Today’s Writers on Writing interview is with author Cara Lockwood! Let’s see what pearls of wisdom we can gain from reading about this talented author!
What is your brainstorming process for a new book?
I get ideas from all sorts of places – from dreams, from the news, from other books, from conversations with friends. Sometimes, I’ll just be inspired to write a scene for a book, and that scene will eventually grow into a novel. If I have unlimited time, which is pretty much never, I’ll just let the idea naturally grow and expand. If I have a deadline, which I usually do, I’ll try to flesh out the idea by writing an outline and a few chapters. My novels often don’t follow my outlines, but it’s a place to start.
Can you explain your typical work week day?
I wish I had a typical work day! I’ve got two beautiful little girls (one who is two and one who’s just eight months), so they keep my busy nearly all day. I squeeze in writing time when they nap or after they go to sleep or when I can get a babysitter. I really miss the pre-kid days when I would have an hour or two just to “get in the mood” to write, which for me usually meant procrastinating by reading E online, blogging, or IMing. Now, I usually have an hour or two at most at one time to write so I’ve got to make the most of it. No procrastinating allowed!
Tell us about when you made the decision to write.
For me, it was never really a decision. It was just something I knew I always wanted to do. I loved reading and for as long as I can remember I wanted to grow up to be a writer.
What suggestions do you have for aspiring writers?
Read everything you can get your hands on. It may sound simplistic, but reading is how you learn how to write. I think it was Faulkner who said that you can learn something from even bad writing. This is true. Next, I would say that once you start to write, you’ve got to remember that writing is a process. It may sound trite, but the hardest thing for me was coming to understand that there is nothing permanent about the words I put on the page. When I was writing my first novel, I often got really discouraged and would put it down for days or weeks at a time. I didn’t realize that so much can be fixed during the editing process after you finish your first draft. The important thing is to keep writing and finish that first draft so that you have something to edit and improve. It’s also important to remember that while the odds of landing a publishing deal might be daunting, the odds of having an unfinished manuscript published are zero. So, keep writing and don’t give up.
Tell us about what you’re working on right now and what we can expect from you in the near future.
Right now I’m working on a sequel/spin off to “Every Demon Has His Day.” It’s called “You Can’t Teach An Old Demon New Tricks.” After that, I’m not under contract for any more books, so we’ll have to see. I’ve got a few ideas I’m thinking about pursuing, but right now they’re just ideas!
Thank you so much for joining us today, Cara! It’s great to learn about your writing process! Stay tuned for next week where author Jenifer E. Smith will be joining us to answer questions about her writing.
Cara Lockwood is also the author of I Do (But I Don’t), which was made into a Lifetime movie, as well as Pink Slip Party and Dixieland Sushi, all available from Downtown Press. She was born in Dallas, Texas, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked as a journalist in Austin, and is now married and living in Chicago. Her husband is not a rock star, but he does play the guitar — poorly.