The first real book I wrote was a story about an orphanage for witches. I still love the idea, but its execution was horrendous (because I was very young and super unaware of all of the terrible cliches I was employing). I may revisit this idea some day and see if I can give it new life!
I really love Libba Bray (which I think I’ve said a thousand times before). I am always in awe of her world building and the way she can weave multiple characters’ storylines together to create an incredible story!
To write stories people will remember, with characters they can relate to. And maybe make people laugh (or cry) ((or both)).
Typical author answer, but I think I connect a little bit with all of my characters, even the dark ones. Otherwise, they’d be too difficult to write! If I couldn’t relate to them/understand their motives, it’d be near impossible to get into their head and believe in what I was writing. The character I wish I was most like is probably Kalaziel (Ignite series). She’s a freaking treat and I wish I was half as upbeat/unfailingly positive as she is!
Fantasy. There are such high stakes in fantasy, and most fantasy books I pick up I find difficult to set back down again. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good contemporary, and scifi is also one of my favorites, but fantasy books are always the ones that have me thinking the most interesting thoughts as I read them!
Starting! I think first drafts are the hardest leg of the writing/publishing process (see: Surviving First Drafts) because there’s so much ahead of you that it can get a little intimidating to actually start writing. And then, once I start writing, I always struggle to keep up my momentum and word count. Life gets hectic, and I have to remind myself not to let my writing fall by the wayside sometimes.
Anything I can grab a handful of and shove in my mouth without getting grease/butter/etc. on my hands. I wish I could eat popcorn or chips while writing, but then I spend all my time cleaning my fingers before typing again. So I usually stick to candy, or a breakfast bar. And water — or when it gets cold, hot chocolate or apple cider! Not a big coffee/tea drinker.
The Diviners by Libba Bray. Murder, mystery, ghosts, the 1920s — all of my favorite things!
I’d like to answer something specific about my writing itself, but I’d probably have to say revisions is actually my greatest strength. That’s where I take the mess of my first draft and really make it shine. It’s the time when I can work on my story at a really detailed level, and it’s where I come up with some of my favorite lines.
Never look back.
Five characters: Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), Celaena Sardothian (Throne of Glass), Gemma Doyle (A Great and Terrible Beauty), Feyre (A Court of Thorns and Roses), Johanna Mason (The Hunger Games). Probably less tea party and more girl-powered kickass brunch with endless bacon and pancakes.
Hearing from readers who were able to connect with something I’ve written. I could get a thousand bad reviews and they mean nothing when compared to one positive comment from a reader.
I have no idea! When I was in high school and thinking “practically” about my life, I imagined I’d end up working in journalism in some capacity. I think I wanted to go into print journalism, and I think it would have been a lot of fun to go into investigative journalism. My first semester of college, I was studying Forensic Anthropology (you know that show Bones? Yeah — that). I also wanted to become an Egyptologist or an archeologist or anthropologist for a while, and still do in my wildest dreams. Not necessarily the most traditional of jobs, but then again neither is being a writer.
If my brain is behaving and I’m actually on schedule? Around 3 months. The first month is writing, the second month is revising, and the third month is all of the publishing (formatting, blog tour, etc). Sometimes — many times — it takes a little longer than that. But once I hit my stride, the writing happens pretty quickly!
Find more about Erica online at Erica.Patchwork-Press.com