Archive for Interview

Interview with Lisa M. Collins

I have the pleasure of having Lisa. M. Collins on my blog to answer a few questions. Lisa is a talented author (and an amazing friend!) and I’m happy to have her here to talk about writing and her new novella, The House Bast Made: Reid Cannon Archaeologist.  You can buy her new novella here.

So without further ado… here’s Lisa!

Lisa about to take flight!

Lisa about to take flight!

What’s your new book about?

The book is novella length. The House Bast Made is an adventure where a young archaeologist, Reid Cannon, learns myths need not be fairytales. The story is set on a dig near the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

Do you write for a set time every day or aim for a certain number of words each day or do something else?

I work a 40hr a week job. Often I can find time on my breaks or at lunch to jot a few words down, but those times aren’t really productive. I hit my stride around 5pm-8pm, and if it wasn’t for the pesky commute I do at 5:30-6:30ish that would be my ideal time to get my word count. For now I write after my shift while waiting to be picked up, after dinner while I’m hanging out with my family, and on the weekends.

Do you outline or just run with an idea?

Oh, Lordy, you really want to know about my process? LOL. OK.

For shorter works like 1,000-8,000 words, I pretty much fly by the seat of my pants. My imagination works much like watching a movie—I can see the cuts and the action, and all I have to do is add the dialogue. Now for works that are longer I usually make notes and do a bit of research. I very rarely outline or do story boards, but I think that may change in the near future.

I recently read Rachel Aaron’s book: 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love. Rachel has so many great ideas to get you productive. I decided that I would take her advice on my next long format novel. Who knows this could be the end of my footloose and fancy free days!

What was the hardest thing about writing your newest work?

I have a deep and abiding love Egyptology and specifically the Valley of the Kings. When dealing with a large pantheon of gods and goddess you have to keep your stuff straight. Each of them has a unique personality leading them to actions. Keeping the good guys and the bad guys batting on the right team took a bit of notes.

The House Bast Made: Reid Cannon Archaeologist

The House Bast Made: Reid Cannon Archaeologist

What are you currently reading?

The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle.

What is your favorite piece of writing advice?

First drafts are where the writing happens, but editing is where the authoring happens.

So many writers think each word perfect must be perfect, editing as they go. The problem is nothing is ever perfect, even in Pulitzers you will find grammar errors or misused wording. What is the difference between a writer and an author? Authors finish. Churn out that first draft, don’t worry, no one has to read it but you. Editing is where the magic happens.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Twitter http://twitter.com/coolvstar650

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/lisaauthor

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisacollins

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/coolvstar650/

Google+ http://google.com/+LisaMCollins/posts

Instagram http://instagram.com/coolvstar650

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/lisa-matthews-collins

Pen and Cape Society: http://penandcapesociety.com/lisa-m-collins/

Wookiees for Cookies Racing team https://wookieesforcookies.wordpress.com/

For Deep Fried Dixie Goodness follow Lisa as Tea and Cornbread https://twitter.com/teaandcornbread https://www.facebook.com/teaandcornbread

And at the Tea and Cornbread blog http://teaandcornbread.wordpress.com/

“I love Southern charm and food. I think everyone should get a taste of what we have cooking down here in the South…and not just in our skillets, but what we have cooking in our industry and our general Faulkneresque attitudes about life, liberty, the Oxford comma, and pursuit of happiness.”  – Lisa M. Collins aka Tea and Cornbread

Looking for more of:

Healthy Writer Series https://lisacollins.wordpress.com/category/healthy-lifestyle/

Author Interview Series https://lisacollins.wordpress.com/category/interviews/

You can buy The House Bast Made: Reid Cannon Archaeologist here.

Bio:

Lisa M. Collins has always been interested in Outer Space, Adventure stories, and Southern culture. She was born in Dixie and has always lived south of the Mason Dixon Line. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in history with specializations in American and Russian history. Lisa lives in central Arkansas with her husband and an adorable cat, Baby Girl, who believes she is Lisa’s co-author. Lisa has one adult son who is married to his high school sweetheart.

Lisa’s non-fiction has been published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. . She copy edited and researched on Understanding Global Slavery by University of California Press. Her science fiction story, The Tree of Life, is in the 2013-2014 anthology by Holdfast Magazine. These days she edits for Metahuman Press, and is an upcoming creative contributor with Pro Se Productions and Mechanoid Press. She is a Sally A. Williams Grant winner from the Arkansas Arts Council for writing.

