Writer Words

Q&A Sunday: Inspiring Authors

If you’ve been here a while you probably already know the answer to today’s question. Susan wants to know…

Is there an author who inspired you?

Yes! Many authors really. 

My number one inspiration is Jill Shalvis. Her book, Simply Irresistible, was the first romance novel I read. Before her, I thought they were all horrible stories about men taking advantage of women who wouldn’t fight back. I am so happy I found Jill! Her books changed my world, literally. It opened my eyes to a whole new genre of books that has given me a career, new friends, and so much inspiration, it’s crazy!

There are a lot of authors who’ve inspired me though. Some, who I won’t name, inspired me to be a better writer because I knew I could write a better story than they did. Most though, they wrote in ways that made me want to be like them.

Bella Andre is another one I’m constantly inspired by. Her stories are so magnetic that I can’t help but be drawn in by them. Not to mention she’s a self-publishing genius!

Melissa Foster paints such amazing pictures and creates families you want to be a part of. I love reading her books.

And then there’s my friends. Writers I know. Some published, some not, who work so hard to craft stories that draw me in without fail. I love reading stories by people I know in real life. People who I can picture sitting down and writing. People I love talking to and feel like reading their books is like having a conversation with them. They inspire me every day to keep going, to push through the hard times, and to share my voice with readers. I have them to thank for a lot of things!

I think it’s important to find someone who will inspire you. Or many someones. I get inspiration from everywhere – my kids, my family, situations I’m in, everything. I take it and run with it. Hopefully it’s entertaining!

Thanks so much, Susan, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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Q&A Friday: Favorite Characters

Have you noticed I haven’t had a guest author in a little while? Well, with the holidays, people are all crazy busy. So, through the end of the year, I’m just answering questions. This week’s question I figured I’d answer on Friday since I spent Sunday at the Bills game!

So, Aliana wants to know…

Of all the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?

This question has taken me a long time to answer. I’m still not totally sure, but I have an idea. It’s as hard picking a favorite character as a favorite kid… well, not as hard, but it’s tough.

I’m going to cheat a little with this question and pick more than one, but let me explain.

Husky & HotMy favorite couple is definitely Carrie and Drew from Husky & Hot. I loved Carrie’s sassiness and her confidence, but also her soft side. She wanted to be a mom so badly and I loved that she wasn’t a career woman. She still wanted to make a difference.

And Drew… Well, how can you not love Drew. From his dirty mouth to his broken heart to the way he loves… He’s definitely a fantasy guy!

When you put the two of them together, it was fireworks from the very beginning. I loved that.

I’m always plotting new books. I’m going to cheat because there are two characters coming in my new series, Raise A Glass, that I’m really excited about. They’re going to be like Drew and Carrie in a lot of ways – a lot of heat, a lot of spunk, and some brokenness that’ll make you love them even more.

So since, Aliana asked me, I have to know… Which of my characters are your favorite? 

Thanks so much, Aliana, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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Q&A Sunday: Hobbies

Babs has a question for me today that can help explain why I’m answering it so late!

Gosh hmmm what hobbies outside of writing do you like to do?

At risk of sounding like a total nerd, I love to read. It’s why I became a writer to start with. I loved reading so much that I figured writing my own stories was a reasonable leap.

img_5732But aside from reading, I spend time with my family. My kids are six and eight and still want to spend time with us. We have pancake and movie night most Fridays. Saturday has become game night. On Sundays, well, we live in Buffalo. It’s football day.

Weekdays, after school, we’re busy with homework and gymnastics and the gym when we get motivated.

In the evenings, hubby and I watch TV. We’re addicted to Lucifer and Supergirl and Scorpion and Pure Genius and This Is Us and Hawaii 5-0 and The Big Bang Theory. I’m also hooked on Arrow and The Flash.

I also love going to see movies and getting together with friends. For drinks or dinner or playdates with the kids. Which really means a reason for the moms to hang out and drink wine while the kids run around like crazy for a while.

Really, I think I’m a pretty boring person, but I guess we all think that about ourselves!

Thanks so much, Babs, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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Q&A Sunday: Getting Started

I think every aspiring author wants to know the answer to this. Georgia asked…

I’ve always loved to just write. I have ideas as to a mixture of things I could one day do. How easy is it to get into? How do you go about starting etc?

This is both an easy question and a hard question to answer.

