Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Aspiring Author Thursday: Introducing Robin Weeks

I was lucky enough to meet Robin at Storymakers this year. She is SO nice and I wish I would have had more time to chat with her. Instead I make sure to check out her blog and listen to the conference calls she hosts every few weeks. Check out her blog here. And now, on to the interview! :)

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

About 5 years ago, which is sort of crazy, considering all the time I’ve spent writing in my life. I’ve always loved writing in school. I started a (very bad) book when I was very young, and I minored in English with an emphasis in creative writing. Despite all that, I never considered actually writing fiction for a living. Books are so LONG! How could I ever write that much? Then I lost the creative outlet of my theatre arts major in school, became a lawyer, and BAM! Needed another creative outlet. Law school taught me to write LONG things, I read one too many books that made me think “I can write better than that,” I read a few great books that made me want to emulate them, and here I am.

Holy crap. I had no clue you were a lawyer! That is awesome!

Do you have a writing schedule, or do you just sit down whenever you get a spare moment?

With a full-time job, three kids, and a husband, I write whenever I get a spare moment. Which is normally at night (after bedtime) or on weekends. Car rides and “outdoor activities” are great times, too. :)

I hope you're not writing while driving! He he. ;)

Could you tell us a little about yourself? Random facts? Hidden talents?

I can sing, but I can’t dance. I’m good at bossing people around as a director, but I wasn’t good enough at acting to make the acting track in college. I find it well nigh impossible to say no to anything related to writing. Worse, I can’t stop actively volunteering for things—but it’s all so fun, I can’t even really regret it, either. In the last 9 months, I’ve become a group leader for Farland’s Writer’s Groups, co-host of Farland’s Authors’ Advisory, and been a panelist/gopher at Life, the Universe, and Everything. I have a Whitney Award winning first cousin (whose name isn’t really Sandra Grey), and my husband’s brother’s wife’s father’s brother’s daughter’s married name rhymes with higher.

Cool! I wish I could volunteer for more things. That's cool that Sandra Grey is your cousin! And the author that rhymes with higher is awesome too! ;)

If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you couldn't live without? (Besides your family and a laptop of course.)

Can I assume I have the necessities of life and my laptop is connected to the internet? What else could I possibly need? Food? Drinking water? Unlimited ebooks? I’m good.

Ha! Love it!

What is one book you could read over and over and over?
I can read lots of books over and over, but I buy my favorites. Anything by Stephenie Meyer, Brandon Sanderson, Shannon Hale, Dan Wells, Robyn Carr, J.K. Rowling, and a host of others.

I love Stephenie Meyer too. Even if people think it's cool to hate Twilight now. I heart those books and I don't care who knows it! :D And Shannon Hale. I love her. And of course J.K. Rowling. And Dan Wells. I've never read Robyn Carr, but I've heard she's good. I heard of Brandon Sanderson. I think everyone I've interviewed has recommended his books to me! Maybe I should get on that...

What book are you dying to read this year? 

Elana Johnson’s POSSESSION—which is strange, because I’m not really a dystopian fan. Dystopia + snarky heroine, though? That I can get behind.

More than even that, though, I’m holding out hope that an ARC of EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton finds its way to me before the end of the year….

Have you seen that AMAZING cover for EVERNEATH? Holy Freak! It is BEAUTIFUL! Everyone reading this? Look it up NOW! Pretty sure it's in my top three favorite covers ever.

What genre do you write and why?

YA Urban Fantasy. Because it’s the coolest genre. (Duh.) I love stories about magic in our normal world. I love the What If of that, dreaming how things could be different with a little more magic.

Love Urban Fantasy. Probably why I write it. ;)

Do you have any writing rituals? Music, silence, eating, etc.

I’m a mother and a lifelong obsessive reader, so I’m really good at ignoring just about anything. It’s just background noise to me.

Ha ha ha!! Well said!

Where do you come up with your ideas? Dreams, while driving, etc?Wherever, really. Mostly by sitting down and considering what I want to write about. What elements interest me? What character/story do I need to fit those elements? What do I want to say with the story? I have a story on the back burner right now that started as a simple scene that niggled at me until I wrote it down. I’m still just starting the process of deciding the hows and whys of the world, what the MC would want, what would stand in her way, etc. I dream for a few months and, often, the old subconscious will pop up the perfect solution when I least expect it.