 

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Interview: Tony Rauch

Tony Rauch

Tony Rauch

What was your first experience with writing?

In grade school. I used to write short chapter books and illustrate them. Also drawing pictures which then became stories, only drawn out pictographically. I liked the freedom of expression drawing and writing gave you. You could go anywhere, do anything, and discover or invent anything. When you’re younger there seems fewer rules or limits.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I never have. I guess because I get paid so little for it. Writing is just a hobby, to keep that side of the brain going. If I was being read by thousands and thousands of readers and getting paid for it, then I guess I’d consider myself a “real” writer, or a “professional” writer.

Mostly I think of myself as an artist. I used to paint a lot. But painting is expensive, takes up a lot of space, and once finished a painting will only be seen by a few people. Writing is more democratic. It can be seen by many many people. Writing takes up less space and money. I think of a lot of my stories as paintings, only written down. I’m more of a painter or designer, a conceptual artist, but with words.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I helped start a journal that needed content. So I was always feeding them stories. I kept getting ideas and curiosity about form and structure, about content and mixing genres. So I kept generating material. Finally the journal wanted to put out books and I had a ton of interesting material, so eventually they formatted those stories into book form and that became my first book. So I guess it was knowing the right people, hanging out in the right circles, and having a volume of material to draw from that resulted in my first book. Also the press had a desire to publish that type of material, and it was of good quality and original.

I was more concerned about building a body of work, like a painter or composer would I guess, than constantly thinking about a single collection of stories. I guess I was operating on a broader level. Mostly because there’s always a “Well, now what?” factor involved with these things. Once a book is published, you have to have something else to do, to work on. So I made sure I had several series of stories I could try to get published. This seems to work for me, and I always like that there is something next, another bridge to cross, more stories to look forward to.

Do you see writing as your career?

I would not be able to support myself on writing alone. Maybe if I was also teaching, though teaching jobs are rare here. For me that would be a daunting challenge. It seems like there are many things impeding that progress. It is a very competitive and crowded field. I’m very isolated living in Minneapolis. Who would ever hear of me? How would they hear of me? How could I create, reach, and grow an audience? Most readers don’t read short stories. And I work in a niche genre, not a broad, general one (things are bleak, I’m doomed. Oh, wait, no. no I’m not. I feel ok. I think I’ll be fine).

If I wrote on assignment, then I would be writing what someone else wants or has already thought up. Then it would be work and not Art or a hobby anymore. I would get tired of it. As it is, I can walk away any time and write whatever I want to write. I like that freedom. Plus in my career/day job I am good at what I do and enjoy that work most of the time.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

When I’m really going I write at least an hour a day, if not an hour and a half. That’s probably a good time frame for short stories. In that time there is a sense of purpose and direction in that I have to make that time count. I can make money, but I can’t make more time, so I have to be very efficient. And I have gotten faster at thinking through ideas and typing, so I’m more proficient, more efficient now than I was fifteen years ago, which feels like yesterday.

I can think of things to write about all day long – at work, on the bus, walking my dog, doing the dishes – and then I type that up. So that’s a pretty efficient process and a way to avoid burn-out or writer’s block. That’s what works for me.

The main thing is marketing. I have a publisher that seems committed to my work, at least through the short term. I have more than enough ideas, notes, outlines, and pieces that are started – all stored up. So now the main concern is marketing. There are only so many places to send press releases to and only so many hours to do it in. So that is the crunch at this time – marketing.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Probably the same advice any other writer would give as it is tried and true – Just be yourself. Write what you want, what you like, what you want to see. Don’t copy what has already been done. Bring what you want to the story, what you’re looking for. Put your own ideas in there. Play around with things – form, content, styles. Mix things up. Combine previously unrelated things to create something new. Have fun. Mail me some money. Bake me a cake. Listen to loud rock and roll music. Send your mother and grandmother some flowers. Write every day. Read a lot. Send your work out. And as always, a cake would be nice. I think it would help a great deal.

We are also lucky enough to get some information about Tony Rauch’s new collection that will be out this spring.

–  as i floated in the jar  –

A 177 page short story collection of imaginative, whimsical, dreamy, absurd, surreal fantasy, sci fi, and fairy tale adventures. These fables will make great story starters for young adults and reluctant readers. Some of the pieces are absurdist or surreal adventures that hearken back to imaginative absurdism, sci-fi, and fantasy of the 1950s.

