Why I Write
I love it. Can't help it. It brings me immeasurable joy. I was born to do it. For the same reason I breathe. I might be a masochist. It's my bliss and I'm following it. Because I always have. There's nothing else quite like it. For the music words make.
Compulsion. Passion. Insanity. Absorption. Zen.
It gets me in the zone. It's fun. It's challenging. It's better than therapy. It expands my world, cracks my heart wide open, feeds my head. It's my dharma.
Besides, if I don't? I'll go crazy or implode.
How I Write
Every single day. Even if it's just for a few minutes. Maybe a blog post, a journal entry, a poem, a few notes about an idea or scene, or a snippet of dialogue or maybe an entire chapter. The words are always there, hovering at the edge of my mind, tantalizing and sweet. How can I resist?
Wandering through the fog. It's an adventure. I don't outline much and I do a lot of research on the fly as I go. I start with an idea, a title, a handful of characters, a sense of vibe, a location. A beginning and vague idea of an ending, which may or may not change as the story unfolds. I sit in my chair, take a breath, and go for it.
Fast. My zero drafts (averaging about 90,000 words, which I then attack with a machete) typically take about 12 weeks to write.
Close to the chest. My critique partners are allowed to read as I go, because I rely on them for cheerleading and brainstorming assistance. Nobody else gets so much as a peek until I've hit first draft status. Then my agent weighs in.
At my desk, on my PC, in Microsoft® Word® In my office with the French doors closed, surrounded by things that inspire me, in the company of my cat, Oberon.
To music. I have a playlist for every project and a great pair of Bose™ earphones that block out the entire world. More on how music works for me — and I work to it — here.
What I Write
Young Adult fiction. But that doesn't quite nail it. What I write…really write?
They might be putting on a Shakespeare play, battling gods and monsters, mixing it up with mad scientists or experimenting with the transformative powers of art, but all of that is just framework. My stories begin and end with character.
Who are these people, what do they want, how can they get it — if they can get it — and what are they willing to sacrifice along the way? How and why do they choose to do what they do, what do they learn and how do they grow?
What does it mean to be human anyway? That's the big question, isn't it?