Monday, July 26, 2010

Interview with Loose Id Author April Morelock

Please welcome fellow Loose Id and Romance Writers Behaving Badly author April Morelock!

How did you get into writing?

When I was eleven I had to have open heart surgery. That summer between my sixth and seventh grade year I couldn’t do anything - I was completely housebound. The doctor threatened me with uneven boobs if my sternum was rebroken.

Well, for a young woman that was pretty heavy stuff. I mean forget about the eight inch long scar marring my chest --- crooked boobs was horrifying. LOL… so I read a lot. And I mean A LOT. I had always liked books but now I got into the heavier stuff. I loved Trixie Belden -- tomboy after my own heart. Then I discovered romance. Love at first sight. And since my Gran Dunne had an unlimited supply of Harlequin’s, they were my favorites.

Eventually I graduated into the really steamy stuff--the thicker the better.

By the time I was a senior in college I thought I could write something better than anything I was reading at the time.

Whooohohoohoooo … was I wrong. My first story, a paranormal about a shape-shifting cougar orphaned at ten grows to adulthood without knowing her true talents. Then she’s hired to go into the backwoods and meets a clan of cougars. The most I remember from this story is that there were circus tents and lots of running around. Probably a truly horrid story but I knew then that I had to try it and I wouldn’t be satisfied until I wrote something I would really love to read.

That was sixteen years ago. I’ve started half a dozen stories, completed eight stories and I still haven’t written that novel.

What’s your writing process like? Are you a pantser or plotter?

That’s an interesting question. I love to pants… but I find it so wasteful for me. I’m an efficiency gal - I hate rewriting. I want to write it once and get it as near perfect as I can because I know once it’s done I’ll a.)loose interest AND b.) want to be done with it … and this is almost shameful to admit c) I’ll forget the bloody story!!!!

Sad… isn’t it? But seriously, I feel I have to hurry up and get it all down on paper before I forget what I planned to write or even what the characters looked like or what their occupation is or what the heck is supposed to happen.

It’s really odd - I shut those files down and its’ like someone else wrote the story. I just forget. I have to relearn the storyline every time I pick back up with it. Frustrating… sooooo I have to write everything down anyway why not plot it out.

Personally I have two things I just don’t want to write a thing without: 1. A spreadsheet with all my character sketches, what they look like, their motivations (most important) and character interviews 2. My Snowflake Method document. I don’t reference the document much by the time I write but it helps me work out the plot and see at a high level where to improve the storyline.

Invariably you can’t see everything. Usually about 2/3rds of the way through I’ll determine I have to add and tweak to the plot and that’s the point where things get messy. Otherwise once I have the Snowflake Method complete I just start writing.

I may make five or so swipes at the mss after that to clean it up, rewrite… perfect and then I’ll start submitting.

Any unusual rituals you follow?

Absolutely - I have to start my writing with a hot cup of tea with milk. Absolute must whether I’m writing at 5 am or midnight. Doesn’t feel right without it.

What’s your usual writing week look like?

I change my schedule based on what’s going on at home, with the kids and with my full time job. Summers, like now, are pretty lax. I try to work on my writing for a half an hour here and there in the evenings or during my lunch. Summers are my best time for culminating ideas and beginning new projects.

But the rest of the year, August through May and even into June, I’m usually very diligent with my writing. I’ll work an hour every day at least.

When I’m still plotting and planning or editing and rewriting, I’ll do this in the evenings after the kids go to bed. When I’m writing a first draft, I’m up at 5 am and often writing late into the night putting in 2-3 hours a day and working long hours on weekends.

I try to write three to four books a year but this year is an odd year, finishing up a lot of projects, so I only have two books planned but I’m completing and finishing up three others for agents and publishers.

What keeps you writing?

A myriad of things -- the pursuit of writing that novel I’ve always wanted to write. Not a “great American novel” … just a really well written book I can point to and say with a great deal of pride that I wrote it. I don’t even care if no one else reads it… I just want to have written it :>

But I also write because the ideas don’t stop and I’m always striving to find the best way to tell the stories.

I also have a few stories rattling around inside my head that are just for my children. Those are the fun ones I always make time for.

Any advice for upcoming writers?

Just keep writing and work at getting better. I need some new favorite authors to check out and you might be the next one!!!

Stop back tomorrow to read the blurb and an excerpt for her new release tomorrow at Loose Id: Best Little Spin Wash in Texas. She will be GIVING AWAY a copy of her new release!



Alyssa Ast said...

Great interview. Very informational and entertaining. I enjoyed it very much.

April Morelock said...

Thanks!!!! Stop in tomorrow. I'm giving away a copy of my book:>