Who is your agent?
My literary agent is Lauren MacLeod. She works at The Strothman Agency where she spends her time selling books and looking adorable.
What is a literary agent?
They are fabulous creatures! Not only do they sell manuscripts, they work hard to get their authors the best deal with the best publishing house for the book. Sometimes they help edit. Sometimes they tell their writers to get away from the computer and actually sleep. Sometimes they eat frozen pizza.
Do you have advice for new writers?
Heck yeah. Here are a few of my old blog posts you might be interested in:
- Art Yarn (on being a beginner)
- Sometimes, The Steps Are Out Of Order (on getting through the first draft)
- Forcing Characters to Interact (on making things more difficult)
- Fictional Romance
- Teenage Girls and Their Hot Immortal Boyfriends
- Challenging Characters (on plot)
- The Emotional Zig-Zag (on character arcs)
- More On Emotional Arcs and Zig-Zags
- Are You Willing To Risk Looking Dumb? (on being true to the story)
- Process, Rearranging, and Smushing Chapters
- Adjusting Focus and Making Big Events Huge
- Six Things Stargate: SG1 Taught Me About Writing
- Writers and Social Media
- Reader Question: Trilogy Planning
- Favorite WriteOnCon Posts
- Query Request Rates
- In Which I Don’t Go Insane, But Nearly! (on having important story information)
- Reasons to Revise Right, Right Now
- Dealing With Multiple Agent Offers
- Automatic Organizing
- What revision is actually like
- Finding Booklove
- Chop. Rearrange. Rewrite. (Ransom letters.)
- Beginnings: Action and Change
- For The Love of Commas!
- Processing Critiques
- Six Things Supernatural Taught Me ABout Writing
- Worldbuilding series: pt 1: Intro.
- Worldbuilding series: pt 2: The definition of the world; Keep logic, consistency, and research in mind
- Worldbuilding series: pt 3: Explore the world; The words you use to describe the world
- Worldbuilding series: pt 4: Introducing your world; Sum-up
- Worldbuilding series: pt 5: A question and a yarn picture.
- How to Write a Perfect First Draft
- What Ferrets Taught Me About Being a Writer
- Why I Ditched My Draft
- Dealing With The Doubts
- Write Like You
- Editing Tricks
- From Idea to First Draft: part 1
- From Idea to First Draft: part 2: Idea
- From Idea to First Draft: part 3: Worldbuilding
- From Idea to First Draft: part 4: Characters
- From Idea to First Draft: part 5: Plot
- From Idea to First Draft: part 6: Emotion
- The Story That Scares Me
- Reader Question: Finding Inspiration
- Creativity and You
- Protagonists Don’t Get Pimples
Other places I’ve found useful:
- Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror
- Miss Snark
- Miss Snark’s First Victim
- Absolute Write Water Cooler
- Preditors and Editors
What is your writing schedule?
I write every day, at least eight hours a day. It’s a full time job.
When creating characters, how much do you take from people you know or have seen in real life?
Zero. It can take a while before I understand different aspects of their personalities, just like getting to know real people, but they always come to me fully formed.
What kind of research do you do for writing?
I research whatever I need to know. This varies from book to book.
For INCARNATE, I did a ton of research on Yellowstone National Park, which, like Range, is a supervolcano. (That is so cool.) I researched second-degree burns (less cool), primitive and modern instruments, and roses, in addition to lots of other random things.
I try to pretend I don’t know anything so I don’t accidentally use incorrect information. If I’m really concerned about getting something right, I get in touch with someone who can answer my questions; two serious musicians read the Incarnate books and picked the musical bits to shreds.
Do you know the whole story before you write? Or do you make it up as you go?
That depends. I actually wrote a lot of (trunked) manuscripts before I wrote INCARNATE, and they were mostly made up as I went along.
One of the things I wanted to do differently with this was have the entire story planned ahead of time, so I wrote a long synopsis that ended up showing me the book wasn’t just one book. It was a trilogy.
Because of that, I’ve had a lot of the basic story in mind since the beginning. That doesn’t mean there aren’t still surprises! My synopsis said nothing about the masquerade, but it turned out to be a very important part of the first book.
I’m working on a book. Will you read my manuscript?
Sorry, but I can’t. I have a healthy circle of crit partners already, and I don’t have time for more. But if you want feedback, you should definitely start looking for crit partners. I’d start looking at Absolute Write and Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.