Q1: How do you come up with your characters’ names?

Okay, so this is something that is a very frequent question that I come across. Basically, for me personally, I decide names on my characters many different ways. From borrowing from the writer’s books I read to mostly looking into the interest of the characters and their needs. For example, Gauge, in Repentance is the main male protagonist and his name came from an overwhelming love of the name Gauge and for the way he looks; it’s just sexy!

Q2: How do you come up with plots?

Plots just come to me. Some are inspired on something I’ve read. Something I’ve experienced or just something that I imagine would happen or how I want to see the world! I started writing short stories and the first story I ever wrote, The Good Luck Cat was inspired by Spirited Away and I imagined what it would be like to interact with a world where spirits were just like us and just spoke their own language. My advice is to just get out and look around! How do you want to see the world? How do you imagine seeing the world? Are giant slugs great for riding buses? Write fanfiction! Just think about what it is that you want to show the reader! JK Rowling does an amazing job at weaving together a world of magic that is rivaled by the writing of JRR Tolkien (just my opinion!)

Q3: How long does it take to write a book?

Okay, I can only speak about me but I’m fast. Really really fast. Of course, I don’t have a full time job away from home BUT I am a stay at home mom of two young kids so cleaning house, bills and life run me over just as it does everyone! My advice, don’t rush your book! Even if it’s a short story compilation or a poetry book, a cookbook! Don’t rush! Make it the best you can! No one is perfect and we can only edit so much before either we break or our credit cards do so do what you can to make it the best you can! I self-edit all of my work because obviously, being a full time college student and a mom with a single working parent, I can’t afford editors.

Q4: Self-publish or Publisher?

Personally I self-publish. I have control over every aspect of the process and it is much faster to get your titles out there. Ultimately it is up to the author! I just like the convenience of print on demand and offering the options of e-books at much cheaper prices and because it’s a rising market! Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing that will replace the feel of pages between the fingers but I love the idea of fifty books in one easy to carry package XD

Q5: Where are you from?

Texas born, Texas raised! I lived in Georgia for a while where my husband served in the United States Army but then got the heck back into Lone Star State as fast as humanly possible! To answer, NO I AM NOT A DALLAS COWBOY’S FAN! Common misconception XD

Q6: Who inspired you to become a writer?

Professionally it was a very dear friend of mine. I read her books and it pushed me to move on to actually start writing novels. As a hobby, I guess I’ve been doing it all my life! I am a history major so writing has always been a part of my life. I started my first novel at 10 but didn’t really finish it. After doing art for 15 years, I get so much more fulfillment from weaving words into pictures than actually drawing them.

Q7: How Many Hours a Day Do you Write?

I’m going to be a bit of a bug here and say I’m one that gauge’s my writing based on word count, not hours. With kids it’s hard to put in an actual office hour routine but I find that I’m able to dish out anywhere from 2K-2.5K words each day that is scheduled as a work day. All in all, it really depends on what I’m given. Sometimes I can dish out anywhere from 3-4K and finish at least two chapters! It just varies!

Q8: Help! Writer’s Block/ Creativity Black Hole/ Struggle Bus!

First, realize that this is going to happen. Sometimes we just run into a wall that blocks the amazing flow of thoughts on the other side. This is normal! Second, take the time to take a break from your manuscript for a few days and do some reading! Stephen King once said that if you aren’t writing, then read! Watch your favorite movie, listen to some music that really moves you! Do some editing! Pull out some index cards and just start scribbling ideas. Believe it or not, these are all ways of writing. They are just as good as sitting down and writing your manuscript.

Q9: What are some of your favorite books?

Let’s just get this out there, ANYTHING Stephen King. This man is a literary genius. Okay, so now that’s out of my system. Harry Potter has revolutionized the writing world and is still influential to me as a writer. JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, A.E. Fisher’s Black Angel Series, Jamie Begley’s The Last Riders series. Aurora Teagarden got me into explore writing mysteries. There are just many! Oh and of course, James Patterson!

Q10: Will you beta read my manuscript?

Absolutely. I usually only take on about five reads at a time because I tend to search thoroughly for things that, as an editor as well, are crucial to the story. I am always open to talk to authors and to get feedback from my peers as well. If you have a manuscript you would like edited, I will do up to three chapters pro bono (free!)! For beta reading, it’s free for the whole thing!


If you see a question that wasn’t answered here, please feel free to email me at underwoodtales@writeme.com!



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