Last week, I was at Bartlett High School talking about life as an author. First thing I noticed is the front row is still the last row to fill up. Of course, I gave this some thought. When I was in high school, I chose a seat somewhere in the middle to the back of the room too. Now, I'm fine with sitting in that first row. So what's changed? Well, there's the cool factor. Picking a seat in the middle will allow you to hear without appearing too eager to be there. Then, of course, as an adult I'm probably paying to be there so you can bet I want to hear what the speaker has to say.
Seriously, though, the staff and students were very welcoming and it was wonderful to talk with them.
As I did at my last school visit, I invited students to help name a character in the EMBRACE sequel HOLD TIGHT. I'll be selecting three names to go on to the finals. The student who entered the name that receives the most votes will win a fabulous prize and one lucky voter will also have a chance to win. Voting starts May 22nd. Be sure to stop back for more information on that!
What did students want to know about an author's life?
(Q) Have I ever based a character on someone I know?
(A) Not entirely, but my characters do share small traits with my family and friends.
(Q) What tips do I have for overcoming writer's block?
(A) My top tip was to walk away from your computer and do something else. When this doesn't work, I start to ask myself what if, jotting down lots of ideas until one resonates with me. Something else I do a lot when I'm writing the first draft is to skip the section I'm stuck on. It's often easier to come back and write the middle once I know what happens later in the book. Click here to see the post I recently did on conquering writer's block.
This last question came up after I mentioned that I don't read books containing the same supernatural element as the book I'm working on. For instance, I won't read a book with angels in it if I'm writing a book with angels. This is so I don't inadvertently copys what another author has done.
(Q) Have I ever found that I've copied from another book.
(A) No. Well, I sure hope not. But my critique group doesn't hesitate to mention if something reminds them of another book and I love them for that.
What are high schoolers reading? Ellen Hopkins' novels and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher were among the titles mentioned.
I’d like to thank the school for having me. It was truly great to be there.