I don't think I've ever seen the word "niggled" in a sentence before. ;) I love it so much I looked it up. I know. I'm a huge geek.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Lots of advice says that, if you can possibly do anything else, do that instead, because writing is hard, and if you’re not obsessed with it, it’s not worth it. While that’s true, it’s also true that you can learn to be obsessed with writing. If that’s your dream, work at it every day, no matter what else you’re good at. Attend writer’s conferences. Join a crit group. Network with all the awesome writers online. **Waves to Chantele** Keep at it until you have at least written a whole book. Then edit that book until it’s as good as you can make it. If you hated the process and can’t imagine going through that again, maybe you should do something else. If you find you can’t stop writing… you’re a writer. Don’t quit, keep learning, and eventually you’ll succeed. (Everybody says so.)

Fantastic advice. I agree with everything you just said. Especially "If you find you can't stop writing ... you're a writer." Love it.

Random Writing Question: Your MC gets to meet a superhero. Who would they choose to meet and why?

Rogue, from X-Men. She can steal anyone’s powers, which means she’s had to adapt and learn a lot of different ways to use them. Brina could use some advice about that. Also, in the cartoon, Rogue can fly. Brina loves to fly, so they could go flying together and compare aerial tricks.

Cool! Your MC can fly? I've always wanted to be able to fly. And be invisible. Sigh. I wish I were a superhero.  Thank you SO much, Robin! :D


Anonymous said...

I love Robin's advice to writers! I'm dying to read Possession, too. It's the next book on my TBR list. And the cover for Everneath is gorgeous, I must admit. :D

Ruth Josse said...

Hi Robin! I love how she said that because she is a mother, she can ignore just about anything. LOL! It's a talent all mothers have I think.:)

And hey, my friend's second cousin has a last name that rhymes with higher too! Crazy that.

Robin Weeks said...

Thanks so much for having me, Chantele! So much fun being here!

I seriously need a poster for Everneath. I've said so ever since I may-or-may-not-have-seen the cover on a cell phone right after it was sent to Brodi in February. :)

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Cute ladies :)

Dyer rhymes with higher. Fire rhymes with higher. Pryor rhymes with higher. (I have no idea what you're talking about but I like to think you
have a distant relation to Richard Pryor.)

Oh Robin, you're always oozing with wisdom. (You have some on your shirt- you might wanna wipe it off ;)

Ru said...

Great interview, loved it!

(And for the record, I didn't hate Twilight. Didn't feel the need to re-read it, but didn't hate it. ;))

Donna K. Weaver said...

I can vouch for Robin's bossiness. But it's a nice kind of bossiness. She bossed me all over LTUE. I loved it. And her. She rocks!

Not write just because it's hard? If they're only writing to be published and/or to make tons of money, then I would agree. If they write because they love it, then they should do it regardless.

Love the interview, Ladies!

Phil said...

Hey Robin - Great interview! That's so cool that you are a lawyer, too! My dad says that law school makes people good writers, that you have to be as a laywer. And there are tons of successful lawyers-turned-authors (John Grisham)

Brodi Ashton said...

Loved the interview!

Robin Weeks said...

Madeline--POSSESSION is really cool--definitely read it next!

Ruth--we're practically related!

Shelly--I keep changing my shirt, but just keep having the same problem. Ah well. Hard to be me. :D


Donna--I only suggest someone stop writing if they hate the process. If they love it, I agree--it doesn't matter why they're doing it. (Recently had a perspective flip on that, actually.)

Phil (and Ru)--there are so many lawyer-writers! We rock!

Brodi--I love invoking your name. You always seem to stop by.... :)

Jolene Perry said...

OKay - this interview ROCKED!! I love that you do these!!
Also, I'll totally be looking for you Robin...
Stalking you at next year's storymakers maybe...

Robin Weeks said...

Jolene--thanks! I love stalkers! :)

Jessie Humphries said...

You are a full-time lawyer by day? That is pretty dang amazing. I am lawyer too, but part-time is all I can handle at the mo. Congrats on your success. You deserve it.

Pk Hrezo said...

Nice to learn more about Robin. I love your answer to being able to ignore just about How true. As a mom and a wife you just learn to tune things out. :)

Robin Weeks said...

Jessie--I'm WAY jealous of your part-time gig! :)

PK--hubby doesn't like it much, but it's sure handy, huh? :D