Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hello, Thursday

Sorry to drop off the face of earth there for a bit! My husband and I had to fly to Turkey on short notice last week for family-related stuff, and we just landed back in L.A. last night. I've been up since 5 this morning and I'm kinda whacked out on jetlag, but I'm counting on my friend coffee to help me make it through the day. MAN did my own bed feel great last night.

As the end of October rolls around, I'm seeing a lot of chatter on blogs and Twitter about NaNoWriMo. I've never done it myself, and I think I've made my feelings pretty clear about it being the Wrongest Month of the Year for a writing challenge. I mean, who has time in November?? Anyway, I *was* actually considering it for this year, since it sounds kinda fun and I had a new idea I was mulling over, but that project is going back in the steaming drawer for further marination and future exploration. Also--big surprise--November is going to be super busy, with a long-discussed vacation that may possibly still happen during the first week (I know, STAY PUT ALREADY. It's hard.), and family coming to stay with us for the second half of the month. So I'll be using my spare moments for plotting and planning and scrawling and scribbling, but it won't be too different from my usual schedule.

How about you--are you planning to NaNo your heart out this year?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Interview! With the amazing Elizabeth Briggs!

Today I've got a special treat for you on my blog: an interview with my critique partner, Liz Briggs! I met Liz about two years ago via our local SCBWI chapter's Critique Connections, and we started holding weekly meetings at Panera to tear each other's books apart. Since then we've traveled to conferences together and stood by each other through the agony and the ecstasy of querying, and through it all we've become great friends. I can say with no exaggeration that meeting her was the best thing to happen to my writing. Plus she's snarky and hilarious and so much fun! Liz is a total ninja, with a foot on both sides of the publishing world--she's represented by Kate Testerman, and she interns for Jill Corcoran. And frankly, I think the world should know more about her, so here goes:

What are a few of your favorite things?
Good books, fluffy dogs, action movies, smart TV shows, RPG video games, Comic Con, Peanut Butter M&Ms, the color green, warm coffee, swimming pools, garlic bread, French fries, rainy days at home… I could keep going, but you probably get the idea.

If your life was a movie, what would be the title?

Give us a snapshot of A Day in the Life of Liz Briggs, Writer.
For the most part it’s terribly boring and full of non-writing things like the dreaded day job, plus a few moments of interning for Jill Corcoran. I try to squeeze in writing whenever I can. And sometimes I fight ninjas. As one does.

If you won an all-expense-paid two-week vacation to anywhere that left tomorrow, where would you go?
I’d go to Italy! I’ve always wanted to visit Italy and my husband and I planned to go for our honeymoon, but for various reasons we haven’t made it happen – yet.

What type of research do you do for your writing? What is the most surprising thing you have learned in your research?
I’m a researcher for my full time job, so I research everything like crazy both before and during my first drafts. The coolest thing I found while researching was that the Russians built nuclear shelters into their subway system during the Cold War. Once I discovered that, a lot of things clicked into place and I used one of those shelters as a location in my book ALTERNATE.

What genres do you read? What genres do you write?
I read all sorts of YA and MG, and in adult I read science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and some historical romance – in particular, Regency and Victorian era. I know, kinda random. I’d love to read a YA Regency romance. Or maybe I should write one… (Editor's note: Liz must have gotten too distracted by the idea of plotting romantic young regents to share that she writes mind-bending, heart-thumping YA sci-fi!)

What one YA novel do you wish you had when you were a teen?
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

What is easier to write: The first line or the last line?
The last line. I usually know it long in advance, whereas I tend to re-write my opening chapters about a hundred times.

What word best describes you?

Yup, I'd say that's about accurate. Thanks for being a sport, Liz! I'll see you at Panera--so get writing and bring me the first chapters of your YA Regency romance!...