I went on quite the adventure this week and by adventure, I mean visiting a local school to talk about how I follow the voices in m head. Or, as others prefer to describe it, my career as a full-time author.
I went in with a suuuuuper loose outline of what I'd discuss and a load of props simply because it's really difficult to talk about the transfiguration of wispy ideas into structures and tropes and words.
Image Description: the aftermath of messily unpacking a totebag filled with notebooks, paperback books, and assorted outline notes and calendars in sheet protectors
So, here's what I brought along to explain how the noise in my head turns into something less….noisy:
Orchid-y purple notebook: Id lists, inspired by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (her work on the psychology of fandom is mind-blowing). Just a giant assortment of things I'm drawn to, in list form. Names, titles, tropes, situations and moments.
Flower notebook: the handwritten draft of The Worst Guy, with the first 10-ish pages all taped-in mood board pics and research.
It's purple but you probably can't tell: the notebook with all my original Walsh family details.
Other stuff: my graph-paper word count tracker and chapter outline notes fromShucked, and peaking out from the bottom, my September-December writing and editing plan along with chapter notes for the book I'm currently working on.
These also helped me explain the no-headlight drive through the dark that is writing books.
They had lots of great questions for me, especially around getting stuck, getting overwhelmed, getting ideas at inconvenient times. They also asked about my favorite books and what I'm reading, and I'll admit I was not prepared to address that. I scrambled pretty hard to remember what I'd enjoyed reading when I was younger because--ahem--it was not the right age group to discuss obsession with Kennedy Ryan's Before I Let Go or Tessa Bailey's Wreck the Halls, both of which will be top-tier, hands-down favorites of the year for me. I will talk more about both in the future but both are shining examples of why those authors are just so damn good at what they do. I am feverishly awaiting the next books in both series. FEVERISHLY, I say.
I hope you're doing well, my friend!
Trick-or-treat for grown-ups:
★ Please enjoy this gift of Most Likely to Fall In Love by Tracey Livesay, who wrote the unparalleled American Royalty series and just released Have Yourself a Billionaire for Christmas, a just-one-cabin, snowed-in story featuring a Scrooge-y CEO and the homesteading humanitarian who ghosted him months ago. I can't wait to dig into this one.
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