Today I’m starting a new series that I hope will be entertaining and informative. I’ve created a questionnaire for readers to complete and will post the results here. Which readers? Anyone who enjoys reading. Doesn’t matter whether you read, fiction, nonfiction, comics, or graphic novels–it all qualifies. If you read, I’d love for you to participate. See the downloadable form and instructions below.
So on with the Interview.
I’m pleased to introduce . . . Myself. You’ll find my bio here and my debut novel blurb here. Welcome to my website, my blog, and my first reader interview.
(with a tip of the hat to Inside the Actor’s Studio)
First Name: Lynette
Gender: Wonder Woman
Age Range:Not dead yet
Occupation: Writer and about to be retired pediatric nurse
What occupation (other than yours) would you like to try? Singer (if I could get over the stage fright)
What sound or noise do you love? A child’s bubbly laughter that you hear and cannot help but smile
What sound or noise do you hate? Whining
What is your favorite word? Starts with f and rhymes with duck—well, it’s not really a favorite, but it’s one I use way too often!
Fiction or Nonfiction? Both
Genre? Make me care about the characters and I will read anything. I tend to prefer thrillers. If it’s a thriller space opera, that’s about perfect!
Ebook, audio book, or physical book? Physical book
What makes you choose a book to read? Author? Cover? Blurb? Recommendation? Any of the above, though most often it’s by a recommendation I’ve gotten from a friend or trusted website.
What makes you put down a book? Characters with nothing at stake, characters whose only purpose is to fulfill stupid plot tricks, the story wanders vaguely around events that don’t mean much, or the description or info dump goes on for paragraphs and on for pages.
What book did you just finish? A YA Paranormal called Shattered Seam by Kathleen Groger, an Immersion Sister. I read a small portion when we went to a Master Immersion class together. I’m sorry I took so long to get around to reading it. It’s so GOOD! I also read a nonfiction book called The Unfit, History of a Bad Idea by Elof Axel Carlson.
What are you reading now? Story Genius by Lisa Cron,
Do you re-read books? Yes! Why? I love the experience, the journey, of that particular book. Usually it’s specifically the characters’ journey, but it can also be the world building.
All time favorite book? Oh, boy, this is tough. Little Women, A Wrinkle in Time, Dune, Seventh Son, Gone with the Wind are all favorites. I have many but I re-read Little Women until the pages fell out.
If heaven exists, what would you want St. Peter to say?What took you so long? (interpret that any way you wish!)
I hope you enjoyed the interview.
What other questions would you like to ask readers?
Would you like to answer the questions and be featured in an upcoming blog post? You can download the questionnaire and fill it out.
August wasn’t like any other August I’ve experienced. We’ve had mild and wet weather in Kansas. There was the spectacular solar eclipse, a visiting writer, a wet basement—twice, and a family crisis. Goals were met and goals were . . . not met.
Get at least half-way through Act 3. NOT MET *Sigh* I wrote 3 of 5 chapters. I fixed a big timeline issue which took a ridiculous amount of time.
Write 4 new blog posts. MET
Send out reader questionnaires for a new blog series I’d like to do. MET though I would love to get more completed questionnaires.
Finish the exercise room. NOT MET
Get estimates for repairs to the house. MET
Finish the bathroom project. NOT MET
Keep the number of times I must use a day off to complete those hours to just two days. MET
Research, Learning, Reading – ONGOING
Continue researching book promotion. MET
Continue listening to podcasts when I’m able. MET
Choose a new fiction book and begin reading. READING
View the solar eclipse, Monday, August 21. AWESOME EXPERIENCE – MET
Attend the Seven Deadly First-Page Sins by Tex Thompson on August 21. ENTERTAINING AND EDUCATIONAL—MET
Basement flooded—Twice! Once at the beginning of the month and once near the end of the month. No serious damage but it required an unplanned expenditure of time to clean up. My wet basement was nothing compared those who will be cleaning and rebuilding after Harvey. My heart goes out to them!
A seriously illness (family member), who was hospitalized for a week. I had very little sleep during that week which meant those were completely unproductive days.
Things I Learned
A line or two expressing what your character expects for his/her future can be all the ‘before’ you need in your story beginning.
Study folklore — it’s how we express our fears.
For an emotionally powerful scene, include one small contrasting detail.
Watching an eclipse is AWESOME!
From Tex Thompson: “Find the easiest, laziest, most obvious choice you could make – and then do something else.”
From Dean Wesley Smith: “The only Failure in writing is not writing.” And “All Writing is practice.”
From Science Friday: Tatoos can damage sweat glands. People with full body tatoos can have difficulty dealing with heat.
Where you were born dictates how many sweat glands you have though living in AC can subvert this.
From Writing Excuses Podcast: A short story should focus on one idea. Strip all but dialog then add only what is necessary. Be as specific as possible. To make it work you must have targeted stakes for the character. Consider, what are the consequences of failure?
From Writing Excuses Podcast: For inspiration in creating titles look through the online Shakespeare database. And “Monsters are best when they subvert the status quo and remind us we’re not at the top of the food chain.”
From Writers Helping Writers Podcast: Mentor characters are a touchstone for the thematic truth. The interaction between the mentor and protagonist shouldn’t be easy. Mentor characters should be flawed, unique. The mentor shouldn’t ‘save’ the character except with severe consequences.
“Failure isn’t Forever!” Angela Lee Duckworth Thank you, Angela!
Final thoughts for August
August was a challenging month in all the areas that interrupt or stop my writing. I have also changed where I sit to write. This change has affected my ability to focus and get things done. It is not something I can change back anytime soon, so I will continue to work on finding ways to focus.
I don’t remember which blogger said that she tracks the things she learns each week. I thought I’d try it for a month. I love it!Reviewing all of the tidbits of new information at the end of the month is invigorating and reinforces the learning.
I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to in August, but September is a new month and a new slate.
Write 4 Chapters minimum.
Write 4 new blog posts, post reader questionnaire results on Fridays.
Finish bathroom project.
Get gutters replaced. (The source of my wet basement problem.)
I will have to be flexible this month.
Continue to listen and learn via podcasts.
Dedicate at least 2 hours per week for reading.
Finish revising website.
I hope the month of September will have fewer challenges for us all!
Thanks for reading!
I am ever so grateful you’ve taken the time to read my scribbles. If you’ve taken the time to comment, I’m delighted and honored.