Ask me Anything... Author Q & A
A week ago I put a post up on my social media sites saying that I was going to do a special blog post, answering questions from the readers. I was thrilled that I got some really good questions, so today I will be answering those questions. Some of my answers are short and to the point, while others I give a more in-depth detailed depiction of my life. (Just kidding, sort of.)
Kara from TN asks - What is your writing schedule and do you stick to it every week?
That's a great question Kara. I can't honestly say that I have a set schedule for when I write, but I do have a goal, I guess you could call it... I try to write between 500-1500+ words every time I sit down to work on a project. I do this Monday through Friday only, as I try to leave my weekends open to do things with my husband.
I do notice that I write more between the hours of 2pm - 7:30pm though, and I am not sure why I do better writing in the late afternoon like that, but the words tend to flow better in the late afternoon. The coffee must be in full swing by then. :)
Karen N. from Georgia asked - At what age did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
Wow, I hope you're ready for the answer, because it may take a while... and a bit of explaining.
I still remember the year I was going to be turning 40 and I decided to make a sort of "bucket list," because 40 to me, was old - I mean, I was hitting middle-age. I was not looking forward to turning 40 at all.
I decided to shake it up a bit. I wanted to do something absolutely ridiculous, so I wrote a romance mystery with a bit of comedy added in, because let's face it, I am kind of a goofball. I gave myself six months to write it. I finished it before my 40th birthday and Midlife Adventure was born. I ended up writing a sequel to it, titled Florence "Gold-digger" Nightengale, an Izzy Platt and the Diva Detectives Adventure. They were published in 2011 and 2014, but they have since gone out of publication, at my request.
After writing those, I didn't write for a while. I fulfilled my one bucket list item, but when I started working at the salon, I was getting crazy ideas for a fun little mystery set inside the hundred year old building. I knew what I wanted the premise to be, but it took me five years to finally complete it, thanks to the pandemic lock-down in 2020, I had nothing but time to write.
A Killer Cut was set to be published in June 2020, which just so happened to be six months before I was going to turn the big 5-0. Coincidence, I don't think so. I was actually looking forward to this birthday. I didn't look 50, or act it for that matter, so I decided I needed a whole new look for this new book. I took the other two books out of circulation, killed that author that I used to be and started fresh, with a new pen and all. M.K. Stabley was subsequently introduced to the writing community, June 20, 2020.
Within a year I published the second book in that new series, Die at the Races, an Eva St. Claire Mystery, and a paranormal romance mystery titled, Visions of Murder.
I am currently working on Book 3 in Eva's series, which will release Spring of 2022.
So, to answer your question, I guess I was 39 years old when the I decided to go for it, originally.
Debbie B. of MI asks - What is your process? Do you outline, then fill in, or just start writing and see where it takes you? Or is it something else?
Okay, I kind of love this question. All authors, I'm sure, have their own way of doing things. Myself, I come up with an idea and a location first, then from there I develop the plot. After I have an idea of how I want the story to roll out, I work on the characters that I want in the story, get a mental picture of how each one looks and acts and I write them all out - descriptions, attitude and where in the script they will show up.
I research the locations I choose and get some of the history to put into the story, as well. Doing the research is a big part of my process. I want what I write to be correct and believable, because people have more than likely been to these locations and can relate.
Though my browser history may be questionable, I do research everything, even the way a person will be, how shall I say, "offed?" That entails lots of internet searching. My husband has strict orders if anything were to happen to me, he is to immediately clear my browser history. Ha!
Once I start the meat and potatoes of a book, I can jot down a few things on paper and I when I put them into sentences, the rest of that chapter sort of takes on a life of its own and I just start typing away.
I don't know if I'd call my style of writing "Panster" (someone who writes by the seat of their pants) or not, because I still have a plot to my story before I start, but I do go off script if I think of something better while I am typing. :)
I hope I have thoroughly answered the questions I chose and I gave everyone a little more insight into my world of writing. Until next time, go get lost in a book.