Asking the Hard Questions


I've never been interviewed as a professional writer for any reason what-so-ever. So, I thought to myself... Ella, you have a lot of shit floating around in your mind, and maybe you should just interview yourself to get it out there for the few people who read your blog posts regularly.

I didn't want to come up with my own interview questions, where's the fun in that, right? No! I went to the most intelligent resource on the face of the planet--Google--typed in the following search request and promptly looked through about two and a half links and pieced together a list of ten questions to ask and answer for this blog post.

The first link to come up was 50 Brilliant, Original Questions to Ask an Author. I should note, I didn't click on this link at first because the sheer number of questions was a little overwhelming and I was hoping to find a simple "Top 10" list. And I did. I did find several top 10 lists, but they all had the same hackneyed questions in one shape or form. Questions I would never ask my favorite authors if given the chance; therefore, I returned to the overwhelming list of 50 questions and chose my ten. (BTW, the questions are really brilliant and original...bullocks!)

My Top 10 Questions I Want to Ask Me, but I'm Only Going to Choose 3 or 4 to Save Time πŸ˜‚

50. Do you believe in writer’s block?
04. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
26. What does literary success look like to you?
13. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
45. What is your favorite childhood book?
06. Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
02. What is the first book that made you cry?
19. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
29. Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
37. How do you select the names of your characters?


IE: Good evening, Ella. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today. I know how busy you are so, I won't take too much of your time.
ES: It's no problem at all, really. Your time is my time! So, shall we get started?
IE: Of course. Let's start with an easy question. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
ES: Hmmm. That's not an easy question at all. Does writing energize or exhaust me? I'd have to say it's a bit of both, honestly. While I'm in the zone... you know the place where time and reality cease to exist and the only thing I'm sure is real are the words, my characters, and what's happening in the world created by and for them.  When that's happening! Oh, my writing muse! I'm buzzing with energy. So much energy, I could provide lights for my entire neighborhood.
IE: But...? It sounds like there might be a but in there somewhere. What is it?
ES: But. When I'm coming out of the zone. When reality seeps back into my perfectly, chaotic and fantastic world... the sounds of my house filter in. The lights of the neighbors shine a little too brightly in my window. That smell that lets you know someone has cooked something but didn't bother cleaning up afterward. When my reality becomes all too real... writing is exhausting. Maybe it's the letdown. I don't know how to phrase what I'm alluding to. The process of writing is always as energizing as hell. But returning to reality makes me feel exhausted and that makes writing sometimes feel as exhausting.
IE: I get it. It's like the time you take to actually write becomes a deficit. Like, say you give five hours to writing...
ES: Yes! Yes, that's it. Say I give five hours to writing and then when I come up from my writing stupor, I see all the shit I still have to do in and around my home life and then those five hours I spent writing leave exhausted. No energy to do everything that's been piling up while I was energetically writing in the zone.πŸ˜•πŸ˜«
IE: Wow! I wonder if other writers feel similarly about their writing. Anyway, now that the easy question is done and over with... let's tackle something with some substance. How do you select the name for characters?
ES: This question should be easier than the one you just gave me, but it isn't. I'm going to sound like a complete lunatic, but here goes my honest answer. I don't feel like I choose the names for my characters as much as they tell me what to call them. 
IE: All right, stop the press! What do you mean they tell you what to call them? Ella, they aren't real.
ES: That's just it, though. If I don't give my characters the same respect I'd give anyone I'm meeting and getting to know; if they aren't real to me, then how am I to write them so that they'll be real to my readers.  From the moment I get an inkling of a character in the back of my mind, I acknowledge them with respect. As they reveal more of themselves to me, I accept and share a little of myself with them. I don't know their names until they tell me... and they do tell me what to call them.
IE: Okay, I get you're a writer and every writer has a way of connecting with their characters and their stories, but for the average person who doesn't understand the writer's brain; how did you come up with characters' names in Ames Brisees/ Broken Souls.
ES: The first character I met was Vivian. I didn't know her name at the time but something about her was a little off. I remember dreaming about her. She was in an all-white bedroom, but the room was cloaked in darkness. She was laying on the bed, reaching out with her slender finger for someone who wasn't really there. Someone she needed to be there but knew she'd never be able to touch again.  She intrigued me. I waited to see if she would show herself again. and she did.  Her name was revealed in another dream I had of her. This time she was standing in a beautiful kitchen and a tall, broad man was standing in the doorway looking at her with lust and frustration in his eyes. That was the first time I met John. It was him who told me the name of the tall, elusive beauty I'd been dreaming about. He called her Viv. Then, in exasperation, he called her full first name. Vivian.
IE: Okay, you're right. You do sound bat-shit, but also really fucking cool! πŸ˜‚πŸ’–  How did you decide to keep the name, Vivian?
ES: I became a little obsessed with finding out as much as I could about that name. I'd only ever heard in the movie, Pretty Woman, and in the Arthurian legends. You know... the lady of the lake. The enchantress?  After researching the name and learning it means life. There was never another thought of changing it.
IE: Okay. Your face is so animated as you talk through meeting and learning your characters. Do they feel like real people to you?
ES: Hell yeah! Every character who trusts me enough to tell their story is real people to me. Like I said before; if they aren't real to me then I can't make them real for anyone else.
IE: One more question before I let you go. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
ES: That's a brilliant and original question! 😜 I'll have to answer in the affirmative. Yes.
IE: Yes, what?
ES: Yes I want each book I write to stand on its own and become a part of a body of work with connections. It doesn't matter what genre I'm writing in or even the subject matter because I'm always writing with the same purpose. And that's the connection between everything I write, produce, or have my hand in. So, yeah. Each of my books; standalone, series, compilations... each of them will be able to stand on their own merit and each of them will fit into a collective body of work connected by a singular purpose.
IE: And what's that purpose, Ella. What purpose will connect everything you produce as a writer?
ES: One of my favorite quotes by Rumi is, "The soul is here for its own pleasure." I love it because it reminds me to get out of my own way and let my soul seek her pleasure as she sees fit. My soul's purpose is to elevate the vibration of the Feminine energy to bring balance between masculine and feminine energies. 
IE: How is writing romance novels going to bring about that lofty purpose.
ES: I'm not sure how it's going to play a role in fulfilling my soul's purpose, but I do trust the plan my soul and the universe have for this life and I've given over to it fully. It's not for me to know how it will work, only to trust that it will work.
IE: I think you answered another of the questions, writing is a form of spiritual practice for you it seems.
ES: Everything I endeavor to do is a practice in spirituality. Because everything I do comes from spirit first and is made manifest through my physical form. 
IE: What do you think revealing this insight about yourself will do as far as attracting readers... building your audience?
ES: Honestly, I don't know. It's important to me to present myself as honestly as I can while maintaining my introvert status and all that jazz. 😧😎 But this is who I am. I hope this interview will capture the attention of readers who consider themselves intellectual, spiritually aware, dirty-minded, fun-loving, flawed, broken and bruised, bohemian modern-day caravaners... who refuse to settle for a life unlived just to fit in.
IE: That's a mouthful and quite a specified list of personality traits. Is that what your readers will find in the characters you write about in your novels.
ES: Exactly! Readers can expect to meet people who are much like themselves if they gave themselves permission to be exactly who they were designed to be.  
IE: I think I might be a part of your audience of readers. What will you call them once they find their way to you?
ES: Wow, great question. I don't know. What should I call this group of readers who will fall in love with my books, my message, and my brand?  Shit! I haven't the foggiest idea, but. I have time to think about it and hopefully; when they find their way to my tribe, they'll have some ideas of their own.
IE: Thank you, Ella. It has been a pleasure getting to know you a little better and hopefully, this interview will give potential readers a more intimate look into who you are and what you write. Good luck with the launch of the 2nd book in the Broken Souls series. Can't wait to see how John and Vivian deal with the fallout from the end of Ames Brisees.
ES: Thank you, Internal Ella. As always, it's great catching up with you. 

