I was wondering where you get your story ideas?
Ideas come to me all the time. If they don’t, I churn up the depths of my subconscious until they appear.
What is the usual process for your fiction writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Both. I usually plot the major turning points or events of the novel, then pants my way between them.
Once you have an idea that sparks your imagination do you research your idea or do world-building exercises, or do you just begin to write and see where the Muse takes you?
What is your daily writing like?
Cup of tea, one good song on my ipod to get me rolling, and a comfy spot, either on a couch or my workstation or the library. Then write, write, write with as few distractions as possible.
Are you a full time writer? If so when did you make the decision and what factors led to the decision? If you are not a full time writer…Is your plan to one day being a full time writer?
I write full time because I love it so much, I can’t imagine doing anything else until the day I die. Seriously. I have a PhD in engineering, and always thought I would go back to engineering once my kids were in school, but the writing bug bit and never let go.
Can you tell us about your experience working with your current publisher? (Any other publishers?) (Or your self-publishing experiences?)
I’m self-published (although my first book was through a small press). I absolutely love the freedom of being indie – I publish what I want, when I want. I can write whatever I like, no matter how “marketable” (or not). I’m free to schedule out long-term projects at my own pace. I’ve found that being indie is an incredible boost to my creativity as a writer.
My most recent release is Third Daughter, a steampunk fantasy romance and the first in the Dharian Affairs trilogy. It’s a fun departure from my usual futuristic-SF, in that steampunk is a retro look at technology. I love the way steampunk examines the clash of technology and fashion and society, and how that fundamentally changed the way we think about the world. Plus writing skyships and sword fights is just flat-out fun. I have a couple new releases coming up soon: 1) Second Daughter (the sequel to Third Daughter) will be out in June, 2) Synchronic, a time travel anthology, is coming out 5/22 and contains a new short story from me about a time-traveling psychologist (that story may turn into a series). By Fall, I plan to have First Daughter out, as well as start up the second season of my Debt Collector serial. Always lots of books in the works!
In the first part of 2014, I did several talks and workshops, including teaching two indie publishing workshops at the Northeastern Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference. But I promised myself the rest of 2014 would be all about the writing.
As an author what inspiration or advice would you give to a writer who is working to make the transition to Author?
Write as much as you can; study bestsellers, but don’t forget to be yourself; and keep striving to have every book be your best.
Who is your favorite author, and can you recommend a book by that author?