1) What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have? The last thing I wrote was on my WIP, Damaged. It's nice to get back into the writing groove. I still have the first little stories I wrote about my baby boy and cat. They are darling. I confess I even had the gall to send out dummies of those first ... ahem ... picture books. Does getting a good rejection count? All eight editors said I had a cute baby. Hee hee.
2) Write poetry? Yes! And it's what I use to transition from nonfiction writing to fiction. Many of my published poems came from these transitions, and not surprisingly they are mostly of the nonfiction kind.
3) Angsty poetry? Nope. Never. Not even as a teenager.
4) Favorite genre of writing? Only one? Impossible. My favorites: historical fiction, science, memoir, picture books.
5) Most annoying character you've ever created? I don't really have an annoying character ... I don't think I could inhabit one. However, I'm sure many of you will find them annoying.
6) Best plot you've ever created? I'm not saying because the work is unpublished. But I like plotting. And I always have a twist in the end. Sometimes, it feels like getting punched in the stomach, though if you look carefully, you should've seen it coming.
7) Coolest plot twist you've ever created? Not saying. You'll find out when you read my books :)
8) How often do you get writer's block? Daily. I will do everything else but write ... but then, when I finally get started, it feels so good, I don't understand why I do this to myself. I suppose I'm a mother, housewife, teacher first before I'm a writer ... and truthfully, even though I dream of being a full-time writer, I'm probably better off writing in the hurly-burly of life because like Natalie Goldberg, I'd probably water the plants to death. Truthfully, I don't get writer's block, but as you can see, I'm an expert procrastinator.
9) Write fan fiction? Never. Though some characters have lingered in my heart for years.
10) Do you type or write by hand? Both. And if I'm working out something pesky, I find it best to hand write. My hand knows things my head doesn't. Seriously. It was the same when I was a scientist. I'd literally doodle myself an answer.
11) Do you save everything you write? No. So much of it is utter crap, I throw it out. And if it's good enough or meant to be, it'll come back in a better way.
12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it? I don't think I've ever truly abandoned an idea. Ideas are always in motion, some grow tall, other send off side shoots, still others hibernate. Sometimes two or three ideas gel together into something wonderful years later.
13) What's your favorite thing you've ever written? Stories about my children and the cats, stories about my mother, about food and laundry.
14) What's everyone else's favorite story you've written? Adults like Driving Lessons. Kids love my cat books.
15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama? I've written the bones of a very dark/horror adult romance. But is it romance? Not sure. No angsty teen drama. Sorry.
16) What's your favorite setting for your characters? Setting plays a huge part in all my stories. So I don't have a favorite one. But it's the right one for each story.
17) How many writing projects are you working on right now? One YA novel, a couple of short stories, and preparing a talk.
18) Have you ever won an award for your writing? Yes! A couple of times. And it's still thrilling to think about. I am utterly grateful for that extra outside validation and opportunities they gave me.
19) What are your five favorite words? Hah! I have a hundred -- raccoon, pesky, cranberry, squeaky, catalyst. I'm sorry but mosquito is trying to sneak in here as well ...
20) What character have you created that is most like yourself? Reshma, in my first novel, Emergency, is most like me. But truthfully, even the villains have a bit of me in them.
21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters? From real life ... almost every character begins based on a real person, whether I'm borrowing a trait or their situation. During writing, they come into their own and it's always a surprise how they evolve into their own person, distinct from the people they were based upon. Even Reshma.
22) Do you ever write based on your dreams? I hardly remember my dreams, but yes, once in a while, I've been given a story in my dreams and I had the good fortune to wake up and remember it long enough to write it down.
23) Do you favor happy endings? Yes! I like to see good triumph over evil and so in the end, I will make sure that no matter how many rocks I throw at my characters, that they will get up at the end.
24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write? I tend to revise and edit as I write and spelling and grammar are the easiest to fix so while my mind works on one problem, at least I can fix those things along the way.
25) Does music help you write? Never. It's a terrible distraction. Either I love it, and I'm listening to it, or else I dislike it and it feels like noise pollution. I like to write in quiet.
26) Quote something you've written. From Driving Lessons:
My mother is driving me crazy. Literally. I’m teaching her how to drive. Just six months ago, she stood stiffly in her sari and sneakers in Oldenrod’s Used Cars parking lot while I bought the clunky Chevy Nova with my own money for my seventeenth birthday. Not a single congratulatory word came out of her pursed mouth.
“You’re going to kill yourself,” she said.
“You don’t need a car,” she said.
“You did this so you could drive away from me,” she said.
She’s right on all three counts.
And now I'm supposed to tag a few other people. However, most of the people I know have already played, so if you haven't consider yourself tagged.