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Interviewing Myself

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Okay, so really, it’s a meme that I picked up on the web and edited a bit (I actually deleted ten or fifteen questions, if you can believe it!). But the questions are so much like some of the interview questions I’ve seen asked of other authors that it really did seem like an interview when I was filling it out.

For today’s comments: pick one of the following questions to answer here, and if you choose to do this meme on your own blog, come back and post a link to it and you can get TWO contest entries counted for today (but you have to post them in separate comments, so I can be sure to count them separately).

The Writer’s Meme

What’s the last thing you wrote? The opening scene of Chapter Four of Menu for Romance (a little more than 1,000 words yesterday).

What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have? The “sequel” to my favorite Sunfire Romance, Victoria, which I wrote when I was fourteen or fifteen.

Favorite genre of writing? Romance, of course!

Most fun character you ever wrote? The most fun I’ve ever had with a character was writing Sir Drake Pembroke in Ransome’s Honor. He’s the “bad guy,” which meant I could really do anything I wanted to in his scenes.

Most annoying character you ever wrote? Probably the two characters, Brooke and Nicole, which I cut out of my second manuscript, The Best Laid Plans

Best plot you ever wrote? Hmmm . . . for me that’s a tossup between Stand-In Groom and Ransome’s Honor. The difference being that SIG’s plot is contained all in one novel—and it’s complete—and the other hasn’t come to a conclusion yet, because there are still two books in the trilogy yet to be written.

Coolest plot twist you ever wrote? Probably the wedding scene/climax of Ransome’s Honor. It’s the one that gives me the giggles every time I think about how it felt to write it.

How often do you get writer’s block? More often than I should because I’m not as disciplined with my writing schedule as I should be.

How do you fix it? Make myself write something—anything—centered around the characters/story of my current manuscript. Eventually, I’ll get right back into it.

Write fan fiction? The only fan fiction I’ve ever written is described here.

Do you type or write by hand? Both. When I’m coming out of writer’s block, I find that writing longhand is very helpful in getting back to a point where the words are flowing—mainly because I can do it anywhere, but also because when my thoughts are running slowly, utilizing a slower form of writing seems to be more comfortable than sitting at the computer staring at a blank, white screen. But when I really get going, I much prefer to be typing, as I can type so much faster than I can write.

Do you save everything you write? Yes. I have a box of spiral notebooks filled with scribblings going back to probably 1985 or 1986. I have computer documents going back to about 1988 or 1989.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? Depends on what “old idea” means. Whenever I have an idea for a story, I write it down with the thought in mind that I might use it eventually.

What’s your favorite thing that you’ve written? At this point in time, probably Ransome’s Honor, but I love Stand-In Groom and I’m falling back in love with Menu for Romance. I feel kind of like Ado Annie from Oklahoma: I love best whichever one I’m with at the time.

What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will? I don’t think I could ever write Suspense/Thriller or Mystery. Even though when I watch shows like Law & Order or read mysteries, I can usually figure out who “did it,” I don’t know that I would ever be able to plot one, because, as we all know, I’m not a plotter.

How many writing projects are you working on right now? Right now I’m only working on Menu for Romance. Once I finish the first draft of it, I’ll need to set it aside for a few weeks so that I can hit the revision somewhat fresh. So in the intervening time, I’ll begin work on A Case for Love.

What are your five favorite words? Your. Book. Is. A. Bestseller. Okay, seriously, for today my favorite words are: absquatulate, obliquity, fabulist, equanimity, zetetic

What character that you’ve written most resembles you? Hannah McCready-English in The Best Laid Plans. I knew when I wrote her that I was putting a lot of myself into her character, but I’m currently re-reading the manuscript and I can’t believe exactly how much of me is in that character.

Do you ever write based on your dreams? So far, I haven’t written anything in full based on a dream, but I have tons of files in my “Ideas” folder on the computer with story ideas based on dreams.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write? Most definitely, though for me it comes somewhat as second nature. And I still get crits back where they’ve marked typos, misused words (as in I thought one word but typed another), and places where the verb doesn’t agree with the subject in number (i.e., it’s a singular verb but a plural subject), etc.

Does music help you write? YES! Especially as I was writing Stand-In Groom in which Dean Martin’s music plays a significant role in a few key scenes. All I had to do was put ol’ Dino on repeat on Media Player and I was immediately transported. When working on the historical, it had to be classical music of the era—or soundtracks of movies set around the same time.

How do people react when they find out you write? Usually how they would whenever anyone is talking about their hobbies, be it sewing or fishing or stamp collecting: a that’s nice kind of nod followed up with maybe a few cursory questions. A small minority of people would ask me a little more about it. Now, though, when I tell people that my first book is coming out, everyone always asks, “Oh, what’s it about?”

Quote something you’ve written. The first thing to pop into your mind. The soprano of flatware, alto of china, tenor of voices, and bass rumble of the dish sterilizers created a jubilant symphony that thrilled Major O’Hara’s heart. That’s the line that introduces Major’s POV in Menu for Romance and it says a lot about him.

  1. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 10:35 am

    This is a fun meme! Let’s see, the character I’ve written who is most like me seems to be the one I’m writing now. She’s a businesswoman who seems confident on the surface, but inside she’s way more insecure than she lets on. Sadly, it’s some of the harder edges of her character that are most like me. It’s definitely something I can learn from.


  2. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 1:36 pm

    This is a fun meme…I’m going to try it on my blog.

