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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Answering questions from GoodReads.com


I responded to the initial author questions on GoodReads.com. Check out my answers below or on their site, and feel free to add your own question. No spoilers, of course! I appreciate everyone who reads my work, and welcome the opportunity to interact with you. Thanks for your interest!

How do you deal with writer’s block?
I don’t have a great answer for getting out of “writer’s block,” but I try to avoid it with a couple techniques. I have to credit Rachel Simon, with whom I was fortunate enough to have a couple of tutoring sessions years ago, with the first. She suggested stopping for the day before running out of ideas to be able to get started right away (or at least much more quickly) the next day. Obviously, there’s a bit of a balance in doing that—you wouldn’t want to stop when you’re on a roll—but the tip has been helpful. Another technique I use, which might be an offshoot of the first, is to write notes on what I’m thinking in the middle of a good run of writing. As a writer with a physical disability, my typing speed can be a little slow. My mind can get way ahead of my typing. So at times I’ll just space down several lines in Word and leave a note about where I want to go with the scene I’m working on. It might also be a line of dialogue or a specific line of the narrative that I know is five, ten, lines away. This helps trigger the rest of what I was thinking.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Writing that first draft of a story that I’ve fallen in love with and keeps me busy for months . . . before I have to deal with showing it to people I respect (or even to evaluate it myself) to see if I have something worthwhile. That escape from reality, the feeling that you’re creating something (or at least think you are!) is the joy of writing. Without it, I’d never even think about trying to write.

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
I’m probably still in that category, but I would say, love the process.

What are you currently working on?
Promoting The Birth of Super Crip while praying it finds enough of an audience to write what I hope is the next in the series about Red O’Ryan.

How do you get inspired to write?
I think it’s just “there” if you like to write. But I think the best movies or books that I enjoy are those that make you want to write. They sort of stir your creative juices. If that counts as inspiration, I guess that’s my answer.

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
The man whom I guess would be considered my mentor suggested years ago that I always keep a character with a disability in my stories. His suggestion, a desire to write something fun (versus the blogging I was doing), and landing on Iron Man way too many times on cable, combined with a commercial for Agents of SHIELD that ultimately turned on a “light bulb” in my mind that eventually lead to Red. Ironically, I still thought of him as a character who happened to have a super power versus a superhero, if that makes sense.
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