Please welcome Anne Blankman, YA author of Traitor Angels! She’s stopping by today for a How I Write feature as part of her blog tour. Check out my Q & A with Anne below, and be sure to enter the giveaway!
About Anne Blankman
Are you a planner (outline, etc.) or do you “pants” it?
Definitely a planner! When I’m drafting historical fiction, I need to know what’s historically possible so I research and outline before I write the first sentence. Sometimes I wish I could jump right in, but I like knowing what direction I want to take the story before I begin.
Do you write daily or sporadically when you’re inspired?
When I was drafting my first novel, Prisoner of Night and Fog, I had a new baby and I wrote whenever I could find a spare moment. Now I have a schedule, and I write at least five days a week. If I waited until inspiration hit, I don’t think I would get much done! For me, it’s the old-fashioned butt-in-the-chair strategy that works best.
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I’ve only begun sharing my story with others in the last few months because it’s still hard to talk about. When I was in elementary school, my dad’s vision began rapidly deteriorating. Doctors tried to save the vision in his worst eye, but the surgery failed and he was left in debilitating pain. Sunlight was unbearable for him. He couldn’t work and had to live in the basement. When I got home from school, I’d sit with him in the dark and read to him by flashlight. This will sound strange, but some of my favorite childhood memories are of reading to my dad. We’d get lost in the stories together and he’d forget the pain he was in. I want my stories to be lifelines or escapes for others, just like those books were for me and my father. (I should probably add that after two years, doctors were able to repair the vision in one of my dad’s eyes and ever since then he’s led an independent life.)
What a beautiful story and memory – thank you so much for sharing! What kind of mood are you typically in when you write (happy, sad, etc.)?
When I write, I feel whatever my main character is feeling at the time. Whatever she experiences, I’m right there with her.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I write through it. There are days when I know that every word I’m typing is dreck, but I can always go back and revise. You can’t edit a blank page.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received for writing?
Kathy Erskine was the keynote speaker at a SCBWI conference I attended a few years ago. She said—and I’m paraphrasing here – “In this room there are people at various stages in their writing journey. But the only difference between the published and unpublished writers is that the published never gave up.” I found that incredibly inspiring.
Thanks so much for having me!
Thank you for visiting and answering my questions, Anne!
Readers, follow the tour (schedule below) for more chances to win, and be sure to enter the giveaway! You can find more How I Write features by clicking the image at the bottom of this post.