Today I have the lovely Sarah joining me, hopefully you'll love her answers as much as I enjoyed reading them. Some really good insights into authors brain here!
1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2009, but didn't take it seriously about 2 or 3 years ago. I wanted a space where I could talk about my novel-writing as well as other projects and hobbies while reaching out to a new audience. You can only say so much to your friends and family before you drive them crazy! I saw it as an opportunity to learn more about the craft I love and meet fellow writers from around the world.
2. How did you find your niche?
I don't know if I would call it a niche. My approach seems "all over the place," compared to other bloggers. (*blushes*) But I blog about the craft of writing, the books I read (especially fantasy, since that's my favourite genre), tea (I'm a tea reviewer at A Bibliophile's Reverie), music, and occasional personal bits.
I think it's because I like variety. I'm afraid that if I spend too much time on one subject, I'll tire of it - and I don't want to lose interest in my passions. The funny thing is, all of the subjects I cover intersect in some way. Writers love to read, some writers and readers love music or tea, and so on. Writing will always be my priority topic, but having a diverse yet connected range of topics has made the endeavor more exciting and fulfilling. I hope readers have enjoyed it so far, too.
3. How do you come up with content ideas for the blog?
Everywhere! I actually have a backlog of post ideas - there's just not enough time to get to all of them right away. (*lol*) Some of my ideas come from different blogging memes I follow, like Stacking The Shelves, Beautiful People / Beautiful Books, and #1000Speak. Others come naturally out of my own blog series on character arcs (The Character Evolution Files), literary themes (Theme: A Story's Soul at DIY MFA), and my personal novel-writing journey (Chronicling The Craft). The rest of my ideas come from other inspirations, from books and music to current events and personal experience.
4. When did you know writing was for you?
I don't remember an exact moment when I knew. My parents have told me I learned to write shortly after I learned to read (I was 5 years old); and by 7 or 8 years old, I was sitting at the kitchen table with crayons, paper, and book-making kits, making up my own stories. Writing has been a constant in my life since then. It's taken different forms - I worked on school newspapers for years and am a published poet - but I've always come back to novel-writing after each "phase," and I've never once thought of quitting.
5. Where did the idea for The Keeper's Curse come from?
I got the idea for The Keeper's Curse after seeing the first film in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy. I loved the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and am a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien (his work was my gateway into fantasy lit), so I was overjoyed to go back to Middle-Earth, reunite with characters I loved, and meet new people and places. That feeling stuck with me for days afterwards... which soon made me wonder, "What if I wrote my own quest story? What would I do differently? Ooooh, and what if I had a female protagonist?" That's how most of my stories are born: by wondering all kinds of "What if's."
6. How do you organise your writing time?
I squeeze it in whenever I can. I work full-time, so my writing time is very limited. But when I've got a few minutes (or, more ideally, an hour or more), you'll find me at my laptop, typing away. I focus on The Keeper's Curse during weekends and days off from work, and on blogging during the week.
7. Do you have any ideas for more novels?
Would it surprise you if I said I have LOTS of ideas for future novels? ;) They run the gamut from contemporary / magical realism to dark fantasy with a steampunk / sci fi angle. Most of my ideas are epic fantasy, though. Some will be more appropriate for a teen / YA audience, and others for an older / adult audience. My next writing project, however, is going to be a novella set in the same world as The Keeper's Curse.
8. When you finish revising The Keeper's Curse, will you self-publish or take the traditional route?
I'd like to try the traditional route. I've done my homework on the different publishing routes, including self-publishing, small presses, and hybrid / partner publishing. And in truth, it couldn't be a more amazing time to be a writer, because there are so many avenues we can pursue to get our work out there for others to read. But I still feel like I should give the traditional route a chance. I'm not sure when I'll be ready to query, since my process has been and will continue to be a slow one. But if and when it happens, that would be thrilling. And if it doesn't work out, I can always try a different publishing route.
9. One piece of advice for aspiring writers?
Be patient with yourself and your process. It's something I still struggle with because of limited time and being a "slow" writer. (I never seem to pump out 1,000 words an hour, no matter how focused I am!) But that's OK. We have to learn to embrace our unique process, go with the flow, and cherish whatever writing time we have. The more focused we are on our goals and the less we worry about comparing ourselves to other writers, the more we'll enjoy our individual journeys with our craft.
Find Sarah Here: