DC Grace [dcgrace]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
The first book I read that sparked my interest in becoming an author was The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck. I started by writing poems and short stories in elementary school. My first critic was my second grade teacher. She kept everything I wrote and gave it all back to me at the end of the year in a scrapbook with a note that said she thought I was very talented and to keep writing, she expected to see my name on the bestsellers' list one day.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genre is paranormal fantasy. My latest series can be found at http://theamethystdragon.webs.com
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
Usually something triggers an idea in my head. It can be anything from a song lyric, a photo, a scene in a television show or even something someone says. From there, I start writing notes and/or some pieces of dialogue or a scene, and it starts to come together like pieces of a puzzle.
I do my best writing late at night while everyone is asleep. I pop in my earbuds, turn up the music, and let the ideas flow.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Books that are fast paced with lots of plot twists and drama.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
You have to have great characters and an interesting plot. Without those two things, it's a hard row to hoe.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I'm most comfortable writing in the first person. It's easier for me to get inside the character's head and write through their eyes.
What well known writers do you admire most?
My wonderful friend, Julie Kagawa. I have a lot of respect for her work. I also love the way Cassandra Clare writes. The writers who inspired me to become a writer are John Steinbeck, Nathanial Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe and Mary Shelley.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Wow, that's a complicated question. In a nutshell, a reader has to be able to relate to a character on some level to be believable. I create mine by watching the people around me, especially, since I write about young people, my kids. With a house full of teenagers, they inspire a lot of my characters' actions.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
It depends who you ask, hahaha! I write better than I speak, I think. Mostly because I tend to get nervous with an audience.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write for everyone. I want my characters to touch everyone on some level. That is the greatest satisfaction.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
It certainly can be! Some of my best scenes were written after some sort of personal event that had my emotions running high. I take those feelings and pour them out onto a page through a character. It can be terribly theraputic.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Very early in my career, yes. I was involved in some journalistic and poetry contests in college, and won a couple of poetry and essay competitions.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
I have a group of Betas that read my rough drafts as I write. I trust each of their opinions and value their input. It helps me see the book through the reader's eyes and create a better story.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I think I have found my voice, yes. I write each story in the first person, and each chapter is told by a different character. I think that's my nitch - I can't imagine writing any other way. Each of my characters become my voice in some way.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I don't know how disciplined I am with schedules, hahaha! I write when I'm inspired, but I find something every day that inspires me to sit down and create something. With my goals, however, I am very disciplined. I use the motto "'can't' never did anything" to push myself forward.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Music is the most important piece for me. Songs that keep me inspired for the scene I'm writing keep me focused.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
Yes, I write on the computer. I don't print too frequently, unless I feel I've hit a snag. Then I'll print out a couple of chapters to read and see what needs to be changed. I make my corrections in the word document. I don't have a set "process" per se. I write, and I keep going until the piece is finished. Once my editor sends me revisions, however, I tend to keep working until the piece is complete. No stops, no breaks, no interruptions unless absolutely necessary. At that point, I'm totally focused.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Mainly the Facebook page for my series and Twitter.
What has been your experience with publishers?
I love my current publisher. They are very personal, and I'm incredibly lucky in that way. Not all publishers have that "family" feel. With mine, I feel like I could be friends with them outside of the industry.
What are you working on now?
Book two of The Amethyst Dragon series, Pixie Dust, and book three of The Guardians, Last Shadow Cast.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Take the leap and show someone! Find a trusted friend or family member and give them the piece that you favor most. Ask them to read it and give you their honest opinion. They can give you input that can help you turn it into something to be proud of.