I thought I'd mix it up a bit this week by answering a writer's tag I found online. It just has ten simple questions, so this should be short and sweet.
1. What do you write?
A quick scroll down the categories over to the right of the page ought to prove I write speculative fiction. Spec fic covers a wide range of genres and their subgenres as well as mashups of those. I tend to stick more with science fiction, but I do dabble in fantasy now and again. And like with the Yekara series and the Myth and Science universe stories, there are times when I use both science fiction and fantasy elements in the same piece.
2. What do you mostly write about?
I'm a character driven writer. My main interests lie in interpersonal conflicts and the psychological impact events can have on my characters. I think this is why no matter what kind of story I start out writing, a lot of politics and the posturing and maneuvering that come with that kind of thing creeps in.
3. What's your favorite thing about writing?
I love playing around with ideas and the act of creation itself. I've always been one to live in my head a lot. Writing allows me to explore ideas deeper than I can just daydreaming as well as share them with people.
4. What/Who inspired you to start/keep writing?
I would get ideas in my head, and eventually they wouldn't leave me alone until I started writing them down. Then my classmates found a story or two I'd written, and their reactions made sure the hook held fast.
5. Who's your favorite character you've made up?
I tend to have a preference for my main characters, probably because I spend so much time in their heads when writing. For years my first instinct would have been to say Maya Dubois from the Yekara series. Then Chantal kind of hijacked Right of Succession and made it her story, and she grew on me as her character became more than a whiny, angst filled teenager in the background.
These days Pyrrha Daedalus is being a serious pain in the neck, but I'm beginning to like her more and more. I decided to age her up a bit after deciding I'm just not a YA writer, and she's no longer the spoiled brat she was in the original version published on The Writer's Hood back in 2005. That alone makes her a lot easier to love, and the added experience that comes with age allows me to make her more interesting as well. Her father, Joseph, is running a close second for favorite character out of the Icarus universe now too.
6. When did you start writing?
I started writing those first tentative stories when I was ten and in the fifth grade.
7. First story you wrote?
It's so long ago, it's hard to remember, but I think it was a Peter Pan fan fiction based off the animated series that aired each weekday after school on Fox back in the day. My first original story was this sad little fourteen sentence picture book titled "Ben the Unlikely" about a blacksmith's apprentice who saved his childhood friend from being eaten by an ogre.
8. Favorite story you wrote?
This would still have to be Right of Succession. It's my adolescence and twenties in book form. I grew up with that story in my head, and I must have written and rewritten it a hundred times in the twenty years between concept and publication. Even decades from now when I look back at it and shake my head at the writing, as we authors are prone to do after we've grown a bit more, I think it will still be my favorite because of that.
9. Do you have a writing schedule? Do you write every day or just when you feel like it?
It gets thrown off every now and again because of illness, injury, or a day or three just being too jam packed with other work to have time, but I do try to write every day. Sometimes it's just a few hundred words or a blog post, but I've found that writing each and every day lessens the chance of catching "writer's block." Sure, a particular section or chapter can be difficult here and there, but just writing "when you feel like it" is a good way to go months or years without finishing anything.
10. Do you want to be published?
I am. I have a novel and a collection of short works that I published in the past few years. Before that I had poems, essays, and short stories published in college literary journals, online magazines, and a paperback magazine. I even have a couple nonfiction pieces out there published under a pen name.
That's not even counting the fan fictions I've written and posted over the years as warm ups and practice. That counts as publishing too, and sadly from my experience, it's the version that will garener the most active connections with readers. Which is why I still occasionally go back to writing and posting fan fictions when I start feeling the need for feedback. The anonymity of a screen name makes readers feel freer about expressing their enjoyment and disappointments in a piece. So while it does take time away from creating stories I can use to make ends meet, it's a valuable source of reader feedback. That's why I haven't been shy about advising aspiring writers to cut their teeth, i.e. write their "million words of crap," via fan fiction.
I tag any other writers reading this writer's tag, no matter what stage in your writing journey you are in at the moment. Once you've written or filmed your response, link it in the comment section below because I want to see it.
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
Myth & Science Collection
Yekara Series Book 2
Icarus Trilogy Book 2
Yekara Series Book 3
Myth & Science Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Icarus Trilogy Book 3
Supers Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Yekara Series Book 4