Below are the final set of reader questions. But first, since it's St. Patrick's Day, I have to mention a minor issue. A year ago, I blogged about how I totally scarred my daughter on St. Patrick's Day during kindergarten because I forgot to send her in green, so she was pinched all day long. (The horrors!)
That kindergarten trauma was FOUR YEARS AGO.
Now, her little sister is in kindergarten. Last night, I was ordered in no uncertain terms to MAKE SURE #4 wore green today so she wouldn't suffer as #3 had. I laughed and assured them both I would.
Apparently my word isn't good enough. Both older sisters got #4 out of bed early (she's in afternoon kindergarten) and dressed her in case I'd forget. Then they kept telling her what a great St. Patrick's Day she'd have, unlike #3's in kindergarten, which was just so horrible . . .
I'll never, ever live that day down.
Heather asked: Are you going to write a sequel to Band of Sisters (release date: spring 2010)?
Most likely (assuming Covenant wants it). I'll probably have to start research on that pretty soon.
Sher had a few questions:
1)What's your biggest guilty pleasure?
Probably the silver bag of Guittard jumbo chocolate chips. They aren't for baking. They're for eating straight.
2)What do you do in your spare time to wind down/relax (besides blogging, of course)?
Spare time? What's that? :) I enjoy reading, knitting, and taking long baths. In theory, I love hiking in the mountains, but that's a rarity.
3) When do you want to have lunch with me again, so we can talk some more? (Is that way too stalker-ish?)
Let's talk. I want to see you again too! :)
Charlie Moore had a multiple-part question: What is the one idea, vision, concept or premise you've had that for one reason or another you haven't put down on paper? Why?
I have several partial manuscripts that might fit that description, but I don't think there's any big concept that has hit me that I haven't at least partially put to paper.
There's one manuscript particular that had a concept I really wanted to write about. Several years ago, I got a few chapters into it but haven't finished it. Part of me is afraid to; I don't know if I could do the concept justice yet. Maybe someday.
He also asked: And have you ever incorporated an idea, vision, concept or premise that wasn't part of something you were working on into that body of work and made a cohesive fit?
Yes, for sure. One of many examples is when I saw an author being interviewed on TV (no memory on who it was anymore) and somehow it came up that in this one room of their house, someone had died and someone else had been born.
The idea smacked me like a ton of bricks: life ending for one person and beginning for another in the same place. What if the two events happened close to one another in time? That would be a sacred moment for sure. I was writing House on the Hill at the time, and that idea made it in.
I think I've gotten a flash or two like that for every book.
Heidi Ashworth: Approximately how many words a day do you write when you are writing a book?
That depends on a lot of factors (am I also researching, do I have freelance edits or articles due, etc.), but in general, if I'm getting in a steady 1,000 words a day, I'm pretty happy.
Jami: What's the silliest thing that you do regularly?
Stay in my pajamas WAAAAAY past what is normal. That's not too silly, is it? Tough question.
Karlene: Josi asked about your fav book of all time. I know the answer to that.
[Me here: You thought it was Anne of Green Gables, didn't you? Surprise! :) ]
So pretend there are no Anne books (I know, scary thought). Then what would be your fav book of all time?
Aside from my answer last time, I might have to say that some of my all-time favorites are Pride and Prejudice, The Great Divorce, East of Eden, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Totally different books all, but I loved them.
Also, what is your fav style of shoe?
I'm really not much of a shoe person. Indoors, I'm in socks all the time. Forget the shoes. But in general, the favorite shoes I own are ankle boots.
Your current brand of shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant?
Whatever I can get for a rockin' good deal through The Grocery Game. I'm not picky. But don't give me Ultrabrite.
Are you a dog or a cat person?
As a general rule, I hate dogs up close. They're fine at a distance. I love the right cat, but not all of them.
If you were a guy, would you wear boxers or briefs?
I've never thought of that before . . . I have no idea. Probably briefs.
Amber: How many hours a day do you write?
Again, totally depends on the day and the project. Counting articles, blogs, and other freelance work as well as my fiction, I'd say a couple of hours a day. Sometimes more. Sort of depends on what you define as "writing."
Which is longer for you, the writing or the editing?
The writing, probably. I can easily edit more than 1,000 words a day (my average for drafting), so editing goes faster. The trick is that sometimes I end up with several drafts, so in that sense, editing can take longer.
Do you know Brandon Mull? (My daughter is a HUGE fan).
I do. I've met him a couple of times and even sat at the same Whitney Gala dinner table when he won last spring. He doesn't remember me, though.
Tink: I know you said you've been writing since you were little, but I'm wondering what finally inspired you to submit a manuscript and who was the inspiration behind it?
That would be my husband, who lit the fire under me to finally send in my first submission (and learn how to submit and all that). Part I of my Writing Journey talks about that first manuscript and how he got me to send it out.
Melanie: Could you please your best, absolute most amazing chocolate experience for us?
Man, this is a tough one to answer. I'm going to go with the chocolate experience that impacted me most as a kid: visiting the Fazer chocolate factory in Finland. You drive up and see giant silo-looking structures filled with melted chocolate. The parking lot smells like chocolate.
You go inside, watch a video about chocolate and how they make things, then go on the tour. The machines were so dang cool (I loved the ones where they made the cookies like U. S. Oreos--only better). Periodically, we got to stop at taste-testing booths and eat all we wanted. The only catch: you couldn't get a drink or take of the samples with you.
But yeah. Talk about chocolate heaven.
Today's tour stops:
Half Full Life (You gotta read this one. It begins, "If I say it stinks . . .")
Inksplasher (From someone who's NOT a romance fan.)