National Novel Writing Month: An Interview

November NaNoWriMoI’ve been asked some great interview questions by the website Webucator in honor of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) so here goes:

Q: What were your goals when you started writing?

A: When I was a teenager, I used to devour books. One day in ninth grade English class, my teacher read aloud a short story that I’d written. It was a pivotal moment for me because I didn’t think that anything I found interesting might be interesting to someone else. It was a story about the weird things my mother cooks. When I first began writing seriously – during maternity leave – I kept my goal very simple. I wanted to finish just one novel to see if I could do it, writing in a genre that I loved to read. The novel was my first to be published – The Doctor’s Homecoming. Now I write romance fiction as well as young adult mystery.

Q: What are your goals now?

A: To maintain a writing career in the long term. To keep telling stories that intrigue me. To get my stuff published in more countries. 

Q: What pays the bills now?

A: My royalties from two dozen novels – traditionally published books as well as self-published. I’m also a medical writer and a photographer.

Q: Assuming writing doesn’t pay the bills, what motivates you to keep writing?

A: It’s the simple joy of dealing with words on the page. I love imagining interesting characters and things they do that surprise me, struggling to put it down on paper, seeing the story bound with a beautiful cover and connecting with readers who were touched by it.

Q: What advice would you give young authors hoping to make a career out of writing?

A: Don’t listen to naysayers. Reach for the moon! Dream big! After you have a dream, break that dream into concrete goals, then each goal into smaller steps that are achievable. Take one of those small steps this week. Do you want to know what some of my small steps were in the beginning? “Buy computer paper. Find a small corner in the house that I can use privately when I write, that makes me feel safe. Think of an interesting opening for a scene. Sign up for a night class to get feedback on my writing.” Good luck! 

Posts by Other Authors in Response to the Interview:

Anna Schmidt, C. Hope Clark, Charles Ray, Donna McDonald, Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff, C.C. Yager, Holly Robinson, Jenna Kernan, Jennifer Greenleaf, Jennifer J. Chow, Justin Lau, Layla AlAmmarMarie Lavender, Mary Pat Hyland, Nicole Evelina, Pamela Hutchins, Ruth Stearns, Tracey Warr


  1. Pingback: Webucator Interview: An Ode to Novel Writers | Justin Lau

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