cattle would survive the best in a tropical climate. Go figure.

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

I love to write on my recliner in the winter. Laptop, hot tea and blanket, that has to be what heaven is like.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

I write at my desk mostly in the summer. I have a fan overhead and a view of the back deck that I can’t sit at because it’s too flipping humid!

Visit Hildie’s website for the latest news.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HildieMcQueen
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HildieMcQueen
Instagram: @HildieWrites

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco. All Rights Reserved.

Writers on Writing: Victoria Fry

victoria-fry-headshotVictoria Fry is a writing coach who’s there to be your creative catalyst and help you tell the stories jostling for room in your heart and mind!

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

That there’s no one size fits all definition for what makes someone a “real” writer. We all have our own habits, our own rituals, our own processes, and our own way of doing things, and people who (hopefully unintentionally) make you feel like a “lesser” writer because of the way you conduct your writing life are totally off-base.

I’m going to cheat a little and mention a second thing, but it’s related to what I just said and equally as important, and that’s that we create in seasons. We don’t have to be writing thousands of words every day to make progress with our writing. In fact, doing that and nothing else is a good way not to make progress. We need time to take care of ourselves, toy with writing prompts and new ideas, and delve into the planning stages, too, or we’ll pay the price mentally, physically, and creatively.

I call these different steps along the way “creative seasons” because they follow a cyclical pattern, and certain seasonal qualities match up well with the different stages, e.g. spring’s sense of refreshment and renewal with our need for self-care. The more we allow ourselves to move through each of the creative seasons, the better equipped we are for a long, productive, and joyful creative life.

How has this helped you as a writer?

It helped me salvage my love of writing. I got so caught up in industry standards and the “right” way to do things that I almost gave up writing for good. It was only once I’d walked away from it for a while and then come back to it with an open mind, one that was determined to combine the joy of writing I felt as a youngster with the discipline I’ve developed over time, that writing and I found each other again. This time it’s for keeps.

Mac or PC?

I’m a PC gal, through and through!

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Microsoft Word. I’ve heard wonderful things about Scrivener and am particularly keen to check out its formatting options for ebooks, but I’ve loved writing in Microsoft Word for well over a decade. I don’t think that’ll change anytime soon.

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

I don’t have either of those, but I do occasionally send myself text messages with story notes if I’m out and about without a notebook or my bullet journal, or if it’s late at night and I don’t want to turn on the light. I know, I know, the glare from the screen is awful, but I counteract that with an app called “Twilight,” which makes it much easier on the eyes.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Listening to music. What I listen to depends on my mood at the time, which character I’m writing about, and what’s going on in the scene. It could be anything from dubstep to pop to country, but I usually pull up RainyMood.com and have that in the background, too. If I’m really struggling to focus, sometimes RainyMood is all I’ll listen to.

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I might write a line or two, if the first thing that comes to mind is a scene (this usually happens if I’ve been inspired while watching a movie or TV show) but otherwise I tend to spend some time getting to know my characters and the stories behind their story first.

As for actual research, I do enough that I can write my rough draft without stopping every four seconds to look something up. Otherwise, I add placeholders in all caps that I can sort out as I work my way through the second draft.

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

I mostly write on my desktop computer at the moment, but if I’m using my laptop or (occasionally) writing by hand, in winter I love heading down to Starbucks, cozying up in one of their armchairs, sipping a cup of cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream, and listening to Christmas songs while I write.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

As much as I’d love to be able to write outside during the summer, I usually end up just basking like a cat in the sun. That means if any heavy writing sessions are going to happen, I have to sit my butt down at my desk, put my headphones on, start up a music playlist, and tune out all the summer loveliness outside. When I’m done, then I can enjoy the summer sun.

Visit Victoria’s website for the latest news.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco. All Rights Reserved.

Writers on Writing: Tamara Woods

author-pic-headshotTamara Woods is a poet, writer, and now a podcaster.

Tamara grew up in the poorest state of the Union as a laid-off coal miner’s daughter. She learned from this that money isn’t the root of all happiness, but it sure makes it easier. One fateful summer at a youth workshop she learned both the art of stolen kisses and being open in her poetry: lessons she’s never forgotten.

