Show Us Your Writing Space!

Workstation2014FebSmallWhere we write can influence what and how well we write. Do you have a special place set up or just go anywhere and begin?

I admit I can write wherever, but I’m most comfortable at my custom-created dual-monitor workstation with twin goose-neck lamps and dual cupholders (yes, cupholders). Decor includes scythes over the windows, reaper statuettes down the wall in the corner, and an evil-!#$%ing closet (obviously). My trusty actual-wood chair keeps me attentive and on task.

Show us your writing space or desk!
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What does your “writing space” look like?

Workstation2013MarAuthors! What does your writing space look like? Tall desk or wide? Is it secluded? Accessible? Do you keep things around to give you idea or remind you to work?

Here’s mine; it sets a mood. Yeah, I’m kinda hyper-organized about my work area. My desk also has TWO cup holders; made ’em myself. And that door to the right? That’s an evil effing closet.

What does your writing space look like?

Share!

Author Interview Up Rai29 Book Read N Review

If you’re into books, spend time online, and are not familiar with Goodreads.com, I suggest checking it out (my author profile is here).
One of the people I’ve met on the site is Rachel, a young adult who is not only ravenous for reading but also reviews young adult (YA) books and interviews YA authors. Check out my interview on her site at Rai29 Book Read N Review.
Here’s a few of the questions:

3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
It’s called The Spooky Chronicles: The Terminal People, about a dead boy dealing with still growing up.
4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
This is the second book in The Spooky Chronicles series. The first arc is planned for six books, although I’m doing a one-shot crossover story between the first couple books for a charity anthology. I’m currently working on the third book in the series, Schoolhouse Number Five.
5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing film reviews for almost fifteen years (honing my written “voice”), plus my girlfriend got into self-publishing herself and encouraged me to do it. I’ve seen a lot of scary movies, and the ones featuring young adults rarely seem to show much of the their point of view. One exception is Harry Potter, which I’ve always felt is a lot more YA horror than people want to admit.
7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I’m pretty handy with the graphic arts and am self-taught, so I created it myself based on a key location in the story from photographs I’ve taken. Most of the current cover was from a picture taken in Savannah, Georgia’s Bonaventure Cemetery. Beautiful statuary there.
10. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
The series trailer is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjXRVIHdR… I love book trailers, but I think many are too much like movie trailers. In a movie trailer, you expect to see scenes in the movie exactly as they appear in the trailer (and are disappointed when they aren’t). So much of what happens in a book is in the imagination, so the less you show, the better. A book trailer, like a book cover, should *feel* like what the book is about, more like those teaser movie trailers that appear before any footage is actually shot.
11. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I like them all. I intend to translate each of my stories into all of these mediums as I am able to. If you don’t give consumers what they want in the form they want it, someone else will.

Writers On Editing: Don’t Do It All Yourself

I was recently asked to participate in a poll on Goodreads.com about editing, specifically how authors get it done for their work. Responses to the question “Do you use an editor?” included did it all myself, had a friend or relative do it, hired a cheap or expensive editor, used a free website for authors to help one another, used a volunteer, or used software. Sadly, the most common answer that had floated to the top of the poll was, “No, I just did it all myself.”

Here’s the best advice I can ever offer a writer: DON’T do it all yourself. Find yourself a “no” person, someone both willing to read your work critically and that you’re willing to listen to no matter what they say or how bad it may seem to them (advisers are invaluable, see The Evil Overlord list for details on correct usage). Heck, get a team of volunteer readers. They may be grammar Nazis or just people who like to read, but they will see things you’ll miss no matter how many times you read it yourself. Sometimes it won’t be grammatical or a missing word but just not explaining things as simply or as thoroughly as needed. A paid professional is wonderful if you trust them and can afford it, but always, always, ALWAYS have another set of eyes go over your work any way you can get it done.

Also, if you can compile your work into a PDF (OpenOffice can do this for you), here’s a really cool trick: let Adobe Reader read it to you out loud (it’s a built in feature of the free version) and just listen. This will reveal a lot of mistakes you and all of your editors may have glossed over for a final edit.