Recently I made an appearance at the Entertainment Marketing Class at Kennesaw State University. Besides having a grand time with the students, I left with a handful of questions. So I thought I'd answer a few.
D. Howell asks: What are you reading right now?
UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld. Scott has one really unusual imagination (as evidenced by his latest book LEVIATHAN) and I thought I'd check out this series. The premise is that when you turn a certain age you are changed from an Ugly to a Pretty and get to lead the good life. Of course, not all is as it seems and that's why I'm enjoying the book so far.
D. Howell also asks: Are any characters based off of yourself?
Sorta, but not really. Great answer, huh? There are elements of me in all my characters, but if I did a Mary Sue and made the heroine just like me it'd be a darned dull story. So I incorporate some of my traits (usually unwittingly) into my characters. An example is Jacynda Lassiter (my heroine in the Time Rovers Series) who fears tunnels that go underwater. I'm the same. She has a tendency to thump annoying people over the head. I used to do that when I was a kid but gave it up since I don't really need a criminal record. There are other examples, but on the whole I avoid writing my characters based on me because my life is nowhere near exciting as theirs.
J. Smith asks: Iowa being the sprawling metropolis it is, did that help you in your writings or make you depend on your creative side when you were growing up?
I like the idea of Iowa sorta sprawling around, elbowing Minnesota and shoving Missouri further south (grin). Living in Iowa, per se, didn't affect me as much as being an only child. The best way to entertain myself (and not get into trouble with my eagle-eyed mother) was to exercise my imagination. I lived in my own little world (still do most of the time) where I created other people to hang with, talk to and share adventures. Couple that with voracious reading and you've got logical stepping stones to becoming an author.
J. Smith also inquires: What are your single malt recommendations?
Now there's a question close to my liquor cabinet! I choose single malt based on my mood. I usually head toward the peatier (smoky) varieties like Oban, Talisker or Laphroaig. Every now and then I'll try some Abelour A'bunadh. I have some 16 y/o cask strength Abelour right now that is just smoother than anything. Some nights it's a beer. Just depends on where my head is.
I'll tackle a few more questions in the next couple of days. In the meantime enjoy your leftover turkey, folks.