The Claws live with a hoard of ordinary, run-of-the-mill children, whom they believe to be spectacular and exceptional, and for whom they would gladly dash into a burning building to save.
Or just make the mundane, daily sacrifices required over a lifetime.
What inspires you to write?
I came to writing a little bit differently than most, I think. I’ve never aspired to be a writer, but I have always been a voracious reader–cereal boxes, junk mail, calculus textbooks… anything!
I had to give up my novel reading habit when I started having kids. The problem was I’d stay up until 4 AM trying to finish the story and wake up as the Wicked Witch of the West (not exactly the mother or wife of anyone’s dreams). My nighttime routine had gradually devolved to me reading Facebook and design and political blogs to unwind.
Eventually it occurred to me that I’d been spending every evening for a couple of years in this way and I had nothing to show for it. I wasn’t a better person. I wasn’t better friends with anyone. I had no new talents or skills.
What if I used that time to do something productive? Something that could potentially stand the test of time? Something I could hand off to my kids and grandkids?
I decided to try and write a book. It took me three years, but I did it!
Tell us about your writing process.
At first, I had no idea what I was doing. My plan was just to get some words down, so I did a lot of free writing (which is actually still quite useful in working problem areas out). But I kept trying day in and day out and eventually I came upon a plan that I follow. I like plans; I like patterns. They give me a place to go, while still leaving freedom inside for creativity.
Characters, on the other hand, are a different story. I have spent time planning them, but I almost always find my plans for them were a waste of time as the book moves on and I see what they have to deal with.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do think about my characters throughout the day, and I do jot down any particularly great thoughts on what they might do or say. But mostly, I try to be a good observer of people in general (which is something I’ve done my entire life) so when my character meets a situation in my book, I already have a good idea of how they will react.
What advice would you give other writers?
My advice for writers would be the same advice I give anyone: Make God and family the apex of your life. Then prove you mean it. All good things will follow.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I finished Goggles Gone Strong, I sent it out to a few agents, but while I was waiting, my not-internet-savvy neighbor had a book he needed help marketing. While I was trying to figure out things for him, I realized it would be really easy to self-publish my own book, so I did.
I like that I’m still completely independent and also (and this will bother some of you… it certainly bothers my husband :), money has never been my motivation for anything. I really like that I can offer my eBook from all retailers (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, etc) for free! Who cares if I make any money? I just want people to read it!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I used to think that print books would never die, especially for children. And in a way, I guess that’s still true. But, my super-reader 10 year old son got a Kindle for his birthday, and I think he almost reads more.
And I think when more authors recognize the control and independence that is possible, they’ll shift over to self-publishing.
Plus, I think every writer deserves to be published. Even if it’s not a best seller, even if it never makes money. There are things more valuable than money, and who’s to say that book couldn’t be priceless to the author’s posterity and a handful of others?
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Children’s Fiction
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, 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.