home           about           reviews           author insight           review policy

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Author Insight: Five Writing Essentials

What are five things that you always have on hand when writing, either physically or virtually?
(See if you can pick up on the subtle caffeination theme...)

"Well, there’s my computer, cuz, you know…I pretty much can’t write without it. There’s always music, either in my head or on the iPod. My characters, of course, who live in my head. (I know I sound nuts, and I’m pretty much okay with that.) And I seriously can’t think of anything else. I don’t need food, since I pretty much forget to eat when I’m writing." - Lisa Desrochers, author of Personal Demons.

"On hand, I need music, coffee, rainbow-flavored Nerds, and preferably some kind of background noise. Virtually, I always feel better when my crit partners, Maggie and Tessa, happen to be online because I know that if I get stuck on a scene or a plot-point, I can always ping one of them and we'll talk through the problem." - Brenna Yovanoff, author of The Replacement.

"Coffee, playlist, earbuds, computer, and a sense of play." - Swati Avasthi, author of Split.

"My blackberry (in case someone emails/calls while working. Lets me devote actual laptop to writing), gum, chocolate, tea, and an image - a scene or still frame I want to work on that day, so I have a starting point and don't end up on Twitter (which sometimes happens anyway)." - Victoria Schwab, author of The Near Witch.

"Laptop, green tea, online thesaurus, carrot sticks, and chocolate. (Writing definitely doesn't go as well without the chocolate.)" - Denise Jaden, author of Losing Faith.

"The only physical item I need to write is my laptop. (Well, and its laptop accessories, like my bluetooth mouse and my lap desk, but technically I don't "need" them.) Virtually, I like to have an idea of how I'm going to start a scene, what words I'm going to use, what angle I'm going to tackle it from. Also a mix of fear and confidence--the confidence that I can do my best and get it right somehow and the fear that I'm going to utterly screw up and that my best will never be good enough. (It's funny what an important part of writing fear is. Fear can keep you going when love doesn't cut it anymore.) And finally, a virtual me poking me with a sharp stick and saying, 'Be funny!'" - Chelsea Campbell, author of The Rise of Renegade X.

"Music, a beverage of some sort, whatever may be iconic for the novel I’m working on—a statue, a desktop image, a line of poetry--, pencil/pen, and notebook." - Tiffany Trent, author of the Hallowmere series.

"Coffee, typically. Otherwise, a functional mind is pretty much it. Although on some days, even that is stretching it, let me tell you…" - Lauren Oliver, author of Before I Fall.

"In order of importance: Skittles (of course!), Chaos (although that just happens on its own), laptop with a faulty ‘H’ key, hot tea, and a backup supply of Skittles!" -Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder.

"Some sort of writing utensil (pen, pencil, computer or cell phone) and something akin to paper (backs of envelopes and lunch napkins work fine, thanks, and aren't even necessary if I have the laptop or cell)." - Shannon Delany, author of 13 to Life: A Werewolf's Tale.

"I only have two: a notebook and a pen." - Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood.

"Hot Earl Grey tea with milk, a notebook with plenty of blank pages to jot down thoughts that don’t fit into what’s up on my computer screen, stubborn hope (that someone will actually want to buy what I’m writing), the knowledge that I don’t have all the time in the world to write, so let’s get on with it, and dark chocolate kisses for when I need a little sugar rush." - Amy Brecount White, author of Forget-Her-Nots.

"Diet Coke with lots of ice, my MacBook, tacos, Baskin Robbins peanut butter chocolate ice cream, or pizza -- depending on the day, my puppy Spike (In the world of Buffy, it's always Spike, not Angel.), and silence." - Kami Garcia, co-author of Beautiful Creatures.

"Coffee coffee coffee coffee and coffee." - Rhonda Hayter, author of The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams.

"Hot Earl Grey tea, my laptop (Windows 7 on a MacBook Air – don’t throw tomatoes at me!), my writing notebook - with every idea scribbled illegibly and rarely to be revisited – the important thing is that it’s there, Trader Joe’s strawberry licorice, and a WiFi connection." - Holly Cupala, author of Tell Me a Secret.

Come back Thursday to find out what the other authors had to say!


  1. Loved this! Awesome idea -- thanks! :)

  2. Another awesome post, your blog is one of my favorites, GREAT JOB!!!

  3. I didn't include coffee in mine? Huh. I guess I didn't have my coffee that morning. ;-) Thanks so much for doing this--fun!