Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Trish Wolfe Interview
12/20/2010 6:32:41 PM
LTS: You meet some of the coolest, most interesting people on Twitter and todayís guest blogger is no exception! Iíd like to introduce you to YA author, the lovely and talented Trish Wolfe. Iíd like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Trish. Where do you call home and what do you like to do when youíre not writing?
TW: Thanks so much for having me, Lorna! Home is the small coastal town of Bluffton, South Carolina. I was born and raised southern, although Iím happy to say I donít have an accent. When Iím not writing you can probably find me propped up somewhere reading. Iím a stay-at-home-mom, but my only child is twelve now and in middle school. I have a lot of time to myself to invest in reading and writing. I maintain a YA book review site, YA Bound, where you can find my opinions on the best Young Adult books out there and interviews with my favorite authors. I love to beta read for my wonderful writer friends in my spare time, too. Music is a big part of my life. I play guitar, but not as often as I like.
LTS: Has writing stories always been a part of your life and becoming a published author a life long dream?
TW: Yes. I can say with certainty that since the age of 14 I have wanted to become a published author. I had my first poem published at that age, and fell in love with the written word. Iíve always read, and longed to write a book and see it in print.
LTS: Your short stories have been published in a variety of publications, but letís talk about your latest piece, ĎFair Exchangeí that is slated for release this winter in an anthology by publisher Aurora Wolf. What was the inspiration behind this story and can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Jen?
TW: Fair Exchange is to be released in the Aurora Wolf Anthology 3, and was inspired by my best friend Jennifer. Though for the story I changed the MCís names a little to Jenlina, she goes by Jen. Jennifer and I grew up together and shared a love for Faeries. When she called one day and announced she was pregnant, I wanted to write something beautiful for her to celebrate. Jenlina is not the same person as Jennifer though lol, they are very different, but it was Jenniferís happiness that sparked the idea for the story.
LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal whatís in store for the reader when they crack open ĎFair Exchangeí?
TW: Jenlina ran away from her life as a Faerie. She hides in the human world, avoiding her destiny, with a human man. She believes falling in love with Jeremy will shield her from the Faery King she was betrothed to. But when the king, Tull, announces he must inspect her new life and give his approval before she can be pardoned from her punishment, her world and everything she thinks she knows of love and her Faerie self is questioned.
LTS: It sounds fascinating! Now, the road to publication is difficult at the best of times? Do you have any advice youíd like to share with the author struggling to find representation with a literary agent?
TW: Always believe in yourself. The road to publication is paved with rejection letters. You have to develop super thick skin, and you can never take any of those rejections to heart, but learn from them if you can. If the agent is kind enough to share the reason why your book was rejected, try and find something positive to improve on. For myself, Iím at the start of my submission process for my book. I want an agent, but if all those doors close in the next couple of years, Iím not opposed to seeking publication in a smaller house or self-publication. The best thing I can advise, do your research. Make sure you check out every agent before submitting to them and also donít be scared to research other methods of getting published.
LTS: Excellent advice, Trish! Becoming a published author is truly a difficult road to travel. Can you share that moment when you sold your first story?
TW: Oh wow! After a break of many years to raise my son and working, I began the struggle of beginning to write again. I was so out of practice. My first story that was published was a YA paranormal. I had been subbing it to magazines and literary journals for three months, receiving rejection after rejection. I began to believe that maybe I had jumped into writing too soon and needed to step back when I got the acceptance letter. The first thing I did was call my dad. I could barely talk because I was jumping up and down and pacing back and forth. I think that was probably one of the best feelings Iíve ever experienced, and I rode that high into the next publications that followed.
LTS: Very cool! I can still sense your excitement. Now, Iím curious about your writing style. Are you one of those disciplined writers who must dedicate a certain time each day to producing so many words, or are you more relaxed and tend to write when it strikes your fancy?
TW: Iím not disciplined at all, though I always set time aside to dream up a story, or a scene in my books. When I feel I have the concept down, I jot a quick outline to gather my thoughts and then begin writing. I allow the story, scene by scene, to play out on the paper. Some days itís a hundred words, others it may be five thousand. I might not write every day, but Iím always dreaming of my characters. Doing dishes, cleaning, whatever, they are always there. I think that helps when I sit down to write about them.
