Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Liebster Award: 11 facts about me!

I've been tagged in the Liebster award challenge by Tori Centanni!


So, here are my answers to the questions:

1. What’s your favorite kind of scene to write?
Arguments. ;) Scenes with lots of tension and conflict. Also, action scenes!
2. What was the first story you ever wrote?
When I was five, I wrote my first "novel" about my teddy bear, Teddy Adams, complete with illustrations. But it wasn't until I was ten that I declared, "I'm going to be a writer". I guess you can call it a lifetime obsession!
3. What’s your drafting process like? Are you an outliner or a messy drafter or some combination of the two?
I'm a "plotser". I always have an outline, but I re-work it as I go along because I learn new things about my characters and the world as I write. Having the initial structure in place saves a lot of headaches (Scrivener is a lifesaver!), but I always leave room in case the characters decide to take the story in new directions.
4. Name a book you think everyone should read and explain why.
Just one? ;) Okay, Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. It's imaginative and clever and hilarious, and the characters are awesome. Especially Calcifer the fire demon. And Howl, of course.
5. What would you say is your greatest skill as a writer?
Another tricky one! Hmm... I think the word I've heard most often to describe my work is "original" and also "interesting". I take an idea that interests me and use it to create strange, fantastical worlds and magic systems I've never seen before.
6. What’s a genre or category you’ve never written in but would like to try your hand at?
Sci-fi! The Alliance series definitely has SF elements, but I've never written pure science fiction. In particular, I'm drawn to space opera, superhero stories and cyberpunk, and I do have some ideas for future projects!
7. If you could spend a week writing anywhere in the world, where would it be?
New Zealand. The pretty scenery! *sigh*
8. Do you make playlists of songs for your Works in Progress? If so, what’s a song from the current list?
It depends on the book! I haven't shared the playlist for this series because it's a constant work-in-progress (and some of it's actually spoilery for later books), but I planned the series while listening to Amaranthe (awesome melodic metal I found by total accident on YouTube and couldn't stop listening to). "Invincible" is my go-to song for motivation!
9. What’s been the most challenging aspect of writing or publishing for you so far?
Hmm... I think the toughest lesson has been accepting the sheer difficulty of "standing out", whether in querying or marketing. There are so many books already out there that luck is still a major factor in being discovered, and after spending years learning the writing craft, this was a bit disheartening to learn. But on the other hand, there are so many new opportunities open to authors now!
10. What’s one trope you love to pieces even if it’s overdone?
Secret (or not-so-secret) organisation fights monsters. *guiltily raises hand*
11. Describe your writing style in three words.
Fantastical, dark, odd.
11 random facts about me (I've done this before, so I'm trying to think of new things I haven't shared yet!)
  1. I've kept a journal since I was ten. And no, I'm not sharing my angsty teenage whining (or terrible poetry). :P
  2. I'm a hoarder. Not only do I have all my old notebooks and journals, I also have scrapbooks full of old train tickets and cinema tickets and boxes under the bed of random things I picked up over the years.
  3. I also have copies of almost all the stories I've ever written, including my first "books" (written between the ages of 5 and 8), some of my schoolbooks, and the story I wrote when I was 11 which inspired Walking Shadow.
  4. Lego is awesome. When I was eleven or twelve, I used to make Lego movies about adventures and monsters and do all the character voiceovers. And I still have my Lego, too. ^_^
  5. I was part of a Youth Theatre group for two years and did three major productions (including A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night). It was really fun, but I never auditioned for a major role because I got crippling stage fright. *sadface*
  6. Most of you guys probably already know this, but last year I went to Iceland, saw the Northern Lights and encountered a school of dolphins up close!
  7. When I went to Australia, I camped on a mountain for two weeks at an environmental centre, and saw koalas and wallabies in the wild! 
  8. I used to have an obsession with all things undersea-related. Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef was literally a dream come true.
  9. The snowstorm chapter in Darkness Watching is based on a real experience when our hiking group got stranded in the Lake District during a blizzard. It took twelve hours to get back to campus, and I couldn't feel my feet for a day.
  10. I love space, but I've never written SF... yet!
  11. I collect ornamental dragons. I currently have 17.

11 questions for the tagged to answer
  1. What's the best part of the writing process?
  2. Which fictional place would you love to visit?
  3. Which author has influenced you the most?
  4. Which book would you recommend in a genre you don't normally read?
  5. What important writing lesson have you learned in the past year?
  6. Series or standalones?
  7. Do you have a writing mascot?
  8. When you think of a new idea, what comes first - character, plot, or story world?
  9. Have you ever travelled to research a story?
  10. Which writing book or resource would you most recommend?
  11. Which fictional character would you like to meet?

I have no idea who's already been tagged in this, so I'm leaving this open to anyone who wants to answer the questions! :)

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