It seems that some professions tend to invite interesting questions, and being a writer definitely falls into that camp. Here are some things I’ve been asked over the years that will give you a glimpse into my life as a writer. Enjoy!
When did you decide to be a writer? I don’t remember a specific time when I decided to be a writer, just like I don’t remember learning to read. They’ve both been part of my life for as long as I can remember, so they’re just an inseparable part of me. I always enjoyed writing, but actually planned to be a business/marketing major in college … until I suffered through my first two accounting and economics classes. Blech! Those were the worst classes I ever took, and as soon as they were finished I changed my major to journalism and ran back to familiar territory – words! Even then, I expected to be a reporter or something along those lines. My first job out of college was in the public relations department of our local hospital, and God took over from there.
What’s your favorite snack during those late-night writing sessions? Almost anything, as long as it’s washed down with Diet Coke! Triscuits with Laughing Cow cheese find their way to my desk pretty often, and every writer needs chocolate to survive (M&Ms, Dove squares, Hershey bars, we’re not picky). Wow, I’d better stop now … I’m starting to get hungry.
When do you write everything? I write off and on around the clock, depending on the project. My real-world work mostly happens while the kids are at school, although a lot of that work leaks over into late night hours if deadlines are looming. I work on devotionals and my novel whenever I can. Sometimes that means a block of dedicated time and sometimes that means 20 minutes of off-and-on scribbling on the back of an old grocery list while supper cooks. I’ve gotten better at making the most of every moment I can find to write, no matter how quickly it might disappear. If I keep letting them disappear, I’ll never finish this book!
Who’s your favorite group to speak to? God has blessed me with an ability to get along with virtually anyone, so I truly love being with whatever group I’m in at the moment. Teaching other writers is always fun because they’re the only people who understand that all the craziness and voices in my head don’t mean I need to visit the local mental hospital. Speaking to women’s groups or young ladies is rewarding and heartwarming because we share bonds as sisters in Christ who are trying to make a difference for Him. The older I get, the more I love being with and sharing with (and learning from!) every age of woman. We can offer each other so much! And, finally, being with kids is just a blast. They’re so inquisitive and most of them think being a writer is cool, even if writing isn’t their favorite thing in school. I always like to imagine that the next generation’s NYT bestselling author might be in that classroom – and how cool to think that God might allow me to help spark or fan that flame to something bigger!
Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever interviewed? I actually have a tie for the answer to this question. The first would have to be golfer Nancy Lopez. I spoke to her as part of an article I was writing for our local hospital’s community magazine and was so nervous beforehand I thought I’d be sick! We set a time and I planned out all my questions. When I called for the interview, her PR person told me that he would stay on the line with us and that her schedule had shifted so she only had 10 minutes to talk instead of the 30 we’d scheduled. Talk about shifting gears fast! She was very friendly and a pleasure to chat with. Sure made my job easier, even under such a tight timeframe!
Another famous person I was thrilled to interview was Mark Hall, lead singer for the contemporary Christian band Casting Crowns. I was the editor and primary writer for a local magazine at the time and we ran a cover story on Casting Crowns. I interviewed Mark by phone while they were on the road — lots of travel/bus/conversation noises in the background from his side, and a massive thunderstorm and wailing cat in the background from my side. It made for an interesting interview, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!
And that’s enough for now! Thanks for wanting to learn more and check back for some new questions and answers periodically.