|Chelsea Rose, me last winter, Druid Oak (aka Little Man)|
-Where do you write?
I took over my son’s room when he moved into my daughter’s room when she moved out. I have a lovely desk that belonged to my grandmother, hardwood floors, and nice light. An old barrister bookcase toppling with YA, MG, and horse training books. Eventually I’ll have curtains, a rug, a loveseat, and a ceiling fan. Oh, and a filing cabinet hidden in the closet behind a closed door.
-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
In the corner I have a cool metal table made by an artist. On it is an old Remington typewriter, a lithograph of a horse done by a fellow art teacher/horse lover, a black and white photograph of my great grandfather, Max Greenfield, on a gorgeous dapple grey horse in a part of old Atlanta (Washington Square) that is no longer in existence, and a lovely little turned wooden container. Oh and this neat old metal calendar I found at an antique store.
-Favorite time to write?
First thing in the morning. During the school year I write from 5am to about 6am - I prefer weekends and snow days when it’s more like 7-11am. Revisions I can handle in the evening but I need a blank brain to first draft. However, this summer when I was off and finishing a novel that I had grown to know well, the time of day really didn’t seem to matter.
-Drink of choice while writing?
Coffee with cream, Earl Grey tea with a touch of honey, or water.
-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
Silence, must have silence.
-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
The manuscript I just completed was inspired one morning driving in to work. I heard Amber’s voice. Knew she was hanging out at a hiker barn getting into trouble, and that she wanted to get the hell out of small town Appalachia. As I got further into it, some of the music was inspired by this great little movie called Songcatcher that was filmed in this area. My current WIP was actually inspired, very loosely, by a date with an old boyfriend.
-What's your most valuable writing tip?
All characters (with the exception of brief walk-ons) need an arc or the promise of an arc - especially in contemporary YA. If they’re taking up page space, what is different for them at the end of the book than when it started. If nothing, then why are they there, how has your MC altered their lives with her/his story? This is something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately. I prefer layered, woven plots, and if each character doesn’t have a “reason to be” it starts not to work.