I have not been very good at updating this section of my blog; as a reward for your continued patience and hope that I will post, I am presenting and interview and a giveaway.
Before writing, do you have any special rituals or practices to get into "the zone"?
First, I line up six red grapes on a windowsill, then eat them, one by one, in the reverse order that I set them out. And they must be RED grapes, not green. And I must be wearing my landscape workboots to do this. Also: Seventies music must be playing in the background.
How do you contend with writer's block?
Switching from computer to notebook and pencil usually helps me. But if the block persists, just walk away from the manuscript for half a day and do a chore around the house that you've been ignoring. I find that getting lost in brainless, physical labor helps dissolve the angst that accompanies writer's block. Also, I truly believe that if you are having trouble writing a certain passage, it's because the unconscious part of the brain has recognized that you're trying to write something that is not RIGHT for the manuscript ... but your conscious brain hasn't yet realized this. For example, maybe you're trying to put your character in a situation that is out of character for him.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published novelist?
Honestly – and I don't mean to sound bitter about this – I'm shocked at the number of good friends and relatives who don't read my novels. I mean, if I had a friend who wrote a novel, I would sure be curious about it – wouldn't you?
To win a copy of his book, please leave a comment on this post with suggestions for how you get into "the zone" to accomplish a daunting task. The contest ends on Saturday, February 7th.