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Saturday, March 19, 2011

An interview with Heather Paye

Question: How long have you been writing?

Answer: I've been writing for around eight years.

Question: What started you writing for publication?

Answer: After I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (yes, I read the second one before I read the first one) I was simply touched by the story and become absolutely obessed with it. You can bet I went out and bought every book out there that had anything at all to do with it. Which was when I bought "Muggles and Magic" which had a short interview in it with J.K.Rowling. One thing she said was "Anyone can write a book" that was the sentence that changed my life.

Before then, I swear, I didn't know just anyone could write a book, I thought you had to be someone special. That was when I started out writing my first short story. I only managed to write three short stories before I decided that I wanted to write something bigger, something better - a novel. It took me four years, but I managed to write my first full length novel. During those years, I had been studying publishing, how to do it, where to go, what you need. It payed off, I'm signing a contract for my series of nine and I still have yet to get a rejection letter.

Question: Have you ever had writer's block, and if so how do you get rid of it?

Answer: I don't really think there is such a thing as writer's block. I have had a few bouts of mental laziness though.

Question: What do you recommend to aspiring authors?

Answer: Don't rush writing (Rome wasn't built in a day), study, take notes, pay extra attention to your English class, and don't underestimate the power of revision/editing. I used to think I didn't need editing, I just thank goodness I got that out of my mind before it was time for me to edit my first novel.

Question: How do you invent your characters?

Answer: This is a tough question, when I need to create a character I just make him/her up as I go along. I gather up a few ideas - visual appearance, overall aditude - and I go from there. Most of my characters completely fictional and thought up. A couple of times I have tried to model my characters out of people whom I know in real life... but they always seem to take on a style all their own.

Question: I know a few authors who keep records (almost like police records) of
height, weight, background, etc. of their characters, do you keep tabs on
your characters, and if so, what do you usually make note of?

Answer: If I'm writing a series it can be quite helpful to keep character records, and depending on the legnth and complexity of the stand-alone novel I might keep records of the characters. Most of the time, I do keep the records. I usually make note of occupation, height, hair color, eye color, age, name, rank, serial number, LOL! Everything I can think up for the characters, and then some.

Question: Some authors say that they feel as though his or her characters are real, do you feel this way, and what do you think about this?

Answer: I think if you don't feel your characters are real, you're doing something wrong. You know you've done a good think if you can daydream about your characters.

Question: Do you have anything in the works?

Answer: Certainly! Would I be an author if I didn't? I have a werewolf novel about half-way finished, it's the most adult thing I've written to date (it's still in the young adult catagory though). I'm still working on that series of nine "The Artifact Series". I'm also working on a poetry anthology for Mother's Day.

Question: What was your favorite part about writing A Gift From Above?

Answer: I loved how real it turned out. It's very realistic with the siblings fighting and everything, the characters are just really realistic and I love that.

Question: What do you think is the hardest part about being an author?

Answer: There are a lot of hard things about being an author, marketing and editing are definitely two of the hardest. Editing and rewriting thousands and thousands of times on the exact same work gets very daunting and is certainly mentally challenging. Marketing can be time consuming, and if you don't do the right things you won't get any results, so that's pretty harsh too.

Question: Some people say that you need to live life before you write a book, do you think that it’s experience that writes a book or imagination?

Answer: I don't think experience is required at all if you're looking to write something completely fictional, however if you want to write realistic fiction, it certainly helps. If you want to write non-fiction, I don't think you can go without it. Imagination is certianly required no matter what you choose to write.


Please visit Mayra Calvani tomorrow as she talks to Robert Medak:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Topic Rants

Pick one of the topics below and in 100 words or less, talk about it:

1. Turn signals on cars are there to signal your intent to other drivers; however, if you are driving late at night (say around 3 am), there are no other cars on the road, and you are in the right or left turn only lanes, should you still get a ticket for not using your blinker? What if you are on a side street, turning into your driveway, and there are no cars around?

2. My house keys always end up at the bottom of my purse, no matter what I do. Do you have the same problem? Is this annoying? What other items always end up at the bottom of a purse, back pack, bag, etc. for you?

3. I don't like to let people borrow things anymore because usually they either take forever to return it, it gets lost, or it ends up damaged. Do you loan things out? What would you do in this case?

4. America is supposed to be a free country, but it seems we have less and less freedom all the time. We can't go flying without going through a rigorous screening process these days, we might have to all pay for health insurance whether or not we can afford it, and everyone needs to wear a seat belt (it's the law). Now they want to tell us what we can and can't eat. What do you think?

5. Television used to be more family-oriented. Years ago, you could put on a good comedy show and the entire family could sit through it. Now, TV has changed -- a lot more sex, violence, and swearing. Is it possible to tone it down again, or will it only get worse?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

C. Hope Clark: Finding a Job as a Writer

C. Hope Clark: Finding a Job as a Writer: "When people unsubscribe from one of my newsletters, I ask in a block for their reason for leaving. Some state they didn't find anything that..."