This blog is an interview with Susan Palmquist who kindly shared her thoughts on the Bedroom Blog.
Enjoy. And then get writing...
Please welcome Susan Palmquist. Her latest book, How to Write a Romance Novel is published by Compass Books.
Compass Books focuses on practical and informative ‘how-to’ books for writers. Written by experienced authors who also have extensive experience of tutoring at the most popular creative writing workshops, the books offer an insight into the more specialised niches of the publishing game.
Hello Susan, thank you for joining us today.
Please tell us about yourself
I’m both a freelance writer and author. My work has appeared in magazines and anthologies in both the UK and US. Under my real name I write mysteries and romances. And under my pen name, Vanessa Devereaux, I write both erotic romances and erotica. Besides writing, I also tutor students for the Writer’s News Home Study classes and also workshops for various chapters of the Romance Writers of America. Before I turned to writing I worked in PR and was a book publicist for three years. I was born in London, but now live in the US.
What prompted you to write, How to Write a Romance Novel?
It sort of grew out of the workshops I teach. Many of my students said that my instruction had helped them take the next step in their writing careers, and a few said they’d almost given up until they stumbled upon my workshops. I thought why not share what I know with others in book form so I can reach even more potential writers. My goal was to create something that people can use as their one and only book on the topic, not only before they’re published but after too.
You have written several books, where do you get your inspiration?
All sorts of things. In the book I mention that I keep an idea file and notebook. It contains, cuttings from newspapers and magazines, photos, little pieces of dialogue I’ve thought of, even outlines of what I know will be future stories. I love to garden and cook and sometimes I find ideas spring to mind while I’m doing either of those two pursuits.
What, if you have one, is your writing routine?
Daytime is strictly for my freelance writing. If I’m teaching, I’ll post lessons and answer students questions, give feedback to the students I’m tutoring, and then check my e-mail. During most of the day I’m working on current projects, like right now I have two more upcoming books with John Hunt Publishing and another project which is a cookbook I’m co-authoring with a chef. When I’m not working on those I’m thinking about future projects and might send out pitches and book proposals. I also do some promotion work for all my current books. All this is done on my desk top computer.
After dinner I’m strictly a fiction writer. I’ll work on edits that my editors might have sent that day or continue with stories I’m working on and I switch to my laptop. One thing I always do while I’m working on fiction is listen to music, nothing with lyrics, just something playing quietly in the background.
What advice can you share for anyone seeking to write and be published?
Stick with it and don’t give up. Also, you’ve got to write every day. I tell my students that it’s a lot like training for a sport. You have to do it every single day to be good at it. Even if it’s just ten minutes, sit down and write. Also, read; both good and bad books. I don’t think you can be a writer (or at least a good one) without being an avid reader.
Susan can be found here http://susanpalmquist.com/
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