Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Frequently Asked Questions Part One

A few weeks ago I asked you all to submit questions for the Frequently Asked Questions page on my website. I thought I'd also post them here, since this is where I initially asked for them. I've broken them up into two parts so neither post is too long, and you have the option to either read the questions and my responses or listen to them in video form.



I know you’re a Rick Riordan fan but, which other author(s) inspire you?
Becca Fitzpatrick is another favorite of mine. I loved her Hush, Hush series. The dynamic between Patch and Nora was amazing and well supported by a great plot. I also really enjoyed Black Ice, which is her new thriller. Her writing just draws me in and doesn’t let go.

Kelly, you have written quite a few books. How do you manage your timelines for writing each novel?
I admit that I get a little crazy when it comes to drafting a new book. That book just sort of takes over my life until it’s written. I frequently get ideas for other books while I’m drafting, but I quickly jot those down and get back to the novel I’m currently working on. I’ve learned my characters don’t share me very well. ;)

Do you set certain goals for your word count each day and do you always meet those goals?
I don’t have a standard word count set per day. What I do is look at what I need to accomplish that day. Sometimes I have to help out at my daughter’s school, so I might only have two hours to write that day. I can usually get about 2K written in an hour, so I’ll take the number of hours I have and multiply it by two. I usually meet my goals because I’m kind of hard on my self, but there are times when unforeseen circumstances make me have to adjust my goals a bit.

When do you know a book is finished, polished and ready to submit? Or even, how?
Basically when all I’m doing in a revision is moving words around, it means I’ve reached my limit. At that point I need to pass it on to my agent and get her feedback.

How you decide which bookstores to approach for readings and your pitches?
Unfortunately, I only have one bookstore in my area, so I definitely start there. After that I like to team up with other authors and do joint signings both where I live and where they live.

Are there any tricks you use to make yourself want to write during times when you absolutely do not feel like it?
I actually haven’t found a time when I didn’t want to write. I feel guilty if I don’t write every day, or at least revise. I look at writing as a career and take it very seriously, but at the same time it’s part of who I am. It feels weird for me to take a day off because I feel like I’m missing something I love.

How do you keep your two writing "personas", if you will, separate?
I don’t always. Into the Fire has both of my names on the cover because it was a book that really blended both Kelly Hashway and Ashelyn Drake. Of course I have other books that are purely romance or purely paranormal. I tend to just run with the ideas that come to me. I do have separate social media accounts for each persona though.

Are there times Ashelyn intrudes on your writing as Kelly?
When writing the second book in the Birth of the Phoenix series I got really stuck in a particular place because I knew where Kelly would take the plot and I knew where Ashelyn would take the plot, and those two didn’t mesh. That was tough. So yes, my two personas do butt heads on occasion.

32 comments:

  1. You are amazingly productive. I love that you have two writing personas. I've thought about using pseudonyms. It's something I might explore.

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    1. Sometimes I wonder if I'll need another name one day. I like to try new genres. ;) I really want to write a thriller, but I think I could use my real name for that since my paranormals all border on horror and thrillers can too.

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  2. I would love to do a group event...I haven't found a local author to team up with yet. Our SCBWI is so clique-ish, it's hard to infiltrate the groups. But hopefully someday I'll encounter a group of children's authors in Nashville that want to buddy up! Solo events are TERRIFYING.

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    1. Solo events can be scary, but once I get over the nerves I have a great time. Still, teaming up is fun.

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  3. I love that you fought with Ashelyn. I can totally see that ... and hear her. LOL

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  4. Kelly, you are so clear and concise in your videos. I'm amazed at how you remain so composed. :)

    You go girl!

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    1. It must be the teacher in me. I watch my videos and think I'm a huge dork. ;)

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  5. That's a writer, for ya! Can't go a day without writing, even once we start doing it professionally. Cool FAQ, Kelly.

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  6. Fantastic answers, Kelly! I know how you feel about feeling guilty when not writing. If I'm too busy with the day job, I seriously can't think straight if I haven't had the chance to simply write that morning.
    Do you write only during the week or on weekends too?

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    1. I write on the weekends too, but not for five and half hours like during the week. On weekends I sneak time here and there and then write after my daughter goes to sleep.

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  7. Great video. Loved all your answers. You must have a ton of stories floating around in your head at all times. Impressive.

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    1. That's usually how it happens. They bombard me all at once.

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  8. Cool video! It's always interesting to learn how other authors approach writing.

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  9. I always enjoy your videos! And I like your sweater. =)

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    1. I'm glad you like it, Leandra, because I'm wearing in the FAQ Part 2 video as well. ;) I made the videos back to back even though I will be posting them a week apart. I realized after the fact that it will look like I always wear the same sweater.

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  10. I'm in awe of your output. When I read here that you write two thousand words per hour (original first draft) I realize that you are at least four times faster than I've ever been or will be. Amazing.

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    1. It used to take me months to write a book and I thought people who won NaNoWriMo were crazy. You never know, Mirka. You might one day write a book in a very short time and surprise yourself. That's how it happened for me.

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  11. Great questions and very thoughtful answers, Kelly! I find that projects don't share me too well, so I can only focus on one at a time.

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    1. Characters can be so demanding, can't they? ;)

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  12. Wow, you are such a busy writer! Here's another questions for you. Do Kelly and Ashelyn ever fight?
    Ashelyn: "I think it should be said like this."
    Kelly: "It sounds better the other way."
    Ashelyn: "Who died and made you boss?"
    Kelly: "I could kill you off right now!"

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    1. Well, "we" don't fight but we disagree often. ;)

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  13. Great questions and answers. I enjoyed learning more about your writing, both of you, Kelly and Ashelyn.

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  14. You're so productive! I've gotten faster than I once was, but 2K per hour is...amazing. I also like to do group events. They're fun, and I think they draw more people and it helps all the participants.

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    1. Yes, they definitely draw more people and it's so nice to have others there with you.

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  15. Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. That is intense and impressive that you can pull off 2k words in an hour consistently. No wonder you are prolific : D.

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    1. I really can't take the credit. My characters are demanding and really I'm just struggling to keep up with them.

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