Unfortunately, Cait @ Paper Fury will no longer be running the “The Beautiful People” writing tag, this is because Cait and Sky @ Futher Up and Further In have become too busy to continue. This is perfectly understandable, especially since Cait is releasing her book-creature, A Thousand Perfect Notes, out into the world on the 7th of June 2018 (you should totally pre-order it).
Anyway, on with the post:
Favourite genre to write in?
I quite enjoy writing romantic relationships, my struggle is getting them there, I’m always impatient with them. I’m pretty much the “Now Kiss” meme with my characters.
What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading?
Most of my characters from my Pushing Boundaries series could benefit from reading therapy books, but I think Empty Cradles by Margaret Humphreys might be a good starting point.
Favourite piece of dialogue you’ve written?
I don’t have a specific piece I’ve written, however, my favourite element of writing is dialogue, which also includes puns (All The Puns!). I will sometimes derail a whole scene just to write more puns.
What did your character want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?
James wanted to be either The Doctor or a Unicorn, Cassie wanted to be a Ballet Dancer or a Unicorn, Mac wanted to be a Fireman, and Beth just wanted to be older.
Favourite character name(s)?
I’m rather fond of Celtic names. I really like Winnifred and William.
What makes your character feel loved, and who was the last person to make them feel that way?
My characters don’t necessarily gravitate towards being loved, they will take being understood (even if the other person doesn’t like it) over being loved, however, brief moments of physical affection or just being able to talk about something (no matter how bad) are good starters. My characters gravitate towards safety and acceptance, which can then lead to love.
Favourite character you’ve ever written?
I don’t think I’ve written enough to have a favourite just yet, however, when I have the motivation to write I do enjoy writing Beth and James
If your character were permanently leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? (Why?)
James is has a serious hoarding problem (so does Rosemary and they have a tendency enable each other), so I think the big problem would be writing down a list of things James needs to take with him and sticking to that list. Beth is aware of her tendency to hoard so she tries to live as minimally as possible, that way she avoids temptation. Cassie and her family go camping frequently so she knows how to write a list and stick to it, whereas Mac will bring a whole bunch of stuff (most of it will be useless) and have no idea what he’s doing.
Favourite tropes to write!
I like to write the types of relationships (be they romantic or platonic) where the people involved might not think, at first, that both parties have anything in common, but then they figure out that they do have a lot in common. I also enjoy writing nerd characters, all my characters are nerds in some way, it’s just a matter of figuring out which type.
Which story has your heart and won’t let go?
I currently have no motivation or enthusiasm for my Pushing Boundaries project, I hope this will change, however, I also have difficulties letting go. I feel as though if I begin a separate/another novel-writing, it will be a repetition of my familiar pattern of unfinished projects. I know now that a component of this is my ADHD, I was only officially diagnosed a year ago and have struggled to receive direct treatment for it (although not for a lack of trying). A part of me feels as though I should put a major project (like my Pushing Boundaries series) on hold until I have some form of control and stability in my life because right now, I don’t feel like I have enough of either of those things or the emotional energy to continue with this project (let alone start a new one).
Favourite type of relationship between characters you’ve written?
I enjoy writing people who are just unabashedly enthusiastic about their hobbies or interests.
Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?
I admire and respect Toni Morrison greatly as a writer (Beloved in one of my favourite novels of all time), however, I do feel as though her quote is often either taken out of context or twisted to avoid criticism. Toni Morrison’s quote is supposed to be an act of encouragement or a call to arms to minority writers. Toni Morrison worked as an editor for years before she became an author. The above-mentioned quote is, I think, Toni Morrison’s way of proving she can back up her words with actions.
The problem with telling creative-types “if you don’t like it, make your own” means the current gate-keepers of industry, such as Traditional Publishing, are not held accountable for their actions, neither are they forced to change their methods. Presently, more Indie Authors are able to self-publish and have more chances and opportunities for success, however, there is still the problem that minority writers shouldn’t be coerced or forced into self-publishing in the first place. The reality is that Traditional Publishing companies are still holding a lot of cards and, despite recent changes to the publishing industry, the game is still very much in their favor.
I understand that I sort of didn’t answer the question. I’m also not trying to be all “doom and gloom” about the situation either but these kinds of questions frustrate me. In my view, the “write the book you want” answer to the problem of diverse representation in literature (or the lack thereof of it) oversimplifies a complex problem. I plan on making a rant video and/or blog-post about this at some point, however, I just don’t really have the energy to get into it right now.
Favourite Pinterest board/aesthetic for a book?
To be honest, this isn’t my area of expertise, although I admire Cait’s aesthetic boards, they have dragons and other nice stuff. I’ve also seen some nice ones on Tumblr blogs, such as The Book Ferret, they occasionally make and/or reblog some nice book-boards.
Favourite time periods and settings to work with?
Fantasy settings because then I don’t have to be accurate and I can just write whatever I want (within reason).
When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?
I suppose I want readers to enjoy themselves but also to have the feeling of “I hadn’t thought of it that way”