My friend the writer and illustrator Alicia VanNoy Call invited me to participate in a "Blog Tour," which means I will answer the following questions and then tag three other writers I know to post answers next Monday. Sounds fun, right?
1. What are you working on right now?
A young adult mystery which has taken me entirely too long to write. And it doesn't even have a lot of pages, so I don't know what my deal is.
2. How does it differ from other things you've written.
It's a lot darker than what I normally do. Maybe that's why it's taking me so long to write.
3. Why do you write what you do?
Hmmmm. I don't know. I think I like to write contemporary realistic fiction because it doesn't require homework. When I write my column I like to write about ordinary daily things that somehow make me laugh or go wtf. Can I say wtf in a blog tour?
4. How does your writing process work?
When it comes to writing novels, I start with a character that I find interesting. Then I go looking for a story--a problem for that character to solve. Or not solve. When I write picture books, I tend to start with an incident (what happens when you're asked to babysit a fish, for instance) and then turn it into a narrative. When I have to write a column, I think about moments when I was most irritated or upset or embarrassed or whatever and then I mine them for their humor or insight. To paraphrase Wordsworth, humor is generated by powerful emotions recollected in tranquility.