First, the easy part…

website-quote-11-27-2016Writing is simple to get into. Write a book. When you write a book, you’re a writer. It’s that simple. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not a writer until you’re published, or represented, or have a contract, or win an award, or anything else. When you write, you’re a writer.

Don’t ever forget that.

Being a successful writer is a bit different. Mostly because everyone has different views of success. If you won’t feel like you’ve made it until you have NYTimes Bestselling Author after your name, it might take a while. If you won’t feel like you’ve made it until you have a book commercially available, it’s going to be a bit easier.

Only you know what success means to you.

The hard part…

Getting started can be a bit of a challenge. Yes, you can just sit down and write. You have an idea. You love to read. You can write a book. You should, too. But do yourself a favor and do a little research too.

There are tons of books out there to help you write a good book. There are also tons of classes you can take. Join an organization that will help you as an author. Make friends with authors. Learn, research, learn some more. The better your grasp of goal, motivation, conflict and character arcs and story arcs and character archetypes and tropes the better your story will be.

I didn’t know any of that stuff when I started writing. Some of them I’m still not good at incorporating consciously. But I studied books I loved. I went through my favorite books and laid out how the story flowed, what the story was about, and how everything wove together. I was teaching myself all those technical things about the story that I didn’t know. I’ve read and learned more and don’t have to study other books to make sense of them, but I still read. A lot.

You need to do that too. Read. As much as you can. Study other books. Read the best books in the genre you want to write in. What makes readers love them? What do you love about them? What do you not love about them? I learn more from books I don’t like than books I do like. It shows me what doesn’t work, in my opinion.

My last piece of advice is to always be true to you. If you love books that have alpha heroes, or redheaded heroines, or athletes, or billionaires, or step-brothers, or live in your area, or live in small towns, or big cities, then write those. Trust me, if you write something that goes far off what’s natural for you, it will show! Be true to who you are. Write what you love.

One of my favorite quotes ever is from the last few lines of this letter from Ray Bradbury.

Be your own self. Love what YOU love!!

Don’t ever forget that!

Thanks so much, Georgia, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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Q&A not so Sunday: Favorite Places

I know, I know, it’s not Sunday. But I’m answering Vicki’s question today because I told you about the Giveaway on Sunday. So, Vicki wants to know…

What is your favorite place to visit? (park, store, etc.)

My favorite place. I have to confess, I have a lot of favorite places. It depends on what I’m looking for. But, there are a few that definitely top my list.

kigtvxqetxa-tim-gouwOffice Supply Store

You think I’m strange, right? I’m not even sure I understand it, but I am slightly obsessed with office supplies. I’ve always loved looking at office supplies. When I was little, I’d go with my parents to CVS, I’m guessing when they had prescriptions to fill. My brother would go look at toys, and my sister would go look at make-up. Me? I was in the office supply aisle. Now, I’ll wander around Staples or Office Max for hours, and can’t leave Target without taking a look at their office supplies.

Bookstore

Is that really any big surprise? Before we had kids, hubby and I would go to Barnes & Noble and wander for hours. We’ve always both loved to read and would buy books constantly. With the kids, we take turns sitting with them at the train table (boy, do I love that thing!) while the other one looks. Since there are so many more books available online than in the store, and I usually read ebooks instead of print these days, I don’t come home with books like I used to, but I still love wandering around the bookstore.

Movie Theater

I love watching movies. These days, most of the ones I go to are animated, but they’re still pretty good. Hubby and I also like to hang out at home and watch movies – mostly because it’s cheaper than a babysitter and doesn’t require me to wear a bra (I’m kind of opposed to them!). My kids have gotten better about sitting through a movie and we’ve even instituted movie night at home, complete with pancakes for dinner in front of the TV. We’re definitely a movie family.

Sporting Events

Since before I can remember, my family has been going to Buffalo Bills games. My dad doesn’t go as much anymore so we go with the kids. We’ve also gone to see baseball games, hockey games, soccer games, and are looking at going to a lacrosse game this year. Of course, my son plays baseball and soccer, so we’re always at something, but I really enjoy professional sports. If you ever want to go to a game, let me know!

Have you noticed I don’t do a lot of outdoor stuff? I’d prefer to sit inside, with the doors open and a screen between me and the bugs. I also prefer to be outside in winter to any other season. There’s something I love about the cold and the beauty of all the snow and knowing that you can be outside and all alone. Of course, I have to bundle up, but I don’t mind that either!

Thanks so much, Vicki, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

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