End of the interview insights 😲😳😡
  1. Those questions were really brilliant and original and quite evocative when given the right amount of thought.
  2. Internal Ella proved to be an effective interviewer. I thought maybe she was too close to the subject, but she stayed objective and even dug deeper to get clarity with some of my more vague questions.
  3. I'm either a brilliant and original writer or I'm completely bat-shit crazy because I thoroughly enjoyed doing that interview and getting to know myself a little better.
  4. Last but not least, if you are wanting to figure some things out about yourself as a writer, I highly recommend interviewing yourself. Asking and answering the hard questions.
Which of the questions did you want me to answer that wasn't asked by Internal Ella? Let me know in the comments and I'll be sure to respond. Be sure to join my email list and subscribe to this blog. I promise I won't spam you and you'll simply receive a notification when I post a new blog.

Remember writing is a journey and not all of us who wander are lost. Be brave, be beautiful, and stay enchanting.
Ella

Comments

  1. I loved the interview. I never thought about interviewing myself. "I'm either a brilliant and original writer or I'm completely bat-shit crazy" I have never heard someone use these phrases to describe themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading my latest effort to understand what's going on inside my mind. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Yeah, my phraseology is the result of growing up southern and living as a bohemian hippie gypsy. Be sure to sign up for my my email list. Stay enchanted!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts