Kicking off Author Crush 2010 is fantasy writer Sarah Prineas. I can no longer talk about her as a debut author
anymore since she has two books out and the third on its way.
Sarah does a lot of things well, but what I especially admire about her is Conn, Nevery, and Benet. Her characters. I love her characters. They are a little rough around the edges, but all heart inside. We meet gutterboy Conn in the first lines of the book:
A thief is a lot like a wizard. I have quick hands. And I can make things disappear. But then I stole the wizard’s locus magicalicus and nearly disappeared myself forever.
Fun, huh? She also has a loyal following of readers. Check out this young reader’s book review site Magic Book Dog to see some of her fan devotion (including videos!)
Now here is what Sarah wrote back when I asked about her writing routines:
Here’s what they say:
“Butt in chair!”
“500 words a day!”
“Real writers write!”
When it comes to routines, I’m the worst writer in the world, because I don’t write every day. I don’t even write every week.
And I haven’t missed a deadline yet!
Every writer needs to figure out her own routines, her own process, and then not feel guilty about it. I do what works for me, and so should you. I do a lot of what I like to call “pre-writing,” which is reading blogs, checking my email, twittering, and playing Scramble on Facebook. I walk my dog. I bake bread. I read The Lord of the Rings aloud to my son. I read!
And then, when I’m good and ready, I write, sometimes a lot. I call this “binge writing,” and it means I write when I want to, when I’m excited about writing, instead of out of some sense of duty. Writing is never a grind. I really do think writing out of joy and excitement can make a difference in the writing itself, make it more fun to read.
One thing that I DO do on a schedule is attend a writing workshop called Blue Heaven. It’s held about once a year on an island in Ohio (yes!). It’s one week long, and 12 professional writers get together to critique each others’ novels (and also to drink brandy Alexanders, wrangle snakes, and sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” around the campfire). I learn just as much from critiquing others’ novels as I do from having my own critiqued; most of what I know about writing novels I learned from my peers at this workshop. One year, around nine of the twelve novels began in the wrong place; I learned a ton that year about how to start a novel in the right place. Another year lots of people brought sequels so I learned how to create continuity between books in a series.
Many of the other writers who attend Blue Heaven (and it’s not the same group every year) have become good friends. If I have any routine at all, it’s looking forward to the next time I’ll see them. I can’t recommend workshops highly enough, not just as a chance to learn more about writing, but to become part of a community of other writers.
Want to learn more about Sarah Prineas? Here are her links:
Publisher’s book website: