Hi Paula, here it is again. P.S. I couldn’t open your attachment and I only saw 7 questions, so I added a few of my own. Thus starts my interview with a lady I met on Facebook years ago. She was an aspiring writer, I already had a published book, but our main thrust was friendship.
Over the years, Ica has written award-winning books, won contests and generally just stayed the course eyes forward in accomplishing goal after goal. I would recommend any of her books; they all hold solid engaging stories. I will be reviewing her first book, Whispers, an award-winning book.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think, subconsciously, I always knew that writing was what sparked my fire. My grandparents were great story-tellers, and from a young age, they instilled in me the love of story-telling—but like many other writers, I had to choose a different path and work for a bi-monthly paycheck.
How long does it take you to write a book?
A number of factors play a role in how long it takes to write a book—the amount of research necessary, my muse, length of the book, etc. But on average, I can finish writing a 50,000 words book in three to four months.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I try to write at least 2000 words every day, even when my inspiration is gone or hiding. Sometimes it consists of random thoughts, but you’ll be surprised how efficient moving words around could be.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmm. I had to think about this for a moment because to me my quirks aren’t just quirks. It’s the way I write. I’d have to go with my readers’ comments that my characters act and sound very realistic. And that is because I don’t just write what comes to mind (well, I do, but then I delete it, *big grins*) I give each character his/her own personality, his/her own goals, and I let them tell me What’s stopping them from achieving that goal. Is it his arrogant personality? Her defiance? These two are my favorite since they tend to paint strong personalities. I often eavesdrop on other people’s private conversations (I know, bad habit) but I like to hear how real people carry on a discussion. On rewrites, I may change the dialogue several times. If it doesn’t make sense to me, it probably won’t make sense to anyone else.
How do books get published?
There are three ways (that I know of).
- The traditional way, which is a long and exhausting process, especially if your confidence in your writing is not up to date. This is a very competitive industry, and you may get lucky at your first try, or you may get a thousand rejections before a publisher/agent agrees to even look at your work. It doesn’t mean your work is not worthy of publishing; it merely says that publishers are invaded with submissions and they can choose. You have to make sure that when you submit your manuscript, you and your work stand out from thousands of others that the publisher may have received that day.
- The DIY self-publishing way. Several platforms allow you to publish your book at minimum or no cost to you. All you need is a computer and to be able to follow instructions.
- Pay a vanity press to do it for you. I strongly advise against this form of publishing. These organizations are not cheap, and they all promise you the world when in fact all they want is your money. But don’t take my word for it. Do the research yourselves.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Everywhere! Literally. Sometimes it takes as little as a word to spark an entire story. I also do a lot of research on the Internet and by interviewing people in different fields to get my facts straight.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I told this story many times, but I never get tired of it. In my second grade, the curriculum included reading a story—Puiul (The Chick) by Ion Alexandru Bratescu-Voinesti. It’s a somber story from the Romanian literature, about a baby quail, who hadn’t listened to its mother to sit still with its siblings while she tried to divert a hunter’s attention. The naughty chick flies from its hiding place, and the hunter shoots and injures it badly enough so it can’t join its migrating family to warmer lands.
Though the story is meant to teach children to listen to their parents, I hated the image of a baby quail slowly freezing to death. So, I did what writers do: I re-wrote it. My version had a happy ending, where a child founds the injured bird and takes it home to nurse it back to health.
What is your favorite, and your least favorite thing about writing?
When my mind buzzes with ideas, I can’t seem to type fast enough, to put it all down on paper. Yes, sometimes during rewrites my head may drop on the desk, and I may ask myself aloud, “What the heck were you thinking,” but when that new idea pops in, I feel like a child the night before Christmas. Editing, on the other hand, and I bet I’m not alone in this, feels like a chore. Believe me: there is a good reason why I’m a writer, not an editor.
What would you most like readers to know about you?
Of course, first and foremost I’d like my readers to know the professional side of me—how I started to write; why I started to write; how each one of my prior jobs has helped prepare me to take on this crucial role. But I also like my readers to know me beyond my writing. I want them to connect with me on a personal level as well. While I’d love to share everything about myself—my likes, dislikes, the places I’ve visited, the oceans I’ve crossed, there isn’t enough room for all of it here and now, but I like my readers to know that I appreciate the little things money can’t buy. I am also open-minded and approachable.
What is your WIP?
I just finished writing another romantic suspense—Convenient Lies—and I’m putting the finishing touches on a historical fiction that is a mix of fact and fiction inspired by my own story. Set in two wolds, and two different cultures, Reflections will resonate with a lot of people—immigrants or not—because it offers a window into the life of people who choose to leave their homes and everything familiar and plunge into the unknown in search for better lives.