17 October 2015

"It has to be a good story."

"Sometimes I interview as many as three or four people a night if I'm lucky. But it has to be a good story. That's only fair, isn't it?" -- The Boy, Interview with a Vampire
I was tagged by the lovely and talented Mollie Smith to do a little Q&A. I can't promise vampires, though, not this time.

When did you first start writing?
I've always written. Professionally I'm more of an editor, but I've written children's books, essays, catalog copy, website copy, all sorts of different things.

Was being a writer something you always aspired to be? 
Not really. I always pursued whatever my interests were at the time and I seem to have landed on editing and writing.

What genre do you write?
Right now I'm concentrating on novels but I've written mostly nonfiction. I'm calling Mountains Never Meet and some of the others I'm working on travel-expat-romance.

Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress?
It's my first novel. I started writing a memoir about living in Burundi but somewhere along the line I decided it would be a little more interesting if things happened differently. It morphed into a work of fiction that has nothing to do with Burundi now. (I'm sure Burundi will pop up in future stories, though. I still have a lot of adventures to share from there.)

When did you start working on this project?
At the beginning of this year.

What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about? 
In third or fourth grade, I think, I wrote a piece of My Little Pony fan fiction (before it was even known as fan fiction.)

What’s the best part about writing? 
All of it!

What’s the worst part about writing?
All of it!

What’s the name of your favourite character and why?
Right now I'm in love with my male main character in Mountains Never Meet. Opening up my manuscript every day is like opening an email from someone I have a crush on.

How much time a day/week do you get to write?
I consider writing this novel my job this year so I spend several hours a day working on it. I'm more in the editing and format phase right now but I still make time almost every day for a writing prompt.

When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
I'm a morning person, but I often have ideas just before I fall asleep at night so I jot them down and turn them into real sentences the next morning.

Did you go to college for writing?
I was an English major. I concentrated on literature but the program included some writing courses. I minored in film studies so my courses included script writing, too.

What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors or grammar errors?
As an editor, all of them. As a reader, all of them. As a writer, I don't pay attention to them at all until I'm editing later in the process.

What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
Write drunk, edit sober.

What advice would you give to another writer?
Don't be afraid of your first draft. Just write the damn thing. No one's going to see it so it doesn't matter if it's terrible. You go back and fix that later, but if you don't write it in the first place you'll have nothing to work with.

What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?
I like the Badass Writing series and Terrible Minds. I love #1lineWed on Twitter and I belong to a couple writing groups on Facebook. For the most part, though, I read a lot of novels and learn from them. I'd rather spend more time writing than reading about writing.

Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
I'm a runner. I sew. I bake gluten-free treats.

What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?
We happen to be back in the U.S. when Jaws was shown in theaters for its 40th anniversary. I'd only ever seen it on television before. It was an entirely different movie on the big screen!

Who is your favourite author?
J.D. Salinger

Where else can we find you online?
Twitter: @StephanieSD
Instagram: @stephanierunnerwriter
Goodreads: Stephanie (and where you can see from my reviews who my current favorite authors are)
Facebook: Stephanie Smith Diamond


Annelisa said...

Love the name of your book - Mountains never meet. Cracked up at your same answer for what you both love & hate about writing! :-D
Really enjoyed reading something about you (I didn't know Mollie had already tagged you, which also means I tagged her unnecessarily Lol :-D

Annelisa said...

Oh no! Where did my comment go!

Oh yes. Love your book title 'Mountains never meet'. Cracked up that you answered the same for both best & worst of writing. Enjoyed reading more about you.

Sorry, I didn't realise you'd already been tagged by Mollie (which means I've double-tagged her too! Oops!) but I only wanted to read your answers, so I'm happy :-)