Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Q & A!

Welcome to March's Friday Q&A! This month, I'm asking:

Where are you when you get your best ideas? (i.e. in front of my computer, driving, running, doing dishes, etc.)

Lydia Kang (CONTROL, 26th December 2013, Dial Books for Young Readers)
"My best random ideas for new books often come while driving. But for hammering out plot problems, I have a very reliable fix: lock myself in a dark, quiet room, and just lie there until the answer comes to me. It always works! Something about the sensory deprivation, I think."

Peggy Eddleman (SKY JUMPERS, 24th September, Random House Books for Young Readers)
"My best ideas come while folding clothes, while driving, and while going on long walks. Folding clothes is my definite go-to when I am stuck in a scene-- there's never a shortage of clothes to be folded. (As long as my hubby doesn't make my kids fold them... He's so good at making sure they do chores!)"

Melissa Landers (ALIENATED, 4th February 2014, Disney Hyperion)
"THE SHOWER! Seriously, there's something about the ping of hot water hitting my head that gets the ideas flowing."

"On long walks in the woods. The first half hour or so I'm pretty distracted, but then I ease into the silence and the good ideas just start flowing... "

Jennifer McGowan (MAID OF SECRETS, 7th May 2013, Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers)
"To solve a problem--the shower. To get hit by a bolt from the blue? I'll call them "sacred spaces." If it's a consecrated space for prayer or meditation, that's usually where an idea will sneak up and attack me."

Kelsey Sutton (SOME QUIET PLACE, 8th July 2013, Flux)
"I'm usually in class... not paying attention to class."

Rachele Alpine (CANARY, 1st August 2013, Medallion Press)
"I work everything out as I'm falling asleep. I usually go to bed with a problem or part I need to figure out in my book and think about it. When I wake up, hopefully I have a good idea that gets me writing in the morning!"

Melanie Crowder (PARCHED, 4th June 2013, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
"In the minutes right before I wake up in the mornings, my mind is mulling over scenes and thinking about my characters. And then I can't stay in bed, no matter how cozy it is--I have to get up and get those ideas down on paper!"

Kit Grindstaff (THE FLAME IN THE MIST, 9th April 2013, Delacorte)
"Walking or cycling. Something about the rhythm of footsteps on the earth gets my brain churning, but pedaling and the silent solitude under a helmet probably trump that. Hmm, maybe that's why I hit more blocks in the winter, when the cold keeps me off my bike!"

Susan J Laidlaw (AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE, out now from Tundra books!)
"I definitely get my best ideas, particularly if I'm struggling with a scene or a plot point, while I'm in bed trying to sleep - hence my chronic insomnia!"

Kelly Barson (45 POUNDS, MORE OR LESS, 11th July 2013, Viking Juvenile)
"When I don't realize I'm thinking about anything--in the shower, driving, or just waking up--whenever my mind is wandering."

Helen Douglas (AFTER EDEN, 4th July 2013, Bloomsbury Children's Books)
"Problems are often solved in the shower (this seems to be quite a trend - how did writers manage before showers?). If I have a lot to mull over, a long walk by the sea usually helps. Ideas come out of the blue, when I'm least expecting them."

Elisabeth Dahl (GENIE WISHES, 2nd April 2013, Amulet Books)
"I'm with April Tucholke; sometimes long walks can do the trick. One year I needed to write a poem to read at the January wedding of two writer friends who were getting married--friends I'd introduced. At the end of December, I still hadn't written anything and was getting concerned. What would I say, and in what form? Fortunately, the whole thing sorted itself out when I finally got outside on a long walk by myself. That was a huge relief."

Nicole McInnes (BRIANNA ON THE BRINK, out now from Holiday House!)
"Generally, my best ideas come right as I'm drifting off into beautiful, much-needed sleep."

Amie Kaufman (THESE BROKEN STARS [co-authored with Meagan Spooner], 10th December 2013, Disney Hyperion)
"THE SHOWER. I only wish it weren't so! Trying to hang onto the idea until I can write it down is tricky! The other place they tend to show up is the middle of the night, when I wake up, type frantic notes into my phone, then find them a few days later, only to have no idea what they mean. Methinks I need a better system."