    But first, the question I want to answer here:

    Does music help you write. NO! It must be quiet when I write. If I listen to music, I wind up typing the lyrics instead of what I meant to write…and if I use instrumental music…I fall asleep!


  3. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 1:58 pm

    Hmm. what’s the first thing I ever wrote that I still have? A diary I kept in HS, but if you mean fiction, it would be a story entitled In His Time, a book I wrote before I understood strict POV. It would need a major rewrite if I ever get around to it, but I do like the storyline. And I agree with Erica, music distracts me while writing. I find myself harmonizing or singing along in my head.


  4. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 2:03 pm

    I’m so glad this is a meme I can steal, er…borrow. I didn’t know what I was going to blog about today.

    What’s the last thing you wrote? Today’s grocery list!


  5. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 2:20 pm

    I’m awesome.


  6. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 2:23 pm

    And we have to post twice or something? I’m confused. I average like 4 or 5 comments per topic, and god knows you’re going to say something else I’m going to have to make fun of later on in these comments.


  7. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 2:24 pm

    What’s the last thing I wrote? Does a flaming e-mail count? LOL


  8. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 3:24 pm

    okay, mine’s up at


  9. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 4:39 pm

    I’m taking the music question.

    No!!!!! Music distracts me. I’m a very quiet type of person. The only time you’re going to find me listening to music a lot is when I’m in the car. I prefer absolute silence when I’m writing. The clicking of the keys is my mood music.


  10. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 5:09 pm

    My answers can be found at


  11. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 5:12 pm

    And my answers are posted at


  12. Emilie permalink
    Tuesday, July 15, 2008 6:51 pm

    I love discovering the common threads among writing processes and also the ones that are individual. Great post, Kaye:) I agree with your post about the music–even though I’m usually an “I-need-quiet!!!” sort of writer, writing a WWII-era series just demands a soundtrack of Glenn Miller and the like. Puts me right in the period and makes me feel like I’m there like nothing else.


  13. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 9:06 pm

    It is hard to know which question to post! They were fun to answer.

    Here’s mine…

    Quote something you’ve written. The first thing to pop into your mind. :

    “Dad gum stupid frog!”

    Seriously, it’s probably my favorite line in my whole book.


  14. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 9:12 pm

    See my answers to the questions


  15. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 10:17 pm

    Every time I read people’s responses to this questionnaire, I keep being surprised that you and your friends don’t still own anything you’ve written before you were about 13 or 14. I told my mother in third grade that I wanted to be an author when I “grew up” and that attitude just evolved more towards movies and screenplays. I’m such a horrific geek. Who the hell maintains third grade passions? Or maybe I just happen to be a sentimental packrat. Or perhaps I should put a flip on things and NOW it’s time for me to decide I’d like to be an astronaut.


  16. Tuesday, July 15, 2008 10:29 pm

    Oh, I still have a bunch of stuff from when I was in elementary school–but those were all assignments. I didn’t actually start putting words down on paper as stories of my own free will until I stopped playing out all of my stories with my Barbie dolls when I was fourteen or fifteen.


  17. Wednesday, July 16, 2008 12:48 am

    Ah, that’s a fair point. According to my G.I. Joes I should be writing some sick martial arts movies.

    Interesting boyhood fact: Princess Leia had the privilege of being the toy room slut by default of being the only female action figure I owned. Period. Your Ken doll may have had a tough time getting Barbie to like him, but the all out wars that took place over Princess Leia had a higher body count than Saving Private Ryan and The Return of the King combined.

    The more you know!


  18. Wednesday, July 16, 2008 9:01 am

    Okay the last thing I wrote was a paragraph for a vague idea I have for a book. Which is actually a lot for me since I really don’t write fiction. But, not that I have this vague idea I’m thinking of giving it a try. LOL of favorite words.


  19. Wednesday, July 16, 2008 12:06 pm

    Do you ever write based on your dreams?

    The answer is yes. I tend to have some bizarre dreams. And sometimes they have complete plots. Like the one I had where I was a cop or private detective and I was working with someone to find his abducted wife.

    The one time that I really have written based on a dream though (and not just filed it away or later) was when I was in junior high – I had to write a short story for English. I had a dream – and voila it became The Four. Sounds scary, right? No – now its something that just gives me the giggles when I go back and read it. If I had it on disk I would post it, but alas, I don’t.


  20. Wednesday, July 16, 2008 5:02 pm

    Most fun character you ever wrote?

    In my first book, the heroine’s mother was great fun to write. She had such spunk and sass and even though she had so much love for her daughter, she dug herself into a whole so often. Very fun to write!


  21. Thursday, July 17, 2008 10:10 am

    What’s the last thing you wrote? The first part of chapter 15 of The Lindorm and his Lady. I made it past 700 words on the novel, which was decent considering I felt blocked the whole time.

    I appreciate your observation about not writing down stories until you stopped playing them out with toys.

    Only, I never did the Barbie thing; mom didn’t want barbies in the house. I had loads of My Little Ponies. And each one had his/her own personality and family group.

    Makes me wonder (in a chicken and the egg way) if our play-modes as children affected the stories we tell: i.e., you with the barbies and Romance Novels and me with fantasy (and family-group) animals and writing… what I write.

    Makes me think…

    Wanna run a survey among your writer-readers?


  22. Thursday, July 17, 2008 10:11 am

    I did the meme too.

    Anybody wanna check it out?


  23. Nicole (ikkinlala) permalink
    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 12:48 am

    Am I concerned with spelling and grammar as I write? Exceptionally.

    Of course, a lot of what I write is still being graded. Even when it isn’t, I like to try to set a good example.


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