Questions on Writing Inspired by Westover School
Thanks to Suzy Winter and the other staff members over there for letting me come speak with the classes! Q) Did you start with an outline or similar when you started the book?
A) I started with an outline, but by the time I actually finished "outlining" and began writing, the outline was most a reference map and had very little to do with the book.
Q) Which came first- the character or the plot?
A) The character came first. I wanted to tell a story about how a character I'd imagined suffered and perservere and how it had changed him.
Q) Who was the person or teacher that inspired you to write the book?
A) There was a teacher, Michael Roberts, that inspired my writing in general. A book called The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss was the final inspiration to actually try and write a book.
Q) How did they get you to where you are now?
A) Roberts helped me first understand that writing was a process, not just a one and done activity. The Name of the Wind showed me just how important a book could be.
Q) How long does it usually take for you to write a book?
A) Real hours spent, probably a few thousand. Years going back and forth on making it happen, eight, at least this time around.
Q) What gives you motivation to write?
A) Coffee helps on the motivation front, but so does the desire to produce something meaningful.
Q) When did you find out you loved to write?
A) It was a gradual process, but probably my junior year of high school is when it really got in my head. Sophomore year of college is when I actually went forward with it.
Q) What is your go-to subject to write about?
A) I'm a big fantasy/sci fi nerd, and I also really like writing shorter pieces about self-development.
Q) How many times has your original plot changed?
A) A fair bit, though all the changes were gradual and organic. So there wasn't some ah-ha moment that the plot completely shifted or changed.
Q) What was the original plot?
A) Originally, I wanted to write a story about the hero becoming a villain.
Q) Was school hard for you?
A) Overall, no. I really struggled with any mathematics class, but I also didn't put a whole lot of effort towards it either. Socially, it had its ups and downs but we all make it through in the end.
Q) Did school stress you out when you were our age?
A) Infinitely so. I was obsessed with all the little social dynamics, crushes, and being good at tennis. That said, it wasn't justified.
Q) How did you come up with the idea at first?
A) I wanted to write about my friends, and the journeys we could take.
Q) When did you decide you wanted to write a book?
A) I kept a journal in high school of book ideas. But I was horribly embarrassed. It wasn't until college I realized it was something I was allowed to try. Then it was a lot longer before I was willing to tell anyone about it.
Q) Who is your favorite author?
A) Brandon Sanderson. He's inspiring in both the scope of his work, and his writing/work ethic.
Q) What challenges have you had to overcome while you have been a writer?
A) I've been scary broke on occasion, I've doubted myself nearly every step of the way, and one time I lost roughly 30,000 words of what I considered my better work up until that point.
Q) What is the lowest you've ever been in your writing career?
A) As writing goes, nothing has been a terribly low point. But, there was a rough period were I went through a tough breakup, lost my job, had to move in with my parents, and really felt pretty valueless at the time.
If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out and I'd love to answer them! I also have a request on perhelping promote my book, so check out All the Ways to Make me Love You post!