She didn’t wear the coolest clothes. She listened to alternative rock when everyone else was into hip hop. She was a staunch reader and an avid dreamer. She’d be the first to greet “the new kid” at school so they wouldn’t feel lonely. That little weird girl has grown to be an adult, who still cultivates friendships along a broad spectrum of personalities and interests. She still doesn’t want people to feel alone.

All of these aspects of her life have culminated into her writing that’s accessible to people. Her poetry is spoken word with a heavy emphasis on things that we all know and do. Her fiction hits on darker, uncomfortable subjects, because she’s a firm believer that stories can be beautiful without being pretty.

She’s living on an island now, still a misfit, but now there’s palm trees. Life feels differently in a world filled with palm trees. She geeks out on books, Doctor Who, Star Trek TNG (aka the best generation), and social media.the-shaping-cover

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

When I was much younger, I thought the writing had to come out perfectly. That editing would somehow change the integrity of the work. Oh how naïve I was! Editing is the backbone of the writing process. In order to have one, you have to have the other.

How has this helped you as a writer?

It’s improved my writing immensely. When my work goes in front of people, I want it to be as close to perfect as possible.

Mac or PC?

I’m a PC.

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Both, but I’m leaning more for Scrivener for novels and Word for short stories, poetry etc…

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

No, I take notes with a notepad and a pen. I can’t shake the habit and I just don’t see a need to update it. Writing by hand is much more natural to me.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Right now, I’m developing a habit that I’ll share with you. I’m following “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. It’s a book that’s supposed to help you unleash your creativity. One thing she advises is for you to write three pages every morning for about 30 mins. I’ve been doing these morning pages on my couch at between 7am and 8am. Then I go over to my desk for the rest of my writing day. I burn incense and play music in the background, usually something without any words. Beverages are key. Either frozen or hot coffee and a mason jar with ice water. (When I write it out, it seems a lot more complicated than it actually is.)

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I start by writing first. I like to get the idea down and then work backward to see what blanks I need to fill. Basically in order to find out what I don’t know, I need to start writing.

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

I’m in Hawai’i, so it’s all the same. Somewhere cool preferable in AC or in front of a fan. If I’m visiting my family in West Virginia, then I prefer to have hot cocoa.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

When it’s too hot in my apartment, then I like to go hangout in a library. It’s cool and usually quiet. I’m not a big write on the beach person, but it does happen occasionally.

Visit Tamara’s website for the latest news. You can find her YouTube videos where she posts a weekly writing vlog and geeks out about books. She also has co-edits a poetry journal: The Reverie Journal. She’s been published and you can find her work on Amazon.

Follow her on Twitter: @penpaperpad

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Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco. All Rights Reserved.

Writers on Writing: Sarah Fox

SARAHFOX- Author Photo.JPG

Sarah Fox, writer of cozy mysteries, was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

I think the most important thing I’ve learned is how to push through the difficult times. Whether I need to add several thousand words to a too-short first draft or a plot hole has tripped me up, I now know how to move forward and get over the hurdles that might have stopped me in my tracks a few years ago.

How has this helped you as a writer?

It has definitely helped me with meeting deadlines and juggling multiple projects. When I have one or more deadlines looming, I can’t let plot problems or other issues derail me for long, so being able to get myself back on track quickly has turned out to be a valuable skill.

Mac or PC?

PC.crepesofwrath

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Word. I confess that I’ve never even tried Scrivener! I dictate most of my work using Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

No, I write and take notes either on my computer or with pen and paper. However, I do a lot of editing on my Kindle.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I prefer to write earlier in the day rather than later, so I’ll usually have a writing session soon after finishing my day job. On days off from my day job, I’ll spend two to three hours writing first thing in the morning. Most of the time I like to have a cup of tea while I’m writing.

Do you start by writing or researching first?

It depends on the project, but typically I start writing and pause for research when I get to a point in the story where it’s required. I often don’t know exactly the type of information I’ll need until I’m into the story.

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

At my kitchen table, next to a large window so I can watch the snow falling and the birds at the feeder as I write.sarahfoxfoximage

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

Same place but with the window open and a fresh breeze coming in.

Visit Sarah’s website for all the latest news.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco