Today I welcome writer Patricia Correll onto my blog, to do an author interview. Check out her answers to my questions.
Big thanks to Patricia for being today’s guest poster, please make sure to check out her links and details at the end of this post.
Q01 – When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
I have always been a writer; my mom has stories I wrote at the age of 6!
I continued to write all through my childhood and young adulthood, but I never saw writing as a possible career until I was well into college. I’m 40 now and it has only recently taken off (momre or less!).
Q02 – Are there any authors who inspire you?
Of course! I think you can see my major influences pretty clearly in my writing; Robin McKinley has been a huge inspiration for my YA stories, and Ursula LeGuin has always been a beacon to me.
More than one person has compared me to her, probably because I’ve adopted a similar style. It leaves me equal parts flattered and appalled that they would dare put my name next to a legend like her!
Q03 – Did you get a lot of support when you told people you wanted to be a writer?
Most people seemed to be intrigued rather than dismayed. I think they knew I’m a responsible person; I was going to have a full-time job, and not run off to live in a garret and starve while I tried to make it big.
I think a lot of them believed it was just a hobby, until I started publishing things!
Q04 – Tell us a bit about what you are currently working on?
I am almost always working on two pieces at once; a novel, and a shorter work; right now it’s a novella.
The current novel is a fantasy based on Iron Age Britain, and the novella is a retelling of a particularly gruesome Grimm Brothers tale.
Q05 – How do you stay motivated to write?
It’s not always easy! Burnout is real. A writing break of a day or two usually solves that. I also have kids, and I want to set them a good example.
Mom has a dream she’s chasing; whenever I feel like I’m the worst writer in the world and should just give up, I think about what that shows them. If you want your kids to persevere, you have to show them how.
Q06 – Do you plan your stories or just leap into the writing?
When I begin I know my characters, more or less, the beginning of the story, and the end. I learn the rest as I write it, and uncover my characters gradually. It’s fun!
In the past I’ve tried outlining, thinking it would make the writing process faster and easier. I tried several different methods, but nothing really worked for me. I’ll have to settle for being slow and having fun, I guess.
Q07 – Do you have a writing routine, if so tell us about it?
I am very lucky that I am able to be a stay-at-home parent. My youngest child is now in preschool, so five days a week I drop the kids off, go for a walk and then settle down in the library to work (the library is mostly quiet, and there are no chores to be done or cats nagging me there!).
I write from 9-11:30 am, then pick up my son from school at noon. Since I write longhand, on Fridays I usually bring my laptop and transcribe, and set up social media posts for the rest of the week.
It’s my ‘writing adjacent’ day. On the weekends I just scribble a few words whenever I can.
Q08 – What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
The first draft! I think I build up a story in my head so clearly, that actually writing down what happens seems tedious and unsatisfying.
That’s why I love the revision process so much- the hardest stuff is over, now I can polish and refine until the story more closely resembles what was originally in my head.
Q09 – What are your thoughts on Self Publishing vs Traditional Publishing?
I think both paths have pros and cons. Traditional publishing is certainly less isolated; you’re in almost constant contact with the publisher, editors, and cover artists. Self-publishing is a lot of work, and if you go into it with few other skills, it’s a giant learning curve.
But I learned to design covers and write blurbs and format pages, and I don’t have to compromise on my vision or wait for months on a response from agents or publishers. I am not averse to pursuing traditional publishing in the future, but right now I’m having a lot of fun doing everything myself.
Everyone has to decide for themselves which way to go. And they’re not mutually exclusive; depending on publisher contracts, you could do both on different projects.
Q10 – What is the best piece of advice you could give to new writers?
To paraphrase advice given by Mike Resnick: Butt. Chair. Write.
Like most things, you learn to write by doing it. And seeing how other people have done it. Afraid you’ll be terrible at it?
Well, you will be…at first. Everyone is. All you can do is do it, and do it, and do it some more. Eventually you won’t be terrible, but you’ll still always be learning more as you go.
Q11 – Are there any authors you would love to meet in person?
I’ve been lucky enough to have already met a couple of my favorites, like Ray Bradbury and Nathaniel Philbrick!
Mary Renault and Ursula LeGuin are unfortunately deceased, but I would love to have a conversation with Ramsey Campbell, one of my very favorite horror authors
Q12 – Tell us why you love writing?
I always wonder what people who don’t write think about. Writing means I always have something to ponder on my walks!
If I am stressed, I can escape temporarily into my story. It also means I don’t have much time for watching TV, but I probably don’t need to be watching TV anyway.
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Patricia Correll lives in Alabama with her family and the world’s worst cat.
She writes fantasy and horror, and likes murder shows and Hello Kitty.
Mitsu has been Shiro’s personal servant and best friend since they were both six years old, and he’s been in love with him for nearly that long. While Shiro takes lovers of both sexes, the gulf between their social classes is so vast that Mitsu has never spoken his feelings aloud.
When Shiro meets the beautiful Lady Keiko, he’s instantly infatuated. His affection soon turns to obsession, and Mitsu resigns himself to a life of unrequited love.
But as Mitsu looks deeper into Keiko and her motives, he realizes that Shiro is in grave danger. He will need all his courage– and some help from a master of the occult– to save the life of the man he loves.
This post was written by a guest writer. Please check out their details above.