1. How do you get your inspiration?
I think inspiration is everywhere—in books and landscape and people on the street. I’ve been struck by ideas several times while walking and listening to music. That seems to be a good combo for me.
2. What is your writing routine? (if you have one)
I write early in the morning, when my twins are at preschool, and during naptimes. I tend to be more inspired in the fall and winter than in the spring and summer. I can’t write a word from 3-6PM: My brain turns to mush.
3. Do you have places or people you draw inspiration from?
I live near the mountains and tend to write more freely out here than in a city.
4. Do you have topics you particularly like to write about?
I like to write about teens today in normal towns/cities with abnormal lives. I call my sub-genre of choice Strange in Normalville, and my books, Forgotten, Revived and The Originals all fall into that category.
5. Why did you choose the genre you have as your specialist area?
I didn’t so much choose YA as it chose me. My first good book idea happened to be about a teenager. I wrote Forgotten, and loved the experience so much I decided to stick with the genre for a while.
6. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? ...and what you do to get over it? (if you do)
Yes, for sure. I try to take my agent’s advice and walk away for a decent chunk of time—even a couple of months. Holes and areas for growth are much more obvious with a fresh eye.
7. What are you looking for in a piece of writing?
One that appeals to all ages because it has themes relevant to both teens and adults; one that offers both mystery and romance, with characters you really feel that you know by the end of the book.
8. How you define a ‘good’ piece of writing?
One that makes me want more.
9. What is your advice: techniques for writing well
Writing has to be part of your day—scheduled in like a class or appointment. For me, what works is freeform writing, then going back and editing later. (I am not an outliner.) And like I said, I am a huge fan of walking away and reading later with a fresh eye.
10. Could you give some writing tips for a writer starting out
It’s really important to get an agent. I call mine my publishing Sherpa because he’s guided me through the process so well. Agents will help edit a first draft of a manuscript so that by the time publishers see it, it’s in much better shape.
Also, develop thick skin. Even successful writers get told “no,” and receive negative reviews sometimes. Even though writing feels very personal, it’s a business and there are disappointments just like with anything else.
11. What is your opinion on the concept of The Story Mint?
I think it’s a great idea.
For more information about Cat go to www.catpatrick.com