Cara Lockwood visits the Randoms this week–welcome! She has written Southern Fried Omens (Downtown Press, 11/08), a perfect title for this week’s discussion on great titles! Nuke that cold cup of coffee and read on about how Cara dreams about 8-hour workdays and how she once believed being a “published author” was her ticket to Easy Street. (It isn’t? Geez, I guess I’m the only one with a castle then?) ;o)
1) What is your typical writing day like?
Well, in my dreams, it would be six or seven uninterrupted hours of pure concentration. But, since I have two girls under the age of two, I take time to write when I can, usually late at night when the two are sleeping or during naptime.
2) Why did you decide to write YA?
My agent suggested I write YA because there were lots of opportunities there. I was a little reluctant at first, since I wasn’t sure I wanted to relive my adolescence. I have since found that writing about the teen years are much more fun than actually living them!
3) What is the biggest surprise you’ve experienced when it comes to book publishing?
My biggest surprise is that most writers aren’t wealthy bestsellers. It sounds naive, but I always thought once you get published, then you never really have to worry about working again! The truth is most writers work hard their whole lives and don’t necessarily get that break out bestseller. I fell lucky because I’ve been successful enough to quit my “day job” and write full time, but many writers aren’t so lucky.
4) Do you ever have any “dark days,” when you wonder why you’re a writer? What are those like, and how to you get through them?
I never wonder why I’m a writer, since it’s something I’ve wanted to do pretty much my whole life. But, I do have dark days. Those are the days when I second-guess what I’ve written, or worry about how something I’ve done might be received. Just about every writer I know has some insecurities. I’ve found that it doesn’t do much good to dwell on the things you can’t change and focus on what you can do now.
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 the best call I had was when my agent told me she’d sold my first book, “I Do (But I Don’t)” to Simon Schuster. I was stunned, I think, because I didn’t say anything for a whole minute. My agent had to say, “Hello? Hello? Are you there? Say something!” It was a great moment. Pure shock.
To read more Cara, visit her site.