Other writers definitely influence my writing. What encourages me and inspires me is when I read a good book. It makes me want to be a better writer.
My biggest disappointment is that once I'm finished working on the characters, I really do expect to see them in the flesh one day.
I hope the wonder of what happens to my characters never goes away. That yearning keeps me writing.
If you're having trouble finishing a book, it might be that you're trying to fix it as you go. Just finish the story, no matter how terrible you think that first draft is. Then let it cool off. In other words, don't look at it for a while. Then you can rewrite it.
I'm amazed how the tiniest moments grow into books.
If you haven't taken a writing class, take a writing class. I took every class that was available in my area. I went to conferences inside and outside my area to network with people. That's how I got my agent. I found my agent through another agent who was at a conference.
When I was young, I was very shy and quiet, because we moved all the time. My dad was in the Navy, so we moved every two years.
Although I sometimes enjoy writing from an adult's perspective, I feel dedicated to the coming of age story - that part of a young person's life where he must make a decision that will change his life forever. I still remember what it's like to be twelve years old.
My favorite book is 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee. It is multi-layered, and I see something new in it every time I read it.
I always tend to write about outsiders. And what's been fun for me is, as I travel around and visit schools, is that other kids that feel the same way relate to some of my characters, and so I hope in some way that's helping them when they want to read about somebody that they can relate to.
I was born in a hurricane in Pensacola, Florida... my dad was in the military, so we moved all over the place. But I consider myself a southerner from Louisiana. I've lived in Texas for most of my adult life.
When I begin to write a story, I usually know how things will end. It's the journey toward that point I must discover. The process is sometimes painful, but also exciting.
Write every day. Make writing a part of your life, but also don't be afraid of learning from others because I think you can. I still try to think of myself as a beginner because that way I can keep on learning.
I have to re-write a lot. I couldn't tell you how many drafts I write, but I know I've done at least twenty rewrites on each book.
One of the reasons I write is to be in other people's skin.
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