Today I’m answering some of your questions from twitter and from comments on this blog. These are some great ones. Thanks to everyone for asking them!
Q: How do you pronounce Cassia’s name?
A: Cash-a. I know. It’s tricky. It’s the name of the cinnamon flower (see pic above) and I chose it because I liked the sound, the classical/unusual feel of it, and the connection to botany.
Q: When is the cover for CROSSED going to be made public?
A: I don’t know. I imagine sometime in March/April, since that’s about when they came up with the final cover for MATCHED, but you KNOW if I get the go-ahead to post it sooner, I will. For the record, I haven’t seen the final cover yet, so I’m not holding out on you.
Q: Besides perseverance and time, what is something that you’ve learned over the years that you could share with us…about writing?
A: Take the time to know your process. How do you work? How do you write? Where are your strengths? Do you like to plot? Do you love voice? Exploit those. Have fun with them. Write to your strengths and then work on your weaknesses. Draft. A lot. Let it be bad. You can fix it later. Take classes. Go to conferences. Don’t be afraid to tear your book apart. Don’t be afraid to write something new. Don’t be afraid to finish something hard. Write for yourself first but choose a few others to listen to later.
Q: Has it been fun having your dream turn to reality, or like all dreams is the reality not what you expected?
A: It has been very fun! Mostly I love everything about it. And now and then I get comments like this on a post of mine (this one came on the eight years writing post): “I teared up when I read this post. I was on a blog the other day and it seemed people were making you out to be a rich lady, who just tried her hand at writing out of boredom.”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, I can’t even breathe at how funny that is. (I’m laughing at the blog, not at the lovely commenter, who is very kind and sweet and I very much appreciate her comment.) But the point is, yes, there have been things that have been unexpected. With more attention comes more negative attention. There are people who don’t know me at all who have strong opinions based on…I’m not sure what. But I promise you I did not start writing because I was a bored rich lady. A really poor lady who had little kids and lived in a student apartment/two tiny rooms in a sorority, yes.
Q: Can you tell us where you got the inspiration for MATCHED?
A: Yes! It’s over in the FAQ part of the site.
Q: What is something you learned the hard way before being published? What do you wish you would have done differently that would have made the road to success possibly easier or less time-consuming?
A: This is kind of a hard question because my road has been both long and short. Long, in that it took me seven years to get an agent/a national publication deal. Short, in that my smaller regional publisher did publish other books of mine during that time. So I’m not sure if you mean before I was published at all or before I was published nationally. I’m going to presume published at all. So here’s my answer for that one–I wish I had realized earlier on that I was a writer, not just a writer of one book. I knew that I would always write, but I think I thought that I’d written one book and it might be really hard to write another. And actually, that’s not something I needed to be afraid of at all. I would have taken some of the pressure off myself and told myself–“This book is one book. You can write it, AND you can write other things later. This book will not make or break you.” Does that make sense? I think that would have saved me some angst!
I hope I’ve answered everything coherently. If not, feel free to ask again! And be sure to come back on Thursday. I have an awesome little contest planned in honor of the Breathless Reads Tour, which starts NEXT WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9th. I can’t wait!