Because authors don’t always sit alone in dark rooms, feverishly clicking away at their keyboard or scribbling in notebooks, I’m asking other author friends to drop by and answer a few questions for your enjoyment.
My first guest author spot goes to Ms. Olivia Ferguson!
Q: Who are you, what do you write, and how do you write?
A: I am the great Olivia Ferguson!! I have written in several different genres over the course of my writing career thus far. I’ve written creative non-fiction, memoir, several short stories, middle grade reference books, and regular old fiction. Paranormal fiction is my favorite, however. As far as my writing process, I’m kind of a mix. I’ll outline to a point, but I never over outline. I think if you over outline your story you’re restricting yourself from many other possibilities. I know some might argue that you could just change the outline, but I think of it like this. If you do a complete outline before you begin writing, then during the writing process your mind will be so focused on making the content of that outline happen that it won’t be free to wander into other possibilities. So I’ll do a basic outline to get me started and as my mind wanders and discovers new plot threads, I just jot them down to add to the story as I go. My outlines are pretty much bullet points categorized under the chapter in which they should happen.
Q: Where do you get all your ideas? (This is an author’s FAVORITE question!)
A: There really isn’t one specific place that I get my ideas. They’ve come to me at many different times in many different places. My first full length novel was actually inspired by a dream. I’d been culminating my Sunstone Covens series for years, and had actually written bits and pieces with different characters. But when I had that dream, I just knew that it was how the series was supposed to begin.
Q: If you could hang out with any author, dead or alive, for a day, who would it be?
A: If I could hang out with any author for a day, it would have to be Anne Rice. She’s my absolute favorite author. I’ve loved vampires from a very young age and was thrilled when I discovered The Vampire Chronicles. With those books she really opened the door for all of today’s vampire novelists. She basically humanized the vampire, which was something that hadn’t ever been done in the genre before, and this paved the way for other novelists to create their own type of vampires.
Q: Which character from your writing is your favorite?
A: My most favorite character that I’ve ever written is Elias Black. He’s so unpredictable and downright psychotic that it was fun to be able to just let go, put myself into his character and go crazy. When writing my scenes with him, I would just ask myself what the craziest thing for him to do would be. I also based a lot of his demeanor and such on Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker. There were times that I would write a scene with him, then go back to edit and end up in tears from laughing so hard. Oh, he was great fun! And the fun ain’t over yet!
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: I’m currently working on three projects, however slow the progress may be. The first project is the second installment of the Sunstone Covens series. Like I said, the fun with Elias ain’t over yet. Next is my young adult series about a girl who makes a deal with the devil. I think we can all imagine how that’s going to go. Then again, who knows? The third project is a Harlequin type romance inspired by the Longmire television show. After becoming and being abandoned by the child’s father, she returns home to Wyoming. Her ex-fiance, determined to make things right, assumes responsibility for her and the child, no matter how determined she is to do things on her own.
Q: What would you tell other writers?
A: Advice that I would give other writers is to not listen to all the advice other writers give you. Just kidding. Sort of. You can listen to all of the advice, and some of it is really great. However, what I do is take the advice and try it. If it doesn’t work, then I discard that piece of wisdom and move on to the next. What works for one writer may not work for another. You have to figure out what works best for YOU. Another thing I’d like for all writers to know, especially those new to the business, is that not everyone is going to like what you write. And that’s okay! For every person who isn’t a fan, there’s someone else that will be. Also, write! Write every day! Even if it’s just for twenty minutes, squeeze it in. Practice makes perfect, and it definitely applies to writing.
Q: Where can I read more about you?
A: Check out more on my site, My Literary Life or follow me on Twitter @oliferguson.