A fellow author from Booktrope asked some of us lady authors to join a blog hop, which I’ve never really done before. So I thought it would be fun! The following questions are on writing, so if you’re interested in where I write, how names are chosen, reading reviews and that sort of thing, read on. Thank you to Tiffany Pitts, author of Double Blind, for letting me be a part of the hop! Additional thanks to Arleen Williams, author of Running Secrets and Biking Uphill for introducing me on her blog.
Where do you like to write?
I have my own office but I spend all day in it working as an editor for an online publication so when it’s time to let my creative juices flow I usually end up on my couch in my living room or family room. Although, I do find that when I’m getting tired if I go up to my office at the end of the night I can usually sneak in another hour. Something about the room just wakes me up. I think it’s because I already work within the space, so the energy is different, more caffeinated.
Which part of researching your current novel was most interesting?
Well, I’m almost done writing the first draft of my work-in-progress, so I usually save a lot of research and filling in for the second draft. But I had to do some research for the overall characters and it’s definitely been the mythology. Death-based mythology to be specific. The book, a paranormal young adult novel called The Reaper’s Daughter, threads various death deities within the storyline, and it’s been fun learning about the way Death takes shape within different countries and cultures.
How important are names to you in your books? How do you choose them?
I just wrote a guest post on this that’s going up soon and will be more in-depth, but names mean a lot to me. The main character in my recently released novel Fractured Dream is named Story Sparks. But in the eight years it took me to write the book, she was only Story for the last year or so. I always knew the name she had previously wasn’t the one, and it took a lot of searching and thinking about it until I came up with THE ONE. And it really was perfect for the story once I found it. I search for names that have meaning, names that fit the character’s personality or the theme of the book. If I’m not doing that, I’ll often find a name I just love if it seems to fit the character. But if the name doesn’t fit I don’t feel at one with my character, so it’s definitely a big part of my writing.
Do you read your reviews? How do you respond to the bad reviews (if you get them)?
I’m a newbie as authors go, with my first book only having been released this past June. So I read reviews and was fairly obsessed with them in the beginning. The awesome reviews are just that: awesome and amazing and wonderful. I’m realizing everyone gets a bad review eventually. Reading is such a subjective experience; what one person might love another person may hate. Any negative reviews have made me more aware of where other people in the market are at, what they like and dislike. And while I’d never change the story in my head to make a minority happy, it is eye opening and it’s good to have this awareness as I near finishing up my second book.
What are your favorite books to give as gifts?
I love to give Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, anything by Alice Hoffman and Annie Dillard and of course, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I also just like to tell people about this book or that book I read and get them to try it as well.
That’s all folks! Check out the next author taking part in the blog hop!
Melissa Thayer, author of The Stories We Don’t Tell
Sin City native Melissa Thayer writes fiction that touches upon the timeless truths of the human condition in poignant and thought-provoking ways. She enjoys writing about people and connecting readers with her characters.
She currently lives in Washington with her husband, daughter, and three cats.
THE STORIES WE DON’T TELL is her debut novel.