FAQPosted: July 5, 2014
Two of the most frequently questions I’m asked are: Have I always wanted to be a writer and how much do I write ?
Have I wanted to be an author all my life? No, although I’ve always put my thoughts, opinions and feelings down on paper because it was much easier for me to express myself in the written language than verbalizing. My friends may find that strange, because I am a talker.
My novel writing began when I was going through menopause. As women “of my age” know, during this time one doesn’t sleep as well. During periods of wakefulness, I would entertain myself by making up a love story served with a side of mystery. After a couple years I started writing it down. Then I took Ellen Hart’s Mystery Writing class at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and rewrote it as a mystery with the love angle as a side story. I quickly became engrossed and obsessed with writing. Hours would fly by. The Equalizer released June, 2014 by North Star Press, does not resemble the first draft of the novel I’d first written. After several revisions, not only did the setting of the story move southwest fifty or so miles, but the story line changed: the homicide change from one victim to two, and the secondary character of Cal Sheehan became the protagonist.
Second question: How much do I write? It varies, but I usually can get in four to six hours per day if I am not substitute teaching. After I start my day reading as I sip coffee in my den where it is peaceful and quiet, I dress, (I never write in my pajamas), and move to my computer and begin my writing day. I can only take sitting at the computer for a couple hours at a time, so I need to break it up with other activities: housework, errands, or going to my fitness club to work out.
I absolutely love punching out the first draft. In the last couple years I have learned it works for me better to write the story lean, then add the details in revision which I liken to putting frosting on a cake. The whole revision process has become more enjoyable as I develop as a writer. As I am becoming a more efficient writer, I find I need to spend less time revising. The first novel was painfully slow: seven years.