A couple fun thoughts today from some questions I haven’t answered before, Gentle Reader. On being an author: favorite voyage I’ve penned, how I feel about short fiction, and a few other bits and bobs.
What’s your favorite voyage from the Parasolverse?
I really love the voyage to Peru by way of Singapore in Competence. Two places I’ve visited and really loved. I lived and worked in the Peruvian highlands for a while and the opportunity to put my last archaeological site into a book was such a pleasure. Plus Competence has some really fun airship battles, a new kind of vampire, and weird Victorian pseudoscience.
What’s the appeal of short stories?
I actually don’t really like writing shorts. I think they are probably the pinnacle of fiction writing in others, and I LOVE reading them, but they aren’t my favorite to write myself. Usually these days I do them if I want to briefly explore a concept, close out a character arc, experiment with a different writing style, or fill in a missing element from one of my longer series. (Vixen Ecology does ALL of this.)
Now, novellas are a different matter. They are probably my favorite thing to write. I find I comfortably hit 50-80k as an author (which is novella, pulp, & middle grade length). In other words, as a novelist I tend to underwrite, not overwrite, which is pretty unusual amongst my writer friends.
When and where do you write?
- I usually write the first draft at home or in my office, at my desk, in the afternoons. If I’m really struggling, a change of location helps, so I frequent a local coffee shop or very occasionally the library (when allowed).
- I must hide away and do my second draft in an empty office, because I read the whole thing out loud.
- I usually red pen a hard-copy of the third draft on an airplane, things often arrange themselves so I’m traveling at that point in the writing process (when traveling happens). But sometimes I don’t have time for a print pass, in which case I will change the font.
- I used to go over the copy edits with my best friend on the couch in her living room with much companion hilarity, these days I’m usually too rushed.
You can also see my blog post on the subject of my desk and bribery system.
What traits about yourself and your writing have you noticed since Soulless was published?
As a writer: I’m good with comedy, struggle with sentimentality, and dislike writing nookie.
Physically: As a dancer I find it difficult to stay still for the amount of time needed to write.
As a public figure: Because I was a professor, I’m one of those few authors who can handle speaking before a crowd without flinching. But I was not prepared for direct contact with fans and their expectations of me as a person.
As a small business person: Time management and over-commitment is the single hardest skill to master. Oddball income streams, sporadic unpredictable amounts, and everything else about publishing is unfriendly to the modern fiscal system and that’s confusing to everyone involved.
Emotionally: Learning to say no and put people off when I have a deadline has been a challenge. Not just fans but inquiries for anthologies, interviews, events, even book proposals. Opportunities I would once have jumped at now have to get filed away under the “wait until the next novel is finished” heading. And there always seems to be a next novel.
- Vixen Ecology ~ Interstitial short story featuring Mana and Lovejoy, follow up to The Enforcer Enigma, is available to Chirrup members as a digital exclusive. That’s Gail’s newsletter. If you sign up you will get a link to buy and download after you’re through the confirmation process. It’s a short story, digital ONLY.
- Did you miss my latest release announcement? Want more sneak peeks, free goodies, gossip, behind the scenes info? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
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BOOK DE JOUR!
The Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture
My first non-fiction book! How to use ancient story structure to understand and crack bestselling genre fiction. It is available in print, digital, or audio.
- Gail is currently finishing the next Delightfully Deadly book, which will release later this year.
- She also has a fun techno-fantasy in production, about a world where magic only works when you’re dating someone, and the boy who falls in love with the wrong person. It’s fate will be decided by Chirrup members.
- Need to know what else Gail is working on right now? That’s in the Chirrup.
Gail’s Daily Tea Party
Tisane of Nifty
Vixen Ecology was originally released as a charity fundraiser. This is the hank you card I got from one of the charities.
Quote to Sip
Tags: Q&A, Short Story