Authors Asking Authors – Jenn Bennett
This week’s author always makes me giggle. Not only in her books but on twitter and via email too. She has the best sense of humor and I just adore her snark! And not only is she a very talented author but she is also a talented visual artist. This week let’s welcome Jenn Bennett as she answers the Authors Asking Authors questions.
Do you have an old writing routine that you used to consider essential (ex: “I can only write if ——-“), that you now don’t need at all? – ML Brennan
For a while, I couldn’t write unless I’d plotted an entire book from beginning to end. It took me couple books to realize that most of my original plotting never made it to the page. Because until I’d written some Word Meat* (*technical term) on the manuscript, I didn’t know the hero would be motivated by X, or I didn’t see X twist coming, etc. Now I plot the first few chapters at the beginning, have a general idea about how I want it to end, and the rest is discovery.
Do you have critique partners, beta readers, or even people you run early ideas by? What is your system for that? – Carolyn Crane
I run all my early (and late) ideas by my husband. I know, I know. The Writer’s Rulebook (which isn’t in print, exactly, but rather was brought to life by the sage and sometimes misguided collective advice of Writers Who Came Before You) says your spouse can’t be truly critical, and that only another writer can be a proper critique partner. But my husband is a copy writer, well read, and pretty smart, so there you go. Betas: I’ve used them on occasion.
In reading reviews, have you ever stumbled on any useful insight about your work (punctuation quirks, plot holes, beloved/hated characters, story direction, errors your publisher missed) that changed the way you wrote future books? – Jenn Bennett
Who submitted this question? It’s “stumbled upon,” not “stumbled on.” What a loser.
If there was one thing about being an author or about the publishing industry that you’d want readers to know/understand, what would it be? – Kate SeRine
When I divide how much I money I average a year by how many hours I year I put into writing, I make less than minimum wage. I imagine most midlist writers do. So stop saying that we wrote that cliff-hanger to stretch out the series for more cash. It’s like accusing a McDonald’s manager of being a greedy pig for collecting an extra twenty bucks because she worked overtime on Thanksgiving when one of her drive-thru employees didn’t show.
So I think most people will ask about process or inspiration, but I’m a shopping girl at heart. What was the first ‘present’ you bought yourself to celebrate a contract, a big cheque, or a great advance? – Sierra Dean
I rarely spend money on myself. I think my husband took me out for sushi when I sold Arcadia Bell—and again when I sold the Roaring Twenties series. I keep telling myself that the next advance I get, I’m buying a new desk, a computer that wasn’t manufactured in 2005, and a comfortable desk chair. Maybe after the next book…
If you could go back and rewrite/change any aspect of your main character, would you? – Amanda Bonilla
I would’ve given Cady more agency in the first book, and I would’ve allowed her to be more romantic with Lon in the second book. I don’t think I hit my stride with Cady until book three.
What book do you wish that you had written? – Jennifer Estep
THE NIGHT CIRCUS (Erin Morgenstern).
Have you ever wished you could visit the world your characters live in and, if so, what do you envision yourself doing in that world? Bartender listening to character woes? Valued friend? Frenemy? – Adrian Phoenix
Drinking tea with Lon on his back patio while gazing over the cliffs at the Pacific Ocean. Either that, or having crazy, horns-out demonic sex with him. Or both: sex first, tea later.
Bonus Question! What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever been recognized as an author or talked with someone about your books?
Last year I spotted someone reading an Arcadia Bell book on a plane. She was shy, and I think I scared her into silence with my enthusiasm—“That’s my book! I wrote that!”—though I somehow refrained from lunging across the aisle to hug her. I can’t promise that level of professional control if it happens again, so fair warning: you WILL be hugged if I catch you reading one of my books.
Giveaway time! Jenn Bennet has a new book coming out. A first in a shiny new series. The title is Bitter Spirits and it’s hitting shelves January 7th 2014. By leaving a comment below, you will be entering to win an EARLY COPY! Jenn will mail out a copy to the winner as soon as she gets it (most likely December). Giveaway open Canada / US and you have until Monday October 7th 2013 11:59pm EST to leave your comment to be considered for the giveaway. Good luck to all commenters and a big THANKS to Jenn for the giveaway prize!