Tamera Will Wissinger (GONE FISHING, out now from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children!)
"I'm lucky that my muse goes where I go, so I could be in the car, at the grocery store, on the beach, taking a nap...great ideas are everywhere. Some burst in and demand immediate attention while others whisper and patiently wait their turn."

Chelsea Pitcher (THE S-WORD, 7th May 2013, Gallery Books)
"Swimming!! Actually, being out in nature in general is good for getting the creative juices flowing, but there is something about swimming in particular that brings ideas to the forefront of my mind (my muse must be a mermaid). Plots that have become muddled find clarity. Questionable character motivations start to make sense. I've solved many a problem while splashing around like a dolphin."

Lenore Appelhans (LEVEL 2, out now from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers!)
"Showers and naps = my writing process."

Caroline Carlson (THE VERY NEARLY HONORABLE LEAGUE OF PIRATES: MAGIC MARKS THE SPOT, 10th September 2013, HarperCollins Children's Books)
"My ideas tend to show up when my brain is only half-focused on writing, like when I'm in the shower, or when I'm lying in bed right after waking up in the morning. I also get story ideas in my sleep, but when those ideas are exposed to the harsh light of day, they usually prove to be 100% crazy."

Emma Trevayne (CODA, 7th May 2013, Running Press Kids)
"Another vote for the shower here. I have been known to write on the tiles with bath crayons so I didn't forget the genius, plot-fixing idea the minute I got out."

Eve Silver (RUSH, 11th June 2013, Katherine Tegen Books)
"Definitely the shower. If I'm stuck or drifting or not sure where the story should go next, into the shower I go. Another great time for flow of ideas is while I'm walking the dogs."

Maurene Goo (SINCE YOU ASKED, 1st July 2013,
"My best ideas come when I'm thinking out loud with my husband or other writers. When I try to sit there by myself and be all writerly I end up thinking about clothes or cats or what this weird patch of dry skin on my hand means."

Cat Winters (IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS, 2nd April 2013, Amulet Books)
"For my initial ideas, I tend to draw inspiration from magazine articles, newspaper pieces, or documentaries that discuss a strange, overlooked aspect of history. Those ideas then grow and flourish as I'm falling asleep, driving around town, or relaxing in the shower."

Liz Coley (PRETTY GIRL-13, 19th March 2013, Katherine Tegen Books)
"Pretty Girl-13 was a shower inspiration book, and some very important parts of the story were worked out in my head while driving 7 hours from DC to Ohio with my son asleep next to me. Since I listen to NPR, a lot of story ideas arrive on the road."

Kelly Fiore (TASTE TEST, 27th August 2013, Walker Books for Young Readers)
"My students, a lot of the time. I try to pay attention to the things they like and things that captivate them. Driving is a BIG one for me too -- sometimes its the only time I'm alone all day. Well, I mean, I'm alone in the shower too -- I'm going to stop talking now before this gets awkward."

Mindy Raf (THE SYMPTOMS OF MY INSANITY, 18th April 2013, Dial Books for Young Readers)
"I'm usually in the middle of talking to someone about something completely unrelated that acts as a trigger for an idea or a creative solution to something holding me up. Then I have to find a way to try to jot it down or send myself an e-mail while not seeming rude."

Lindsay Ribar (THE ART OF WISHING, 21st March 2013, Dial Books for Young Readers)
I get my best ideas in one of two ways: while brainstorming with friends (I'm a very "help me talk this out!" sort of writer), or while exercising. When I really need to think over my plots, I'll put my headphones on and either go to the gym or take a really long walk. Endorphins really do help! 

Amy Christine Parker (GATED, 27th August 2013, Random House Children's Books)
Driving. I get all my best ideas while driving, which is why I never turn down an opportunity to take an hour long (or longer) journey somewhere.    

And me?
My ideas always, but always, arrive while I'm at work, and I have grab a scrap of paper to scribble them down, making everyone wonder what I'm doing!

Emma Pass grew up at an environmental studies centre near London, went to art school in Cornwall and now lives in the North-East Midlands, UK, with her artist husband. For 3 wonderful years she was lucky enough to share her life with The Hound, too (that's him in the picture). She is represented by Carolyn Whitaker at London Independent Books and her YA dystopian thriller ACID is out from Corgi/Random House on 25th April 2013. You can find her blog here, view her website here and catch her procrastinating on Twitter here.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE all these answers!! So many good ideas here.