Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Your Two for Tuesday Contributors & Leighbee's Freebies

Sarah and Leigh will be posting on Tuesdays. You can learn more about us on the Contributors page, but to help you get to know us better, we answered three questions each. Oh and don't forget to enter Leigh's giveaway at the end!

Sarah Nicolas
Q: Are you a pantser (writes off the seat of her pants) or a plotter (lays out the story and works it out before writing)?A: You remember in school when they made us turn in an outline a few weeks before the paper was due? I wrote the complete paper first and based the outline off of it. Definitely a pantser. I write my first draft very quickly and then spend a loooooooong time revising.

Q: Writers are renowned for having odd quirks, like having to write to music, or in a particular coffee shop, or in Leigh's case, in longhand with the same pen. What writing quirks have you developed over the years?
A: This is a rather inconvenient quirk: I can't write at home. It doesn't matter if the house is empty for an entire weekend, I can't seem to concentrate. Luckily, my apartment complex has a very nice business center and I also write at coffee shops, restaurants, even other people's houses.

Also, I talk to myself a lot when I'm trying to figure something out. Which wouldn't be that bad if I wasn't sitting in a restaurant with "normal" people all around me.

Q: If you could pick one character from a book and write a spin off story about them, who would that character be, and why?
A: "I was alive when the Dead Sea was just a lake that was feeling a little poorly." I would love to dive deeper into the past and present of Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments series. I feel like there's much more to him than parties and glitter, and Cassandra Clare has only scratched the surface.

I'd love to hear everybody else's response to this question: If you could write/read a spin off about a character from any book, who would you pick?

Leigh Fallon

1. When writing a novel, what comes first for you? I.e. Characters? Setting? Plot? Atmosphere? Theme? Something else?
Usually a scene pops into my head. It’s like a memory, usually triggered by music or a landscape. I can see it playing out in my head like a movie. I hear the characters talking, and the sounds of their surrounding area. I take that scene, and then build on it. The scene normally gives me my MC, the tone, and the atmosphere. If I feel strongly enough about it, I start to develop it. Take it back a few steps; figure out how the MC found themselves in that situation, and the people she / he met along the way. And it works its way out from that initial scene like a web, all very intricate and each element relying on the elements surrounding it to give it strength and stability.
I love writing that way; it’s like watching a brilliant movie trailer and then finally getting to see the movie and discovering all the elements of the story that made the trailer so riveting.
2. Has being a mother affected your writing at all? How?
I dabbled a little when I was younger, specializing in writing snarky complaint letters to companies for friends and family. I had a knack for getting freebie's from them (but only on legitimate complaints. I swear! LOL). I never even considered being a writer until after I’d had my kids.
Being a mother made me a writer! After I had my twin bundle of boys, I finally hit the mommy wall. Four kids under the age of six are enough to drive the most patient of mothers to distraction, so I sought solace in writing. I started jotting down my scenes as they popped into my head, writing on scraps of paper I’d find lying around the car. I used to spend hours sitting in my jeep in the town of Kinsale in Co. Cork, Ireland where we lived at the time. I’d be dropping my two older girls to ballet and other after school activates, so I’d be left festering in the car with two screaming bored babies with rain pelting against the windscreen.
The beauty of Kinsale, combined with my desire to escape reality, even for a few short moments, was what ultimately created The Carrier of the Mark and the rest of the series. And for that, to my children, I’ll be forever grateful.
3. You've lived in a lot of different places. What effect do you think this has had on your writing?
Travel is the ultimate way to experience life, and I’ve traveled a lot. Not just Ireland and the US, I’ve worked all over Europe. I’ve met amazing people and sampled so many different cultures. Every country is different, every person unique. Getting a taste of such diversity has really added depth and understanding of people which I think has helped my character development.
In writing, it’s the subtle differences that can turn a person from just a flat character to a real person that jumps off the page and has a life of their own.

Want to win a pre-publication copy of Desires of the Dead? I have one glossy arc up for grabs.  Want it?  All you have to do is comment and follow. Oh, and make sure that you a leave a way for me to contact you about your swag!

Over to you - So are you a traveller?
Where have you been and where would you like to go?


  1. Hey Tuesday girls! Sarah, there is more Mangus Bane in Clockwork Angel. :)

  2. Awesome interview, ladies! Wish I could win the prize. LOL

  3. Interesting interviews Tuesday girls. leigh I'm facinated how you turned a boring wait in a car into something so worthwhile. I must take note and start jotting down some ideas!!
    ps I would love to win the prize :).

