Today we have author Tera Lynn Childs telling us about her writer’s life. Thank you for joining me today for my Wednesday Writer’s Write series, Tera!
What is your brainstorming process for a new book?
I usually start with a tiny seed of an idea—a title, a character, a situtation, or a world—and then I build out from there. I do a lot of research, both online and in bookstores, looking for anything that might spark an expansion of that seed. Once I have a basic premise and the character I’m going to put in that situation, I start writing from the opening scene. Invariably I get stuck after about thirty pages and have to create a character collage to kickstart my very visual brain. Then, other than bouncing ideas off writing friends, I just write straight through to the end.
Can you explain your typical work week day?
Without a day job, I don’t think any day (week or otherwise) is ever typical. If I’m really close to deadline, I’ll usually roll out of bed in the morning(ish), quickly check email, and then drag myself to the nearest coffee house to work for a few hours. If I’m not on deadline, then that plan gets a lot more … relaxed.
Tell us about your big break in the writing industry.
Aka, the call story. After my first, last, and only year teaching seventh grade science, I’d fled to Florida for the summer. We’d had numerous rejections on OH. MY. GODS. and I’d started working on something new. I was on the phone with my mom when a New York City number buzzed in on the caller ID. When I clicked over, my agent said, “I bet you can guess why I’m calling.” She told me that Dutton wanted to buy the book. I squealed, “Hold on, I’m pulling over.” She said, “You’re driving? Don’t be driving!”
What suggestions do you have for aspiring writers?
Keep moving forward. It’s so easy to get bogged down in one story, obsessively revising it to death and never submitting it anywhere because it’s not “perfect” yet. (FYI: There’s no such thing.) But you have to move on, write the next thing. And the next. And the next after that. Because you learn to be a better storyteller with every book you finish. So keep forging ahead and keep the faith that one day the stars will align and it will happen … and it will.
Tell us about what you’re working on right now and what we can expect from you in the near future.
Next up is GODDESS BOOT CAMP, the sequel to my debut novel and which I can’t reveal too much about because it will contain spoilers for for OH. MY. GODS. After that, in Summer 2010, will be FORGIVE MY FINS (the story I started that summer in Florida) which is about a half-mermaid princess attending high school on the mainland. At the moment I have a little time before I need to start pounding away on the sequel to FINS. I’ve been playing around with (and occasionally actually working on) a few top secret projects. Hopefully I’ll have news about those soon.
That’s great, Tera! Thanks again for joining us! I hope all of you enjoyed today’s Writer’s on Writing. You can get yourself a copy of GODDESS BOOT CAMP here or at your local bookstore tomorrow. Until next week!
Tera Lynn Childs is a wannabe goddess and the author of OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP. Tera lives in Houston, Texas, where she spends her time fleeing hurricanes, making character profiles on MySpace (stop her before she makes one for Adara—oops, too late), blogging with the Buzz Girls, and writing wherever she can find a comfy chair and a steady stream of caffeinated beverages.