Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday TAG! - Jacqueline Gardner

Jacqueline Gardner (AKA Jacque) is someone else I met on AQC, of course, and she is the author of Thoughtless & Mutiny(book 1 in the M.E.R. series). She's also got another book coming out in April and the second book in the M.E.R. series will be out this year. You can find her on her site and she's on Twitter @Writer_Jacque.

1. When did you start writing?
Since I was in middle school I've kept an ideas journal. Twelve-year-old me had some strange book ideas! But I've been into writing and storytelling since before I can remember. Telling made up stories before bed was basically a childhood tradition of mine.

2. What made you want to write?
Writing for me is very therapeutic. That's why I do it, and that's why I love it. It's a stress reliever.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write) When I'd written enough for a full-length book! My first manuscript was crazy long (and very wordy). But it taught me a lot about my writing style. After the first, the others came easy and I found I just couldn't stop.

4. What genre(s) do you write?
At the moment I write young adult fiction.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
I enjoy writing 'firsts' - first crush, first kiss, first betrayal, first loss of a loved one.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)
Nothing specific but I like to write chapters from start to finish. I don't like stopping in the middle and picking up where I left off later. I usually bribe myself with little things like a tv show, a nap, or even a cupcake.

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing? 
I usually have the main plot points written down and an idea of how to get there.  Other than that, I leave my characters a lot of room to do what they want.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)
I need noise! Whether it's music or the tv, I need background noise to focus. I was the same way with homework in college.

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
I go straight to the computer but I also have a book journal that I doodle in to keep my thoughts in order. And yes, I still keep an ideas journal by my bed. It's full of book ideas! Some are better than others.

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
Four books & one short story

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer?
Well that person would have to be ME! I'd always thought of writing as just a hobby until a couple years ago.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
Yes! I have a blog & I tweet @Writer_Jacque. 

13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.)
No. Though I've come across advice that wasn't particularly helpful for me. I guess it depends on the writer.

14. Why do you like to write about mind readers?
THOUGHTLESS is about a teenage mind reader who sees her ability as a curse. I've never personally read a book or series about mind readers (though they do exist). It was a story idea that I would've liked to read myself, so I wrote it for fun.  

15. If you could have ONE magical power, what would it be?
I don't think I'd want to be a mind reader. Some things are better left private! But maybe time travel? Sometimes I just don't have the patience to wait for things!

16. Why that particular power?
So I wouldn't need to work on being patient. Though I'm sure that power would backfire someday.

17. Why do you love cupcakes so much?
An old roommate of mine was a culinary art student. I helped her finish decorating a wedding cake one weekend, and I immediately became obsessed with the world of cake! I like to create them more than I like to eat them. I actually have a hard time watching when someone eats a design I spent all day making perfect. Right now cake decorating is a hobby, but one day that could change too.

18. What is the best cupcake you've ever had? What's the worst?
Well the best is actually one my husband invented. It's a made-from-scratch chocolate cake with a Brazilian candy poured over the top. So good! And the worst . . . probably all the cupcakes I made in cake class. I took a cake decorating class once & we used Crisco based buttercream to practice. Its basically 90% Crisco and 10% powdered sugar. In other words, flavorless sugar and lard. Yeah, I didn't eat any of those.

19. What do you do when you aren't writing?
I'm involved with a production company called Labragirl Pictures. We make historical documentaries paired with classroom curriculum.

20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know? Yes! Have your work critiqued by other writers, rather than family & friends. You get better advice that way. And be willing to accept criticism. If someone makes a negative comment about your manuscript, choose not to be offended.

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