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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Author Insight: Superstitions of a Scribe

Do you have any superstitions that correspond to different phases of the writing or submissions process?

"Not really superstitions, but routines.  When I'm brainstorming, it's often in my office recliner or on our screened porch (weather permitting).  When I'm writing first draft pages, I'm always at my computer with a big mug of mandarin orange green tea with honey.  When I'm editing, it's either in my recliner or on our screened porch with lots of red pens handy and a notebook for jotting down ideas.  When I'm proofing, I actually read it aloud and touch every word with my finger because I'm famous for forgetting words like "the" or "when" that make readers go "Huh?"" - Kay Cassidy, author of The Cinderella Society.

"None at all. Writing and submitting isn't a matter of luck; it's a business." - Beth Revis, author of Across the Universe.

"Not really. I’m not a very superstitious person. When I write, I have clothes I like to wear, foods I like to eat, and routines that help focus my attention and spark my creativity, but I wouldn’t consider any of these things superstitions that magically make words flow that wouldn’t if I didn’t adhere to them." - Ty Roth, author of So Shelly.

"After thinking about it, I don’t really have any superstitions. That’s sort of boring isn’t it? I feel like I should make some up." - Cynthia Omololu, author of Dirty Little Secrets.

"No, but I need some! Like 'If I don’t make all major plot decisions with my Magic 8 Ball, this novel won’t sell.' Or 'When editing, I must go to Borders and recite the entire manuscript aloud in pig latin.' Wouldn’t you like to hear a rousing rendition of 'AAAAINSBRAY!' aidsay eethay ombizay? But seriously. I’m strange enough as it is. I think if I started doing anything else weird, someone would have me committed." - Carrie Harris, author of Bad Taste in Boys.

"I don't think it's good to talk about a story too much before the first draft is done. I like it to be "bottled up" and a bit of a secret that unfolds as I write it." - Maurissa Guibord, author of Warped.

"Wow. Yes. I am terrified of jinxing myself, which means I stay mum about good news until it is 1000% official. If it were up to my neuroses? I probably wouldn’t tell anyone I’d written a book until it was on shelves at Barnes & Noble." - Hannah Moskowitz, author of Invincible Summer.

"No superstitions, but I do have some habits that are hard to break! I very early trained myself not to write at my day job and not to bring work home with me, so that home is for writing and work is for working (I’m a college professor). The problem is that if I find a spare hour in my work day and think I’ll write a bit, I just can’t do it. I’ve trained myself too well!" - Tracy Barrett, author of King of Ithaka.

"Whenever I mail off a hardcopy of a manuscript, I always take it to the Federal Express box outside of BookPeople, Austin’s great independent bookstore, and kiss the envelope before I drop it in." - Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Blessed.

"When I have a book on sub I don't talk about it in public.  Ever.  Seems like bad joo-joo to me." - Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess.

"Nah. I've never been superstitious. Hopefully that won't change, knock on wood." - Jaclyn Dolamore, author of Between the Sea and Sky.

"Not really. Writing isn't magical for me -- it's hard work, dedication, and priorities. But I do back things up obsessively right before I complete a book. I'm terrified my computer will crash just after I type 'he end.' - Inara Scott, author of Delcroix Academy: The Candidates.

"Yes. I don’t talk about a project (outside of my house) until it’s sold." - Kim Harrington, author of Clarity. 

"Not really. I just try not to get my hopes up. This sounds like a downer, but I try to have low expectations when it comes to selling books. That way, everything that happens is icing on the cupcake." - Sara Bennett Wealer, author of Rival.

"I always start a new book at the full moon if I can, or at least in a waxing moon. Beyond that, though...I guess not. Wow, that makes me feel really dull! Sorry." - Stacia Kane, author of City of Ghosts.

Come by Thursday to see if the rest of the authors have superstitions about writing or submitting their work!
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