  4. To Sarah's Question: That's a hard one! Maybe Scarlett from GWTW (haven't read the "sequel" by A. Ripley--I hear mixed things).

    To Leigh: I LOVE traveling. I've been over to Ireland and the UK several times, including on a study abroad program...and I'm dying to go back!


  5. Very cool to get an insight ladies! Nicely done!!! :)

  6. LOL - complaint letters. What a way to start a writing career! Great post ladies.

  7. looking forward to dropping in again and hearing more from the tuesday ladies. enjoyed the interviews.

  8. I would write a spin-off novel for Maerad of the Pellinor series!

    Oh and I love to travel! I want to go to Europe, an I've been to parts of Asia!


  9. Sarah~ It's interesting you can't write at home. I always write at home in the quiet of my room. Wish I could go to the bookstore or something and write.

    Leigh~ I'm so jealous of all your travels and I think you've gained a lot of perspective in terms of people and diversity that undoubtedly helps with writing.

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  11. Great interview! Looking forward to reading your future posts.

    I really cant think of only one character I would want to be in a spin off. Thats is totally dependent on what I am reading at the time. I always want the story to continue and find out more about the secondary characters.

    I would like to say Im a traveller. And I have to admit I have been to Germany/Austia and Turkey. But that has been a few years. I go one or two places a year in the states usually but nothing exotic. And I havent hit even 1/2 of the states even. I would love to go to Australia and New Zealand. And London and Paris. And I can keep going.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  12. To Sarah's question: One very long name: James Alexander Malcom Mackenzie Fraser ... he is the greatest character that has ever existed!!!!!!!

    Leigh: I've been a huge traveler also! Let's see ... Russia, Latvia, Iceland, UK, Sweden, Germany, Finland, PEI, Nova Scotia, Mexico, and probably 1/2 of the US, lol ... and I want to go to SCOTLAND! Soooo bad!!!! And Ireland of course ;)

    Love this blog and love all you amazing authors!!!!

  13. I love to travel. Though being 15 has it's limitations, haha. But my parents have done a wonderful job taking me around. I've been to Florida 4 times, 3 of them I've gone on Disney Cruises, which have taken me all of the Caribbean and to Mexico. I've been all over New England and to NYC. But my favorite trip was this past April, where we went to California. Oh, I love it there.

    I want to travel all through Europe one day. Biggest goal? Go to Australia. I'd LOVE to study abroad there for a year. That's the dream.


  14. "If you could write/read a spin off about a character from any book, who would you pick?"
    I thought of a bunch, but they all seemed rather similar. In general, I like the concept of seeing characters from coming-of-age novels apply the lessons they learned as adults. We rarely see that kind of thing, but a good example might be Ender's Game and Speaker of the Dead.

    "So are you a traveller?
    Where have you been and where would you like to go?"
    I want to be more of a traveler than I am. I've been all over the US, and to Canada, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. And I would like to see lots and lots of the world, with China topping the list right now.
    But I'd also like to do a major road trip with my son all over the US before he becomes a jaded teenager. I'd like to stop at all the mystery spots, bat caves, random historical landmarks, and tourist traps while showing off major things like the Grand Canyon.

  15. Great interviews, and I think Magnus Bane would make a great spin of novel! Now I'm struggling to think of one I'd like to write because I'm stuck thinking of Magnus. I think I'd have to answer with Haymitch's Hunger Games when he won. That'd be so interesting to see- I mean we know how he did it, but to see his life when he was younger would be really interesting.

  16. I would love to win Desires of the Dead! I am a GFC follower (Lexie@BookBug)

  17. I've travelled to a bunch of countries in Europe (Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, England & Scotland) as well as Japan. But I haven't been to Ireland yet - would love to go!

    If the contest is open internationally I'd love to be entered for the Desires of the Dead ARC :)


  18. I would like to write more about the HP series... :)

    Thanks so much for the ARC contest!

    jlelliott08 @ gmail . com

  19. Interesting interview questions! Being a parent has made me more of a reader. It is a way to escape reality yet still be a parent.

  20. Thank you so much it was a cool interview and yay competition time. I would love to win :)
    GFC follower


  21. I've travelled to many places: Germany, France, UK, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, US and probably another one I'm forgetting. I would love to go to Peru and see the Machu Pichu.

    I would like to read a spin off with Nico from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan as the main character.