Thursday, April 5, 2012

E.M. LaBonte

(Thursday is TAG! on my blog. I do a Q&A with someone. It is still an E, so I'm sticking to the challenge :)
I usually post at 4:30AM Central time, but I apparently forgot to write my post for today. So, my sentence is in light of my forgetfulness :)

Even Experts Experience Errors ;)

Today's TAG! is E.M. LaBonte a fellow writer I met on AgentQueryConnect. You can find her on her blog, on ACQ, and she tweets. She's also a member of the blog ring of power.

1. When did you start writing?
I was born with a pencil in my hand reaching for a pad of paper... um no.  I started writing when my mean English teacher in the 4th grade made us write a short story to test our grammar.  

2. What made you want to write?
I loved coming up with a new idea, and I received praise from my mother and the teachers for the first story and beyond.  I failed the grammar part though. I never did get the hang of that. : (  I enjoyed the experience of coming up with the story as I wrote it. The bonus was making my teacher smile. (Even though I hated her.) So I was hooked. I've been doing it ever since.  I have a folder full of short stories, and incomplete -really bad first drafts- of novels.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
I had an epiphany. I had that moment, where I was unhappy with where I worked, but didn't know what else I wanted to do.  That moment where I realized there was one thing that I've always enjoyed doing, and would do it to see the enjoyment of others reading my stories.  I wanted to share what was in my head, and see if that could be my career.

4. What genre(s) do you write?
Speculative Fiction. I originally started writing just high fantasy alone, but have since spread out to a bit of Dystopian SciFi.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
I started with high fantasy because that was what I read in the beginning. I mixed things up a bit when I had an idea that I couldn't get out of my head.  Found out I can branch out.  I'm excited about it.  Perhaps I'll be able to branch out even more in the future.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)
Eat, make sure the kids have eaten in the morning. Then I settle down at the computer or pen and paper, depending on which draft I'm working on. Not much to it really.

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
I have a basic idea of how my book starts and how it ends.  The rest of it is told to me while I'm writing.  I end up being mostly a pantser, but I do end up planning while I'm writing. 

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)
A cup of coffee or water, ready and waiting. Wait, does that count as one of the typical writer tools.  Hmmm. ;)

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
I always like to write the story out.  There is something to be said of the traditional, no backspace key, writing.  It helps me move forward without worrying about editing till I'm done.  It also helps me when I transfer to do a rewrite when I'm typing it onto computer.  No cut and paste.  Keeps me honest and focused. 

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
I've gotten a bunch of short stories written and put away.  I don't remember how many though, never thought to count them.  I've been writing about one a week on my blog. As far as hope-to-be novels, I have three so far in the works.  Second Nature is on it's 8th draft, the sequel Cold Magic his halfway done it's first draft, and the new Dystopian has started taking shape.  I only have a few chapters written on that one so far, but I'm liking the idea.

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?
My siblings and mom, growing up.  We all have our artistic talents, I'm the only one who cant draw, so I built my pictures with words.  They thought, and probably still think that my writing wont go anywhere, cause of my dyslexia, which hinders my spelling and my sub-par grammar.  I know I still have a lot to learn, and relearn, and I'm willing to push through my own short comings to make my dream happen.  To see my book, in all its glory, read by my extended friends.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
Yes, I'm over here and over there.  LOL To start off with, I joined AQC about 9 months ago, and have learned so much from them.  I've gained critique partners and friends.  
I also have a Author's page on FaceBook, a blog, I'm on Linkin, Google+ and a Twitter!/Nemune2 account.  Yeah, I'm all over the place.  I've also got others, but I'm rarely on them. 

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.)
Write every day.  I know as a writer it's good to write as much as you can, but I also know (from experience) that writing every day can burn the mind out.  There are days when it's good to just walk away.  Get out of the house, away from the pen, paper, and computer and just do something, enjoy life. LIVE It's not all about words, it's about the emotions those words inspire, you need to feel them before you can write them. IMHO

14. Why do you write about dragons?
I'm not really sure, except that I've always had a fascination with the noble dragons of the East in the bodies of the ones in Europe.  I like the combo of the two.  I think the dragons with the snarling evil faces just look silly. 

15. What are your dragons like?
Mostly like humans in a giant lizard body.  LOL but really they do have most of the emotions and attitudes of the human race, except they are more feral and their culture is slightly primitive. Picture a stubborn person living over 500 - 1000 years, things wont change much, they wont let it. Yup that's my dragons.

16. If your dragons were real, would you own one?
Um, wouldn't that be slavery? I'd be friends with them, but if they were real, I don't think I would have enough power to bend them to my will, unless I was one too. :)

17. What is the Blog Ring Of Power?
The Blog Ring of Power was put together by Terri Bruce in hopes to give and gain exposure to published authors.  We set up a interview that lasts 5 days over 5 blogs. It's been a great success and the interviews keep coming.  Eventually we are planning contests and other blog fun stuff. It's so great, because we end up meeting so many interesting and wonderful people and they have been keeping in touch with us through out.

18. With a job outside of writing and three kids, do you find it difficult to find a balance between non writer and writer life?
OH yeah! I've only been back to work for 2 weeks, so it's been a bit of a struggle to balance everything.  I'm starting to get back in the swing of things. Right before leaving for work and during breaks, I get some words in. Funny thing is it has been easier to create.  After 2 years being a stay at home mom, I find that even though my time is now limited, I am more focused.  I have found my writing is getting much more inspired and better all around. At least I think so, I'll find out if I'm being a bit biased when my crit partner takes a look.

19. What do you do when you aren't writing?
Spending time with my crazy but amazing family.  Enjoying what life has to offer with those I love most. Oh yeah and working too, gotta earn a living some how. 

20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know?
To any writers out there, find a writers group, if you don't already have one.  Ask the stupid questions, learn EVERYTHING you can and in the meantime, write, write and write some more. You'll be amazed how much you can grow with like minds rooting for you.  Save your first draft, so when everything is said and done, you can see the proof that comes with a support group. 


Jenny S. Morris said...

Nice interview! I love her take on dragons. I have some in mine and they are painted as the bad guys but I'm slowly discovering they are victims of circumstance.

Oh, and the advice realizing it's okay to not write everyday. So true!

Jen from

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

She writes in my favorite genre!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Love that E post. Especially since I, not being an expert, experience many errors.

Happy A to Z-ing

E. M. LaBonte said...

A to Z blogging, I'm a Perfect fit, nice! Can't wait to see what the rest of the month will bring. Thanks for having me Kela.

Jenny remember: Dragons are never bad, just misunderstood. (Well, at least in my head.)

Alex: High Fantasy = Epic. :D

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Love your self-interview! Great questions and answers. :)


A to Z co-host

Jean Oram said...

Oh thank goodness. I read a bit about Seinfeld saying not to break the chain and to write every day. It totally inspired me. And at the same time... made me realize I just can't do it. I have a life and family and sometimes writing just doesn't happen or "shouldn't" happen. So thank goodness I'm not alone.

Jemi Fraser said...

I love dragons too - ever since I read McCaffrey's books! :)

Great interview :)

Kela McClelland said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by! :)

And thanks again Em for doing it :D

Terri Bruce said...

I totally did not know or even suspect that you have three kids. Wow! I am AMAZED that you find the time to write at all! Awesome!

Sarah Pearson said...

'Ask the stupid questions ... '
I love this advice :-)