Hey all you readers and writers! Emma Michaels here to introduce our guest author of the day:
Hello Jessi and welcome to The Writers Voice!
Can you tell us what scene you can remember being the hardest to write? What scene was it and why was it difficult for you?
The hardest scene for me to write in both MOONGLASS and IN HONOR was the last scene. My goal in that scene is to leave the reader with a feeling that somehow resonates and that brings the story to a close that feels genuine and just right, which is incredibly hard to do!
How important is your writing environment when you are working on a novel? Can you write anywhere or do you need a specific setting?
I’ve become less picky than I used to be about where I write. The biggest thing is that I need quiet, and I can find that in a lot of different places: my office, my dining room table or the living room (when no one else is home), the library. I don’t tend to write in cafes or other populated places because the people and their conversations are too interestingly distracting.
Do you have any closet/trunk novels hidden away?
I don’t, unless you count my version of JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, which I wrote in 5th grade. Other than that, MOONGLASS was the first novel I attempted.
When you are looking for a book to read what do you look for? Has what you look for changed since your first publication?
I am always looking for characters that hook me from the very first page, and genuine emotion in a story. I want a book to make me feel and make me think. That hasn’t really changed since my first publication. I consider it studying the things I want to do in a book.
How long does your first draft normally take you to write?
I don’t know if I’m qualified to say “normally” yet, but the first draft of MOONGLASS took me about 10 months, and IN HONOR took 9. Maybe with GOLDEN it’ll be 8? Yeah, probably not.
When you are writing your first draft what do you try to accomplish with your first chapter? Are you just trying to get the words out, do you consciously try to write your hook first, what is the first chapter like for you?
When I write the first chapter I am very conscious of the hook since that is so hugely important. I write it over multiple times until I have the hook nailed and the tone just right (for a first draft, anyway). The first few chapters usually come pretty easily. It’s the middle that’s the hard part.
Do you ever identify with one of your characters more than the others?
Definitely. I think the protagonist in each of my novels is the character I most identify with. Writing in first person tends to place me closer to that character, and then the minor characters are more of a fun way to explore personalities much different from my own.
To all our readers out there, thank you for following The Writers Voice and happy reading!