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?
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
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.