Where do you write?
Anywhere. I often compose in my head in the shower or while driving. I usually need to "see" the movie of a scene in my head before I tackle it. As for where I sit down and tickle the keys, that can be almost anywhere. I have a shed in my garden that I write in, especially in Spring and Fall and I have a desk in a shared office with my husband. I write in Barnes & Noble fueled with Hot Cinnamon Spice tea and I write in Panera while eating orange scones. But mostly I write in the in-between minutes - when littlest daughter is watching Caillou or playing in the yard with a neighbor. That writing I do on the dining room table. Basically, no flat space is safe from my writing.
Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
1) Empty, crumby plate left over from breakfast
2) Crumpled up Justice receipt from eldest daughter's back to school outfit (much sequins.)
3) Nook a/c adaptor
4)Hairbrush, which is funny because my hair has yet to be brushed this morning. Sigh.
Favorite time to write?
Mornings. I am an unrepentant morning person. I will and have written in the wee hours of the night and in the afternoon and any other time - beggars can't be choosers, but if I can choose, it's morning, every time.
Drink of choice while writing?
Tea. Or coffee. The occasional Gin & Tonic, but not more than one. I need to keep a lot of plot strings straight.
When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
MUSIC is a must. I've said it before and I'll say it again, music is an engine for me, it actually keeps me (pardon the pun,) humming along. Some pavlovian quirk in my make up makes me feel ready to work when the music starts.
What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
I start every project with a What If? For FIND ME, I started with an idea from Sleeping Beauty. Not the sleeping part, or even the beauty part, but the idea of gifts. You remember when the little fairies give gifts to the baby princess? Then the bad fairy curses her? I was thinking about gifts and curses and I thought, what if a curse brought with it a gift? What if the curse of not being able to read came piggybacked with the ability to find anything? That was the start!
What's your most valuable writing tip?
When you are stuck - and by all that is holy, you will get stuck - go around the problem. Close your doc (SAVE FIRST!) then start something completely other. Something that might have nothing to do with the direction you thought you were going in. Draw a picture of your MC. Compose a dirty limerick about your villain. Make up a dating profile for one of your characters. Move the scene you are writing to Antarctica or to Secaucus, NJ. Because you are writing away from your WIP it will help you feel freer. And using other creative muscles (drawing, music, poetry) will help you shake off your stuck-y-ness. Hopefully it will reinvigorate your story too. It's worked for me!