Doing author interviews is probably one of my favorite things I get to do for Bookish Temptations, but can be the most nerve-wracking. Mainly because I still have this fangirl-like awe for authors. That still hasn’t changed even though I do interact with them more now than I ever have.
I got the distinct pleasure of reading the fantastic book The Plan by Qwen Salsbury recently. I just love this author and her writing, that I asked if I could interview her. She was so kind to accept…
Tell me about one of the first stories that you wrote. Even if you were just a kid.
In second grade I wrote most of a story about a dinosaur escaping an erupting volcano. Pretty sure it was a stegosaurus as they were always my favorite. The teacher read what I wrote in front of the class and did a marvelous job of pretending I had built some level of suspense. I hope Mr. Benson hasn’t been waiting for the final chapter all these years!
The Plan is formatted in a fairly unique way. It feels like journal entries. I was lucky enough to get to read this story a couple of years ago, and would literally stop whatever I was doing to read the update, because it was that addictive. I have this distinct memory of being in a Target shopping and leaving my cart to sit down at the café to read it on my phone. LOL
My question is what made you decide to tell Emma’s story this way?
It was really part of the natural process of writing that particular character as well as a funny by-product of my writing process for this story.
Emma is very busy and needs to organize her day, her thoughts, and pretty much everything else to get it all done. So, I envisioned that she performs a “mental journal” of sorts. This is where I am. This is what’s happening. Now this.
She stays professional but true to herself by allowing this inner monologue of snark to run. It’s her coping mechanism for stress reduction.
I didn’t write the story chronologically, so the dates and info at the head of each entry where somewhat for my own organization purposes.
Initially, I intended to go back through and alter the journal stamps to traditional paragraphs. That quickly went out the window as I began to feel that they were part of the character and how she would think. So, I began writing them with that thought in mind and with the intent to keep the journal format.
Do you have a writing schedule or ritual that you follow?
Heavens, I wish.
Solo parenting and finishing law school meant that I wrote on the sly a great deal.Now with law classes behind me, I hope to have a better system. Somehow this isn’t magically happening.
But, apart from scheduling, yes I do have a ritual. I “write what’s hot” regardless of where it is in the story. Then I hammer that sucker in there when the time comes.
I also tend to write something one day and then tinker with it the next day and then again the next. Just fine tuning. Comma here. Then, no comma the next day.
I also find myself re-reading the entire story from the beginning each time I add an entry. Not the most efficient of methods, but I get hung up wondering how it all sounds together and can’t move on effectively.
Is any aspect of this book based on personal experience? i.e. did you work in an office where betting pools like this existed? Was there someone like Canon an executive there?
No hot office guys like Canon. Some hot executives. Some jerky ones. No combos, alas.
There have been a few weight-loss betting pools where I’ve worked, but nothing morbid like how long some poor soul will keep their job. lol
I love intelligent and funny heroines. Is Emma Baker based on someone you know or maybe yourself? After reading your book, I love/adore you and was kind of thinking about stalking you.
Aw, my own stalker. lol
Emma is a blender of many real ladies I’ve known. I didn’t have any one specific person in mind though. I did wish I was more like her. Push through insecurities. Look good in lacy undies.
Alaric Canon. Is there an actor or model that he might look like or is based on?
Initially, he looked like Robert Pattinson in my mind. Over time, Canon started looking a bit more like model Nick Ayler.
When you decided to approach a publisher with your work, what was that experience like? Do you have advice for writers out there who think they might want to share their work with the publishing world?
This didn’t have a traditional route to publishing. So, in general, don’t corner yourself into thinking you must approach publishing in a specific route. Yes, there are protocols for submission and those must be followed.
But, more broadly, just be true to yourself. Write what you think you are comfortable with. That’s where you will have the best chance to excel. If you write what’s popular, well, someone else is already doing that, aren’t they?
Which do you find more difficult to write about, UST or actual sex scenes?
Actual sex scenes.
But, more than both of those, writing scenes between happy couples that aren’t boring are difficult for me. Perhaps because I have no real life experience with healthy relationships. LOL
Rapid Fire questions. Please answer with the first thought that comes to mind.
Coffee or Tea
Sweet or Salty
Chocolate covered Pretzels (my personal favorite too!)
Wine or Beer
Wine – Beer doesn’t like me
Favorite Fruit (yeah, I’m going there)
Blueberries (but pineapples have their advantages…)
Favorite musical artist or what you’re listening to right now on your library
I’m all class, all the time
Favorite eye color
Dogs or cats
Bunnies bunnies bunnies!! (My best friend owns a bunny and two cats! They are so cute when they play together.)
PC or Mac
PC – Macs treat me much like beer treats me
I LOVE small towns. They have such character. Eureka Springs, Arkansas is gorgeous. As far as larger cities, I am partial to Atlanta.
Favorite time of day
Thanks Qwen and Enn Bocci for making this interview happen in your busy schedules. BT is participating The Plan book release tour, so stay tuned for that!!