Today I've got someone on the writing couch with me: Trisha from WORD + STUFF!
She's a fellow crusader, writer of multi genres and another Aussie.
Check out Trisha's answers to my questions below, and then head on over to her blog.
Trisha, tell me a little about yourself.
I was born in 1980 (everyone can do their own maths there) and I live in Western Australia. My home is beautiful, but I love it best when I'm returning to it after having visited some far-away exotic clime. I love cats, and tend to talk to them (and other creatures) a lot. I admire ants' ability to carry burdens MUCH heavier than themselves. They're so cleeeever! I also talk to inanimate objects. My favourite band is the Smashing Pumpkins, and I like wine and Vietnamese/Thai food. I really don't like Tequila. I was born in the U.K., and so have dual U.K.-Australian citizenship. I have one brother living in Canada. And I play some guitar and sing.
What made you start your blog?
I had heard that it was important to have some kind of web presence, and not just a blog with 0 comments on entries and no followers, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and do something more attention-seeking than my private online journals have been. Hence the blog. I really had no idea what was out there waiting for me - that being all the amazing people I've met, and the opportunities I've been privy to as a result of meeting them and following their blogs. It's been awesome and eye-opening, for sure!
What do you like to write about on the blog?
Well, it's mostly a writing blog, and I prefer not to try to teach others about the craft, but rather to just speak of my own experiences of the writing/revising process. I talk about my WIPs a bit, and also feature some excerpts of my writing - I'll be mostly featuring writing that I'm not planning on trying to publish at any time. I also like to talk about what I'm reading, though I'm not into doing official-style reviews. And finally when it comes to blogfests and the like, I sometimes write about other things, i.e. TV shows, music, and so on. I'm going to start a bit of a music post series pretty soon, but it won't be scheduled for any given day. I'm not really a scheduling sort of blogger. Maybe it's my pantser nature shining through (I only recently learned that word, and I love it! It totally suits me to a tee, in so many areas of my life).
What made you want to be a writer?
I honestly can't say. I've been writing since I was a kid, and I guess I just always felt compelled. I've also always drawn pictures, and quite often I would come up with stories to match the characters. Naturally I love writing, or I wouldn't be doing it. I always excelled in English classes, and found my true passion was the creative writing side of it. And of course I love reading too, so maybe I got inspired by my favourite authors. But I honestly feel sometimes that it's a compulsion - these characters pop into my head and I must tell their story argh start typing!! Plus quite often I like to live vicariously through my characters. I mean, who wouldn't want to be a vigilante turkey in tights? Okay, maybe it's just me...
Do you have any favourite genres to write or read? Why?
For much of my life my favourite genre was fantasy, but since those days I've really expanded out into reading/loving other genres. I guess what I loved about fantasy though was that it was away from this world. I preferred fantasy that had no character names I recognised. That was until my mum bought me an Isobelle Carmody book, the first in her Legendsong series, and changed my thoughts there forever. I always did like apocalyptic storylines too, i.e. Blade Runner. As for favourite genres to write in, well let's call it a tie between fantasy (though this is taking a back seat right now; none of my fantasy works are anywhere near being complete), contemporary, romance, sci-fi and middle grade. The truth is though that I'm open to writing in pretty much any genre.
What are your writing goals?
Ohhhhh, what are my goals? I have a goals page on my blog if you want to check it out. That's just goals for this year, and I've certainly got a lot to be going on with there! But overall, my goal is to get querying fairly soon, and ultimately get published with at least one of my works. I guess I want to see my book in the store. And yes, I mean in bookstores - where you can pick up a book and smell it and drool over its adorably pretty cover.
Can you tell me about any of your current writing projects?
Well, currently I'm revising my contemporary romance, and I will say it's about rock stars on tour. I'm getting it ready to send out to beta readers I have not yet found. My other project that I'm really eager to get sorted is my middle-grade novel about a mouse detective. I always think it's a bit embarrassing if you're the only one laughing at your own story, but I DO think it's funny. But I have a fair amount of work to do on it. And third, I have last year's NaNo novel (sci-fi/action) that I'd love to get around to revising, but that's going to have to wait.
What are your writing tics?
I start a lot of paragraphs with "I" or "She", i.e. not coming up with a more creative way of starting them off. I also have a LOT of laughter and meeting of gazes and widening of eyes going on. Oh, and I'm guilty of using the dreaded "it seemed" and the like. I'm working on it. And no doubt when I send my stuff out for a beta-read, more shameful tics will uncovered. ;)
What are your top five favourite writing resources?
1. AbsoluteWrite has been pretty amazing, in a painful sort of way. The harsh feedback I got there in one instance has really helped me revolutionise my novel.
2. ElitistCritiques - my critiquing group. We're not public but I still rely on that place pretty heavily for near-daily sustenance. I'm always a little sad if none of my CPs have updated with anything over there.
3. AgentQuery.com - Naturally this is awesome for when we are actually ready to query. Which I am not! But yeah...can't go past it!
4. Agents/editors/publishers who blog. Follow them! Obvious agent blogs that come to mind are Janet Reid (and Query Shark) and Diana Fox. There are plenty of others, too!
5. Fellow writers who blog! Follow them too! :) For some specific links, see my ME LIKEY page. Of course there are plenty I would have put on there if I'd thought of making the page sooner. ;)
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I guess this depends on what stage those writers are at. For those just starting out on a project, my advice has always been to just write and get it done before you even worry about making it perfect. Obviously research is useful in the beginning, for preventing major plot problems later when it comes to revisions. But other than that...just write! As I saw a very wise person say recently (whose name I can't remember. Argh! But it was a fellow blogger), and I paraphrase, "You can't edit what you haven't written yet." Nor can you send it out to betas, or query it, or get it published. Right? As for those who are in revisions, my advice is to find some fellow writers who understand your hell and are right there too! Commiserate! Eat cake! And if you're of age, lucky you, because there's always wine!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Not really - just thanks for this opportunity and for your great blog! :)
Trisha, thank you so much for answering some questions about yourself! I love all your answers. I, too, am originally from Western Australia (Denmark, WA to be exact) and I also love the "You can't revise a blank page" philosophy.
Does anyone have any other questions for Trisha? Anyone have any of their own answers to share?