The lovely Amy Sonnichsen tagged me in this blog tour and I’m so grateful because I’ve been at such a loss for blog topics these days! (Anyone else?)
What are you working on right now?
The Oyster Book is a working title. I’m in the very early stages of writing it.
How does it differ from other works in its genre?
Hmm. At this point, I’m just trying to understand my main character’s story. I’m learning that she sees the world differently than most. She works on an oyster farm. She works mostly with her hands and her heart. And she has very unique abilities. I would like there to be a dream-like quality to the book, a question of what is real and what isn’t.
Why do you write what you do?
What a question. While I’m always trying to understand who I am as a writer and what I’m doing (really, what am I doing?), I write what I write because I believe that the real world and the ordinary lives we live are interesting and beautiful. I believe the smallest moment or the shortest exchange of dialogue holds infinite truths and possibilities, not just in a sentence or a story, but in our lives.
How does your writing process work?
I’ve written two novels and rewritten another. Each time it’s different. What stays consistent, what I am reluctantly learning to accept, is that I’m a slow writer. I have to do a lot of dreaming before I can even begin. I do a lot of wandering and exploring through a first draft to understand. Then I do a ton of rearranging, expanding, rewriting, researching, and tossing out words through multiple drafts. I send to trusted readers only when I think I’ve done all I can. Then I consider their words and revise again.
Any departing words of wisdom for other authors?
I once read this odd little book (the title escapes me) by a real-life musician explaining all he learned from a mythical teacher. There was a small but meaningful section on ‘intention’. The author felt that the intention of every note he played on his guitar could be felt by an audience. So if his intention at a particular gig was to get through it, make connections, or earn a paycheck for the night, the audience would feel that. Same if his intention that night was to experiment or be playful or to play a song he loved.
I always think back to that complex but beautiful idea. So, at the risk of sounding as hippy dippy as possible, whether we write playfully or with conviction, whether we’re working with what we love or fear, we should write each word or play each note with the best and truest of intentions, so that it can be felt.
I hope Meredith Moore and Laurel Garver will continue the grand tradition of the Kidlit Blog Tour because I’m curious what they are working on!