Friday, 15 November 2013



Writers chatting to each other on writing. Tedious or devious? Let’s have twenty questions, and find out. In this guest-spot, READ TUESDAY participant Lois Winston shares blog space with Emma Carlyle and Anastasia Pollack, delivering these answers...

 (Blogger's gremlins attacked this post with a vengeance and the line-spacing won't lie down and stay dead. It's taking a long time to fix, and I must cut my losses as I set up other things. Abnormal service will resume shortly.)

1. Fire rages in your house. Everyone is safe, but you. You decide to smash through the window, shielding your face with a book. What is the book?

Fahrenheit 451 (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

2. Asleep in your rebuilt house, you dream of meeting a dead author. But not in a creepy stalkerish way, so you shoo Mr Poe out of the kitchen. Instead, you sit down and have cake with which dead author?

Ariana Franklin.

3. Would you name six essential items for writers? If, you know, cornered and threatened with torture.

Computer, electricity, wi-fi connection, coffee, coffee, and more coffee.

4. Who’d win in a fight between Count Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster? If, you know, you were writing that scene.

Personally, I don’t care who would win. I have no “stake” in this fight.

5. It’s the end of a long and tiring day. You are still writing a scene. Do you see it through to the end, even though matchsticks prop your eyelids open, or do you sleep on it and return, refreshed, to slay that literary dragon another day?

I’d go to sleep because if I kept writing, all I’d find in the morning would be nonsense.

6. You must introduce a plot-twist. Evil twin or luggage mix-up?

Evil twin who mixes up the luggage.

7. Let’s say you write a bunch of books featuring an amazing recurring villain. At the end of your latest story you have definitely absitively posolutely killed off the villain for all time and then some. Did you pepper your narrative with clues hinting at the chance of a villainous return in the next book?

Dead is dead. If I’m going to pepper the narrative with clues that hint the villain is really alive, what’s the point of killing him? It really irritates readers when authors do this.

8. You are at sea in a lifeboat, with the barest chance of surviving the raging storm. There’s one opportunity to save a character, drifting by this scene. Do you save the idealistic hero or the tragic villain?

Neither. I’d save the plucky heroine.

9. It’s time to kill a much-loved character – that pesky plot intrudes. Do you just type it up, heartlessly, or are there any strange rituals to be performed before the deed is done?

I’d never kill off a beloved character. Authors get too much blowback from their readers when they do that.

10. Embarrassing typo time. I’m always typing thongs instead of things. One day, that’ll land me in trouble. Care to share any wildly embarrassing typing anecdotes? If, you know, the wrong word suddenly made something so much funnier. (My last crime against typing lay in omitting the u from Superman.)

Not mine but others: Too many people add a “u” to my first name, making me male instead of female. Really, really annoys me! I’m “Lois,” like in Lois Lane not “Louis.” BTW, how come no one ever makes that mistake with Lois Lane?

11. I’ve fallen out of my chair laughing at all sorts of thongs I’ve typed. Have you?

I try to laugh off my mistakes, but I get really embarrassed by them, especially if one finds its way into print, no matter how many times the book was proofread by me and others.

12. You take a classic literary work and update it by throwing in rocket ships. Dare you name that story? Pride and Prejudice on Mars. That kind of thing.

Animal Farm Pigs in Space.

13. Seen the movie. Read the book. And your preference was for?

Always, always the book. Movies leave out too many subplots.

14. Occupational hazard of being a writer. Has a book ever fallen on your head? This may occasionally happen to non-writers, it must be said.

No, but the same can’t be said for my toes.

15. Did you ever read a series of books out of sequence?

Never have, never will.

16. You encounter a story just as you are writing the same type of tale. Do you abandon your work, or keep going with the other one to ensure there won’t be endless similarities?

I’d keep going. There are only 20 master plots in the world. Every book is going to be similar in some way to another book.

17. Have you ever stumbled across a Much-Loved Children’s Classic™ that you’ve never heard of?
All the time before I had kids, not since.

18. You build a secret passage into your story. Where?

Behind the refrigerator. No one ever looks there.

19. Facing the prospect of writing erotica, you decide on a racy pen-name. And that would be…
I’d go with E.L. Jamison, not because it’s racy but because maybe I’d get a bit of spillover from all of those E.L. James fans.

20. On a train a fan praises your work, mistaking you for another author. What happens next?

I smile, pull out a bookmark, hand it to the fan, and tell her if she likes that author’s books, she might also like mine.

I answer my own questions here. KILLER CRAFTS.

You can find out more by checking these sites: http://www.loiswinston.com, http://www.emmacarlyle.com, and http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com.



  1. This was one of the best author interviews I've ever read. So much fun, Luis. Oh, sorry, Lois.

  2. Yes, I'm often called RRL by mistake. Tsk.

  3. Pure fun. Loved the questions. Loved your answers, Lois.

  4. I'm dishing these Q&A out daily - and I am seeing a lot of fun answers. More to come.

  5. Thanks, Kathleen and Sandy! And thanks RLL for inviting me to do the interview.

  6. For those who don't know, Lois kills people with glue-guns. She also writes fiction. ;)

  7. this was fun and adorable. How did you get chosen to be interviewed? I write a series set in England, with an American protagonist. Keep me in mind for down the road! Marni Graff, The Nora Tierney Mysteries.

  8. Amazon added a discount option on Kindle sales for books in KDP Select. I checked the internet for views on that and discovered Chris McMullen. He's promoting a BLACK FRIDAY sort of event for books on December the 10th. To avoid clashing with Friday...

    That's READ TUESDAY. I looked at the list of participating authors and hit a long e-mail trail. You needn't be part of READ TUESDAY. And you don't need to be published either. If you want to be an author, you can still answer those questions.

    It's not just about promoting a sale. If a wannabe writer becomes an author as a result, I'll take the blame for nudging someone into a career.

  9. Enjoyed the interview...and, I like the idea of READ TUESDAY!

    1. The Q&A sessions are in support of READ TUESDAY. To act as a participating author, you have to fill out some details on readtuesday.com and host a book sale on the 10th of December.

      But my Q&A sessions don't call for a sale. Even if you merely dream of one day being a writer, you can participate. Though it's about exchanging guest blog-spots, I'd even host someone who doesn't have a blog yet - if that someone dares to dream of being a scribbler.

  10. Replies
    1. I'll thank Lois here for delaying the reciprocal blog-post. You can read my guest-spot on her blog at http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com/ on Sunday the 8th of December, which falls close to the READ TUESDAY event.

  11. Fabulous, Lois and RLL! Just fabulous to read interview questions and answers that stray down the primrose path. Thanks, Lois, for alerting me to the READ TUESDAY event.

  12. For anyone thinking of exchanging blog posts, ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE. If I forget you, thinking I haven't spoken to you when really I have, blame the insane amount of linking, cutting, pasting, typing, deleting, retyping, and other -ing things I've had to do. So abandon hope, and PREPARE TO MEET THY DIGITAL DOOM. I sent dozens of e-mails the other day. To whom? Ask not for whom the internet tolls. It hyperlinks for thee.

    1. I should add, that my ABANDON ALL HOPE comment wasn't my way of saying I'd had enough. No - I am continuing with the READ TUESDAY Q&A sessions. I just wanted people to know...if you have never tried to arrange this sort of thing before, prepare to have your nails scraped down a blackboard. It's a memorable experience. That's all. Blog fatigue. Never knew it existed. Found it on a map.


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