With themes of longing, discovery, secrets, escape, eeriness, surprises, and strange happenings in everyday life, readers will delight in these brief but wondrous adventures –

–  a lonely girl finds a small spaceship in the woods.

–  a stranger extracts a baby from a man waiting for the bus.

–  a farmer invents gadgets to fight off infiltrators leaking in from another dimension.

–  a jar falls from a passing wagon, spilling a strange liquid that turns a mud puddle into something else.

–  a gang travels into the past to escape a regression plague that slowly turns people back into primates.

–  strange creatures abduct a man and try to sell him to a different set of strange creatures.

–  a man gets a verbally abusive amorphous blob as a roommate.

These and other adventures await the adventurous reader.

Samples can be found at –

http://trauch.wordpress.com/

Interview: D.A. Adams

I had the pleasure of meeting the fantastic D.A. Adams at ConNooga almost a year ago. We meet again some months later at FandomFest. He’s a very friendly and helpful guy, and took the time to talk to me about MFAs and writing in general. He’s an incredibly skilled writer and I was very lucky to be able to get an interview with him. So without further delay, here are some great words of wisdom from him.

  • How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?

My family is primarily from the foothills of the Smokies in Tennessee, and most of my childhood was spent playing outdoors.  Those experiences help me tremendously when I’m writing in a fantasy setting because I have a wealth of firsthand information from which I can draw.  Also, pretty much everyone I knew was either a farmer or a laborer, so my writing reflects that red and blue collar upbringing because I have a deep appreciation and understanding of the nobility of labor.  That’s why I gravitated towards dwarves; they are the blue collar class of fantasy fiction.

  • What was your first experience with writing?

In the third grade, I wrote a picture book about how a cat, a dog, and a bird invented the game of hide-and-seek.  I think my mom still has it somewhere.  After that, I spent most of my childhood making up stories.

  •  When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I received my first rejection letter for a short story.  I tacked it to the wall by my Brother word processor where I wrote daily .  Each one I received went on that wall.  My roommate at the time, whose father was an accomplished poet and book reviewer, commented that he knew I was a professional because I didn’t let that first rejection dissuade me.

  •  What inspired you to write your first book?

Back around 2002, I had given up on writing because of the terrible experience I had gone through in graduate school from 1997-99.  My creative spirit had been stifled by the program.  Then one night, while watching The Two Towers, I realized that what I really wanted to write was fantasy adventure.  It was why I’d gotten into writing to begin with.  But my confidence was fragile, so I didn’t immediately start writing.  At first, I just thought about what kind of story I would want to write if I ever chose to write a novel.  Then, I started jotting down notes.  Pages and pages of notes.  I made notes for close to a year, still with no plan to write anything.

Then, I saw my first son’s heartbeat on an ultrasound.  As I watched that little speck fluttering away on the grainy screen, my creative spirit, which had been dormant for many years, came back to life.  I knew if I was going to be a good father, I had to be true to myself.  That meant writing this story I had been building, being true to myself as a storyteller, so I went to work and haven’t looked back.

  • Would you say you have a specific writing style? What is it?

I’m a bit of a minimalist.  I like the concept of tightly written prose with little filler, but I’m not sure that I’m a true minimalist because my books are so fast-paced.  Maybe I’m a hyper-minimalist.  Is that a literary style?  Honestly, I don’t think much about style.  I just write what feels right and then work closely with my editors to polish it into a narrative with a good flow.

  • What books have most influenced you most?

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was probably my favorite book as a kid.  It was my favorite of the Narnia series.  As a young college student, I was mesmerized by Steppenwolf, so much so that it’s tattooed on my arm.  The Glass Bead Game is probably a better novel, but Steppenwolf had more impact.  Later on in college, Song of Solomon probably had the most profound effect on me as a writer; the layers and depth of that book still astound me.  Bonfire of the Vanities, too.

  • If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor or a source of inspiration?

In 92 or 93, I met Harry Crews at the University of Memphis.  I was part of a team of undergrads who interviewed him for a project sponsored by the River City Writers Series.  We hit it off instantly, and I went on to read all of his books.  He probably gave me the most inspiration to write because we had come from a similar socioeconomic backgrounds, and his writing speaks to me on a very personal level.

  • What book are you reading now?

Unfortunately, I don’t get to read much, other than the materials I teach for composition classes and student essays.  One day, I hope to get to read what I love again.

  • What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on book four in the Brotherhood of Dwarves series.

  • Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I would be ashamed to share any rough material before it’s been polished and rewritten.  My rough drafts are just that, and after how much I preach to my students about rewriting, I would feel hypocritical if I showed something before following my own process.

  • Do you see writing as your career?

This is a tough one.  In my heart, yes.  I’m a writer.  But in reality, most of my living is made by teaching, so I feel uncomfortable saying that writing is my career because I don’t earn my living from it.  Ultimately, that is my goal, however.  I want to write full-time.

  • What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? How do you meet deadlines?

I prefer to write 5-6 days a week, with both daily and weekly page goals.  I’m more of a slow, plodding writer, so my goals would probably seem modest to most, but as long as I stay on my path, I’m content with my progress.  Deadlines are important because they force us to remained disciplined.

  • What was the hardest part of writing your book?

For book one, it was the combination of the birth of my first son and the deaths of my paternal grandparents.  That was a rough mix of emotions and caused a five month delay right in the middle of the book.  For book two, it was working two jobs and being a new parent.  I often wrote after putting in a 12 hour day on a couple hours of sleep.  For book three, it was going through my divorce and losing custody of my sons.  That was a deep wound and caused an 18 month delay in the manuscript.

  • How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

I definitely don’t consciously use formulas.  I go into each book with a tentative chapter outline and then let the characters build the plot through their actions.  The characters live somewhere inside my head and to me are as real as any person.  When I’m writing, they tell me where the story is going and when I take a misstep.  For me, the most important part is to get out of their way and let them tell the story.

  • Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I’ve learned with each manuscript, from that first really bad one I wrote as an undergrad to the one I’m working on now.  I’ve learned to tighten my prose and steady my pace.  I’ve learned to build and release tension.  I’ve learned to write stronger dialogue.  I hope I’ve improved with each book.

  • Can you take us through the steps for one of getting published?

Most importantly, learn patience.  There are numerous paths to breaking through.  I know of a fairly successful Western writer whose big break was that the editor grabbed his manuscript from the slush pile on the way to lunch and liked it.  That’s one path.  Some writers network and build relationships with editors and publishers.  Some, like me, choose to self-publish at first and then work to get picked up by a larger publisher.  There is no one correct path, and there are no guarantees.  If people choose to enter this profession, they must accept that probability says they will fail.  Far more fail than succeed.  If they are persistent and lucky, they might earn a meager living at it.  If they are exceptionally lucky, they might have a big hit, but those bestsellers are the exception, not the rule, so if writers aren’t willing to accept that they may never make a dime, they should probably do something else.  I don’t want to come across as mean-spirited, but the reality is that writing is not a get-rich-quick scheme.  There is a lot of competition, and the profession demands dedication and devotion and persistence.

  • Do you have any advice for other writers?

On the surface, this will sound contradictory, but first and foremost, writers must trust their own creative voice.  They must listen to the story inside them and get the rough draft out.  That’s the hardest part.  Then, they must put their own ego aside and listen to their editors.  Only foolish people believe everything they write is genius.  Editors see things writers miss or stumble over and help smooth out the narrative for the audience.  Ultimately, the audience is who matters most, so writers should let go of self-indulgence and allow their editors to do their jobs.

  • Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for taking your time and hard-earned money and buying my books.  I appreciate every single sale.  Thank you for reading my work and taking the time to tell me what you liked and didn’t.  I appreciate every bit of feedback, positive and negative.  Please forgive me for how long it has taken me to get each book to market.  Life has thrown many obstacles in my path, and I apologize for my delays.  I hope you’ll find book three has been worth the wait.  I feel like it’s a solid work and is a great bridge for the middle of the series.  Finally, please feel free to post comments on my blog and social media pages.  I love talking to readers and try to respond to everyone individually, so please, share your thoughts and feelings and experiences with me.

D. A. Adams was born in Florida but was raised in East Tennessee. He received a Master of Arts in Writing from the University of Memphis in 1999 and has taught college English for over a decade. His first novel, The Brotherhood of Dwarves, was released in 2005 and has been described as “a solid, honest work about camaraderie, bravery, and sacrifice.” In 2008, the sequel, Red Sky at Dawn, was released to the exaltation that “this novel thunders along, at times with dizzying speed. The action is visceral and imaginative without being gratuitous.” Currently, Adams is working on the third installment of the five book series, The Fall of Dorkuhn.

