Q&A Session #1

You guys asked some awesome questions – I hope you’ll find my answers just as awesome! 🙂

My Writing Routine

Ms. Evelyn Krieger said she would like to know about my writing routine.  (Pardon me while I stop hyperventilating about being asked a question by a real, live, published author!!!!)

My routine starts off with a few minutes (or on some days, a few hours) of daydreaming to prepare my mind for the task.  I let my ideas formulate over the course of the day, and then, once all my chores are out of the way, I find a quiet place to set up the tools of my trade (either my laptop or my trusty mobile device, headphones, and my favorite music), and let the words flow like endless rain into a paper cup.

I’ve also adopted a new strategy to motivate myself on days when words tend to flow like … a parched desert wasteland: tell myself I’ll only write for 15 minutes.  I usually end up writing for an hour.

And as a given, my routine only works when I’ve had a good night’s sleep the night before! 😀

How many books did you work on before you published Secrets in Seaport?

This one came from Lars. 🙂  If I lump all thirteen drafts of a horrible fanfiction together as being one book (which the public will never, ever, ever, ever, ever read), I’d say I finished writing three books prior to publishing SIS.  (I promise the other two were original stories!)  There were definitely countless other book projects I started writing before then, but have yet to finish.

Let’s face it, authors’ brains are bursting at the seams with ideas.  The hard part is finding an optimal way to apply them.

Fanfic vs. Original Fiction

Lars also asks how often I write fanfiction over original projects.   Great question! 🙂

Fanfictions are much easier to write than original fiction for so many reasons.  For starters, I already have a full cast of characters to portray, and plenty of settings to put them in, thanks to the creative thinking of other people. 😛  I particularly enjoy writing fanfictions where absurd things happen, such as putting characters in atypical situations (let’s put the White Orc on a luxury cruise to the Bahamas, Princess Leia in a babysitting job, or Earth’s favorite time lord dancing ballet).

Last-last year, I was churning out Doctor Who fanfics like all of time and space was going to end tomorrow.  The fanfic to original fiction ratio of 2013 was about 60:40.  A little embarrassing now, but at least my fanfictions were of the Whovian variety, not Tom Hiddleston or One Direction!

Lately, though, I have been curbing my enthusiasm for fanfic-writing (or, as William Shatner might call it, getting a life) and sticking mostly to the real stuff.  Currently, I’m working on one big fanfiction, and I have four original projects I’ve been tinkering with.  The ratio is more like 45:55 now, and I’m happy with that. 🙂


TCWT Blog Chain: Friendship in Fiction

Julia shares a really interesting perspective on the portrayal of ordinary friendships in fiction. Romantic relationships aren’t the only relationships a fictional character can have. 🙂

Julia the Writer Girl

The prompt for this month’s Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain is:

“What is something you feel is generally written well in fiction? What is something you feel is generally written poorly?” 

I’m going to focus on something that I think is generally written poorly: People whose lives aren’t defined by romance.

I get it. We all love the attractive love interest. Being in love is beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with writing romance.

But I hate this idea we seem to have fallen into that our stories need it in order to be good.

Relationships can be meaningful without including sexual tension. Look at our day-to-day lives. How many of us have a boyfriend in high school versus how many of us have a best friend? And while, yes, even us eternally single people probably lust after someone once in a while, the people who are truly important in our…

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Behind the Scenes of Flora Dennis

Michael Gunter has inquired about my inspiration for Flora Dennis and the Island of Two Eyes.  Good question, Michael.  What got into me to write something as “overblown, self-admittedly wordy, and filled with wonderfully standard characters” as Flora Dennis and the Island of Two Eyes? 🙂  (I love that description and it’s totally going on the book cover if I ever publish it.)

Flora Dennis and the Island of Two Eyes was created primarily as both a homage and satirical mimicry of some of my favorite (and less-favorite) creative thinkers of the literary world.  Yes, it’s supposed to be funny in an absurd, esoteric sort of way.  If “The Truth about Hamsters” or its companion stories left you ROTFL, this story might, at most, evoke a few cringes and chuckles from academics and bibliophiles.  The rest of the world will likely see this as a somewhat off-kilter but surely serious adventure story.  And they wouldn’t be 100% wrong — it’s definitely an adventure story. Continue reading →


It’s 2015 and I’m floating in a sea of so-so story beginnings, some publishable if combined with good middles and endings; others, shamelessly candid and absurd fanfics.  I’ve also got a new update to Flora Dennis in the works, which Lisa and I will eventually work on formatting together (she’s been great with helping me format it for optimal viewing on her site), but otherwise … I haven’t got very much new material to post here.  (Let’s face it, as we get older, workloads get heavier.  At least I was able to publish a book while in my teens.  I may have that bragging right, but it may take awhile before I can share a good full-length novel with the world.)

But anyway, to make things more interesting and interactive here on the blog, I had two ideas.

1) Every-so-often-ly Q&A sessions:
If you have any questions for me about writing or reading, leave ’em in a comment and I’ll try to answer a few of them at once in a blog post.  (Think ‘Arglefumph Talk’ in text format.)

2) Suggest topics to write about.
Is there something you’d like me to write about here?  Let me know in a comment. 

As a rule of thumb, questions and topics must be G-rated and should be relevant to writing and reading … although I might consider devoting a post or two to mundane subject matters like fandoms, movies, music, etc.  (For example, “What are your thoughts on the latest season of Doctor Who?”)  But no groupie fanpersoning allowed.  (I happen to dread watching videos of the Beatles performing live because your grandmothers were making a dreadful racket over the music.)

Well, that said, ask away!

“Jenny” – a Flash Fiction

Happy New Year, everyone!  (As usual, I’m a bit late in wishing people things.)  Let me tell you, I’ve always wanted to write a Doctor Who fanfiction about Jenny (the Doctor’s daughter) and a certain hit song by Tommy Tutone.  Well, here’s a little something I wrote in literally three minutes.  (This one’s for the Figgies in the TARDIS. 😉 )

 “I don’t know, you guys,” said Grace uncertainly as Cece and Emii reached for the TARDIS’ telephone.

 “Oh, come on, Grace,” Emii chided.  “Haven’t you ever wanted to know who’s at that number?”

 Cece and Emii sang out the numbers as they dialed, which only made Grace roll her eyes.  “Eight-six-seven-five-three-oh-niiiine!

 The two mischief-makers waited anxiously for the call to complete as dialed.  Finally, somebody picked up.

 “Hello, Dad!”  a cheery voice that sounded like a cross between Peter Davison and Sandra Dickinson sang out from the other side.  “I thought I recognized your number on the caller ID!  What a pleasant surprise.  I thought you’d never call!”

 Cece nearly dropped the phone.  Emmi caught it and pressed the receiver to her ear.

 “Hello?”  the cheery voice persisted.  “Anybody there?  Oh, I know, you must be breathless from all the running you do with that Donna woman.  I’ll just wait for you, ‘kay?”

 Cece cleared her throat.  “Er, sorry … wrong number,” she stammered hurriedly.  Then, she hung up.

 Grace eyed the two younger girls curiously.  “Well, that was odd.”