Sunday, 20 January 2013

Ten questions I wanted to ask myself

It's a white Sunday in London and somehow I feel mischievous, so I decided to interview myself, asking questions that I felt needed to be asked. Let's see if I can get myself to answer those tricky beasts.

Tea or coffee?
Tea (lots of it) in the morning. It doesn't have an effect on me, but I love the taste. With semi-skimmed milk and brown sugar. I'm a big fan of flavoured coffee, so in the evenings I'll have a big mug of my choice. Either rich hazelnut, vanilla, double chocolate, or whatever else I have in my cupboard. And in between I'll have herb or hibiscus tea.

Writing: mornings or evenings?
That depends on my mood. But I'm not a person who gets up at 5am to write 3k. So I guess it's more evenings. Whenever I feel the muse calling.

Why did you choose to write in English?
I live in England, and even though German is my mother tongue, I consider English being my first language. It's a beautiful language and inspiration to write my first novel was after reading an English series. Since I came here over six years ago, I've read only English books, I only speak English, so it was a given to write in English, too. First it was a challenge, then it was just normal. Besides, the English market is far bigger, plus it's easier to get feedback/beta readers.

Writing or editing?
Honestly? Editing. I love helping people 'to see' and watch them as they grow as writers, or see their manuscript improving. It's very rewarding. I hate writing, but I love the accomplishment of having written a book and hearing from readers who enjoyed it. That said, I love writing for one reason: the challenge. Writing keeps my brain active and I always try to explore new ways. I wouldn't be able to stop doing it, because ideas have begun to flood my head regardless of my love/hate relationship with writing.

Editing: first time writers or experienced ones?
I've learned that it's much easier to work with experienced writers. Of course it depends on the writer. I've worked with great first time writers who took my suggestions and advice on board and I knew they have learned for life, but then you have those who are more in need of a tutor than an editor. It can be rewarding, too, but I always give more than I'm paid for. Working with more experienced writers, who know the basics, enables me to sink my teeth into the plot- and character development; basically enables me to do my job.

What is your preferred genre to write in?
Send me a postcard if you find the answer. No, seriously, I have no idea. I think it must be humour as almost everything I write has some humour in it. I wrote the opening (around 1000 words) for a sci-fiction novel, a proper one with space ships and all that, but I've created a robot with a sense of humour due to a faulty module. Excuse me, where is the exit? is plain humour, and the Branded series is paranormal romance, but with plenty of funny scenes, too; and 5-Minute Tea Break Stories has a few funny tales in it as well. I can write serious things, though. The thriller is not funny and another finished novel leans more towards literary fiction. The next few planned books (apart from the sci-fi) are all more on the serious side.

What are you working on at the moment?
Due to readers' demand, I'm writing the third book in the Branded series. I initially didn't plan a third book and after the sales of No Wings Attached and Candlelight Sinner were more than disappointing, I'd written the books off as 'must try harder' and concentrated on other ideas I had. Somehow, I must have unconsciously wanted a third book as the ending of book two suggests there's room for more, then readers kept sending me messages, asking if there's another one, so I gave in. I'm just at the beginning, but it should be an exciting read when I've finished. There'll be romance, cooking, friendship, hate, fights and tears.

Do you prefer stand alone novels or series?
I haven't read that many series lately. I read them a lot as a kid/teen, but stand alone books as an adult. If I like a series or get hooked, I'm happy to read the lot of them.
In terms of writing, I definitely prefer stand alone novels. Series require a lot of imagination, something I sadly lack. It's hard work to write them, that, I know from own experience. You need to be careful to not bore 'old' readers, but introduce the cast to 'new' ones if they accidentally grab the second or third book. It's requires a lot of brain wracking.

You say you have or only little imagination. How do you go about writing?
When an idea hits me, I let it brew for a while, then run through some options in my head, walking some ways to see where it may lead. I normally won't start before I know the major turning points, the very rough draft, if you will and if the idea becomes like a film before my inner eye, I know it's worth writing the opening scenes. I also often know the ending, but anything in between are blind spots. I guess you can say I fly by the seat of my pants. That's why I find it so incredibly difficult, because I never know what's around the corner, but if creativity hits me, I have to walk the way to the next major turning point in my head and see if it fits. It's not easy to explain. Somehow it seems to work. I'm a careful and slow writer, trying to avoid everything I hate when reading.

Erotica seems to be the new black, anything planned in that genre?
To make it simple: yes. I have an idea and wrote the opening. But no, it's not another Fifty Shades of Grey, it will play far more with the attraction and longing for each other.

Well, now that was interesting. I thank myself for my time. 

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

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