In terms of writing style, Adams exhibits an effortless narrative voice and a masterful balance between richly detailed descriptions and tightly worded minimalism. The pacing of his stories is breathtaking, with relentless action and captivating plot twists that keep readers riveted page after page. But his true talent as a writer lies in character development. Readers find themselves empathizing with, fearing for, and cheering on the characters as they overcome their personal shortcomings and grow as fully rendered individuals.

Adams is also the father of two wonderful sons and, despite his professional accomplishments, maintains that they are his greatest achievement in life. He resides in East Tennessee with his life partner, Mari.

You can follow D.A. Adams on facebook here and you can visit his website and learn more about him and his writings here.

Interview: Sean Taylor

So, Sean Taylor is one of the amazing writers I got the chance to meet at ConNooga and he was awesome enough to grant me an interview. He is also an amazingly nice, friendly and helpful guy and I am thrilled to have gotten the chance to meet him! His collection of short stories about superheroes, Show Me A Hero, is fantastic and I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend it.
This interview and a book review of Taylor’s latest work, Show Me A Hero, should be appearing in full in the summer issue of the D20 Girls magazine.

 

1. How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?

Well, I’m definitely drawn to a sort of Southern type in my characters. I know that and have to fight it sometimes, but at other times I just run with it and try to make it work for me. I’m very partial to Southern fiction and in college I devoured the works of Flannery O’Conner, Eudora Welty and William Faulkner. There was something almost but not quite magical realism about their writing and I like to think I take a bit of that into everything I create, whether comics or prose.

2. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I got my first paycheck. It was only 20 bucks, but it had my name on it and it cleared the bank. I was hooked after that.

3. What inspired you to write your first book?

Honestly, the desire to live up to my wife’s faith in me as a writer. She was the one who inspired me and had the confidence in my writing so I could take my first fledgling steps, so it was only natural that it was she who encouraged my first book that my work appeared in. It was the O’Georgia collection, and I had two stories appear in the second volume.

4. Would you say you have a specific writing style? What is it?

I don’t think I have a style per se. I think I have several styles that I can adapt as needed for a client or for a book. Of course, in a perfect world, I’d write as well as Hemingway, and I did cut my teeth on his and Raymond Carver’s style, so I tend to focus on straightforward sentences, lots of dialogue and characterization.

Now that I think about it, I guess that’s my style, but I tend to enjoy writing that style in almost any genre, from horror to pulp to more literary, artsy-fartsy or even experimental stuff.

5. What books have most influenced you most?

Wow. There are a few books that have influenced me as a person and a few that have influenced me as a writer, so I guess I’ll have to delineate those. As a person, I think C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce and Till We Have Faces, along with Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz have had the most profound impact on my philosophy of life (a very zen-like approach to Christianity, a sort of existentialist form of fundamentalism, if any of those make any practical sense for people other than me). As for my writing, as I mentioned before, Hemmingway and Carver’s work influenced my way of telling stories, and Flannery O’Conner’s work, particularly Wise Blood and the short story “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” really helped me understand how a person of faith can tell stories without coming off as a mouthpiece of religious propaganda.

6. Are there any new authors who have grasped your interest?

Actually, for me H. Rider Haggard is a new author. I’d never read his stuff before I picked up She for my new ebook reader, and I’ve been doing more rediscovering than new discovering right now. Probably the newest living writing I’ve discovered was Kim Richardson a few years ago when an opportunity to pitch stories ideas for a proposed Rachel Morgan comic arose. Loved the books, but unfortunately, the gig fell through.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Network, network, network. Get to know people in the business from fellow writers to editors to publishers to fans. Hiding in your room, writing in obscurity can make you vain, but it won’t get you published.

Also, write. Write a lot. Write often. Write like you mean business. As my buddy Frank Fradella says, reading about writing isn’t writing. Research isn’t writing.

Only writing is writing.

Sean Taylor writes prose, graphic novels and comic books when he’s not distracted by horror movies and cartoons, that is.

He’s the writer of Gene Simmons Dominatrix by Simmons Comics Group published by IDW Publishing and has also written for Gene Simmons House of Horrors, also published by IDW.

His most recent work includes both the IDW Classics Mutilated anthology with Joe Lansdale and Penquin/DAW Books’ Zombiesque anthology with Nancy Collins (both currently available at your favorite bookstore or online retailer).

He’s also currently working on an original graphic novel sequel, A Stitch in Time, to the works of H.G. Wells for IDW and a gender-twisted crime drama for Markosia (called Quinn: The Reckoning). He’s also currently writing upcoming miniseries Jesse James in the Mayan Underworld and Last Chance School for Girls for Arcana Comics.

