Tricia is a wonderful supporter to her fellow writers, so it is an honour to welcome her to the author interview this week. You can find Tricia on: her Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon.
Without further ado, please welcome Tricia.
I just published Sweet Sorrow yesterday, so I’m not currently working on anything. I’m taking a small break! My next project is The Coven which is the sequel to The Séance. The Coven is a young adult paranormal/horror novel about a young medium named Abby and the dangers she faces.
When and how do your characters come to you? Is it in a moment of inspiration, an epiphany? Or do they grow in some murky recess of your mind?
Most of my characters have come to me out of nowhere. I’ve dreamt about a couple of them. Sweet Sorrow is a result of one of those dreams.
There’s an acceptance that authors often write in traits or characteristics of themselves into their work, is there any part of you in any of your characters?
Some of my characters are shy, and that is definitely a trait I share. I’ve also incorporated my fascination with the paranormal into some of my characters.
How do you develop your characters? Do you let them brew in your subconscious, use character interview sheets, or something completely different?
I usually let my characters brew in my subconscious for a while before I begin writing.
Are you a planner, or free writer?
I’m a free writer. I have a very difficult time planning. Once I’m down to the last quarter of a book, I usually plot it out so I don’t forget to tie up loose ends. But I never plot out a book before I start writing. For me, that takes away some of the magic.
When you are developing a book, what tools or techniques do you use, e.g. timelines, mood boards, character interviews, scraps of notes?
When I get to a certain point in my book (usually about halfway), I set up a spreadsheet. On one tab, I list character names and relevant information about each character. On another tab, I list a chapter-by-chapter outline of what I’ve written. I update this sheet as I complete chapters.
No, it really hasn’t changed at all.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Do you actively look for it?
I seldom actively look. Inspiration has come from music, nature, or sometimes from out of nowhere.
What kind of an environment do you write in Day/night/silence/music/desk/sofa etc
I write in the middle of my living room with noise and chaos all around me. My dream is to have my own office one day. In terms of when I write, it varies. I usually write at night, but I’ve been known to write in the early morning hours too.
Half way into writing my first novel, it’s taking over my brain! What advice can you give me on completing it? Or maybe an easier question. What do you wish you had known about writing a book before you started?
With my first book, it was easy to complete it. I didn’t worry about the plot or sentence structure or anything. My focus was on completing it. I didn’t know anything about the publication process either. When I began to research literary agents and publishers, it was shocking. Rewrites? Edits? Queries? My mind was spinning. I wish I would have connected with other writers prior to writing my book. I think I would have gone about things differently.
The publishing industry is in decline across the board. Do you think things like the Kindle are bridging the gap, is there still the same love for the written word, or is it being diluted by the modern obsession with tech and gadgets?
I think there are still people out there looking for good books, but with younger readers, it’s getting harder and harder to compete with gadgets. I think Kindle apps for smart phones might bridge the gaps.
50 Shades of Grey author EL James was reported to make around £100k a day at the book’s height, and the upcoming film will make her millions. Do you find it a shame that the most lucrative and famous book franchise of the moment is one so widely derided for its lack of literary value? Or is it just good to have a book going mainstream?
The Fifty Shades phenomenon is a good reminder that people define literary value differently. For some, it’s all about entertainment. When I read, I like to learn something new. I like books that make me think. But not always. Sometimes I just want to be entertained. I want an escape. The people who are buying and reading Fifty Shades aren’t looking for thought-provoking literature. They’re looking for entertainment, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Fifty Shades isn’t really my thing, so I hope the next mainstream, famous series is more along the lines of Harry Potter.
All the books! I would try to save the classics first, I suppose.
Which publishing route have you taken? Did you always know you were going to go down this route, and if so why?
When I finished my first book, I had candy-coated fantasies of signing with a top agent and landing a million dollar book contract. When that didn’t work out, I signed with a small publisher. When that didn’t work out, I self-published. All my books are self-published now, and for my schedule and lifestyle, this is a good fit. There is tremendous freedom to self-publishing. I can publish according to my own timeline, and if I have family obligations or other issues to attend to, I reprioritize to allow for that.
What do you wish you knew about the publishing process before you started?
Everything! I knew nothing about publishing when I wrote my first book.
What is the best advice you could give to aspiring novelists like me? Or what was the best advice you were ever given?
Write what you want. Don’t follow a trend, because trends come and go. That hot, new subgenre that’s popular today will be oversaturated tomorrow. Don’t write it unless you love it.
Is fanfic to be welcomed as it broadens interaction and the readers experience or a scourge that devalues the ability of an author?
To be honest, I’ve never written fanfic. I haven’t read much either. I think fanfic is awesome. As an author, I can’t imagine anything more flattering than knowing my readers want to broaden the world I created.
Books are everything to me. Reading and writing are my only creative outlets. I also love listening to music, but I don’t write it or perform it. (Well, unless you count singing in my car.)
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
By day, I work in accounting, but there’s nothing I’d rather do than write.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
As a young reader, I thought writing a book would be a pretty cool thing, but I didn’t start writing until my late thirties. I didn’t publish until forty.
What authors do you admire, and why?
I admire J.K. Rowling. She’s one of my favorite authors. And Anne Rice. She’s incredible. I also admire Stephen King, Jane Austen, Tolkien, and many others.
To find out more about Tricia read her author bio below:
Tricia Drammeh is a wife and mother of four children who lives in New Hampshire. Her published works include Sweet Sorrow, Better than Perfect, The Seance, The Fifth Circle, and the Spellbringers series. Tricia is currently working on her eighth novel. When she’s not writing, she can be found devouring books, interviewing up-and-coming authors, and drinking vast amounts of coffee.