LTS: Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
TW: I work from a vague outline. I try to get all the big scenes and plot of the story down on paper before I begin, but more often than not, the story changes during the writing process. And Iím glad it does, it always ends up being much better than I planned. I find as I get to know my characters the story has to change. But I stick pretty close to the overall initial plot line. Characters are tricky and sometimes they surprise me. I always allow them to lead the story, but I have to real them back in when they get too far gone or try to take over.
LTS: Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
TW: Absolutely! I run around the house like a mad woman getting my husband and son ready for school and work, and quickly out the door! I donít like a lot of noise when writing, so TVís must be turned off. Hence the need to get my family gone. I make sure I check all my email and have my morning conversation with my mother so Iím freed up to write. And of course I say hello to my Twitter friends and make sure they are having a great writing day, too! I depend heavily on chocolate also. I can get by writing without many things, chocolate is not one of them.
LTS: So, you self-confessed chocoholic, at one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writerís block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
TW: Iím not sure I ever deal with writers block. It seems to be more of dealing with life than anything else. Some days just get off balance and itís hard to get going. I try not to beat myself up about it and promise to make up for it the next day. For every day that I have an obligation to take care of, thereís a day that I write non-stop, and I take full advantage of that. If I ever come to a part of one of my books or stories that I feel I canít get over something, or itís just not working, I stop. I canít force a story to work, it either does or it doesnít. I just begin the process over again with a new story. Later on if something comes to me, something that I realize I can use to make that previous story work, then Iíll pick it back up. But so far only one book has ever been shelved.
LTS: Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
TW: Ah, such a great and hard question lol. If I only get to pick one for this interview, Iím going to go with Voltaire. There is a passage in Candide that I try to live and write by. ďBut we must attend to our garden.Ē It basically refers to us spending so much time trying to figure out our own lives that we miss the big picture, we should just simply live it. I try not to worry too much about where my books will end up, if they will ever be published. Sure I want that more than anything in the world, but I try not to stress over the details. I just keep my head down, writing, taking care of my family, and one day when they are complete and Iíve done all that I can, I hope they find a great home.
LTS: What is the most profound discovery youíve made in terms of your writing and how it has touched the lives of others?
TW: That writing is subjective. Not everyone is going to love your work, and not everyone can. You canít write to have a book on everyoneís top ten list, but you strive to be at least one personsí favorite author. And that first person you have to strive to impress needs to be you.
LTS: What is the most important lesson youíve learned on the road to publication?
TW: Patience. The publishing world is a slow one. Just because you write a book doesnít mean itís going to get published that week, or not even in the next year. You need to take the time out to edit and get it as close to perfect as you can and then brace yourself for the long wait. And always be working on something. Donít stop writing when that book is done, start another project. Always keep yourself moving forward.
LTS: What are you reading now, and how did this particular book make it onto your to-read list?
TW: Delirium by Lauren Oliver. And I have to say, wow. Itís about a time in the future when scientists have discovered a way to remove the part of our brain that love stems from. The government has made this procedure mandatory to stop us from falling into the deliria of love which causes humans to do things unpredictably. The MC only has ninety-five days to go until she gets the treatment, and sheís looking forward to a life without pain, until she herself falls in love. Itís released in February 2011 and I received a copy from the publisher for my honest review.
LTS: What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from YA into other genres? Can your fans expect a full-length novel in the near future?
TW: In the next five years? I sure hope so lol. Iíve read YA my whole life and donít really see myself writing anything other. I love, live, breathe the genre. Right now I mostly focus on Paranormal and Urban Fantasy. I have never really been into contemporary, but I have written other sub genres, and all of my stories and books involve a heavy element of romance. Iíve completed two books, one that Iím insanely proud of. I have two other YA books in progress. One is a Paranormal and the other is Dystopian. My goal for 2011 is to obtain an agent, but if that doesnít happen then Iím going to start subbing to smaller publishing houses.
LTS: Thank you so much for sharing in your stories and your writing experiences, Trish! Keep us posted when the anthology is released.
For more information about Trish Wolfe and her short stories, check out: www.TrishaWolfe.com
Follow Trish Wolfe on Twitter: .TrishWolfe
Where to buy the book: www.AuroraWolf.com or Amazon
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