You can find out more about Sean Taylor on his website: here

Interview: Suzy Deacon

So my dear wonderful writing bestie, Suzy, agreed to let me interview her for my blog. She’s always full of amazing ideas and helps keep me motivated to write!
1. What’s the biggest challenge about making time to write?
Biggest challenge is to stay off the internet. Its so easy for me to get distracted by “Wait, what would that look like?” or “OH! Who sings the song that I’m listening to?”

Second biggest challenge is discipline. I haven’t quite worked out a full routine beyond my usual morning surf. I find myself getting bored quiet easily and wandering away to the “Black Holes of the Internet” (i.e. 4chan and Reddit), a habit which I’m trying to break.

It’s not working very well.

2. Has social media helped or hurt the way you work? How?

Little bit of helping, but mostly hurting. Keeping Facebook and Twitter open is like putting cake near me: the temptation is too great, and eventually I’m gonna want some. But, AIM is wonderful since no one uses it anymore!

Let me correct myself and say that no one on there talks to me. It’s bliss.

3.When you need inspiration, what do you do?

Inspiration? That’s a tough one. I find I get my best ideas when I’m no where near my computer or in a spot where I can’t write down my ideas, so I have to let them develop. I’m very much a thinker when it comes to plotting, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue, and we’ll save that for another time.
I’m also a very auditory writer, meaning I get my inspiration/ ideas from audio sources, namely music. Music is very much apart of my writing process; it helps me to plan a scene and visualize how everything is going to turn out.

4. What type of works do you perfer to write (short story, poems, novels, etc.) and why?

I prefer to write novels, but since that doesn’t seem to be working out very well at the moment, I stick to snippets of a novel idea I have running around. I call them sprints, and its 85-90% of what my blog is. Its easier for me to get the idea out of my head first, then go write something else, or develop it further.

5.Who are the authors that inspire you most?

A hahahaha….yeah. About that…. I’m very bad that respect. I don’t read as much as I could/should. It makes me very self conscious sometimes, or I get far too critical about the author’s writing style. Or I can’t find anything that suits me. I can be very difficult at times. Or a jerk.

I am getting better at reading though! Picking up books around the house and reading them, or looking at materials online. Just got Edgar Rice Burrough’s “A Princess of Mars” and started that last night, so hopefully I can get better at this whole idea of “reading”.

6. If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be?

“Get off the internet; make some friends; keep reading and keep writing.”
Actually, that’s my advice to anyone.
 So, go follow Suzy’s blog and follow her on twitter here

Interview: Chrissy Begemann

So que up the fancy music! It’s my first interview on my blog, yay!! I am lucky enough to be friends (she’s my good texting buddy!) with Miss Chrissy Begemann. Chrissy is a graduate of Georgia College and State University (which is where we met) and has years of expereince as a writing consultant. She currently does freelance work and I highly recommend her. You can find out even more about Chrissy here.

Now, on to the interview!

1. How do you make time to write?
I put an entry in my planner. If it’s not on my schedule, it’s nearly impossible to make time for my writing.

2. Has social media changed the way you work?
Social media has been awesome for my business. I use Twitter to share ideas with my peers and to connect with my clients. LinkedIn has done wonders for marketing my freelance business. Join the groups on LinkedIn! They’re the best for making connections for people within your field.

3. What writer has inspired you the most?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Shakespeare given my obsession with the theatre. I still have a deep respect for his work but my attention has turned to more volatile writers. I draw a lot of my inspiration from Margaret Atwood. She is perfect for provoking both thought and action. I will start reading all of her works in 2011. I’m very excited about that!

4. Top 3 tips for new writers:
1.  Stay committed to your writing and let your friends know you’re committed. They’ll hold you accountable.

2. Read! Read to learn what styles move you and what styles turn you off. Any author in any genre will offer you something. If you find a book you can’t get through, try to discover why. You’ll learn a lot about your writing in the process.

3. Have three friends to show what you’ve written: One friend to always smile and encourage, one friend to tell you it’s complete crap and rewrite, and one friend who’s writing you admire.

5. What are the challenges of maintaining a freelance writing service and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge is keeping your skills current. I read A LOT and I continue to expand my skill set. Staying active and keeping in contact with my peers also helps me hone my craft.

6. If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be?

It’s ok to break away from the plan. Be flexible! Shoot, I should tell my present-day self that too.

You find Chrissy’s Freelance Services on facebook here.

And on twitter here