Tuesday, October 9, 2012

BRoP Interview with Heidi Garrett

This week we are visiting with Heidi Garrett.  Her interview is as follows:

Part I with Sandra
Part II is with me
Part III with Terri
Part IV with Teresa
Part V with Em.

So we will talk about how Heidi writes.

      What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? Do you use pen and paper or computer? Work at home or at the library/Starbucks, etc.
Most of the times when I sit down to write a first draft, I overwrite. I turn off the internal editor and go for it. I find this approach very pleasurable, creative, and productive. It provides me a tangible way to tap into my unconscious. I usually go back the next day to reread and edit. I am somewhat of a fierce editor. I prefer to read tight writing. With the plethora of entertainment forms available today, I don’t believe writers have much room to be indulgent. Fantasy has truly come of age. Paragraphs and pages of description are no longer necessary to create another world for readers to enter. Choice details from the POV character, and integrity, create a believable world.
I also believe in finishing the first draft. Completion provides momentum. It also provides the writer with something to craft. Once that first draft is complete, it’s much easier to analyze plot, character, setting, and world building for what is working and what isn’t.
I like to have a daily routine. I find the ritual makes it easier to start writing. I write on my computer. I have trained myself to write at the keyboard. However, if I am really stumped, I’ll go offline, pull out a pen and pad of paper and go to work.
I am fortunate to have a room of my own. It is where I write. I don’t write first drafts anywhere else. Sometimes, I edit at a coffee shop. But I am most productive in my room.

 How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life?
Since writing is so demanding mentally, I like to balance it with more physical things. Cooking, yoga, napping, playing with my cats. Anything that gives my brain a rest and opportunity to recharge. I also love hanging out in my backyard. Nature is a great antidote to hours on the computer.

When do you write?
I write on most weekdays. 

 How much time per day do you spend on your writing?
On days that I write, I like to write four to five hours. That is ideal. That doesn’t happen every day for a variety of reasons. But the more writing days I string together like that, the better I feel.

 What is the strongest criticism you’ve ever received as an author? The best compliment?
I worked with a really tough critique partner for a year. We met every three weeks. After each session, I would come home angry and upset. But after I stomped around the house for a few days, I would go back to review her comments. The majority of them were on target. Although, I never attempted to publish the novel that I worked through with her, my writing improved under her keen eye. I will always be grateful for that experience. She made me a better writer, a better storyteller, and helped me develop some necessary objectivity about my work. It was a crucial phase in my growth as a writer.

The best compliment?
I’ll quote the feedback from one of NANDANA’S MARK beta readers:
Nandana’s Mark has plenty of tension and conflict to keep readers engaged (Umbra vs. the faeries; Melia vs. her sisters; Melia vs. her father, mother, and Umbra; Melia vs. her social standing). What is really wonderful is that these different conflicts all feed into and off of one another. None of them feel like they are tacked on to add tension. Instead they feel like a natural part of the story.
When I read that, my heart felt very happy. 

Other than your family, what has been your greatest source of support?
Other writers.

How do you deal with rejection and/or negative reviews?
I kind of feel like it’s my responsibility as a writer to “suck it up, buttercup.” Rejection and negative reviews have a painful element for any writer. I think most of us want what we write to be loved. I sure do. But I am also a reader, so no one has to explain to me how subjective a reader’s tastes can be. It’s wise to focus on what we can control: the quality of our craft. But if a writer is going through a rough patch and can’t get any love for their words, best put on the blinders and keep writing.  

Facebook page: Coming Soon

Goodreads author page:

Apple: Search the iTunes store

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heidigarrett said...

Dean, Thank you for hosting me with the Blog Ring of Power!

Dean C. Rich said...

Thank you for your time. Enjoyed having you as a guest. Good luck with your writing. Hope your books do well.