Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wordsmith Studio 3rd Anniversary Blog Hop

During a Tweet chat with Wordsmith Studio the other day, my friend Elissa reminded me that I had been invited to participate in their Blog Hop, an event that was supposed to end about a week ago. But their questions were so interesting that I couldn't resist! Thanks for the invite, Wordsmith Studio! Sorry about the late post!

1) What are you currently working on?
Aside from promoting my debut novel, Blood of a Stone, I'm working on two major projects. The first one is my second novel, a story set in the mid-twentieth century about a family whose lives are intertwined with the atomic bomb tests in Nevada during the 1950s and 1960s. My other big project is a collection of short stories, all centering on the theme of bad mother/child relationships.

2) For past work, what was your greatest joy or greatest challenge?
Since Blood of a Stone is my debut novel, this work has probably been both my greatest joy and my greatest challenge. It was a joy to complete this book and bring it out into the world. I was so grateful to work with a wonderful editor who taught me so much about revision, and my publisher has crafted a beautiful product I'm very proud of. My greatest challenge was getting this same book published. It took over seven years to write the book, and I queried almost 200 agents before I found a small press that believed in the book and wanted to publish it.

3) For current work, what challenge are you working through now?
As I complete a draft of my new novel, I'm very aware of how much I learned during the revisions of the previous book. I can see flaws, particularly in character development, that will need to be fleshed out during revisions of this new book. I'm also much more aware of structure and pacing. I have some good ideas on how to fix the problems. I just need to find time to work on them.

4) For work you are just planning or starting, what challenges or growth are you expecting or hoping to encounter?
For the collection of short stories, I hope to make my short fiction more precise.

5) What have successes or challenges in your work (recently) taught you?
The value of persistence. Don't let small failures stop you from chasing the bigger success. Good writers never stop learning and never stop writing. All of these things contribute to your growth as an artist.

6) What obstacles or challenges have you not been able to overcome, or still frustrate you?
Time management. I work very hard to set goals and reach them, but there always seem to be more things on my to-do list than I can finish. If I had a magic wand (or more money), I would hire an assistant to shield me from people's demands and to take of the business side of writing.

7) How would you describe a great writing day (or week)?
A great writing day is when I produce creative work. It doesn't matter how many pages, as long as I'm satisfied with the result. I set daily goals, weekly goals, and long-term goals. In general, I tend to be deadline oriented. I work well with the idea that X has to be finished by a certain date.
Thanks, Wordsmith Studio, for inviting to share on the blog hop. This was fun!

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