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Thursday, April 15, 2010

More Author Insight: Five Writing Essentials

What are five things that you always have on hand when writing, either physically or virtually?
(And another author has joined in the fun! Say hello to Alexandra Diaz.)

"Music that fits the book's mood, tea, twitter (for my reward every hour), a space heater in the winter, and my dog, Stormy, at my feet." - Lisa Schroeder, author of Chasing Brooklyn.

"My laptop, with the Word doc for my novel open, my iPod nearby playing music for inspiration, a cup of tea, quotes and inspiring images related to my story on my wall, and ideas and random words for my novel written on a piece of paper." - Steph Bowe, author of Girl Saves Boy.

"I always have to have a snack--Reese's Pieces, if possible. I also like to have coffee (Lots of it!) and a comfy spot to sit. My couch does nicely. More than things to have, there are things I can't have. Like twitter or email! It's so distracting." - Suzanne Young, author of The Naughty List.

"Pen and paper (because sometimes things don't translate into Word), munchies (healthy preferred, like raisins and pine nuts), the ability to shift positions or move around, good light, and a lot of enthusiasm!" - Alexandra Diaz, author of Of All the Stupid Things.

"My beautiful Macbook Air, coffee/diet coke/tea, my notebook, a pen, and gmail chat. Doesn't everybody write with gmail chat open?" - Tessa Gratton, author of Blood Magic.

"Large cup of coffee, computer, notebook to jot down thoughts, mechanical pencil (my favorite writing implement), iTunes!" - Shari Maurer, author of Change of Heart.


"My netbook, a quiet space, a comfortable seat, the internet open for research (or distraction from a difficult passage), and a good chunk of time. FYI – In a world with two little ones in the house, a good chunk of time = anywhere from one to two hours." - Kristina McBride, author of The Tension of Opposites.

"Computer (or pen and notebook), glass of water, music, tissues, and usually a little chocolate." - Jennifer Hubbard, author of The Secret Year.

"Fresh flowers, a small notepad, sharpened pencils with good erasers, an artifact that represents my story, and coffee." - Bonnie Doerr, author of Island Sting.

"My laptop, my reading glasses, two shots of (decaf) espresso with milk, sometimes my iPod (but not always) and Real Clothes... for some reason, I find it incredibly hard to work in my pajamas." - Lisa Mantchev, author of the Theater Illuminata series.

"My computer and my iPod, and I also like to have something that I can play with my hands when I need to get my creative juices flowing, like a hackysack, a small ball, or silly putty." - Riley Carney, author of The Fire Stone.

"Mountain Dew, air conditioning (In the summer. I HATE heat), empty Mountain Dew cans, my laptop, and my playlists." - Julie Kagawa, author of The Iron King.

"Coffee, my computer, my thesaurus, my mom, a window." - Janet Fox, author of  Faithful.

"'Always?' Nothing. 'Often…' Pens to doodle with, scraps to doodle on, notes about what’s going to happen in the scene, how the action forwards the plot, and what makes it tense, gum, and hope." - Jessica Leader, author of Nice and Mean.

"My computer, my playlist and a Coke. Everything else is negotiable. I mean, yeah, I need a chair and light and breath to actively enter my lungs then leave it, but everybody needs stuff like that. But I can't write longhand, the music keeps me focused, and I have to get up too much if I drink water exclusively." - Saundra Mitchell, author of Shadowed Summer.

"There are only two constants - my laptop and comfy clothes." - Michelle Zink, author of Prophecy of Sisters.

"Um...my computer, my desk, my chair, a big cup of herbal tea and a house full of quiet." - Dawn Metcalf, author of Skin & Bones.

"My iPod, my cellphone, a Coca Cola, Twizzlers, and a rough sketch of the scene I’m working on," - Alexandrea Bracken, author of Brightly Woven.

Come back Tuesday to find out who plans out their writing and who flys by the seat of their pants!


  1. Great post! These are always fun to read. :)

  2. Oh WOW! Very cool post! Actually, it's brilliant! Thanks for sharing!