Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Interview with Tracey Bateman, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.18.2006

Continuing my interview with author Tracey Bateman:

CT: What is your most memorable moment as a writer?

TB: The night I received THE CALL from Rebecca Germany that my first Heartsong book was sold.

CT: When did you first discover that you were a writer?

TB: When my first trade book came out. I think I'd written about 20 books by then.

CT: Writing a novel is ...

TB: hard work.

CT: What's your greatest writing weakness and how do you overcome it?

TB: Description. I'm a cut to the chase kind of person in real life, I skip description when I read, so I tend to do that when I write also. But I don't necessarily overcome it. It's part of my voice. I just don't do a lot of description.

CT: What's your best writing strength?

TB: Characterization.

CT: How do you handle deadline stress? Any advice or tips?

TB: Nope. I don't handle it well. I eat too much, sleep too little, farm my kids out to whoever will take them and basically demand silence and my own way. Well, maybe I do have a little advice. Be prepared to apologize!!!!

CT: Most writers struggle with insecurity. How do you retain your confidence as a writer?

TB: Ha! I have no confidence in my abilities. Every day I'm amazed that I'm published and I struggle with each word I write. It truly is a walk of faith for me.

CT: What's the biggest risk you've ever taken as a writer?

TB: Allowing Steve to read the Claire synopsis I had written. It was first person, which was different, and I didn't really know if I did first person very well. I thought I'd stick with romance because I knew I could write that. On one hand I was nervous about what he'd say, but on the other hand, I didn't figure I had anything to lose. And the rest is history.

CT: How do you handle writer's block? Do you ever get writer's block?

TB: I get it all the time. Writer's block comes from two sources. Either you're working too hard, <> or you aren't working hard enough. :) If you're working too hard, you need to step away and do something: read a book, go see a movie, whatever. Sometimes it's just a matter of getting away fromthe computer long enough to wash the dishes. If you know you haven't fleshed out the idea enough, then it's a matter of not knowing where the story goes. And in that situation, you have to go someplace quiet, close your eyes and think the story through. Usually that unclogs the block.

CT: Describe your writing space as it is now, and your fantasy writing space.

TB: I write wherever. I have desk in the kitchen, a laptop and an alphasmart that I write with when I'm in the bedroom or livingroom. This morning I had to have tests run at the hospital, so I took my alphie and got some writing done in the waiting room.
My dream writing space is a room I can call my own with a nice desk and a fluffy chair. I'm pretty simple in my expectations. We have to be realistic and be content with what we have. As we grow as writers and earn income, our space can grow with us.

CT: Do you have a special verse specifically to inspire your writing?

TB: Not specific to writing.

CT: What's the best writing advice you've ever received?

TB: Sit your butt in the chair and do it.

CT: Thanks for doing the interview, Tracey!

Yo, Peeps, next month (February), the ACFW Book Club will be discussing LEAVE IT TO CLAIRE. So pick up a copy at your local or online bookstore.