3. What does your writing process involve? Plotter or Seat of the Pants?
For my first three books, I have definitely more of a seat-of-the-pants approach than an upfront plotter. Once an idea comes to me, I spend time visualizing key scenes and characters, researching the setting (I like to use old maps and Google earth) as well as customs, dress, language, and more. Scene ideas do not come to mind in chronological order, so I keep an ongoing Word file with quick descriptions and snippets of dialogue that will jar my memory when I come back to them.
A lot of what I write initially I know will need to be trashed or at least revamped, but I try to just keep writing all the "fodder" I can. Once all the raw material is there, I know I can go back and revise and edit it. While this "process" (if process it can be called) allows for a great amount of creativity and surprises, it is likely not the most efficient, and I probably spend more time rewriting than I might otherwise. For my fourth book, I am trying to do more plotting and timeline work up front. I'll have to let you know how it goes!
4. Do you ever struggle with writer's block? How do you overcome it?
I struggle with procrastination more than writer's block. To overcome procrastination, I find a writing challenge with other authors (in which we each turn in daily word count goals/actual word counts written) helps a great deal. In fact, I am joining several other historical authors for just such a challenge this month. When I do struggle with writer's block, I go for a walk. I can almost always "see a scene" while walking. If it weren't 10 below at the moment, I would probably be out strolling right now.
Thank you for having me, Susan. Great questions!
Don't forget to check out Julie's books, The Lady of Milkweed Manor and The Apothecary's Daughter. Thanks for joining us for an informative interview, Julie.
Okay, it's your turn now. How do you deal with procrastination and/or writer's block?