Saturday, May 15, 2010

T.L. Haddix Interview

Interview with T. L. Haddix

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

Late afternoon and late evening. Probably from 2-5 p.m. and then again from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

Pen and paper, and I am an office supply addict - I freely admit that. Notes, notes, notes, then transcribe the written notes onto the laptop. I am a doodler, and the tactile feel of pen and paper stimulates the creative center in my brain. It seems to be the best conduit for my ideas to flow into some semblance of an outline. Once I get started creating, though, I switch to the laptop, since I type much faster than I write. That is usually around the time I get halfway through the outline. I should mention, however, that when I first started writing, I sat down and drew up the town of Leroy, Indiana, and did brief genealogies for everyone who might possibly appear in one of the books. I couldn’t keep my characters straight otherwise.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

Anything and everything. I just watch the world around me, storing away little tidbits here and there. I was an only child, and a shy child at that, so I didn’t develop a lot of social skills early on. I lived in the books I would read and in my imagination. I love learning, and watching people do the everyday things that make up their days. I have a mind that is full of useless information, which makes me a great partner to have during trivia-type games, and knowing a little bit about many, many things also makes me (I think) a better writer.

Also, I have endured chronic health issues for years, and been through some rough emotional times as well, and I want to use what I’ve been through to hopefully help others who are having similar issues. If I can create realistic characters who have the same problems, the same challenges, I hope to let folks know that a.) they aren’t alone, and b.) things can be better, diseases can be managed, conditions can be wrestled into submission, and life can be good again.

4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?

I don’t so much set goals as per word count, but I do try to finish at least 10 pages (typed, single-space) per day. Sometimes I can produce up to 15, but I usually have a down day or two after that.

5: Being a self published author how do you come up with your cover art?

I am very fortunate and blessed to have a husband who has a small, start-up graphics design company, Streetlight Graphics. He’s an engineer by day, and does graphics in his free time. I will usually have a rough idea of what I want, and between the two of us we flesh it out. My debut novel, Secrets In The Shadows, went through several cover designs before we settled on the one we published. We added those in the bonus section of so that readers could see the progression, and in all honesty, coming up with the cover was just about the hardest part of the book-making process, writing included. We use Adobe Creative Suite as both our cover and promotional artwork platform and for formatting the final manuscript for print.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

I have always wanted to write, always was known for writing during my school years. After I graduated high school, I did a brief stint in college, and beyond that, I hadn’t really written anything. I’ve been out of school for 12 years now, so it was quite the dry spell. I had begun working as a medical transcriptionist several years ago, and in November 2008 lost my job due to the downturn in the economy. Because I did have a limited amount of experience, I wasn’t a marketable commodity in that field, and because of some health issues, I’m unable to work outside the home. In early 2009, I approached the idea of writing a book and seeing as how I didn’t have anything better to do, thought I’d give it a shot. Much to my surprise, it turned into a job, and a passion. I rediscovered my need to write, and now I’m determined that I won’t stop until I completely run out of ideas, and maybe not even then.

7: Do you own an ebook reading devise?

Only if you count my computer. I’d love to have one, but it just hasn’t been possible yet.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

I have over 1,000 books in my own personal library, so I like several authors…but some of my absolute favorites are Elizabeth Lowell, Janet Evanovich, Tami Hoag, Linda Howard, Kay Hooper, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Stephanie Laurens, Sarah Addison Allen, and the list goes on. As you can see, I like mainly mystery/thrillers and romance, and I’m not ashamed to admit that! I prefer Regency romance, and I think romance in general is a highly underrated genre. Right now, I am eagerly awaiting new releases by Janet Evanovich, Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn, and I’m hoping to pick up some Laura Kinsale this weekend. I’ve not read her work before, but I hear it is excellent. I just finished “Savor the Moment” by Nora Roberts, and unfortunately wasn’t that impressed, although I have read, liked and own most everything she has published over the past 20 years.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

I think they are a very intriguing concept, and as soon as some of my personal life calms down (we’re crazy busy getting ready to sell our house), hubby and I fully intend to check out the medium and play around with it.

10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

Right now I am working on the manuscript for the second book, “Under the Moon’s Shadow”, which is the second book in the Leroy’s Sins Series. Different leading characters, same small town. It’s due out in mid-fall, although I’m hoping I’ll have it ready by September at the very, very latest. The third book, also in the LSS but set partly in Eastern Kentucky, is in the outline and notes stage, and book four has just started its nebulous journey into an idea.

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