How do you deal with writer’s block?
I try to avoid it as much as I can. I keep to my scheduled time of writing and if I’m not working on my book, I blog, I work on short stories, or plot out something I’m already working on. I have lots of ideas. Just because I’m not putting them down on paper doesn’t mean I’m working. Playing out scenarios in my head helps later when I sit down at the keyboard. Steven King says something like just suck it up and do it. You want to be professional? You have to act professional. “Sorry, boss, I don’t feel like doing that today,” will get you where? I go to a number of writing circles, and they offer that you pick a number of words you could write in a day, say 200 words. You ask yourself with the worst day you could image (dog dying, cat eats the fish, kid breaks leg, flat tire, etc.) could you write 200 words? 200? Sure? Set that as a goal and stick to it. It exercise for the mind, and like other exercises for it to have an effect, you need to keep at it. Write? RIGHT!
Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
I was dating a nanny I met on Match.com in 2009. One day, we were lying in bed, and the idea came to me; what if she was working as a nanny for my estranged ex-wife, didn’t know it, and the child went missing? I played out a number of scenarios in my head and in 2010 (she abruptly dumped me in March, and was doing the single thing at the time) I wrote in the NaMo thing and wrote a version of the book. It’s changed many times since then (5+ drafts), but it still follows the themes about personal security on the internet, giving second chances, and everyone has baggage.
How do you get inspired to write?
I find my relationships are what inspire me to write. Not that I write directly about them, but they sometimes provide genesis for ideas. I try to keep a schedule to write at work over my lunch time. I put on Mozart and let the music take me. I can usually bang out ~1000 words in an hour, but I plan out and think about what I’m going to write before I do.
What are you currently working on?
The book is called Mariline. I like to call it a paranormal thriller. It’s a tri-angle between two brothers and a nanny. The one brother, Kevin, is an ex-cop, ex-heroin addict. The other brother, Aiden, is trying to rehabilitate Kevin. Carol, the nanny, is dating Aiden, not knowing she’s working for Kevin’s estranged ex-wife. Mariline is the ghost of the drowned daughter of Kevin that appears when Kevin gets out of rehab, and sets things into motion.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Read and write often. Believe in your work. Every day is full of learning and living experiences, use them wisely. If the work is personal to you, it will be to the reader.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
All the frequent flyer miles you rack up in your brain. I’m out of my body so much, being other people and seeing other places, all in my mind, sometimes it feels like a vacation. It’s fun to go away, with old friends (my characters) and make their lives miserable. My problems don’t seem so bad after that.