1. How long does it usually take you to write a book?
It really kind of varies, depending on the book. My average used to be a year. Then the first draft of The Experiment took 3½ months. For all of Time Captives, which includes the companion, it took two years and two months from the starting the first draft of the first book to finishing the first draft of the last book, and I had the major revisions done a few months after that. For my outer space dystopian, the first draft technically took almost two years, but when I started to actually focus on it (halfway through the second chapter) it took me four months to finish. So every book is different. It depends on the book, how hard the writing is, and what other insanity is going on in my life at the time. But I do seem to be getting faster.
2. What do you write on, a computer or in a notebook?
Both. I used to always write in a notebook and, honestly, I’ve yet to complete a story written primarily on the computer, but I’m starting to switch over. I’m faster at typing now, but notebooks are still more portable than my laptop. It’s difficult to stick my laptop in my purse. :) I’m still kind of torn on the issue. I’ll probably end up writing on the computer, aside from the bits scribbled on note paper while I’m out, but I could end up back in notebooks.
3. Do you listen to music while you write?
Absolutely. Pretty much always. I experimented with it while writing Across the Stars and discovered I was way more productive with music on. I didn’t really listen to much while writing The Experiment, but I had to go back to music for Time Captives, and haven’t stopped since. I generally listen to film score, though there have been a few instances of Vivaldi, and I generally find a specific soundtrack that works best for the story. I’ve started creating playlists too. My playlist for my Sleeping Beauty story consists of Catching Fire, Mockingjay, and Cinderella (2015). Heehee. It’s quite interesting. ;)
4. What program do you type your books on? (Word Doc, Scrivener, etc.)
I use Microsoft Word. We’ve always had it, so it’s the program I’ve grown up using. Through indie publishing, I’ve learned a lot about the program and can do quite a bit with it. (Drop caps drive me insane, though. They’re worse than headers and footers!) I went to a free writers’ miniconference with a friend earlier this year which had a session on writing tools, and they explained how to use Scrivener. I think it looks cool, and I have a 50% off coupon from winning Camp NaNo, but I still haven’t gotten it, though I want it. I’ve still got a few months to decide before my coupon expires. And meanwhile, I figured out how to use Microsoft OneNote as a sort of peg board for worldbuilding like you can do in Scrivener.
5. Which out of your four books was the most fun to write?
The Experiment. I don’t think anything will ever compare to that writing experience. The story just came to me, which made it really easy and a lot of the characters are based on people I know, so it made it feel more real. And the premise is something I’m really passionate about. Plus the sci-fi angle was really intriguing for me, even though it felt a lot darker than it really was while I was writing it and thus I was worried if it was okay for my target age group. It really is fine, things feel worse when you’re writing them. But that book. It’s still a wow experience for me.
6. Where do you write best? (Coffee shop, your room, a library, etc.)
I write best in my bedroom at my desk. Does that mean that’s where I write most? Absolutely not. I really like being outside, so I write on the porch, and only sometimes make good progress. At other times, I get tired of being alone, and so I try to write in the living room with my family around and get next to nothing done. Then there are the times I try to write in the car and write even less. If I’m really focused, though, or have no one to talk to, I can write at political events or before church. I’ve only tried writing at the library once, towards the end of Camp NaNo, and I actually was able to focus really well, but I’ve yet to do it again.
Thanks for having me!