It's Blog Ring of Power Friday time! Welcome to the Realm Pippa!
For the other parts, don't forget to check out
Part 1 with T.W.
Part 2, yup, right here
Part 3 with Sandra
Part 4 with Dean
Part 5 with Terri.
So as Section 2 of BRoP let's get talking about The Writing Life
BRoP: What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? Do you use pen and paper or computer? Work at home or at the library/Starbucks, etc.
Pippa: Generally I get up early, jump on the computer, and write until it's time to do the morning school routine with my children. I don't tend to use pen and paper much these days unless I have no alternative. I can touch type so much faster, and so can keep pace with my mind easier than writing it out by hand. This September my youngest started full time school so I plan to spend some time at the library abusing...er, using their Wi-Fi (I don't have it at home) and to make sure I actually spend some time out of the house.
BRoP: How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life?
Pippa: With difficulty. Now the kids are all at school I've set myself a routine of writing/editing, housework and promotion. It's working out well, but school holidays - especially the long summer one - are a killer. It's fine if I don't have deadlines, but my word count seriously drops. The kids have to come first.
BRoP: How much time per day do you spend on your writing?
Pippa: I try to spend at least an hour on it. Most of my time over the last year has been spent editing rather than writing - a consequence of becoming published - but that's my minimum. I'll get the odd day where I can write for the majority of it, but not so much.
BRoP: What has been the most surprising reaction to something you've written?
Pippa: A friend actually commissioned a piece of artwork based on how he visualized the opening scene of Keir. It's just awesome! One, that he did that for me, but secondly the chance to see how my descriptions are coming across. I think it's the greatest compliment I've been paid.
BRoP: What is the strongest criticism you’ve ever received as an author? The best compliment?
Pippa: I put the opening five hundred words into a critique contest, and had it absolutely ripped apart. The critic was scathing, and it completely destroyed my confidence. Three months later that same opening won me a publishing contract. Just goes to show how even expert opinions can vary. That opening did get edited somewhat before publication, but probably not as much as the critic would have demanded. Compliments - well, the artwork for one. But I've had messages from readers telling me how much they loved the book and the characters, and asking for more.
BRoP: Other than your family, what has been your greatest source of support?
Pippa: My BFF, and my friends and fellow authors on the internet. Also the SFRBrigade, a community of authors dedicated to the promotion of science fiction romance. They're a fabulous bunch.
BRoP: How do you deal with rejection and/or negative reviews?
Pippa: Rejection hurts, but you do get hardened to it over time. You just have to remember that, unless you're getting consistent feedback saying your writing is poor, chances are your book just wasn't for them. If you look at the statistics for agents/ publishers taking books - especially from new writers - your chances are incredibly small. I think it was something like 0.1% when I last looked - don't quote me though! Research and persistence are the key. Your chances are greater with someone who specializes in your genre, or who makes a specific submission call for it.
As for bad reviews - I've had a few low ratings, but generally they haven't said why. In those cases there's nothing you can do except assume it wasn't their thing and move on (unless it's abusive, in which case report/flag it). You can't please everyone. If several people pick on the same flaw, take it on board and bear it in mind as something to work on in the future. See it as a challenge, not an insult.