Saturday, April 14, 2012

June Bryan Belfie on Writing and Encouragement to Budding Authors

Where do you write? Describe your writing space.
Right now I’m in my living room, but most of the time I work on my dining room table. Using a laptop makes it easy to change my setting. Since my husband works on his computer in the dining room also, if I need to really concentrate without interruption, I move to another area. In the summer I like to work on my covered patio. I do start with orange juice and around ten my hubby and I break for coffee and/or tea.
Do you have a schedule (daily or book-long) for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I write something nearly everyday, though I've been formatting and editing for the past month. My favorite writing is the first draft of a book.
What is your writing routine once you start a book?
Since I have a lousy memory, once I commit to writing a book, I write consistently and several hours a day until it's complete. I become totally absorbed and housework is put on hold. I do manage to feed my family, but nothing very elaborate, I'm afraid. One book, 72,000 + words, I wrote in three weeks.
How about the people and/or animals you share space with. Do they know not to bother you when you are writing, or are there constant interruptions?
My single daughter was injured in July last year and has been living here with my husband and me since. Her future is unknown, but she still maintains an apartment an hour away. We take life a day at a time.
What do family members think of your writing? Do you ever ask for advice? Editing?
My husband is my main reader and critic. He's good and keeps me from making my males wimpy! He actually likes to re-read my books on the Kindle. One daughter, Jill, reads every word I write and is an excellent critic. (In return I critique her art - she's a professional watercolorist) My granddaughters read my books and encourage me. We have five adult children, but they are so busy raising kids and working that my sons have only read sections of my books. My eldest, who travels in his work, likes the book series that hasn't seen the light of day yet.
What kind of research do you do?
Most is on the internet. If I have someone living in Paris, I go into the neighborhoods, (plus I've been there) and check out apartment rentals, parks in the area - anything that will help fill in the dots in my mind about the setting.
In one book, I needed information on orphanages in India. I spent nearly a whole day researching that. It brought tears to my eyes, to read how many children were living without their families.
Any words of encouragement for unpublished writers.
Just keep plugging away. My first published book was about the fifth book I'd written. You do get better as you read and write. I have several books I read for educating me in the process of writing.

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