Questions for Authors 63

Issue 63

Questions for Authors

By Lazette Gifford

Copyright © 2011, Lazette Gifford, All Rights Reserved 

Here are this issue's questions and answers from a number of wonderful authors!  Thank you for contributing!

  1.  How do you recover writing energy and inspiration?
  2. Do you take time off between projects?

C. J. Cherryh

1. How do you recover writing energy and inspiration?

I made a fountain/pond in my back yard, ripped up all the grass and turned it into a place of water and winding paths. That's where I go. But wherever your recharge place is, be it a favorite chair and a project, don't hold it brutally out as a reward for finishing it: use it along the way.


2. Do you take time off between projects?
No. I'm always working, even when I have my morning coffee, and think about my plot.



C. J. Cherryh Website

RSS feed blog

Closed Circle Publications with Lynn Abbey and Jane Fancher


Julie Czerneda

1. How do you recover writing energy and inspiration?



Get away from my desk. I love the outdoors. Camping, canoeing, gardening. It doesn't take long in the wilderness for stories to bubble back up. I also find conventions get me recharged. There's something quite special about having a reader come up and ask a question about a book from back when. Then there's the fun of sharing war stories with other writers. Of course, in an emergency -- as in, must write again today? I take a break to be physical, grab a shower, and usually find I've got a bit more in the tank.

2. Do you take time off between projects?


::chuckles:: No. In fact, they overlap. I'm typically reading galleys from one, writing another, doing promotion for yet another -- all with research in the nooks and crannies. I'll take time off when I need it, or the family needs me. My observation is that those rarely coincide with my work schedule. Still, it's all fun. The rush of finishing a story gets me so pumped for the next, I do sneak back in my office that night after the party to open and start the file for it. With wine in hand.




Julie Czerneda's Website



Sherwood Smith


1.  How do you recover writing energy and inspiration?

Assuming that no disaster has struck, I change my routine, and read new things, or reread things that cause me to think. Of late, for example, I've been rereading T.S. Eliot's The Use of Poetry and Criticism. I've also been reading Patrick Leigh Fermor's brilliant A Time of Gifts and following each tiny village and town on a map of Europe during the Napoleonic wars, marveling that Europe had changed so little between 1915 and 193-4, when he made his journey. Reflecting on the palimpsest of history, from the Palatinate and the unfortunate Stuarts and their long shadow to what was going to happen in Germany as the thirties progressed. I wrote a riff on why P.G.Wodehouse's humor is timeless; I am listening to new music, and watching a great many foreign films. Spending time with my kids, with friends. Just riding my bike around at sunset, and watching the light change. All these things refill the well.
2.  Do you take time off between projects? 



Sometimes I do, especially if something really awful has happened, then I need time to recover. But when one reaches my age (sixty this year) one becomes aware that "I'll write that later" is not open-ended. And so I tend to have a lot of projects going at once, so that if my brain runs into a wall on one, I pick up another. I keep cycling through them until they get done. 



Sherwood Smith Website



Diana Pharaoh Francis

1.  How do you recover writing energy and inspiration?

For me, recovering energy and inspiration comes from taking time away to read, garden, climb--do something else. I often get ideas there. But I have to give myself permission not to think about writing, otherwise I get tense and upset and it does no good.

2.  Do you take time off between projects?

I do, at least a little. I need time to change gears in my head and usually I've pushed myself hard at the end of a project and am mentally and physically tired. And my house is a mess. So I catch up on other things, including coming out of my social hibernation, and then start playing with the new project.

Diana Pharaoh Francis' Website


Jim C. Hines

1.How do you recover writing energy and inspiration?
By writing. The more I write, the more energy and inspiration I seem to have for writing...
2. Do you take time off between projects?
Nope! No time. If I take time off bewteen projects, I blow deadlines. I generally switch over to writing a short story or two after I finish a book though. It lets me play in a different world, with different ideas and characters, before starting in on the next year-long book-writing march.


Jim C. Hines Website 



Lazette Gifford

1.  How do you recover writing energy and inspiration?
I always want to write, so writing energy is not a problem.  It's what I do for fun, so even after I've worked hard on things, there is a part of me that wants to pick up something enjoyable to work on for a while.
Inspiration is also not a problem.  I can find inspriation anywhere and I actively seek it every day by reading nonfiction, primarily history and science.  There are ideas everywhere in those kinds of books.  I gather them up in little notes and before long some of them have melded into a new story idea.
2. Do you take time off between projects?
No, I don't.  In fact, I often have more than one project going.  I have too many stories I want to tell.  Taking time off seems like a waste to me -- especially since I so love what I'm doing.

Lazette Gifford's Website 

Jack Scoltock


1.  How do you recover writing energy and inspiration?
2.  Do you take time off between projects?



I am lucky that my energy for writing doesn't wane. My inspiration just comes... If I knew from where I would Market it.

I don't take time off between projects. I just press on with new stuff or look up my notebook where I have many ideas for stories yet to be completed.



Jack Scoltock Website



Jane Toombs


1.How do you recover writing energy and inspiration? 
I have so many outlined projects ahead that inspiration is no problem.  Neither is writing energy.  My problem is finding time to write.  Dental and eye appts., household duties , and just hanging out with my Viking take time away from writing, and so do email and promo.  And I do need to read once in awhile.
2 .    Do you take time off between projects?
Oh, maybe a day or two, but not serious time.  Too many projects, too little time. I made a New Year's Resolution in 2009--no more creating new projects until I finish the first book in every trilogy or series I have already outlined.  I didn't foresee the problem that came up.  After doing this with two trilogies and two series, the publishers then wanted the next book--and so on. I did finish one trilogy( Darkness of Dragons) and did have a second book already finished in one of the series. (The Underworld Series). But now the first book in  another trilogy has been edited (Dagon House Ghosts) and in another series ditto (Deadly Darkness). So I
soon will have to write the second book for the trilogy, but luckily the second book is already in for the series,  You can easily see how soon this becomes sort of a never-ending problem--not so much for trilogies,because they end after three. But series are another matter. I literally don't know when I'll have enough time to write the first book in other trilogies or series I have outlined--five more of them.  But at least there won't be any if I ever finish those.  I have learned my lesson.


Jane Toombs Website


Jim Burk


1.  How do you recover writing energy and inspiration?

I usually do something that requires other parts of my brain, like assembling a model kit or other handicraft.  Reading is a great way to recharge, sometimes less because of the new styles and ideas than my own response to them.  And attending conventions also helps recovery.

2. Do you take time off between projects?

I almost always take time off between projects for the handicrafts because it requires a different part of the brain and because it involves working with my hands.




Jim Burk on Yard Dog Press



Darrell Bain


1.  How do you recover writing energy and inspiration?

Recovering writing energy: read a good book. feeling guilty for being lazy. wanting to finish so can start a new book with a fresh idea that just bloomed. This one does wonders for me!

2. Do you take time off between projects?


Time off: I always try to take at week off and just read and relax. The writing bug will strike soon, though. I don’t have to worry about that!

Darrell Bain's Website