Today we welcome Anne Wheeler on the blog! Be sure to check out her interview, and connect with her on facebook and twitter!
Tell us a little about yourself:
I’m a mom, wife, and full time worker bee who discovered writing later in life, and am having an awesome time with it.
How long have you been writing for?
Just about a year and a half. I started my first book in June of 2016.
What inspired you to be a writer?
I had a tiny little seed of the idea for Asrian Skies floating around in my head for a long time. It finally occurred to me that I could actually sit down and make it into a story, so I did.
How many books have you written?
I’ve published one, with another one to be released this summer, and have one in process.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
The worldbuilding, for sure. As a scifi reader, I struggle with caring about a lot of the details that most authors include, and that means they don’t come naturally to be as a writer. It takes my beta readers and critique partner saying things like, “Ok, but what do those trees look like,” to remind me that most readers want more information on a fantasy/scifi world than I naturally include.
What steps do you take in drafting an outline?
I actually don’t draft an outline at all. I just take an idea and sit down at the computer and write. I’ll admit it’s easier to write a second book in a series because I already know the characters, but as for plot, I just throw them into a scene and see what comes of it.
What are your top five tips for aspiring authors?
- Read more than you write. I’d never written a book before Asrian Skies, but I’ve been an avid reader my entire life. It makes a difference.
- Don’t give up. Every draft is fixable and every story has potential if you decide to see it through.
- It’s ok to mix genres or write something you don’t think people will read. You’ll find your audience.
- If you plan to self-publish, budget for professional editing right up front. There’s no substitute for it.
- You don’t need to kill your darlings. If a scene if meant to be, you’ll find a way to fit it in, whether it’s in your current book or a future one.
How do you draft your work? Do you plot? Or do you just go for it?
I just sit down and write. I tried plotting my second novel because I thought “it was what you were supposed to do”, but I ended up deleting the entire second half because it just wasn’t working. Twice. The third time, I let the characters and plot go a lot more organically, and the end result was much better. Sometimes I’ll get a vague idea of how a book will end, other times it’s a chapter-by-chapter surprise for me.
What are some writing tips you have to share with aspiring authors?
Be cautious about who you accept advice from. There’s so much advice and a million writing tips floating around the internet, and some of it is from people with as little experience as you. What works for them (or even what works for a famous author) isn’t necessarily what’ll work for your genre, goals, writing process, or personal life.
Why is writing important to you?
It’s such a stress reliever. And it’s wonderful to hear readers say how much they enjoy my work.
What are your favorite situations to put your main characters through?
Anything emotional. I love those scenes where they think all hope is lost…and sometimes it ends up that’s actually the case!
What was your hardest scene to write?
There’s a scene in Asrian Skies where my main character pretty much breaks down. I can’t say anything else without giving away major spoilers. It’s in the middle of the book, but it was the last scene I wrote (just before it went off to be edited!) because it was just that intense—I really didn’t want to write it, but I knew it needed to be there. When my critique partner told me how intense she found it, I knew I’d made the right decision to include it.
Tell us a little about your most recent project, can you give us an excerpt?
My current work in progress is the third book in the Asrian Skies world. It’s a little different from the previous two books, but has some of my readers’ favorite characters, and I’m pretty excited about that. Here’s a short except from the very beginning:
The Valko swerved to the left again, and she struggled to control it in the harsh winds. She’d been wrong about being ready to fly again. Not because of the spacecraft’s incessant need to disobey her commands—the wind was bad that day—but because the calm she normally felt in space turned into something more like anxiety the closer they got to the ground. Her heart was pounding, but that was no surprise. What was surprising was how much her hands were shaking.
Before you go, is there anything left you would like to share with our readers?
Thanks for the opportunity, and you can find out more about me on my website, www.asrianskies.com
More About Anne:
Anne Wheeler grew up with her nose in a book but earned two degrees in aviation before it occurred to her she was allowed to write her own. Fascinated with space travel from an early age, speculative fiction was a natural fit. When not working, moving, or writing her next novel, she can be found planning her next escape to the desert. A military spouse, she lives in Georgia with her husband, son, and herd of cats. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter for up to date information on her stories and novels.