Ooooh, Kel’s been getting lots of email lately. Very cool! On Sunday, I was asked the following question:
“How come you don’t blog about your writing process or the publishing industry like most other writers out there do? Just curious.”
Fair enough. For those of you who are interested…
A. My “writing process” consists of:
1. Lying down on the couch for about half an hour each morning, imagining the scene(s) I’m about to write in as much detail as possible. I especially focus on what the setting and/or characters smell like. (Seriously.) Once I’ve got that, I’m all set. Then I:
2. Take a shower. For some reason, that helps my creativity flow more smoothly. Possibly it’s the hot water loosening everything up. Plus it’s easier to concentrate on what the scene(s) smell like when I’m not distracted by my own B.O. Afterwards I:
3. Pour myself a giant mug of coffee (cream and one spoonful of brown sugar), then sit at my computer. I plug myself into my iTunes playlist (which varies, depending on the mood of the scene I’m about to write. For example, yesterday, while writing about a gruesome and gory murder, I put “Epic” by Faith No More on repeat). I listen quietly for a few minutes so I can “get into character.” Then I start writing.
You’re right. No.
B. My thoughts on the publishing industry?
Well, I published my novel myself, so that should give you a hint. Zoe articulated my feelings pretty well yesterday when she broke down a recent New York Times article about the state of the publishing industry. My favorite snipit was a quote from a literary agent who gauges what she thinks will sell based on, “Just a feeling.’ She described it as a tingling that went up her spine.” Zoe’s response? “I’m sorry, but I’m not pinning my hopes and dreams on whether or not your spine tingles. See a Chiropractor and read a business book.”
I have spoken a little about this subject on this blog here and also here. I think I best summed up my own frustration in a letter to a friend last spring:
“I’ve become rather disenchanted with the publishing business–not because I can’t get published, but because of the reasons I’ve been given. I’m not commercial enough for the “mainstream” agents (for lack of a better term), and not educated enough for the more literary crowd. I guess what I wonder about is this: If a book is “well-written, with engaging characters and a good story” then how is it not marketable? Isn’t that the reason people buy books? Or, if my writing is good, why does it matter that I don’t have an degree?”
So there you have it. Next time I’ll be answering questions about fan fiction and whether or not Waiting For Spring reflects my personal viewpoint on vigilante justice.