About Rachel Veznaian:
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Veznaian attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she majored in English. After school, she returned to Boston, where she now lives, works, and writes. Her works include Ballardvale Blues and A Life Stage Soundcheck.
What inspires you to write?
I find that events in my life are generally what sparks an idea and that usually centers around an interpersonal relationship. Both novels I've written are contemporary fiction, so it's easy to see where that inspiration would come from, but I also enjoy science fiction and have explored that in a short story format. I find psychology to be very interesting as well and so particularly when it comes to science fiction, if I'm struggling with something in my personal life one way or another, I'll try and find the root cause of it and then attempt to transfer what I discover into a story of some sort. I've also found that traveling helps to inform my writing. Basically, if I'm out of my very comfortable habitat and faced with the unfamiliar, my wheels start turning.
Tell us about your writing process.
I wish I was a pantser, but I am a plotter through and through. If I don't have a plot laid out and I don't know what my next step is going to be, the next step never happens. I previously used to write an old school outline in Word, but have since adopted Scrivener software (this also come in handy when it's formatting time comes around). Before I sit down with my software though, I still rely on old faithful – notecards! Notecards that wind up adorning my wall. To this day I would say my interior decorating skills are about limited to that. I am a bit fan of character sketches, but I would say if I keep anyone document as a 'living document' so to speak it would be my character sketches. As I write along, some details come to me in the moment, forcing me to go back and add to the character sketch and then go back and revise the entire manuscript.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
If you accidentally stumble into a cafe where I'm writing, you will be treated to a coffee and a show. As I write out the dialogue for each character, I think about how the inflections in their voice would sound. When particularly heated conversations occur between them I find I wind up acting it all out in my head. While I don't actually say anything aloud, my face moves around quite a bit as I have been informed. So, if you see someone typing furiously and their face is continually seizing, there's a very distinct possibility I'm sitting there attempting to write something.
What advice would you give other writers?
Something one of my creative writing teachers once said was that every piece of writing has a home somewhere, you just need to find it and while I forgot about that for a while, it eventually came back in to my mind and I can't say how much I agree with it. Some stories should be novels, others poems, and others short stories or even screenplays. Some stories should be traditionally published, some independently, and others on blogs or in magazines. For every person that has a disparaging comment, there's someone else that has a complimentary one, but the person who should be happiest with your work is you.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I'm an independent publisher. I go through KDP for my Kindle and paperbacks that are sold through Amazon and IngramSpark for all other physical copies of my books. I honestly couldn't tell someone else what their path should be in the traditional vs. self-published landscape though, because no matter which way you slice it, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Acquiring an agent and getting a traditional publishing deal requires a lot of time and effort in terms of learning how to market yourself and your book to very specific entities. Even once you nab that deal, your work isn't done. However, it does come with some semblance of security and at the least a small sum of money up front. On the other hand, with self-publishing you have now, in addition to living in the realm of author, entered into the one of entrepreneur. It can be frustrating to wear every hat when it comes to formatting, pricing, marketing, and more, but you do get to keep your creative control over a lot of aspects of your work. No matter what you choose, there's a long road ahead of you, so pick your poison accordingly.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don't think traditional publishing is going away any time soon, but both knowledge and technology has only continued to become more and more accessible. The landscape will forever be changing, so just because one method is working now, doesn't mean it will be by the time you're ready to release your next book. No matter your method of publishing, it's best to stay on your toes.
What genres do you write?: Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction, Science Fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.