Writing is a solitary profession. Most of us sit at a computer and don't interact much with others - if at all - as we put words on the page. I find that when I do get out "into the world" I don't always answer the questions posed to me about my writing with the entire truth - mostly because only a writer could sympathize with the answer.
"Where do you get your ideas?"
- My usual answer: "Ideas are everywhere."
- The longer, unspoken answer: Story generation is like making a cobb salad - take a bit of someone's experience here, add something unique there, flavor it with an emotional wound, and season with your own writing voice for 300-400 pages.
"How long does it take you to write a book?"
- My usual answer: "Several months."
- The unspoken answer: Too long! (sob)
- My usual answer: "It takes a lot of research."
- The unspoken answer: I spend way too much time researching on the internet, watching documentaries or reading biographies. Lately, I've been fascinated with metal-made mermaid art. See my October 2016 book for more on how that turns out.
Here are some of my favorite questions that I answer with the truth because the answer isn't always so long or poking at my writer underbelly.
"Why do your characters drink so much coffee?"
- My usual answer: "Because I sit alone at the computer and drink a lot of coffee!"
"Why are the grandparents in your books so out-spoken?"
- FYI: If you haven't read my Harmony Valley series, it's a town populated with grandparents - more so than parents.
- My usual answer: "Because my parents and their friends - who I love dearly - are so very independent and at a point in their lives where they don't care what others think, they speak their mind!"
So readers, here's your chance to ask some authors a question about writing and have them answer. And authors, here's your chance to post some of your most frequently asked questions and your answers. 1-2-3...Go!
Melinda Curtis is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author. Her next Harmony Valley book is A Man of Influence, available in April online and May in larger Walmart stores. But the book with her favorite older character - Eunice - is featured in A Memory Away, available now. But please don't tell the other young-at-heart characters in Harmony Valley that Melinda has a favorite.