Saturday, August 23, 2014

Always truth, never dare, except today! (#pitchwarsAMA)

You know, I sort of avoided playing truth or dare as a younger person. I could handle dishing out the truth, but I always shuddered at someone forcing me into a dare. I wasn't always afraid, just liked controlling my own crazy.  But today's post is a touch of both because the fabulous @ELWicker tagged me for the Pitchwars Ask Me Anything (#pitchwarsAMA) challenge. But this dare will reveal the truth about me as a writer and dreamer.

 Below are the questions posed to me by 2014 #pitchwars mentees:


@ELWicker asked: How does it make you feel when you finally (and completely) finish writing a book?

If you mean in a completely edited and squeakily kind of finished, the truth is I've never done that. Writing is an ever-changing process. But when I finished both my middle grade novels' rough drafts, I allowed myself a crazy, I-rocked-this-thing-out sort of jiggle before the reality of editing sank deep into my stomach. Then I sat down. And started to read what I wrote.

@Aightball asked: What must your writing environment be? (I.e. Quiet, music, special place, etc...)

Funniest thing ever. What is a writing environment? I have two adorable and ridiculously rambunctious girls under the age 7. I write between tantrums, hunger cries, and little person crises. I don't even know what quiet is. Sometimes I play music on my laptop when I manage to stay in my 2x4 office space for more then twenty minutes. Please don't take this as complaining. It's just the way my life is. Thank God for nap time!

I will admit that if I had the 'write' equipment and lived in a place that got more then a month of sunshine a year, I'd spend more time writing out-of-doors. I feel more grounded there, and my creativity has the room it craves.


@Hayley_stone asked: Growing up, what books or authors would you say had the most influence on you and your writing?

This is a fun question! My love of fantasy and historical fiction started at such a young age. Bruce Coville, Madeleine L'engle, C.S. Lewis, Tamora Pierce, Jane Austen, and Shel Silverstein all played a major part in showing me the unlimited reach words have on the imagination and my life. I would disappear into forgotten times and strange lands, only to submerge when my mom forced me to.


@Twin_Lotus asked: Who is the weirdest character you've written about?

Weirdness is so subjective. I think the pukulats, or stone spirits, in my first manuscript (now shelved until I can rewrite it) were the weirdest and most fun to write. I describe them as men that emerge from a sacred rock. They guard the way to a hidden fortress. Their joints clank as they move, like puppets made of stone, and they speak in rhyme, all the time, even as they climb!


@winellroad asked: Who would play the characters in the movie version of your book? 

I am not very movie, actor(ess) minded, so this is a hard question for me. Plus, my #pitchwars book is based on my upbringing, so I see a lot of my characters as the people they are based on.

If I had to choose, Dom would be played by Theo Holm. Reed, Dom's brother, would be played by Lincoln Lewis. Emma would be played by Elle Fanning. Taylor, Dom's rival, would be played by Kenton Duty.  Bad guy China Jin would be played by Wallace Chung.


@alisonwhipp asked: Do you have moments where you feel like giving up (WIP or writing)? If so, how do you push through that? 

Okay, first off, I gotta say that I have had these moments both mid-rough draft and in the editing process. But honestly, I'm a major optimist. When I have a give-up thought, I try really hard to nip it in the butt quick and focus back on what I love.

Sometimes, that means going back to a portion of the novel that I love and rereading it a few times. I've sent an email to a critique partner and told them I needed some cheering up. I'm also a christian, so sometimes I'll pray about it.

But my best tactic is time away. I'll step back for a few hours, or up to a few days. And it seems like I always come back refreshed and excited about the story again.


Duck, duck, duck...

Thanks for reading this post and all the great questions! Now its my turn to tag one of my question posers. So its duck, duck, duck, duck, stone! @Hayley_stone that is!

I loved your question and I really want to get to know you better! Be sure to tell me when and where you post your answers.


  1. I loved your answer about the times when you feel like giving up. I think we all have times when we feel overwhelmed or even underwhelmed by our writing so I completely relate to your answer. Great Blog post and I just want to say, it has been a real pleasure getting to know you throughout the Pitch Wars process and into the future x

  2. My answers are here at my blog:

    Thanks for this opportunity, Emily! It was a lot of fun! :D