NOTE: I will continue to update the blog, answering questions left in the comments post throughout the day. Please add yours when you stop by :)
It's February! It's time to answer some questions!
Emma asks: What part of your novel did you have the most fun writing?
It's a tie. 1) The mythology. I study the history of witchcraft, but taking that history and creating an entire world around it was one of the most wonderful things I've ever done. I love the history and myth of NIGHTSHADE and I really hope readers are as drawn into as I was while weaving it from the first threads. 2) The kissing. There is lots of kissing and *coughs* more nookie goodness in NIGHTSHADE and WOLFSBANE. I'm a romantic at heart and I love being swept away by passion. My characters get swept. Often.
Jenna asks: If you could never write anything ever again (and that includes blogging, journaling, etc.), what would you turn to for your creative outlet?
AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! Okay, I can breathe again now. Let's hope that never, never, never happens. But if it did, I'd say music. I grew up in a very musical family. My mom has an M.A. in choral literature and lives the life of Glee up in Northern Wisconsin. I still love music and listen to music all the time, but my own participation in performance dropped by the wayside after college. The first thing I'd do is buy a piano and start playing again, and then probably get back into choirs and possibly try to do some theater (I was a big-time drama geek in high school.)
Dani asks: If you could only watch one of them for the rest of your life which would it be, Buffy or Supernatural?
AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Again with the ultimatum question?! Okay, this is one a little easier. Buffy, hands down. As I wrote in my Letter to Buffy, BVS is The One show for me. It offers everything I need: snappy dialogue, a creep factor, interesting mythology and kick-ass characters. Plus, the supporting cast is amazing - Buffy isn't just Buffy, it's a whole family of fantastic characters (Clem, anyone? DeHofren?) I really like Supernatural, and it's more than a passing crush. There's a serious relationship developing between me and the Winchester boys. But I have one gripe: I don't like the roles women take in the show. They aren't active participants (Anna - kind of, Ruby - maybe), but this is a show about brothers and their absent father and dead mother. Women are really placeholders, which maybe in a storyline like Supernatural's is all they can be (Yoko factor) but it's still hard for me that there are no female characters I can really root for.
Emma asks: What part of the publishing process was most difficult for you?
Waiting. I have a serious problem with patience in that I have none. Publishing requires you to wait a lot. You have to wait while your querying. You have to wait while you're on submission. You have to wait for your release date (and then it gets worse when you explain to people not involved in the publishing world that yes, the book is done but it won't be available for 8 months). I like to be busy; I'll work my butt off getting things done, but there is a lot in this writing world that is about trying to distract yourself with other things (Book 2! Book 3! Blogging! Twitter!) while you're waiting.
I'm fascinated by the term Canadian Shield. Would you describe what gives it that description and what it was like growing up there?
Adopted by my brother and I, Canadian Shield (a geological term) replaces the catchall "midwest" in reference to Wisconsin and Minnesota. For me, especially since I've spent a lot of time outside the Midwest, always garnered comments like "breadbasket," "flat," "flyover," and others of that ilk, which really bothered me because where I'm from is extraordinarily beautiful. Ashland, Wisconsin is nestled on the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the southshore of Lake Superior, which is 10% of the world's fresh water. I live along the "pine line" where deciduous trees give way to evergreens and the evidence of glaciers long absent still scars the landscape. That wilderness aesthetic, akin to the environs of Canadian forests and lakes, what was gave rise to "Canadian Shield," also that in terms of topography the glacially-molded region of forests and lakes is something that Minnesota and Wisconsin share with our northern neighbor. Growing up in this part of the world lent magic to my childhood. I spent most days wandering in the woods, building forts, finding hidden streams, watching wildlife. Our games were about creating worlds and I'm certain that my storytelling life began there.
Emma asks: What is it that you feel fuels you to write?
Coffee. Lots of it. I'm guessing you were referring to inspiration :) Um, I'm really not sure. There is something mysterious to me about the way I write. I don't know whether to refer to the force that compels my mind to the page as a muse or simply insanity. All I know is that when I want to write (which is pretty much all the time) it's painful not to be writing. I become very anti-social and have a hard time pulling myself out of whatever world I'm in to go about daily tasks. The best gift anyone could offer me is the freedom to write whenever I want without interruption.
Dani asks: What is your most anticipated 2010 release? Besides Nightshade:)
Thanks for the qualification because of course I'd be lying through my teeth if I said anything other than NIGHTSHADE. Tough though because I'm a Tenner and am so excited for all the other Tenner releases. But here are a few I'm especially anticipating:
Lisa Desrochers, Personal Demons (Tor/MacMillan) Lisa is my fantastic crit partner and I've read her book. It is awesome, and I can't wait to have it in my hands, and I am almost over my jealousy that her book will be out in September while I wait another month for NIGHTSHADE to be on the shelves.
Kiersten White, Paranormalcy (HarperTeen) Another September release, Kiersten is a fellow Tenner and all-around phenomenal human. I haven't read this book, but I did get a peek at another Kiersten book, which was soooooo good. I know Paranormalcy will be an out-of-the-park home run.
Becca Fitzpatrick, Crescendo (Simon & Schuster) Becca is also a Tenner (though her book was so popular it got bumped into 2009), a wonderful person & great storyteller. I can't wait to find out what comes in the wake of Hush, Hush.
Maggie Stiefvater, Linger (Scholastic) I love Maggie's writing and I'm eager to read this follow-up to Shiver.
Suzanne Collins, Hunger Games #3 (Scholastic) OMG What is going to happen?!!!!!! I can't think too much about this release or I will lose my mind.