Commonly found somewhere north of the South Pole and south of North Pole (but seldom at the equator), Iscah resides near an Athens but neither in Greece nor Georgia. Lacking the necessary talents for professional baseball or ballet, Iscah avoids embarrassment in both occupations by pursuing a writing career.
What inspires you to write?
An overactive imagination that needs a practical outlet.
Tell us about your writing process.
I usually have a story worked out in my head like a film with beginning and ending and key scenes as well some dialogue worked out before I begin. I used to write scenes out of sequence, but now I tend to force myself to start at the beginning.
While I don’t outline, I do keep timelines and notes on characters as needed. On a few occasions I’ve sketched out blue prints of settings to keep descriptions consistent.
Once I’ve gone over the finished story several times, I try to recruit beta readers to see if I told it as well a I had hoped. I use their feedback for fine tuning.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Negotiate might be the more accurate term. Generally I describe what my characters are doing, and most of them don’t care too much beyond their action/dialogue. But I’ve had a couple of them critique my sentences or writing style. They’re usually right when I’ve got something wrong, but not always forthcoming with what should replace it.
Neithan is one of the most pliable characters I’ve written. He rarely complains about directions with one memorable exception. One of my betas thought it would be too much extra work to have hot water for shaving in a setting based on early medieval technology. Since this was a minor change, I thought I’d remove the word “warm”, and he objected rather loudly. I didn’t realize it was important to him until then.
What advice would you give other writers?
Get another job. Seriously, the arts field is financially unpredictable, and unless you can find a wealthy patron for your work or very supportive spouse then you need to be your own patron.
That other job should leave you time to write and preferably provide some physical exercise.
Also a job can be an endless source of material if you use it to observe human behavior as well as keep food on the table.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Control was important for me with Seventh Night and related books. My current situation has more to do with growing a business than a career. Juggling both is not for the faint hearted.
Having known an increasing number of authors in many publishing situations, I think most writers are better off pursuing a well established traditional publisher who will cover expenses. There are exceptions, and you should pay close attention to your contract. But good writers aren’t necessarily good marketers or businessmen.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Digital is here to stay, but paperbacks won’t go away. I think we’ll continue to see a resurgence in independent bookstores, more hybrid authors, and a class of indie authors and publishers better educated on the publishing market. But we’ll also see a lot of start up publishers either fail or consolidate.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: I hope to tackle many genres but much of my initial work will be fantasy or surreal.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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