Frequently Asked Question: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeToday’s question comes from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

I’m going to risk sounding a little snobby here: I wouldn’t do this. In fact, I think it’s kind of an absurd question. Part of creative endeavor is knowing that you will sometimes struggle, both with the work itself and with anxiety.

Having one wish to make one piece of anxiety go away is merely prolonging the inevitable.

It is my fond hope that next month’s question will be more realistic.

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Frequently Asked Question: Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

Hi, everyone. I am still up in Oregon; my dad’s funeral is tomorrow. I will talk more about this trip when I get home.

In the mean while, here is this month’s Frequently Asked Question, which comes from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

I typically write from the protagonist’s perspective. I do historical fiction/romance for the most part, and it is the protagonist’s story. If I wrote thrillers or horror, it might be different … but I don’t do those.

I’m sorry for the brevity this time, but there is so much going on that needs more attention that my focus is not on my authorial work. Thanks for understanding.

Frequently Asked Question: Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeToday’s question comes from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

I enjoy attending theatre, reading, travel and, believe it or not, learning new languages. I speak three dialects of French (European, Louisiana/Cajun, and Kouri-Vini/Louisiana Creole), Spanish, Italian, and smatterings of German and Portuguese.

I recently took the Via Character Survey (it’s free, you should do it). My greatest strength, what really “floats my boat,” is Love of Learning. According to Via, Love of Learning falls into the general category of Wisdom, which is the way we acquire and use knowledge. What this means (among other things) is that I enjoy learning new things just for the sake of doing it. I admit to being a little surprised by this outcome, but when I stopped to consider it, it really is true.

If you take the Via Character Survey, please share your top strength. I’m curious!

Frequently Asked Question: What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeHello, everyone. Our first FAQ of the year comes courtesy of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Frankly, it’s one I’d never contemplated before.

My favorite questions are inevitably about my research process. I love talking about using finding primary and secondary sources that will make my historical fiction or romances sing. Figuring out which details need to go on the page and which need to stay in the background is half of the fun.

My second favorite questions have to do with how I find my ideas. Potential ideas are everywhere! Sometimes they don’t work out, which generally means I haven’t thought the concept all the way through. I never discard anything I write, because you never know when you can repurpose something.

My least favorite questions so far have been “will you ghostwrite this for free, and not have your name on the cover” and “will you edit this for free, because I can’t afford to pay you.” And yes, those audacious questions are real. In both cases, I was told I should do it “for exposure,” although how not having my name on a book constitutes exposure escapes me. If you’re going to ask someone for a service, be prepared to compensate them in some fashion that the two of you can negotiate. It may be financial, it may be some other form of barter … but don’t expect people to work for free

Frequently Asked Question: What are five objects we’d find in your writing space?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeThis question comes from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, and will be the last one for 2018.

1. One of the cats. Seriously, they like to “help.” At the moment, it’s Gracey; she’s a lavender point snowshoe Siamese, and is the most mischievous of our feline family members.

2. My bulletin board. It’s always covered in reference ephemera from my most recent research trip, so I can grab what I need if I want to double-check something.

3. Model horses. I have a huge collection, and most of the display shelves are in my office.

4. A soda. I don’t drink coffee (I know, it’s a shocking thing to confess). My favorite sodas are regular Coke, Vanilla Coke, and Dr. Pepper.

born of war5. My diploma from the Defense Information School. I graduated from Public Affairs Officer Course 4-90, with honors. The first 16 years of my “day job” career were with the Dept. of the Army as a civilian, and it was during that time that I wrote my first book. Born of War … Dedicated to Peace is available via Scribd.