Thursday, January 14, 2010
Q & A and Giveaway: ABIGAIL REYNOLDS
Welcome to Apprentice Writer, Abigail!
1. What comes to you first? Hero? Heroine? Ending?
Actually, it's usually a scene that comes to me with great clarity, and then I build the story and characters around it. In the case of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, it was the scene where Darcy comes home injured and Elizabeth runs out to meet him, having finally realized that she loves him. The central scene keeps playing in my head until I figure out the story around it.
2. My favorite scene in the book is when Darcy and Elizabeth suddenly realize how badly they've each misinterpreted something about the other. It was an emotional scene for both, but my heart really bled for Darcy - trying so hard and meaning so well, yet frequently having people take his actions and motives the wrong way, partially due to having a specific type of brain wiring. The scene moved me almost to tears, because my son has a similar type of brain wiring and it has caused him vast amounts of grief, socially and academically. Maybe books like this can help readers develop greater understanding about this kind of thing.
What's your favorite scene?
I'm particularly fond of the whole sequence where Darcy is ill. It's the first time he and Elizabeth have a chance to engage in affectionate banter, and there's a lot of emotion for both of them and hope for the future.
3. How does a typical writing day look? Has it changed since Book #1?
There are no typical writing days! Between my part-time job and taking care of my kids, writing gets squeezed in wherever it can. Often I stay up after the rest of the family is in bed so I can write for an hour or two.
4. How does your family feel about you being an author?
They've been great about it. My husband has been wonderfully supportive since the beginning, even when it was just a time-consuming hobby, and my kids are proud of my books. The only problem has been one time when my son, who has Asperger's syndrome and has problems with social skills, told his English teacher she was wrong about something in his essay because his mom is a published novelist and I'd said it was OK. Oops!
5. Your best writing habit? Worst writing vice?
Probably my best writing habit is that I listen to my characters. They're always doing unexpected things that aren't in my plot, and usually they're right and I'm wrong. My worst vice is excessive self-criticism and its sidekick perfectionism. I can get so hung up on getting a sentence right that I end up not writing anything. I'm much better off if I just plow through a first draft breaking every writing rule, then go back and fix it.
6. Social networking: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing or Blessing in Disguise?
Tricky question! I thinkit's a bit of both. It's great to be able to connect with readers in a different way, but sometimes it opens writers to unexpected attacks. It can also eat enormous amounts of time that could be better spent writing.
7. Nightstand inpsection! What was the last ____ you read?
Contemporary: 'Too Good to be True' by Kristan Higgins
Historical: 'At Long Last Love' by Mary Balogh
Paranormal/UF/Fantasy: 'Sea Glass' by Maria Snyder
Mystery/Suspense: 'Suspense and Sensibility' by Carrie Bebris
8. Who is your writing idol and why?
Jane Austen, of course! She combines a brilliant satiric wit with caring observation, and I find new things every time I read her books.
9. Which literary character do you wish you'd thought of first?
10. Best piece of advice for aspiring writers?
Write the story that's in your heart. not the story you think is most likely to sell. The story in your heart is the one that will have the most life and will move readers the most.
11. Anything else you'd like to share with Apprentice Writer's readers?
Keep believing in your writing! And thanks for having me.
Thanks for giving us a glimpse of writer life, Abigail. Loved your Severus Snape answer, and your son is a hero, utterly convinced of his mom's superiority as he is.
Readers, you can learn more about the author and her 'Pemberly Variations' series here.
Comment today for a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of 'Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the Last Man in the World', kindly provided by Sourcebooks.
Double your chances by commenting on yesterday's review!
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