I caught this cute author origin tag, created by Evie Driver, on Lenn Woolston’s booktube channel two weeks ago. My main character, Jeremy, is way into comics. Now, I don’t have a YouTube channel presently. I’m not sure if that’s something I can keep up with. But still, I wanted to participate since the subject matter was so fitting, so I’ma just take my turn in a blog.
Backstory: When and why did you start writing? How old were you? What genres did you begin writing?
I started my memoirs at age ten on an old typewriter in my bedroom. I don’t think I got much beyond a title page, but I had big plans! As an adult, I wrote a couple drafts for picture books. My first completed novel was a fantasy story following two sister witches searching for their mother’s whereabouts. I somehow found the guts to query it, and got some bites. That manuscript has extensive issues though. I wrote my second novel while querying the first. It’s completely different in nearly every way.
Protaganist: What was your first main character like? How has your tastes/muses changed since then?
I write sassy introverts.
Antagonist: What’s the worst writing advice or feedback you ever received? What was your first rejection or confidence-breaking moment like?
Gosh…there’s a lot to choose from here. I lost count on form rejections for my first manuscript. So, I learned to celebrate small stuff. Anything that looked different than a form rejection, I saved.
When I started querying my debut, I got some quick form rejections too, like within the same day. One in particular pinpointed a list of reasons why they wouldn’t publish my work. This one hit hard because I felt this manuscript was much stronger than my first, but maybe I had it all wrong. I contacted a couple writer friends, begged them to take a look, and started rewrites again. I got the email seeking to publish, in its original state, a few weeks later.
Superpower: What part of writing or the writing process do you feel is your greatest strength?
My greatest strengths in writing are perseverance.
Kryptonite: What part of writing or the writing process do you feel is your weakest?
I can get stuck in my head, not really present when I need to be.
Training Montage: What strengths or weaknesses changed over the years? Additionally, what have you done to better your craft?
My first plot I threw everything I could possibly think of into it. It’s like the stone soup of manuscripts. I’ve learned to be more deliberate with my choices and plan a bit more, which isn’t something that comes naturally to me. To better my craft, I read a lot, attend conferences when time/$ allows, and follow some experts online.
Weapon of Choice: What programs have you used over the years? What’s your preference right now?
I started that first MS on a google doc because that’s all I had. I type everything. Writing long hand, while drafting, is too slow of a pace for me.
Trusted Sidekick: Every Batman has a Robin. What is you favorite companion while writing? Has this changed over the years? From day to night?
Coffee in the morning. Water in between. Tea in the afternoon. I don’t usually write anything new at night. I am able to edit during that time though.
Zero to Hero: When you first began this journey, what level of success did you imagine for yourself? Is where you’re at heading toward that original destination? If not, how has your dream evolved over the years?
I only ever wanted to finish writing a book, so I’m ahead of my original destination. Everything from here feels like bonus material.
Remember my name: What authors helped you realize your interest or passion for writing? What books helped shape your writing style or genre or choice?
There’s an interview of Diana Gabaldon where she talks about starting Outlander. I was about the same age as her when she decided to write it, and I decided it was time for me to start stringing some of my scenes together to see what was there. On a whim, I joined a critique group and that turned into a huge motivator for me. Every two weeks, other writers were gonna sit down with my work, I tried not to embarrass myself.
Marvel/DC: Comparison is dangerous. How has comparing your author journey to others dismantled or helped yours? Any advice to overcome this.
I don’t have any advice except to expect those feelings will come. Feel them, then congratulate your peers, and get back to your own beeswax.
The obligatory love interest: Looking back on your early work, what genres have you grown to love or hate to write?
It’s not that I hate to write it, but world building has proved extra halting for me. I have 20K of a sci-fi written. But, I’m all, oh, here are my characters eating lunch. Wait, where did the food come from and what kind of societal hierarchy exists in order to provide that sweet potato?
Archnemisis: What are the most common excuses you’ve given, or what outside forces have you overcome, that prevented you from writing?
Time and sleep, dudes. My work hours are usually the bookends of a day. I get the most done in the a.m. before my family is awake. Less at night, because my brain is wiped creativity-wise. Like I said earlier, reading and editing usually happen during that time.
Superhero Name: When you began, did you consider a pen name? If you’re using one, why? If you decided against one, why?
I did consider one, but ultimately didn’t find it necessary.
Avengers Assemble: Tag a few of your favorite people!
You! Yes, you. Have at this.
Just make sure you give credit where credit is due. This tag was created by Evie Driver. Here’s a link to the original blog post.
And here’s a link to Lenn Woolston’s booktube channel. She shares a lot of great writing tips.