Lucy McConnell graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications. She currently resides in a small town in Central Utah with her husband and four children. Among other things, she enjoys cycling, cross country skiing, skiing, wakeboarding, sewing, reading, and baking. Her writing career started with short romances for magazines. Now she writes everything from YA to historical fiction.
What inspires you to write?
Each story starts with a small idea, an inkling of possibility, and then it won’t leave me alone until I get it out. I’ve been inspired by history, artisans, friends, and vacations. I love to read and will consume the written word in vast quantities. Learning about people is always fascinating and never a waste of time.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a loose outliner. I use index cards to gather scenes. During a brainstorming session – which can last weeks – I will think, “Oh, I want them to argue about this,” or, “Their first kiss needs to happen in the stadium.” I write each scene down and then organize the cards and fill in the blanks. Once I have a whole set of cards, I sit down at the computer and connect them to make a first draft. Then I let it sit for a couple weeks. Letting it sit gives me time for the story to settle. It’s usually during this time that I figure out how to close up plot holes or hike up the suspense. On the second draft, I picture each scene as if it were a move and add the description and movement. After another read through, I send the manuscript out to alpha readers. They point out the weak parts and I do a round of changes. Then it goes out to beta readers. After another round of edits I send it off to the proofreader.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I eavesdrop. My characters like to have conversations with other characters when they aren’t on set. 🙂 I listen in to find out how they really feel about things. Sometimes I find them commenting on my life – usually in a sarcastic tone – but more often than not, I get to watch and listen to them.
What advice would you give other writers?
This writing thing isn’t easy – it takes late nights, blood, tears, laughter, and guts, and holds very little glory. But, if it’s a part of you, it will feed your soul. Don’t ever give up.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve done both traditional and indie publishing. What I like about indie publishing is the freedom over cover design, content, and the publication timeline. I decided to self publish my novellas because they would be harder to find a publisher for than a full-length novel.
What I like about traditional publishing is that someone else designs the cover, an editor can help me through the rough spots, and I have a deadline to motivate me.
What a new author needs to determine is how much control do they want and how much work are they willing to put into everything else that goes into publishing a book besides writing it. If you’re willing to spend the time, then self-publishing can be a rewarding experience.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think there will be a shift in how traditional publishers find talent. They won’t be looking in the slush pile as often as they will be looking through a list of indie authors. I also foresee them becoming more flexible in distribution, pricing, and royalties.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
YA, Clean Romance, and Christian Romance
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print