Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Questions People Ask Me...

Good morning, everyone! When people find out I'm an author I usually get asked a bunch of questions. I thought I would share the most asked questions here! If you have some that I don't answer, feel free to leave a comment.

Oh yeah... the pictures are from a recent trip to the Desert Botanical Gardens here in Phoenix.

1. Do you base your books on moments in your life?

I don't! I have never based a book on my real life. There isn't a single scene from one of the books that came from my personal experiences. It is popular belief, however, that my feelings toward my mother (yep, someone even called my mom to tell her to read Jesse's Brother since Samantha's mom is really mine) is the same as Samantha's toward her mother. This isn't true. Even though my relationship with my family is rocky, my mom and I talk on the phone nearly every day.

2. Where do you get your ideas if you don't base anything of your personal life?

I get my ideas from life. Since I have a wide variety of interests and get bored with things very quickly, it seems like I'm always doing something new. Some snippets of stories will be taken from the news while others come from playing "what if" while I'm out at a festival or at the mall.

I people-watch a lot. If I see someone interesting I make up a story about them and jot it down in my idea notebook. This isn't only done for main characters but for secondary ones as well. It helps make up colorful characters for my book. I do not base a character on someone I know personally.

3. Do you plot your books?

For the most part I'm a pantser. That means that I have a general idea (which could be a really small one) of the plot and characters then start on chapter one. During the beginning stages of the book I will do a character interview for each major character so I can get to know them. It helps make the writing go smoother. If I get stuck along the way, I have several author friends who love to brainstorm with me. We either talk over the phone or meet for coffee.

4. Do you write the book from beginning to end or skip around the book, doing random scenes?

I always start with chapter one but allow myself to write scenes as they come to me. Its like watching scenes from a movie so I want capture that when I have a chance. I wrote Jesse's Brother from beginning to end without skipping around. It took me forever (over a year) for the first draft. Skipping around with the scenes lets me write the rough draft faster and I don't force myself to wait until the particular part of the book to actually write it (I've lost scenes that way). When I think of a scene which happens several chapters away, I put it in a new file. When the time is right in the book, I copy and paste the scene where it goes.

5. Do you ever let your kids read your books?

They are teenagers so they can if they want with the condition that they skip over the sex parts. They both choose not to. My daughter writes as well so she is more interested in my writing career and tells all her friends. My son couldn't care less that I'm an author lol.

That's it for today. If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask! I will be around :)

Talk to you soon,

Wendy Ely


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