Is it true you're writing another book? Please tell me it's a HIDING sequel!!
Yes! When I finished HIDING two years ago I found I couldn't leave Cary there, and picked the story up shortly after that novel ends. I think... fingers crossed... I have another full length novel project in me about Cary and the White family. I'll be sharing a sneak peak of that new novel here very soon - keep you posted!
Do you have a favourite writing spot? Or food? Or beverage? That is necessary to your process?
I love to write in a room with a view and a cup of good coffee at my elbow. Warm feet and relative quiet are necessary to my process – and dark chocolate is very inspirational ;) My kids have learned when I’m deep in the story they can say “Mommy-mommy-mommy” twenty times before I hear them, and mostly they just give up and find daddy instead. I wrote most of HIDING cross-legged on my bed, with a view of shadowy evergreen branches out my window.
What are some of your habits as a writer?
I get up before the rest of my family for a short writing time before the day gets under way. I reflect on the past day and the day ahead in my journal and write out a few lines of prayer about that. It seems insignificant – I rarely fill a page of my journal with an entry – but this daily habit of checking in on the page has become the bedrock of my writing practice over the years. When I have a few minutes to work on a scene later in the day, I can dive right in because I’ve already sorted my own stuff out.
I love to compose long-hand with a good fast pen in these lovely 8.5x11 Cambridge notebooks. I give myself permission to write fast, make stupid plot decisions, try stuff, cross stuff out, discard a scene entirely and move on. Later I enter the scenes I’m keeping into a OneNote notebook on my laptop which contains the whole manuscript broken down scene by scene, and plenty of the alternate versions of scenes.
When I have the scenes for an entire act collected in OneNote, I collate them into a single Word document. i fill in the gaps and as the manuscript comes together move into final editing mode, numbering and naming chapters, checking for continuity - stuff like that.
It is a long process but all that work is worth it when the finished book goes out into the world and I hear back from readers that they stayed up all night turning pages to the end and bawled their eyes out. #Iheartreaders
Excerpted from the author interview at the back of the forthcoming HIDING-School Edition. Thanks to youth worker Katy H. for her great questions! If you have questions you want me to answer, drop them in the comments, or send them via email, or find me on Facebook and GoodReads!