Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Interview with Brenda Coulter, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.21.2006

Continuing my interview with Brenda...

CT: What's your writing schedule like? How do you ensure time for family and church?

BC: I don't have a schedule. I write whenever I feel like it. And I feel like it just about every day.

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

BC: The first time I read through the manuscript that would become my first novel, Finding Hope, I was amazed at how much I enjoyed it. It was just like reading a real book!

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

BC: December 2000. I tried writing a romance-novel scene just to see how difficult it was. And once I began, I couldn't quit.

CT: Writing a novel is ...

BC: Camy? You seem to have wandered off, sweetie, without finishing your sentence. Unless you intended for me to finish it? Um... Writing a novel is fun?

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

BC: I stink at writing detailed descriptions of people and places. But that's okay, really, because I hate reading those things in other romance novels. So I just leave 'em out! Clever, huh?

CT: What's your best writing strength?

BC: I'm good at dialogue, whether emotional or humorous. Probably because I hear the voices in my head.

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

BC: Deadlines aren't a problem for me because I write entire manuscripts and send them to my editor whenever I'm finished. I love working this way.

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

BC: I don't struggle with that. I have a good sense of who and what I am. I will never be a great writer, but I'm proud of what I can do.

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

BC: Starting a blog. Seriously. I did it to stretch my imagination and tighten up my writing muscles, but coming up with an interesting topic every day, six days a week, whether I had time or not, whether I felt like it or not—all of that was a bit daunting. And because I already had a popular website, I had a pretty good blog audience from the beginning, which increased the pressure on me to perform well and keep at it. Writing novels is still my favorite thing to do, but blogging is second.

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

BC: I don't think I believe in writer's block. A writer writes. If you get stuck, you write your way out of it because that's what a writer does. I don't love writing because it's easy, but because it's challenging. And "writer's block" is just another challenge, right?

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

BC: They're one and the same. My husband painted my office a cheerful yellow, then bought and refinished several pieces of furniture (some new, some antique), including my Queen Anne writing table and my wood filing cabinet. Both have brass drawer-pulls shaped like teacups.

I recently posted photos of my office on this page of my blog:

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

BC: Yep. Not just my writing, but my life:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. –Philippians 4:8, NIV

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

BC: I am only partly in jest when I say it was that Outback Steakhouse commercial. ("No rules....")

CT: Thanks for doing the interview! Any parting words?

BC: I deeply appreciate your support, Camy. Thanks for letting me talk to your blog audience.

And do think about sending those chocolates, hmm?

CT: Oh really? Hm... Yo compadres, if you're clueless about the chocolate reference, check out part one of the interview. HEY WAIT! Nobody steal my idea!

Doom: We watched the movie Doom on DVD last night and it was MUCH better than I had anticipated. There wasn't a love interest--instead, it was a rather good dynamic between a brother and his estranged sister. Really interesting character development for a horror/action movie. The zombies were a little too much like Resident Evil and the gore is not for the squeamish, but I was highly entertained.

Bible in 90 Days: Day 43. I didn't post my progress yesterday but I did read. I just finished Ecclesiastes today. I never realized how beautiful and hopeful this book was before, but reading it after finishing Proverbs, it's wonderful. I feel like I'm being stretched.

Writing: Today I did some crits and I have to start work on my notes from this past weekend's workshop so that I can apply the exercises to my manuscript.

Diet: Had a tough PT session yesterday, and rather low-fat eating. I think I finished at 1700. Today, I'm trying not to eat too much because I have dinner at Bible study tonight, which is usually yummy but not that healthy. I'll eat a bunch of celery before dinner so hopefully I'll fill up faster.