1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
The most productive time of the day for me to write is late morning into early afternoon, from around 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. That's when I seem to be at my best but it also depends on whether I have a freelance assignment that day, which comes first. In that case, I just have to fit writing time around that.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I write only on the computer.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
I was an appellate criminal defense attorney for several years and I draw a lot of inspiration from my old cases and clients. I'm also a big dance fan - I write a dance blog - and I draw inspiration from my favorite dancers and their performances, their careers, and things that I overhear that go on in the dance world.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
No, usually not. I probably should!
5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
My first, and only book so far ("Swallow"), is self-published. It's funny because I originally had a completely different cover in mind. But when I started working with CreateSpace I realized the only way I was going to get the exact cover I wanted was to hire my own artist, and that would have been expensive. The CreateSpace people pointed me to a website that contained a huge amount of stock images (meaning, royalty-free), and said if I could find an image from that, they could work with that and my cover would be much more reasonably priced. So, I searched I think it was istockphotos.com and thought about things that happen in my book and what I wanted to convey with a cover that would be dramatic and eye-catching but also make people wonder, and I found a photo that seemed to do all that. I ran it past many of my friends and even my blog readers, and when most people liked it, I decided to go with that cover.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I'm the type who was always writing and journaling even as a child. I think, of all the jobs I've had, it's the one I'm actually best at. I think my need to write derives from my desire to introduce people to worlds they might not know about, or experiences they might not have had - like this psychosomatic disorder I had, and what being a NYC public defender is like, etc. (those are some of the things Swallow is about).
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
Right now, I just have an iphone, but I really like it for reading because of its small size and the back light (so I can read in dark areas). I have the ereader and kindle apps downloaded onto it.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are you reading now?
Some of my favorite authors are Andrei Makine, Hemingway, Richard Wright, Milan Kundera, Martin Amis, and Richard Price, but I like reading so many different things. Right now I'm just finishing Amy Sohn's "Prospect Park West," which is hilarious, and after that I'm going to read this book called "Stressed in Scottsdale" by Marcia Fine. I found her book because we'd both won an award in the same category in the same contest and her book looked pretty funny. Plus, I am originally from Phoenix, so I thought it would be a fun beach read that would remind me of home.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I think book trailers are great and I've seen some really compelling ones. I'm not so good with technology, but if I have time this summer, I think I'm going to try to figure out how to make one, because I think they can really help sell a reader on a book, and it looks like fun!
10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
Right now I'm working on a book about a bunch of guys who all witness a shooting.
The Amazon link to my novel, "Swallow," is here: http://www.amazon.com/Swallow-ebook/dp/B0032FNZZC/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2
And my website and blog, Swan Lake Samba Girl, is here: http://www.tonyaplank.com/swan_lake_samba_girl/