As requested by Jo and Tori, here are the DeviantART questions and my answers.
What’s your ideal writing environment, if any?
I usually write on the bed, but I can write anywhere. If I don’t have my netbook or laptop, a notebook and pen would do. I guess my writing cave is whenever wherever the Muses strike!
What is the most difficult thing you had to learn about writing?
Rules. I started writing when computers were still exceptions – typewriters, heard of them? Creative writing courses hadn’t been invented either. So for 25 years I happily wrote my stories with my creative brain only.
What is it that you still need to learn about?
Rules. Because writing is so instinctual that I need to remember those goddamn rules. Descriptions. Settings. All the boring stuff. The only thing I’ve learned quite well is stick to one point of view per scene/chapter – no more head-hopping in my stories, except when really necessary!
Have you ever had a mentor and what did you get out of the experience?
I’ve taken a few writing courses in the new millennium. So I learned some of those rules – points of views and openings and all that stuff. But I don’t believe in craft books written by non-writers. Stephen King’s On Writing, Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science-fiction and Fantasy, yes. I have a bundle of 12 more to read. But I want to be like Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch when I grow up (note that by year of birth I’m not much younger, LOL)
How much is giving/receiving critique important, to you, to improve your writing?
Depends on the critique. Sometimes the critic wants you to rewrite according to what he/she would do – which is not your story, so feel free to ignore. I prefer comments from non-writer beta-readers. I need a reader’s reaction, not another writer’s!
How much is reading important, to you, to improve your writing?
Very important. I wish I had more time to go through my TBR pile (mostly on my Kindle these days, so almost invisible but none the shorter, unfortunately!).
Who’s your go-to writer for quality writing (it can be off DeviantArt, too of course) and why?
I still read like a reader – as long as there’s a story, plot, characters that do stuff, I’ll read anything. The good or the bad. I hate purple prose, though, so no literary fiction. Or plotless erotica. Or Horror.
And finally, what piece of advice have you been given that has helped you the most?
Practice, practice, practice. Keep writing. And don’t get stuck in rewriting hell – write and release. There are tonz more stories out there only you can write!
Last week I completed a first draft of Samantha the Witch and the Desi vampire, but I’m sure my expert & cover artist for the project will have a lot to say about it (she started by telling me I picked the wrong name for my character, I hope she suggests a better one – I didn’t like it much anyway). I’ve taken a break from them, though, because I want to go back with fresh eyes whenever I get feedback on the Indian stuff (and then I’ll send it to the other expert – Mighty Jo, queen of Amaranthine – for more feedback on my vampires).
In the meantime, I’m preparing the Star Minds Chasing Stardom stories – stay tuned for Kay-low and then Zaphadin and then the whole batch with Astrid included. I’ve prepared both covers and am currently formatting and uploading, so expect Kay-low some time next week and Zaphadin sometime at the beginning of May. The Chasing Stardom bundle will come out as soon as I have the cover by Maurizio Manzieri – and then I’ll start working on the PODs for both SMNG Diaries and Chasing Stardom.
Writerly links! Interview with Mark Coker at the London Book Fair – on what’s in the future of Smashwords. I got my Q1 payment earlier than Q4 of 2014 this month, so I’m not complaining! 😉 It’s a little more than a breakfast at Starbucks, but like I was telling a screenwriter friend on Facebook the other day – I’m not getting rich with my royalties yet, and certainly can’t quit the DayJob for this year. Or the next – unless I have a big break.
On the importance of having POD versions – and that’s why I’ll be working on them in May. And if you don’t have/don’t want a Kindle, check this site. And if you’re an indie author who publishes everywhere, check her guidelines. I might submit some of my titles soon – but you know I’m available at most retailers anyway, aren’t you? Just go to the find my stuff page…
Have a great week! 😀