I always find “FAQ” Sections on websites helpful, so I decided to include one on mine! Every few months or so, I will write a post to answer some of the most commonly asked questions that I get on a regular basis to help you.
1. How do you get past writer’s block?
First, don’t be afraid of it because it happens to everyone. Second, you have to find what will work for you as an individual. For me, I tend to write in different places i.e the library is a great place to write – quiet and you are surrounded by books! I will also look up writing prompts on the internet. You will be surprised by the inspiration that could come from a few simple words. Here are examples of three prompts that I borrowed from different websites. (I can’t recall which ones, but I’m not claiming these prompts as my own.) Try writing down the word “remember” 3 times and then whatever comes to your mind, no matter how random the words or phrases or ideas may seem. The second prompt is: “On a cold winter’s morning, a raven landed on an iced branch…” Go. The third prompt is: “Someone knocked on the front door. I opened the door only to see…” Go.
2. How long did it take you to write Rage?
Technically two years from when I decided to finish the rough draft I had, to the published book. However, the idea for Ashley’s story I had when I was 13 and originally had it titled, Revenge on the 13th. So, I had the idea and half of the book written by the time I was in college. Then after the incident, I decided to write my personal story as part of the healing process. I decided to use it in Rage, and then left the story alone during most of my law school career. After the bar exam didn’t work out well, I had some free time in my hands. I took my draft, rewrote what I had and kept writing until I finished it. In January of 2011, God told me to pursue publishing and to write on a regular basis, and that the rough draft of the book I had would not be my only book. Rage was released on February 1, 2013. Amazing!
3. Where did you get the ideas for Rage?
As with most writers, my ideas came from the story part of my brain…I can’t think of a better way to describe it. I think that we all have a creative part to our brains, and mine is composed of story ideas. I have an active imagination that allows me to come up with plot lines, characters, and themes. I also rely on my own personal experiences to help me think of ideas. Of course, not everything that happens in my novel has happened to me in the way that I wrote it. I either change the details or alter them completely to keep the subject the same, but the details are different. As for the specifics to Julie’s story, yes, I had a relationship very similar to the one she had with Scott. I did not know an Ashley or a Tyler – they are made up, just like their names.
4. Are you available for speaking events?
Yes! Please go to the Contact tab and send me a message with the date of the speaking event, and any other details. Depending upon location, I would need about a week’s notice.
5. Where do you get character names?
I make them up! This process can be the most fun and the most challenging at the same time. If I get stuck on a name, it can definitely cause temporary writer’s block. I try to not let it hold me up if I’m writing out a scene. I might leave it blank and come back to the name later so I don’t lose my thought. If I get really stuck,the internet and phone books are great places find name combinations.
6. Future plans?
You’ll have to wait and see as I answer this question over the next couple of months. Right now, I’m working on Part II of the Trilogy: Resolve.