A quote to live by
I’ve been tagged by friend and author Joe Mahoney to participate in a Blog Hop (who in turn was tagged by his sister, author Susan Rodgers).
The way this Blog Hop works is he asks me a bunch of questions, which I answer here in my blog, and then I somehow convince two other bloggers to do the same for me.
Here are Joe’s questions and my answers:
1. After working at the CBC for many years, and with a bright future ahead of you there, you made the incredibly courageous decision to give it all up to focus on your writing, even though at the time you had no publishing contract. How were you able to do that? Do you miss the day job? What advice do you have for other aspiring writers dreaming of taking the same path? It didn’t feel courageous at the time, I promise you that. It felt foolish and a little selfish to take such a promising future leading digital strategy at CBC Radio and put it aside to follow a dream. But at the same time, and you can attest to this Joe, for the first time in my life it didn’t feel like a choice. I was being pulled so strongly towards the writing, towards Portia that I knew if I didn’t give it and her my undivided focus that I would regret it for the rest of my life. I am so glad I listened to the voices in my head and parted ways with the full-time job. I am also so glad I could do it with (I believe) grace and my head held high. From the time that I was a little girl I knew I wanted to work at the CBC, and I did, for a decade and a half. I will never forget that place, the accomplishments or the great friendships I made there. I guess my advice would be to do the same – to listen to the voices in your head, and try to trust them.
2. Jewel of the Thames is your first novel. What have you learned about the craft of fiction during the writing of this book? Is there anything you know now you wish you had known at the beginning? Can you describe your writing process? Oh good gosh I’ve learned so much it would be hard to get it all down. I learned a lot about my own writing style – that I prefer action to description and dialogue. I learned that often what people don’t like in your novel has nothing to do with you or your writing, but comes from their own preferred style of writing (something I keep in mind when I grade my student’s papers now!). I don’t think there’s anything I wish I had known when I started this process, I just learned <I think> in the natural order of things. My writing process is pretty simple, I write long-hand in moleskin notebooks, generally starting with a case I want Portia to take on and then expanding from there. I do my full first drafts that way, and then do a lot of editing while transcribing from notebook to laptop.
3. What are your future plans for detective Portia Adams? Do you have any other projects in mind that don’t involve her? Portia has many more casebooks in her future (seven more casebooks are written, and I’m writing the eighth and ninth right now), but I also have a time-travel series that I’ve started and a dystopic YA short-story that I’d like to turn into a full novel. So lots of writing on the go!
Here are the bloggers I’ve tagged:
http://irishfirebrands.wordpress.comChristine Plouvier was reading and writing at age 4. Her early career included manufacturing in the electronics and automotive industries, and she is a Navy veteran. She raised three sons and a daughter while earning an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Health Education/Community Health, and a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration.Christine worked eighteen years as a Certified Childbirth Educator and more than twenty years as a Registered Nurse. Her prior works include several crochet patterns published by two magazines, and two privately published self-help manuals. Now she writes novels: in 2013 she released Irish Firebrands (a contemporary romance that crosses five other genre lines).She is now producing an audiobook of her first novel, and is writing her second, The Passions of Patriots (about the early 20th century Irish wars and the First World War). Her interests include the life transitions that can drive – and be driven by – the hidden agenda of the mind.She lives in Indiana with Oliver, a white cat that has black spots, soft fur and a good disposition, but which chooses to answer only to “Kitty.”