We're coming up on the Winter Holiday break for my high school friends (they don't let you call it Christmas break anymore), so the queries will be going on hiatus soon, at least for a little bit.
When we come back next semester, we're gonna change things up a bit, and maybe see some of the kids' own writing. I'm really excited about it!
In the meantime, I have this week's questions. Everyone stay warm, I hear it's downright nasty where ya'll are.
Who is your biggest inspiration and what have they done to inspire you?
I don't think I have a good answer for this one. There are a lot of people in my life who have inspired me to do this whole writing thing. Some of them cheered me on, cheered me up. Some of them I just felt the petty need to say "Ha! I did it, so neener neener!" (see, not all inspiration comes from good sources) But to pick the "biggest" one...
I write because I love it when people say "Oh my god, I want to read more!" "Wow, you totally had me wigging out there!" "Dude, I cried, seriously." Yeah, the praise is great, I won't deny that, but even more, I love knowing that I was able to take that person out of this world and put them in another, even if just for a little while.
Even if I had never been published, I would still write for those people, the ones who want to be transported to a different time and place, to walk in a hero's shoes (or a villain's) for just a little while.
So the really sappy answer to this whole question is, the readers inspire me. All the readers. All the ones who have ever read my stuff, the ones who might someday, and the ones who never will. I keep writing for them, because making them happy makes me happy.
After getting the cover art for your books, does it change your image of the way you imagine them?
Well, I've only had this experience twice so far, so right now I'll say no. The model on the covers of the JJD novels is not quite how I envisioned Jesse, but in all fairness, in my head Jesse still looks a lot like my hubby. Does the cover model make a good Jesse? Oh yeah! There are no words for how much I love my covers. But I don't think the Cover Jesse will ever replace Mental Jesse as my "go to" image. The original picture is still too entrenched in my head.
That is something I'll be curious to watch for, as time goes on. (and, higher powers willing, I publish more books) How will the cover art influence me, not just for the JJD novels but for everything I ever write? How will it influence how my readers see my characters?
For me, it's something to look forward to. For you, it probably just makes me sound like a big geek.
Have you ever thought that one of your books was going to be really good but then someone else reads it and he or she thinks it is not?
Oh yeah. Always. It happens with everything you ever write. There's always going to be someone who doesn't like it.
But I get the feeling that's not exactly what you're asking. I think you want to know, has anyone ever not liked something enough that I abandoned the idea? The easy answer to that is no.
I don't think I've ever truly abandoned an idea. Oh sure, I've got that one novel, Avarice, that has gone to live with a nice family in the country, but it's not GONE gone. Someday, when I feel like I can finally do it justice, I'll pick it back up again. Someday. And I didn't banish it because of anything anyone else said. It was something I came to recognize myself about the work. It wasn't ready yet.
When one of my betas, especially one of my early readers (Miss Chie, my hubby, Theo), tells me there's something not working with a piece, I listen. I mean, that's why I HAVE them, to catch the things I can't see. But then again, I've never had one of them say "OMG, this thing suuuuuuuucks! You should burn it, and break your fingers, and never write again!" They can always find some value in even the worst of my efforts, something to salvage, something to polish up. Even discarded writing isn't worthless writing. You learn, you grow, you scavenge the awesome pieces and use them later.
Now, to tackle the question on a more personal level... My hubby doesn't like Muse, and it's probably the writing I'm most proud of at this point in my life. Did it sting a little? Yeah a bit. But in truth, Muse isn't the kind of thing that he would normally like anyway, whether I wrote it or Joe Bestseller wrote it. So I can't really fault him for not liking something he already didn't like, y'know? Doesn't mean the writing's bad, just means it's not his thing.
That's something any writer has to learn. Just because a person doesn't like what you've written doesn't mean that the writing itself is bad. It just means it's not for THAT particular audience.