Thank you for being here today, Trish! I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. They were very interesting ~ for you other writers out there, this is for you!
Tell us how you got started writing.
I was in college (as an adult), working on my Psychology degree. I discovered I really enjoyed the various writing assignments I had, and I started incorporating creative writing courses into my degree program. By the time I was ready to go to grad school for Psychology, I decided to take a few years off to try writing full-time. I loved it and never went back to the Psychology!
What is the hardest thing about writing? Easiest thing?
The hardest thing is remaining disciplined. It’s too easy to get distracted when you’re your own boss. So I give myself a word quota that I have to meet each day, no matter how late in the evening that takes me. Keeps me planted!
The easiest thing? Editing, I suppose. Once you have something to work with, everything is so much easier. That’s what I remind myself when I feel as if I’m struggling to get the story down on paper—as long as I have something to work with, I’ll be able to get it done.
What piece of advice can you give to newer writers that you wish someone would have told you?
Join American Christian Fiction Writers. I think ACFW offers so many advantages to writers of every level. I didn’t join until I had already published my first novel or two, and then I realized how much the group had to offer brand new writers: free online classes, email access to some of the most successful novelists in the industry, ready research help and advice on the craft, a fantastic annual conference (with access to agents and editors from the major publishing houses), and so much more. You can’t beat it, for only $45 a year. (Of course, the conference costs additional money, but everything else comes with the membership.)
How do you work your proofreading and edits? Do you do these as you go along, or after you've finished the whole book?
I actually do a bit of editing as I go, and each day before I start writing, I tend to read and edit what I wrote the day before. I submit a few chapters at a time to my critique partners, and then incorporate their suggestions. So once I have my first draft done, it’s already fairly clean. Then I reread the book and do another edit, enhancing here, deleting there. Once my editor(s) read the manuscript, I have more editing to do, according to their suggestions.
How do you make time to write, market, and sell your books?
I always calculate how many days I have from contract to deadline, taking into account any dates I know for certain I won’t be able to write. Then I knock off a week or two for unexpected interruptions, and I leave myself a few additional days for rereading the entire manuscript. That way I know exactly how many words I need to write each day.
The marketing usually comes in a rush right before and after the book’s release, and those weeks are fairly hectic, but I don’t go on book tours—I’m not a big enough hot shot for that—so those heavy promotional periods are manageable.
Do you ever get writer's block, and if you do, what do you do to get out of it?
I always pray when I get blocked, and then I step away from the computer and occupy myself with others things for a while. I take a drive, I read a magazine, I cook. But I’m still thinking about the story, and if something doesn’t eventually come to me, I simply force myself to sit there at the computer and plow through. It’s surprising later to go back and see no traces of a struggle.
What is one thing most people don't know about you?
Sometimes I feel as if I’ve answered so many interview questions, there’s nothing people don’t already know. I’m not that interesting!
Hmm . . . I’m currently training to be a courtroom stenographer—you know those people you see hammering away on those funny little machines while witnesses testify in court cases? I’m training to do that to supplement my writing income, because it will be easy to schedule that job around my writing obligations. Prayers are more than appreciated. It’s hard!
Well, prayers are headed your way, Trish! I can only imagine how difficult it is!
Friends, Trish has been so good as to offer her new book, Unforgettable to one lucky winner. Please leave a comment HERE for your chance to win. Drawing will be held May 7th
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