Monday, October 17, 2011

Partner on the Path--Shari Green

Shari is another long-time writing buddy. I contacted her years ago when I first started my  journey. Not only do we live in the same corner of the globe, but we share a lot of the same writing partners. Shari has been an encouraging  part of #wipmadness for quite some time.

What resources have you found most helpful on your writing path?
My awesome critique group, “the blueboards”, and a few fave craft books. Oh! And the Surrey International Writers’ Conference (amazing!).

What’s the most encouraging thing you’ve experienced along the way?
Last fall, after parting ways with my agent, my confidence was at a low point. But then in October, I won the “Writing for Young People” category of the SiWC writing contest. The win would’ve been encouraging any time, but at that particular point in my life, it was an immense boost.

Favorite children’s books? Authors?
The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen, and Looking for Alaska, by John Green, are the two books I credit with hooking me on YA lit. Now, I have a ton of faves, but the best two YAs I’ve read so far this year are How to Save a Life, by Sara Zarr, and Imaginary Girls, by Nova Ren Suma.

What keeps you going when you feel like giving up?
I’m too stubborn to give up, lol! But if I do feel like quitting someday, I expect spending time reading and writing just for the joy of it – rather than as part of a “publication journey” – would renew me.

If you could choose to live any place on the planet, where would it be?
I love where I live! First choice would always be by the ocean, and right now I’m lucky enough to live a 10-minute walk from the beach. It’s heaven.

Describe your fantasy writing space?
A room full of books and good light and a great desk, with a window overlooking the sea. But I’d settle for any dedicated writing space – I’m almost desperate enough to transform the closet under our stairs into a Potter-esque writing hideout.

What obstacles have you overcome in order to keep writing?
The biggest obstacle is that pesky way the earth keeps rotating on its axis, spinning my time away. In my non-writing life, I’m a nurse, mom of four, and pastor’s wife, so my days are full! But we fit in what’s really important to us, don’t we? (For me, that’s meant goodbye TV and hello writing-time!)

What one word describes your writing process?

What do you appreciate the most about being part of the children’s writers community?
The support! It’s amazing. It really feels like being part of a huge extended (and not even particularly dysfunctional) family. I love it.

Best writing advice you’ve been given?
“Some stories are like stew: the longer they simmer, the better they are.” I’m a muller, and sometimes things need to simmer for a long time. I use to struggle with feeling unproductive, thinking I needed to write every single day. Fact is, I don’t. True, I can’t let myself fall into procrastination and lack of discipline, but recognizing “mulling” as a valid part of my process has freed my creativity and restored a lot of joy to the process. (Thank you, Catherine!)

What do you like to keep in mind while drafting a story?
Something needs to happen! (I tend to be very character-focused.)

How will you celebrate the publication of your first book?
I’m not sure, but I suspect margaritas will be involved. You’re all invited.

Website & blog:
Twitter: @sharigreen


  1. Another good interview. I particularly like d the point about 'mulling' without feeling guilty. I'm like that too.

  2. Yay, Shari! It was awesome to finally meet you in person last year, after years of seeing you in the comments of friends' LJs. ;)

    I couldn't agree more with "recognizing mulling as part of the process". Very important. Thank you for saying so!

  3. Hi, Shari!! So nice to see you here, and to read about what works for you and what you find challenging. That earth-spinning, yeah, so annoying. I love your plug for mulling too!

  4. Good luck Shari. It looks like you are on the right path to publication. I'm close to the beach, too, but I don't get to see it often.

  5. Great interview. Congrats on the timely win too. I can imagine that would have been perfect timing.

  6. So jealous of that ten-minute walk to the ocean. Great interview!

  7. Great interview! And thank you for the comments about "mulling." My WIP is a whole different animal than what I pictured six months ago. It just had to simmer. Keep going, Shari!

  8. It's nice to find you here, Shari. Thanks to you and Angelina for an interesting interview.

    That dedicated writing space you mention might not be all it's cracked up to be. I have one, as you know, and I rarely seem to write in it. The couch is comfier. But still...maybe one day you'll be able to convert one of your bedrooms to a combination guest room and writing getaway. The under stairs hideout sounds too claustrophobic!

  9. Love the comparison of stories to stews. As I tend to mull and mull and mull some more, it's nice to hear others do, too. Writing is a lonely game at times, and to know other writers struggle with the same problems is reassuring.

  10. Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Amazing how many of us relate to the "mulling" issue. We must've all been getting the message that writing faster is better, but I really think we need to write in whatever way works best for us -- fast or slow, plotted or pantsed, etc.

    Happy writing, everyone! :)

  11. I'm hopping over from Shari's blog. I love her take on writing, the community, and her taste in books. And margaritas sound lovely. :)

  12. Love the interview! And um...the margarita party for publication sounds perfect:)

  13. As always, thanks for sharing the interview, Angelina! It's nice to see partners on the path...hence my byline of my blog "on the trail to publication."

    I'm loving your "evolving" reply to one word describing your process. Boy, isn't that the truth for most of us!

    Nice to meet ya, Shari!

  14. It's a great path and I'm glad you're on it. That dedicated writing space sounds like a super idea, and I share your love of being near the sea. So beautiful.

  15. Thanks for reading and commenting, everyone!

    Medeia and Lindsay, I'll definitely pour a margarita for you when the time comes (even if it has to be a virtual one). :)

    Candy, nice to meet you, too! And C.Lee, yes! I LOVE the sea. :)

  16. I love the idea of a Potter-esque writing space! So nice reading about your journey, Shari. I agree that the children's writing community is awesomely supportive.

    Nice interview, Angelina!


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