So I’ve been gone for about two weeks drowning in edits and schoolwork and events and FEELS. Lots of feels. But now I’m back and ready to take the reigns of my life. I’ve given my blog an upgrade and gave it a whole new design. (A MAJOR thank you to my sister for creating that gorgeous logo at the top of my page and the other incredible graphics throughout. She’s an A+++ graphic designer.)
I’m so excited to be back reading books and writing on blog with new material and new ideas. I’m ready to step up my blogging game and make even better content for all of you.
As always, I was inspired by the lovely Cait over at Paper Fury, because when am I NOT inspired by her. She reads over 200 books and writes about six in a year. (Or maybe more. I do know she’s written a total of 20 books, which is [my kind of] insanity.) I mean, as the kids would say, GOALS.
But anyways, about two months ago, Cait did a writer Q&A (which I now realize was originally a spin-off of the Wisteria Writing Tag from Abbie’s Music Blog [original post here]) with a fantastic list of questions. I figured it was only necessary for me to tag along, being that I have yet to do a writer Q&A. So, here we go!
1. Are you writing anything at the moment? If so, what?
A: I’m in the midst of editing my second novel (more info on that here), and I’ve been so focused on editing this book that I’ve only read two books this month. TWO.
It really is. But you know what, that’s okay. I’ve accomplished my reading goal for the year, and it’s okay to take some time to focus on something else. Which happens to be editing. Which is also not the most fun. But it has to be done.
After editing is complete, I’ll be sending this novel off to my lovely beta-readers and starting on my next project, which is a YA standalone fantasy with a twist of two classic fairy tales and a spin on history. It also takes place in Scotland during the early 1500’s. To give you in even deeper insight, be sure to check out my inspiration board on Pinterest.
2. What genre of writing do you like best?
A: Well, I’ve only written two books, and they were originally going to be a duology. But then I realized the first book was really meant for me, and the second book is better off standing on its own and (hopefully) has the potential of actually being published. Both of those books are YA speculative fiction, but as for the twenty other novels I have plotting in my head, they range from ALL genres. Fantasy, mystery, historical–EVERYTHING.
So I suppose it’s too early for me to pick a favorite. But since I ADORE reading fantasy, I imagine I’ll love writing it.
3. Girl or guy POV?
A: Both of my books have been told from a first-person POV from a girl, but I certainly plan on writing from everyone’s perspective. As of now, most of my novels in plotting are from a girl’s POV (including my next project), but many of them are told from a boy’s POV.
Even though I’ve yet to write in a boy’s POV, I do think I would enjoy it as equally as writing from a girl’s perspective. But we shall see.
4. When did you start writing?
A: I started writing about two years ago while I was in the midst of devouring the Divergent series. But before this, I actually hated reading and writing. It wasn’t until my older sister encouraged me to start reading outside of school that my life completely turned around.
I quickly became obsessed with reading, especially after reading the Divergent series. As I was reading this series, I kept thinking about this story that had been boiling in my head for the last year, but I didn’t have anywhere to put it. Then an idea struck my head: why not write it down?
So I did. I wrote terrible, cringe-worthy drafts. But I also fell in love. There was no going back after I typed “Chapter One.”
5. Do you prefer writing on pen and paper or digitally?
A: My handwriting is absolute garbage, so definitely digitally. However, I do write out edits and plots and character diaries by hand because I need to do SOMETHING with these thousands of notebooks I own.
6. What is your favorite thing about writing?
A: Everything. I could go on and on about how much I adore writing. How much these characters and their stories made me a better, stronger person. How creating something and someone who didn’t exist fills my heart with a joy that can’t be recreated. How writing makes me feel alive and live in new ways and see with different eyes. And how, when I’m not writing, I feel empty.
I also, much like Cait, enjoy breaking people to bits and pieces and watching them cry and scream because
7. What is your least favorite part about writing?
A: Editing. Just hearing that word slams an anvil of stress onto my back. I mean, it’s not that bad, I suppose. But it’s so much work to make sure each thread of your book lines up and everything makes sense and there aren’t grammatical errors and EVERYTHING.
