Monday, January 2, 2017

Author a Day, part 11


Bio: Joynell Schultz spends her days working in a “reliable profession” as a veterinary pharmacist, which pays the bills, but isn’t nearly as exciting as creating alternative worlds writing speculative fiction. While shivering through the long northern Wisconsin winters with her husband, two children, and numerous pets, she enjoys reading, writing, and planning her next vacation.
Genre: I love writing (and reading) speculative fiction – especially with a touch of mystery/romance.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone wanting to write? (Jenny) I have simple advice really. Stick with it. Write and read every day and have thick skin when receiving feedback. 
How do you approach your stories; do you plan everything out before starting, or are you more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of a person? (Steve) I draft a rough outline that hits the high points of the story (hook, backstory, trigger, crisis, struggle, epiphany, plan, climax, and ending) and maybe even flesh it out a little. Most my story happens while writing though—my characters always end up with a mind of their own and write their own story, despite what I have planned for them.
Of all your characters, do you have a favorite? (Luke) I have a mother in a short story of mine that’s my favorite.  Her young child is bitten by a werewolf and she needs to make some tough decisions on what to do. I think I relate to the sacrifices a mother makes for her child.
How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)? (Joy) I wrote Love, Lies, & Clones in 8 months—but I was also working on two other novels in that time that will come out in 2017. I get tired of one project and need something else to take my mind off of it, so I can come back with a fresh eye.
What motivated you to write your novel? (Ami) The idea of Love, Lies & Clones formed and stayed in the back of my mind since 2003 when the cloned sheep, Dolly, died. I often wondered, what would happen if they cloned humans, and what ethical issues would the humans face? My argument was always that they’d be as human as you and me. That sparked this story.
Name three favorite authors and why they impress you. (Kay) Michael Crichton. His writing inspired me since childhood. I love the mix of science, especially medicine, integrated with our normal world—the world around us. He was a physician and used his expertise throughout his stories. Another thing I really like is he wrote across multiple genres. In fact, many of his books didn’t fit into one specific category. Speculative Fiction/Science Fiction, Thriller, Action & Adventure, etc.
Another author that inspired me as a child is Madeline L’Engle. It’s probably just because A Wrinkle in Time was the first Sci-Fi/Fantasy book I ever read, and the concept of folding space was thought provoking.
Now, I find inspiration in Indie Authors. I tend to read their writing exclusively, with nobody really being my favorite. I’m impressed at writers who write solely to entertain their audience. Writers who write as a hobby because it’s fun.
Would you rather set your story in a place and time you are familiar with, or would you rather research a totally different setting? (Ruth) This is a hard question! “They” always say you should “write what you know.” I tend to write about settings I know and mix in some fantasy/scifi elements. I find I can describe the setting so much better when I’ve experienced it.
Do you have any little writing rituals or quirks? E.g. an object you have to have on your desk, a particular drink or snack. (Liz) My alarm is set for 3:30AM every morning so I can get in a good hour of writing before I need to go to work. Also, the rest of my house is still sleeping, so this gives me quiet time. I know many writers listen to music, but I need complete silence to write.
How do you own experiences influence what you write? (Bill) Family relationships are important to me, and you’ll see them in everything I write.  Parent-child bonds especially (as I have two kids myself.) Also, I’m a scientist by nature (a pharmacist) and I tend to include some aspect of health care / science / etc in my writing.
If you were a ninja with a vendetta to whom would it be? OR If you had to throw something into mount Doom to save the world, what would it be? OR If you had a group of celebrities to plan the perfect heist who would they be and what would you be after? (Aaron) (Sorry, I left all three of Aaron’s in because they were hard! Pick one or all.) If I was a ninja with a vendetta it would be towards WHOEVER decided you didn’t need two spaces after a period anymore. I mean really??? I learned to type and I can’t help pushing that spacebar twice. Now, when I’m done with a novel, I need to go back and replace all my double spaces with single ones. Geesh.
How do you deal with writer's block? (Marissa) I love brainstorming. I get out a blank piece of paper and write down any possible thing that can happen, no matter how absurd. By the end, I end up with something…or nothing at all, but at least I was still writing. When I can’t take it anymore, I do something else. Go for a run, dishes, play a game with my kids. Sometimes I bounce idea off my family and that helps too.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? (i.e. first draft, editing, etc...) (Greg) Writing the first scene! When an idea strikes, I love to write the opening scene—seeing how the characters in my head come to life on the page.

If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one book, what would it be? (Ominbuses,  complete works, and how to books are forbidden!) (Laura) I love, love, love fiction, but I’d take the biggest book of non-fiction nonsense I could find. Like an entire encyclopedia set—or even just one of the books. You can’t get bored with that, right? I mean, whenever I couldn’t think of anything but coconuts, palm trees, and sand, I’d just whip that out and read about something else.

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