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: www.sharigreen.com