As is the tradition of this blog, on Tuesdays I usually feature first-time authors as part of my Debut Author Q&A series. This week, I thought perhaps I’d share my own interview on The Writer’s Dream, a public access television show taped on Long Island on which authors discuss the writing, publishing and marketing of their books. Some of you may know that I am the original moderator of this program — and still appear as such from time to time — but for this episode, which was taped in late July, I hand over the moderator seat to executive producer Linda Frank who interviews me about the road to publication for Baby Grand.
I attended a reading and book signing on Wednesday by Long Island thriller writer Jeb Ladouceur, who appeared at the Book Revue in Huntington. Jeb spoke about the writing process, read an except from his forthcoming book, Inked!, which will be published in 2012, and also signed copies of his latest book, The Oba Project.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jeb earlier this year when he appeared on my show, The Writer’s Dream, during which we had a lovely and informative chat about the writer’s life:
It was nice to see a sizable group of people turn out for Jeb’s reading. I’ve gone to quite a few of these things over the years, and I’m sad to say that attendance is typically low — with the exception of readings by celebrities or other high-profile folks which usually draw a crowd (my library recently had one of the “real housewives” come chat about her new cookbook and from what I hear it was standing room only).
As a writer, I think it’s important not only to support fellow writers, but to learn about other writers’ processes — sometimes what you hear can jumpstart or help you work through a particular block you may have in your writing or perhaps just broaden your understanding of writing in general. For instance, I found it interesting that Jeb never visited the towns or cities he wrote about in his books. He didn’t want the realities of those places to stifle his creativity in any way. I, on the other hand, took a road trip to Albany, New York, the setting for much of Baby Grand, while in I was in the throes of writing my first draft in order to get a feel for the place and make my descriptions more authentic.
Congratulations to Jeb for a successful event. I look forward to attending many, many more.
Own your process. Today, I taped three more shows of The Writer’s Dream, a little public access show I moderate out in East Hampton, and one of the writers was telling me that she tends to “overwrite” her books — meaning she likes to write and write and write and then go back, during the editing process, and weed out all the extraneous stuff. She decides what stays and what should go. That’s how she finds her story. I, on the other hand, have the opposite process. Perhaps it has to do with my journalism background, but I tend to write the bare bones of my story — just the facts, ma’am — and then during the editing process, I go back and flesh out, deepen, illustrate and make come alive. For me, the editing is where the “magic” of writing happens, in creating those little details.
Another writer today told me that he will not finish a writing session until he has created an entire scene, or what he calls an “episode.” Whether it takes one hour or 18, he’ll sit there and bang it out. I, however, often have to write in blocks of time, depending upon how busy I am on any given day. And if I don’t have much time, I’ll squeeze my writing in wherever possible — if I have a free half hour, perhaps I’ll take a look at a scene that’s giving me trouble instead of just plowing ahead with my story. For me, every little bit counts. And sometimes it’s really little.
Every writer has his or her own way of doing things, as it should be. There’s no one right way to write. Whatever your process is, if it works for you, stick with it, own it and love every second of it.
As I mentioned recently, I was asked to serve as host for a new television show, titled The Writer’s Dream. The show is put together by writers for writers and is basically my blog in television format — we talk about the craft of writing, what motivates us, inspires us, as well as the business of writing, including the process of querying agents and pursuing a traditional publishing deal or the experience of self-publishing.
Currently, the program only airs in East Hampton, New York, but I’ve been getting lots of requests to see the show, so I’ll be uploading each episode to YouTube. Below is Part 1 of a recent episode featuring Richard Rose, news anchor for TV 10/55 and author of Release the Butterfly. (Part 2 and Part 3 are also available on YouTube.)