The Liebster, or Why Sarah Guillory is Awesome

I meant to post this on Monday, but then I got a headache. That lasted two days. And work was crazy. And now I feel like I’m getting sick… So I’m going to do this in two pieces. Maybe just one. I don’t know yet. This part is going up, though!

So what am I rambling about? My friend Sarah Guillory gave me a Liebster! This is a bit of recognition for blogs people have connected with, especially those who are as yet undoscovered. Specifically, it’s for blogs with fewer than 200 followers. The rules require me to answer 11 questions, nominate 11 more bloggers, and make up 11 questions for them to answer. I’ve answered Sarah’s questions and made up 11 of my own, but that last part… well, we’ll see. 🙂

Sarah’s questions: 

Black Notebook – (c) typofi

1. Who (or what) inspired you to write?
The first time I remember wanting to write my own story was because of an eighth grade assignment. The teacher told us to get into groups of two or three and then write and illustrate a picture book. I don’t really like working in groups, and picture books were so far behind my reading timeline I barely remembered them. I was reading a lot of my dad’s mystery novels at that age (which I probably shouldn’t have been–Kiss The Girls is NOT appropriate for a twelve year old…), so I asked my teacher for permission to work alone and write a longer story instead. She said okay. A couple weeks later I turned in a simplistic forty-page single spaced mystery revolving around a broken family, an abused child, a duo of cops, an estranged but kind father, a kidnapping, and a happy ending. Everyone had to read their stories for the class. My teacher gave me a free pass. 😉

2. What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
Write the story you want to read. I think this combines so many other helpful bits of advice and rolls it into an understandable, relatable, and memorable statement. If you want to read it, someone else will to. And if it doesn’t ever get published you still have something you love reading that didn’t exist before.

3. Book you are an advocate for.
I worked at Borders for over two years and there were several books I adopted as my own special hand sells. To name just a few? Water for Elephants, Thirteen Reasons Why, Speak, everything by Tamora Pierce, The Kushiel Saga by Jacqueline Carey, the Elvenbane series by Lackey and Norton, The Host by Stephanie Meyer, and many others. Like most book lovers, picking just one is IMPOSSIBLE.

4. What is the hardest thing about the writing process?
OMG THE MIDDLE. Drafting is difficult, but the middle of a first draft is probably the most impossible thing EVER. I much prefer editing. But only when I’m working with someone whose feedback I trust. I am beyond thrilled to start working on the edits for Sing, Sweet Nightingale with Danielle and Patricia!

5. What are your writing goals for 2013?
To somehow not drive myself insane by adding even more to the already ridiculous workload I’ve given myself. I have at least two first drafts and four rounds of edits to finish this year. And that’s not counting all the side projects I want to get done. So my goal? Create the time to finish it all somehow. Even if I have to steal a time turner or a tardis or something.

6. If you could go back and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
So many things, but, at the same time, nothing at all. If I had to pick ONE thing, though, I would tell myself to go to a tiny liberal arts college with a really specialized writing program where I could learn a lot more about craft than I did at a big university.

7. When I grow up, I want to be ____.
As funny/kind/wise/prolific as Bruce Coville and Tamora Pierce and as adventurous and unique as Maggie Steifvater. If it’s even possible to be that combination of awesome things, that’s what I want to be. On the simpler side, I want to be a full-time writer. But not when I grow up. Now.

8. What was the last book that made you cry?
I tear up every so often at something in a book, but the only book that has ever made me cry (I’m talking flat-out sobbing for at least half an hour) is My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. She is ridiculously talented!

9. If you could spend a month anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Onboard The World. I want to see everything and I think this would be a pretty darn cool place to do that from!

10. Plotter or pantser?
Both? Is it possible to be both? Because I think I am. In the past six months I have grown to love outlines, but even with an outline I make things up as I go, run away on awesome tangents, and get surprised by my characters ALL the time. I’m really starting to like this middle ground I’ve found.

11. What’s the one thing you’re most excited about right now?
In the short term? Finishing the first draft of book 2 of The Dream War Saga, getting possible good news on a couple of things in the works, and starting edits on Sing, Sweet Nightingale.
In the long term? Getting my stories out into the world, connecting with readers, and being able to write full time. It’s a dream and one cannot WAIT to start living!

Step two is to nominate eleven people who I would like to recognize in the blogosphere, and I might still do that. For now, however, I’m leaving my questions for anyone to pick up and answer. I think answering questions is good practice for a writer, so I highly encourage it. Also, if you do post answers to my questions somewhere let me know in the comments here or on twitter @byericacameron!

And my questions? Below:

1. What’s the worst writing advice ever?
2. Your least favorite part of the writing or publication process?
3. In your life, who is the most supportive of your writing?
4. What’s your most and least favorite book to move adaptation?
5. Other than writing, your addictions/obsessions/creative pastimes are..?
6. On the scale of introvert to extravert, where do you fall?
7. How and where do you write best?
8. Your music of the moment?
9. The most ridiculous thing someone has ever said when you tell them you’re a writer is…?
10. Tragedy, Happily Ever After, or more realistic somewhere in the middle ending?
11. What do you hope your readers/future readers will take away from your stories?

I hope my readers all choose to respond to this! I can’t wait to see some of the answers! 🙂

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