And all of the self-doubt. SO MUCH self-doubt. It’s hard to get away from it sometimes. Especially with the critiques and rejection that comes with this work. That’s also not fun.
8. What is your favorite thing to write? (Novels, poetry, short stories, etc.)
A: I only wrote one short story about a year ago for school, and it wasn’t quite for me. It was fun, but there wasn’t enough space for me to create significant character development, which is my favorite thing to do.
So it’s only novels for moi.
9. When do you write best?
A: I try to make my writing a routine, rather than when a burst of inspiration hurts me. But if I’m being honest, I write more at night than I do during the day. I could be writing for a total of four hours in the day, but one hour in the night and I’ve usually accumulated more words than I did earlier. Maybe even more. There’s something about the night that opens my mind and unleashes my words.
10. Where do you like to write?
A: Definitely my office space in my room. This area was dedicated to my writing, so it’s where most of it takes place. But I’ll also try to squeeze in writing at my workplace, if I can.
11. What is your best motivation to write?
A: OHMYGOD WHERE DO I BEGIN?
Well, as Cait said, the idea of seeing my book sitting on a shelf in a bookstore and being able to say I was behind and responsible for it, that I crafted something that didn’t exist, fills me with a pride like no other.
But I suppose what really fuels me to write (other than keeping my brain from exploding with all of my ideas) is the opportunity to inspire others. I want to inspire people to explore and listen and love and live. I want to teach them to be brave and strong and independent. I want them to learn about the things we aren’t taught, the understand of what other people go through. To give others perspective.
These are all things that I fail at, but because of my characters and their stories, I’ve come such a long way. I’m able to see through others eyes and walk with more confidence. To see the magic within the world that most overlook. I want to make people feel.
I haven’t even published a book or had it read by many, but when people reach out to me about my writing posts and tell me that I’ve inspired them, I feel complete. I cherish that moment. It often moves me close to tears. (And occasionally actual tears.)
It’s such an incredible feeling to think that someone is improving their life in some way because of words I or my characters have said. So I suppose that’s what really motivates me: the idea of inspiring others.
12. Most words you’ve written in a day?
A: I’m not entirely sure, but I think my top word count in a day was actually just a few weeks ago when I finished my book. I was basically at my desk the entire day and stayed up until 12 or 1 a.m., writing a total of about 6,000 words. And let me tell you, those 6,000 words were filled with A LOT of emotions. It took a while for me to recover.
13. Out of everything you’ve written, which book is your favorite?
A: Ugh, how could even ask such a question? *sigh* If I have to choose, I would have to pick my latest book, the one which was originally going to be a sequel but became this beautiful piece of work on its own.
But of course, the first book will always hold a dear place in my heart. It was my practice book, where I learned what I did and didn’t want to write about. It will always mean a lot, but this last book made me feel so many things, just as I always wanted. Because if the writer is crying, chances are most of the readers will, right? (I hope so.)
14. Writing method: slow and steady or lighting bolts of inspiration?
A: I would say I’m probably somewhere in between. I do write about 1-2k a day, which I believe is above the typical daily word count for most writers. But like anyone, I have my slow days. Certain scenes that take longer to think about and construct. Some characters who refuse to follow my original path and take the story in a new direction.
Then I also have days where words pour out of me like a river, rushing like a waterfall. In those times, I can maybe get out 2-3k words. It depends, which is why I’d say I’m in between.
15. Worst spelling fail?
A: Oh, man. I’ve had a lot of these. Too many to count. One of the most embarrassing was maybe when I spelled one of the chapter headers, “chatpers.” And that was in my first book, which was sent to and READ by agents. But that’s what I get for late-night writing and using Microsoft Word.
This was such a lovely Q&A and I had so much fun doing it. (I also might’ve gotten a bit emotional because writing is my everything.) I hope you fellow writers join along. And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out Cait’s Q&A.
As always, feel free to leave any other thoughts or comments down below. I love hearing all of your feedback or simply having a nice chat and a virtual cup of tea.
ALL THE LOVE AND MAGIC,
TAYLOR MAE MARIE