June 9, 2012

Saturday Musings: Ideas, Plans, and Research

Happy weekend. My girls and I are recovering from the last days of school at the beach in Duck, North Carolina.

Saturdays are a good day for catch up, so I'm going to respond to a few of the Author Blog Challenge prompts that I've missed.

Describe how the idea for your book first came to you. Where were you? Who was the first person you told? How did they respond?

I always loved writing and reading and the idea of writing a book was always in the back of my mind. But it was the journey into the unknown called motherhood that spurred me to action. Overwhelmed with a new baby and living far away from my mother, a family story started brewing.

Then it hit me... I wanted to write a mother-daughter tale with my mother. Two women writing women. It would be the perfect gift for my precious daughter. Mom was game and we went for it. Thanks to life (two more children in four years for me), Depression Cookies took ten years from thought to publication.

Describe your outline process for your book. What do you do to stay organized?

I am currently writing two books. Mom and I are writing the follow up to Depression Cookies, and I am writing a young adult book. Mom and I have such a mother-daughter outline process, it's called chatting on the phone and working it out. Plus, we know our characters so well at this point, it comes naturally.

On my YA book, I am still playing around with outlining. It's my first solo-writing effort. I furiously jot down notes as ideas come to me. I use note cards for different scenes, and I have a Word document filled with scene ideas, character descriptions, and story arc.

I love reading all the story organization suggestions by other writers. Now I just have to find my own groove.

Describe the research process for your book. Did you interview people? Travel? How prominent a role did the Internet play? If you didn’t do new research, how did you learn what you needed to know to write your book?

I am spoiled by the Internet, I must admit. But nothing beats first-hand experience, so I do look for experts in the field as well. When I started blogging, I never dreamed that it would open the connections it has. When I have a burning question, I put it out there. It's like six degrees of Kevin Bacon, somebody always knows somebody you need.

I'm loving the Author Blog Challenge and meeting so many wonderful writers. I'm hoping to use my beach time to catch up on my blog reading and commenting.


If you love a book, do you want to know the author's story? How many times have you searched for information on an author?


Lisa Cherry said...

I love the prompts in this challenge as they give a real outline of a persons journey as a writer, how they got there, how they write, how they research. Because you've put yours together, I feel like I know you a little better.

Thank you

Lisa x

Jennifer Willis said...

I frequently look up information on authors, but usually only after I've finished the book that piqued my curiosity. My boyfriend dislikes it when an author photo is featured on a book cover, back or inside jacket—he wants to know as little as possible about the writer while he's reading.

Becky Fyfe said...

I love that you write a mother/daughter book with your mom! I would do that with mine except that she is not a writer AT ALL. My dad is the one with writing talent between my parents. My mom can draw really well though. I once suggested to them, now that they ar retired, that he write a children's story for each one of his 17 grandchildren and she illustrate one picture to go with each story. They could have them included in one complete book to give out to their children for their grandchildren. It would be a wonderful family keepsake. So far though, neither one of them have taken me up on the suggestion.

Jo Michaels said...

How sweet that you wrote the book with your mother! My own mom has a book in her head titled "Ungrateful Little Sh!ts" and it's about her kids (of which she has 8). We frequently tick her off with our antics and most of her stories are full of fun and laughter. I hope she writes it.

I do think about other authors and have Googled them frequently. I read Stephen King's book "On Writing" and learned a lot about an author I admire. His book is no so much a lesson on writing as it is a story of his journey.

I am with Ms. Cherry, I feel like I know you a bit better :)


Tia Bach said...

Thanks, Lisa. I look forward to getting around and finding out more about the @AuthorBlogchal writers!

Jen, Interesting. I go back and forth, but I usually want to know more about the authors when I find the story fascinating. Curiosity gets the better of me.

Moonduster, What a lovely idea. My mom writes stories with my kids, each writing a scene. They send it back and forth via email, and I print it out. So much fun!

Jo, You had me laughing out loud. Too funny.