Sunday, March 13, 2011

Welcome Darynda Jones!!!


Hello, I hope everyone is having a great weekend and you all remembered to set your clocks ahead. We are having beautiful day here in the Shenandoah Valley. We have a new author with us this week, Darynda Jones will be blogging with us today and will stop in and answer any questions you might have. Darynda's first book First Grave on the Right will be spotlighted all this week, so be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of her book!

So we have all heard the story of how Harry came to J.K. while on a train, and Twilight came to Stephanie in a dream, how did Charley come to be?Charley came to me as I lay in bed one morning, waiting for my turn in the shower. I wanted to write something paranormal because I love the stuff, but as an aspiring writer trying to catch New York’s eye, I wanted something different, something that would grab an agent and editor’s attention. So probably my main inspiration to write a grim reaper was desperation. I lay there contemplating paranormal entities, what had been done and what hadn’t, came up with the grim reaper, and thought, “Hey, that would be so fun to write about.”

We have a couple of aspiring authors as members any words of wisdom for them?
Absolutely. First, never give up. It took me seven years of writing seriously, ie toward publication, and three complete manuscripts to sell. Have faith in yourself when no one else does.

And second, finish the book! Keep typing away until you’ve completed the manuscript, polish it until it shines, start the query process, then start another manuscript. Don’t rest oh your laurels. For one thing, I have no idea what laurels are, but apparently they don’t like to be rested upon. And for another, you will learn SO much with each new manuscript you write. Trust me, you won’t get anywhere fast with incomplete manuscripts lying about. I have dozens and they aren’t doing me any favors. So do yourself a favor and finish what you started.


Do you write full time or is this a part time gig? I am living the dream, baby. I now get to write full time and am thankful everyday to be able to say that. I’ve been a sign language interpreter for many years and loved that job, but it was still that. A job. When all you want to do is write, anything that takes you away from that is a job.

Have you ever experienced writers block and how did you get past it?
This is interesting, because I have. I think you must be able to step back and take a look at what’s going on around you. Stress is probably the main culprit of writer’s block, but mine, I realized after months, was actually because I’d messed with my process. I know that sounds silly, but let me just say, I do NOT mess with my process any more. I have a certain way of doing things, and when I try to skip ahead or change it in anyway, I pay the price.


Have you always been interested in paranormal things?
Ever since I saw my first vampire movie when I was five, I’ve been interested in the paranormal. When I was 7, I wrote my first paranormal play. It was a mixture of Dracula and Cinderella. I’ve always been a romantic. 

What's a typical working day like for you?
Well, right now I’m still promoting my first release, First Grave on the Right, so I start out every morning answering emails and doing the whole social networking thing, which I love way too much. Then I get down to business in the afternoon. This depends on what I’m working on. At the moment, I’m doing revisions on a YA that sold to St. Martin’s Press called Grimsight. Soon, I’ll have copyedits for book three in the Charley Davidson series, Third Grave Dead Ahead. I’m also working on another YA I hope to have completed soon. So it just depends on what is on my plate for that day. I usually try to call it quits by around 9pm. Otherwise, I’m just exhausted the next day. Twelve hours at the computer is plenty. LOL.


When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I have a killer office in my home that I love and can be found writing there most afternoons. When I’m working on a deadline, I do indeed have a daily writing goal, at least until I get the first draft finished. It changes, depending on how much time I have and how far I have to go. Then it’s kind of a free-for-all. Occasionally, I do have to set a daily goal for revisions and the like, especially if I am taking too long. I have been known to procrastinate a time or two. (Understatement of the millennium.)

Coffee seems to play an integral part in your story, is that taken from real life?
You know, I really didn’t start drinking coffee like I do now until I started writing First Grave. I think this is a case of reality mimicking fantasy. Now I’m so hooked on it, I bought a mini-microwave for my office so I can heat and reheat my coffee without having to make a trip to the kitchen every five minutes. (Remember the procrastination thing? Yeah, that was one of them.)


What is your guilty indulgence? Probably television. I always feel guilty when I watch TV, but some days it’s my reward to myself for a job well done. Others, it’s just me procrastinating. Again. And of course, I have to have popcorn when I watch movies with a large Diet Coke by my side.

Thank you so much, Tyra, for having me!

Darynda, thanks so much for being with us. I know we are all already looking forward to your next book, Second Grave on the Left!
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