Camille LaGuire Interview
author of THE WIFE OF FREEDOM and THE ADVENTURE OF ANNA THE GREAT, now on sale at Smashwords and Kindle for .99.
1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
The best time of day for me is usually late at night. It's quiet and my mind is ready to get down to it. Sometimes I like to write right after I get up, if I don't get drawn into the kerfuffle of the day yet. I'm still in a half dreamstate, and if I don't have to converse with too many human beings first, I may have a great session. I guess close to sleep are my best creative times. But you have to train yourself to work all the time, and when I have all day, I tend to have three sessions; morning, afternoon and late night.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
If you can create letters with it, I can compose with it. But ritual is important to all writing. A favorite place, a favorite pen. I do a lot of composing on a steno pad with a mechanical pencil, but years ago I taught myself to compose at the keyboard by writing in a journal only at the keyboard. These days, though, most people are pretty comfortable working at a keyboard because of how much we all do online.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
Here's my dirty little secret: I get a lot of inspiration from bad writing. You read something, or watch on TV, and it's kinda boring, but there is a nugget of possibility there and so you watch or read a little more, and they totally screw it up. They just miss the great opportunities altogether. When that happens, my mind will start worrying at it, and I'm thinking "what if? what if?"
I get my material from life, but inspiration comes from mistakes. (And I wouldn't limit that to bad writing. I can be inspired by mistakes people - including myself - make in real life.)
4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
Yes. I actually use an ongoing "Novel Dare" something like the NaNoWriMo challenge. I have to post progress every day on my blog. I usually set start and end dates to a particular effort, and set the daily goal based on what else I know is going on in my life.
5: Being a self published author how do you come up with your cover art?
Since I have studied design, I do it myself, but I'm not fool enough to think that's a great idea. I can do an adequate job. I will move upscale as I can. On the better of my two covers, I used a classic painting from the period which my fantasy world mimics. You can't do that on everything though.
6: What drives you to chose the career of being a writer?
It's just what I am. If I don't write these stories down, they won't exist.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
Yes, I've been reading for decades. I used to read on a PDA. Now I read on my iPod Touch, or on a laptop or netbook.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
I have a huge "to be read" pile. So many new authors, and old favorites. When you write, it takes up so much mindspace it's hard to keep up with the reading. My favorite authors tend to be mystery and crime writers. Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout, Donald Westlake. I also love P.G. Wodehouse. Even though I write at the cozier end of the spectrum, my favorite current writers tend to be more hard boiled. I love Robert Crais, and the police procedurals of Archer Mayor. Stuart Kaminsky wrote both funny and hard-boiled too.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I may do one when I study a little Flash and iMovie production this summer, but for the most part, I have kept book trailers off my radar. I was a film major many many years ago, and I know what a time and creative energy sink that can be. I leave it open for the future, though.
10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
Right now I'm working on a comic mystery suspense novel but I will be going the traditional route with that - no self-publishing. I hope to finish up the sequel to THE WIFE OF FREEDOM this summer, though. We finally get into the head of the heroine's anarchist husband Jackie, when he gets himself in trouble and is transported for treason. Lots of high adventure and melodrama as the unstoppable Mary Alwyn desides to go after him.
You can follow my progress on my blog The Daring Novelist http://daringnovelist.blogspot.com/
You can find links to my books at http://www.camillelaguire.com/