A former Chuck E. Cheese’er and current Guitar Hero addict, Rosemary Clement-Moore is celebrating her newest release, Hell Week, with The 5 Randoms.
1) What is your typical writing day like?
I’m not really a morning person, so I tend to do my non-writing stuff in the morning. While I’m having my first cup(s) of coffee, I catch up on news and blogs. Then I get serious after lunch, usually working on revision stuff in the afternoon, break for dinner and TV time, then work on new stuff after 10pm. I’ve always been the most creative after the sun goes down.
2) What is the part of the writing process you hate, and what coping mechanisms do you employ to get through it?
Every book has a place where I come to a figurative fork in the road; I know the end destination, but the plot could go right or left. I second guess myself for DAYS–rewriting, staring at the blank screen, going in circles. The coping mechanism for this is to skip forward to the next signpost–whatever thing in the plot that HAS to happen–and write that. Usually then I’ll know exactly what I need to do to get there. And since it’s written already, I can’t equivocate. And generally, it clarifies things so that I don’t need to. Not until the next fork in the road, anyway.
3) What is the biggest surprise you’ve experienced when it comes to book publishing?
Making the sale is only the beginning of the work. In fact, it gets harder, because in addition to writing a book, editing a book, maintaining a blog (some of us aren’t as good at it as other random people are), doing what you can to publicize what’s out there, keeping up with the business end of things… All while balancing the non-writing part of your life, too. It’s a good problem to have, but it takes some learning how to strike that balance. (I’m still learning.)
4) As the author of a YA series, what are some “randoms” you’d like to share with us?
Random things that always improve my day:
1) Coffee. This is a mood-altering substance for me. I wakes me up, it calms me down. It’s genetic from my dad’s side of the family.
2) Puppy love. From the day I got her, Princess Lizzie has sat in my lap while I write. It’s not a requirement for both of us to spend our days that way. (Though she does desert me when someone else is eating popcorn in the other room.)
3) Letters from readers. I can be having the worst day ever, and a letter from someone who liked my book enough to write me will turn it completely around.
5) Authors talk about “the call.” Usually, it has to deal with getting an agent or getting published or getting an accolade. What was the best “call” you ever received in terms of your writing, and how did it go down?
I think that “firsts” stick in your head, but whenever news comes by phone, it doesn’t seem to happen normally for me. When my agent called to say we’d gotten an offer on Prom Dates From Hell and Hell Week (the first two books in the Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series), I was out in the yard cleaning up… Well, I have two dogs, so you can figure it out. I was going to let the machine get the call, but when I heard my agent’s voice, I knew she wasn’t calling with a rejection. So I sprinted inside, hurtling dogs, nearly killing myself to get to the phone. It was awesome. Then I was very calm on the phone (well, sort of numb, more than calm) and as soon as I hung up, there was a lot of screaming and more jumping around. The dogs were sure I’d gone nuts.
Oh, and when I get the call that I was a RITA finalist, I was in the shower. I’d taken my phone into the bathroom, hoping, but not really thinking they were going to call. But they did, and I accepted the board member’s congratulations while standing in a towel with shampoo dripping in my eyes.
So I have this superstition now that phone calls happen when I’ve decided not to wait on them. This relates to waiting for success in writing. Once you have stuff out there, you can’t sit by the phone. You go on with your writing life, which is crafting the next book!
For more Rosemary, check out her site.