Inkpop Blog

Write, Read, Connect

Inside the Mind of an Author

Posted by inkpopbecki on May 5, 2010

Okay, so we all agree that books are interesting, that’s why we’re here. And how an author came to write the book he or she wrote is always intriguing, but what is it really like in the mind of a writer? We’re trying to answer that question with our new series “Inside the Mind”. Every week we’re going to bring you questions from our upcoming and bestselling authors, giving you the chance to get inside and poke around  the crazy and wonderful minds of an author!

This week we’re going inside the mind of Tera Lynn Childs, author of the recently released novel Forgive My Fins.

Inside the Mind of Tera Lynn Childs

Courtesy of Tera Lynn Childs

Do you have any quirky habits, traditions, or rituals that help get you into the writing space?

First, I leave my house. I can’t write at home because there are just too many potential distractions (TV, email, laundry, food, my adorable Dalmatian mix, Daisy). I head to the nearest coffee shop that has comfy chairs, stake mine out, and then get a weather-appropriate beverage. Once I’m in my chair with my drink, I need to tune out the rest of the world, so I pop in my earbuds and pull up the playlist-du-jour (whatever music I’m into at the moment). There’s a lot of dawdling and procrastinating, but eventually I pull out my AlphaSmart (the best writing investment I ever made) and plunge into the story.

Where do you derive most of the inspiration for your writing?

Oh, everywhere. Life, people, books, TV, magazines. I came up with the idea for Oh. My. Gods. by tweaking the reality TV show title Growing Up Gotti to my create my working title, Growing Up Godly. The idea for Forgive My Fins hit me when I was in Florida for the summer, spending lots of time on the beach, and thinking how cool it would be if a mermaid could bestow her magical powers with a kiss (and what if she kissed the wrong boy). The kernel of the idea for my upcoming (and still untitled) Medusa girls trilogy came from a magazine feature about snake-themed jewelry. I’m kind of always keeping my mind open for the next great inspiration, because I never know what little detail is going to lead me to a fabulous idea.

If there were one bad writing habit you have that you would love to kick, what would it be?

Procrastination. I wish I could be one of those writers who gets up every day and writes a certain page quota, no matter how far away my deadline is. I tell myself I need all that procrastination time for brainstorming and subconscious plotting and problem solving. (Note: That is possibly just a very convincing, self-deluding excuse.)

Publishing books is a hard process! If a magic genie were to appear and tell you that there was one step in the process that you could skip and still publish a successful book, which step would that be and why?

Honestly, not a one. Every step of the publishing process is important, a crucial learning experience that made and continues to make me a better writer. Querying agents was hard, but it taught me how to encapsulate my story in a paragraph, which helped me learn how to identify the core concepts of my books. Rejection was (and still is) hard, but it taught me that publishing is a very subjective business and that no book is going to please every agent/editor/critic/librarian/reader. (Note: This is a very important lesson if you want to maintain a modicum of sanity in this industry.) Revision will always be hard, but it teaches me how to tear apart and analyze my

Designed by Amy Ryan

story to make it better, which in turn     helps me figure out how to do that on the first try next time.  Skipping any one of those steps would cheat me out of an opportunity to become a better writer, which is my constant goal.

Want to hear more from author Tera Lynn Childs? Tune in to her live chat, When Fantasy and Fiction Collide, today at 5 p.m. EST

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