The following is a photograph of my grandparents taken in 1946, in Bromer, Indiana. They’re sitting in the driveway of my great-grandfather’s farm, in a 1929 Ford Model A (with a rumble seat) that they bought for $150. The two of them are still adorable—and feisty.
Jai asks: If you write sans outline what do you tell your editor – don’t you have to give them an outline or um.. some type of thing about what the book will be about? And also.. you write many books a year, so don’t you know what you’ll be writing for the year – this book in this series, then something for this anthology then a book in that other series.. ? And if that happens do you find yourself finishing off one book, starting ideas for another but you can’t write it until you finish off the other book that’s due first? *very curious*!
a) My editors trust me. A general paragraph about the story is usually enough.
b) I know what my schedule is, and whether I have to write a novel or a novella or a short story—but I don’t really decide what I’m doing until it’s time to start. And if I do have ideas, I just jot down what comes to me and save it until the book I’m working on is done. The goal is the finished product. I must finish the story, no matter what. The future can wait.
From Fent: what is a “ slush pile “?
According to Wikipedia, “the slush pile is the unending pile of unsolicited manuscripts either sent directly to the publisher by optimistic authors, or sent through an agent not known to the publisher.” Which, I suppose is accurate enough. Basically, though, I look at the slush pile—as an optimist—like a little beacon of hope for people who have the dream, and the will, to be writers. Of course, the slush pile reader might not feel the same. Check out this essay in Salon on the topic.
mrs_blondie wonders: Have we met the hero [of Soul Song]? And is this considered a Dirk & Steele novel?
No. And yes.
Rachael asks: Was it hard to make the transition to writing full-time? It’s obviously something you enjoy, but was it difficult to just have to do it even when you didn’t want to, and was there any particular way you dealt with that? Did you just get on with it anyway?
Not hard at all to make the transition. Being my own boss, doing something I love, was a dream come true. And I very rarely have a day when I don’t want to write. On the days I do, it means I’m sick. The only time this calling becomes difficult is when I’m blocked inside the story—but as you say, when that happens I just have to “get on with it.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this woman, and contemplating—with gratitude—the fact that we still have freedom of speech, life, and liberty. The holy trinity, if you ask me.