Ann and I have been Facebook friends for a while and at the SCBWI Carolina’s Fall 2013 conference we got to be face to face friends too! Then she very graciously invited me along on a blog tour…so please check out this accomplished writer at www.anneisenstein.com and enjoy these tidbits about me:
1. Tell us about you? Have you always wanted to be a writer? When did you decide that was what you wanted to do? What else fo you do? What is something we don’t know about you?
Yes, since I was a little girl I wanted to write, to be a dancer, and loved fashion and music. Art is in me. When I was young I didn’t believe I could earn a living as a writer so I gave it up, along with my dancing, for a while and focused on my career in entertainment…I know…I know…as if making a living or career in LA in entertainment when I knew NO ONE is an easy thing to do. But I did do it. I made a five-year plan and accomplished my goals working on small productions and working my way up. Thing is, I was good at it, but all my creative ideas were taken by other people, I felt empty. Then when I was 28-years-old I signed up for a UCLA Extensions class on short story writing. My first instructor was Rob Roberge and the class was in a room located at Universal Studios. CRAZY, right? Rob was very encouraging and despite the horrible stories I attempted he taught me to be a better writer. I took another class with him, then Aimee Bender (with whose help I discovered I love writing magical realism) a few with Tod Goldberg. Tod gave me the great advice after reading my Wolf, A Modern Tale short story (big bad wolf gets out of jail early for good behavior and the little girl who lives next door to him becomes obsessed with being his next victim and therefore forever more famous) He underlined one sentence in the ten pages I’d written and said, “This sentence doesn’t suck. You can write this good. Now make everything else like this.” It clearly made an impression. Next I got into essay writing and took a weekend intensive with Samantha Dunn, or maybe two with her, and then I met Rachel Resnick who helped me develop my voice. I was with Rachel for years, working on my craft and figuring out who I was as a writer. All the while life took me here and there back and forth across the country, I had a baby, had I multiple miscarriages and I had an idea…I could write a book. When we moved to NC I took classes on -line because I’ve always been about being the very best I could be, and that meant challenging myself. I met a new group of writers. I recognized I was trying to write a YA book and I did! Nothing makes me happier, crazier, more fulfilled, cranky, disappointed, neurotic, excited and eager than writing.
2. What is your writing process like? Do you have a routine? A special place, a special time? Do you have a soundtrack? Set the mood for us.
My writing process…well, it changes. This summer I set a goal to write 50,000 words. I had to write 837 words per day while my daughter was in day camp and I met and exceeded it. I kept on track by emailing a friend my word count daily. I play either crystal bowls or Mozart while I write. Music and sound without words helps me be creative without influence. Although, when a character gets angry or sad or hurt (and they do often) I play all kinds of music before I write to set the mood. I also exercise about three days a week and after I shower it is ass in chair time. Nothing will get words on a page faster than ass in chair. Some chapters I write long hand first drafts, others come out of me so fast I have to type to keep up with what’s going on in my head.
3. What do you write? YA? MG? PB? Adult? Fiction or nonfiction? What do you write about?
What I write has morphed a bit. First I wrote short stories, almost all of them have a magical realism component. I write personal essays and those are very honest and real and they cover topics ranging from my miscarriages to parenting to marriage and whatever else amuses me. My nonfiction has been until now adult, but I am venturing into submitting articles for YA and MG nonfiction magazines.
My manuscripts are both YA dancing on the line of new adult. I have an idea for th MG book, but that must ruminate in my mind while I finish Dear Dead Drunk Girl.
4. Do you draw from personal experience? Do you do a lot of research? Yes!
5. Finally, tell your readers about your book(s). Title, summary, synopsis, blurb. Published or waiting to be published. Where can we get your books if available?
I had a book of poetry published when I won a contest with a self publisher six years ago, but have taken back control of that.
I’m querying What Death has Touched. I am writing Dear Dead Drunk Girl.
Finger Paint was published in Stone Crowns Magazine. Wolf, a modern tale and Wings Infomercial were short stories published in moonShine Review. My essays have appeared in More.com and I performed in the January 2011 Expressing Motherhood play in Los Angeles. I am currently freelance writing for My School Rocks. I keep busy! I think I’m building critical mass and this year will find my agent fit and DDDG will be on the shelves in 2016!
Hope you enjoyed! Thank you Ann Eisenstein for including me!