Monday, March 19, 2007
Author Q & A?
Over this last week a few people contacted me through webpage, asking questions. Most of them are aspiring authors or people curious about the whole writing/publishing process.

I was starting to reply to them individually, but then I thought, "What if other folks are interested in a little writing advice too?"

You see, I remember all too well what it was like growing up in the middle of nowhere, without any real writer friends or anyone I could turn to with questions about the publishing world.

So what do y'all think? Should we do an "ask the author" type thing here? I'm not an authority on this stuff by any means, but I've had a real crash course on how the publishing world works lately. Plus I've been writing these books for a decade or so. I hope I've learned a trick or two along the way.

Let me know what you think of this idea in the comments below. If it sounds interesting to at least a few people, we'll give it a try.



posted by Pat at


Blogger Shawn C. Speakman said...

I think it can only be a boon for you, Pat, maybe not for your time now since you'll be answering so many questions at the beginning but definitlely later on. Questions on writing never stop—trust me, I know—and the more you write down the fewer questions you'll get later on that have already been asked and catalogued.

After all, as you mentioned in your post, how one takes a finished manuscript and shops it is an utter mystery for most people.

I get asked a lot of questions from Terry's website, and I decided to compile the most asked questions and try to answer them. You can see how I set it up at Writing FAQ

That kind of set up might work here as well.

And I'd love to read your own thoughts on the publishing industry and how it all came together for you. We all have different experiences and I still want to learn from others.

Also, it's great to see you putting in so much energy on your website. That's great. Thank you for your time!

March 19, 2007 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Miriam said...

What I was going to say has already been said, I see, so I'll just add that I think it's very generous of you to offer to spend time answering people's questions. Thanks for everything!

March 19, 2007 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would really love to read your responses to questions on writing. It would be very helpful! Plus, you wouldn't have to repeat yourself (FAQs as Shawn suggests). Consider your blogsite bookmarked by one more person! Thanks, too.

March 19, 2007 9:56 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Huh. Bookmark. That's a good idea. I should have the designers put one of those "bookmark this page" thingers on here...

March 19, 2007 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Miriam said...

Shawn-- I found that Writing FAQ you put together on Terry's site (one of my favorite fantasy authors!) really helpful. Thanks for that!

March 20, 2007 6:31 PM  
Blogger Shawn C. Speakman said...

You are very welcome, Miriam. Glad it was useful. I'm sure there are some things on that FAQ Pat does not agree with—we bring our own perspectives, and a lot of what I wrote down there comes from other authors whose beginning stories are as varied as the advice they give. I tried to distill as much of it down as I could into a form useful for others.

I'm excited to see what Pat sets up. Maybe we can ask the first couple of questions, Miriam. *grins* Put Pat on the hotburner, as they say. —S.

March 20, 2007 11:06 PM  
Blogger Naten said...

Terrific idea. It can only add depth to the site you have here, and I imagine quite a few folks will be curious to hear such a heralded newcomer's advice.

March 20, 2007 11:44 PM  
Blogger Akiva M said...

Well, I know a fair number of folks who have already demonstrated an interest in this (and you'd be less likely to lose the posts here, too) ;)

By the way, I see all your currently scheduled tour dates are in the great white north. Any plans to hit NY?

March 21, 2007 6:41 PM  
Anonymous S. Ford said...

Can't beleive I hadn't found this before. Another blog to keep up on. Followed a link trail to find ya, good buzz out there, can't wait to finally read The Novel.

Hope to chat soon.

Lemme know if you get near Maine.

March 23, 2007 10:30 AM  
Blogger Shawn C. Speakman said...

A bit of news to share that Pat might or might not be aware of. My book distributor called me this morning letting me know that Pat's book was there waiting for me to pick up. That means the book might be on shelves on Monday rather than the scheduled Tuesday. :)

And Pat, you better get ready. You are going to have dozens of books to sign here in Seattle. The Signed Page is going to put you to work! haha

March 23, 2007 12:51 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

To me, some of the best learning I have ever done was when I attempted to put words to something that I had not before to try to show/teach something to someone else. I think that simply for the interested out there, it would be a wonderful thing for you to do - giving writers some points that come from your experience, things to watch out for, things to be stubborn about and things not to be stubborn about. What sorts of things helped you keep writing, what things got in the way? All of these things, I think, would be excellent for aspiring writers to hear.

Then again, you may surprise yourself by what you'll learn simply be committing things to words - I'm sure you know how that goes. You may be able to consciously wield what was before a subconscious tool through the act of that alone.

All for you to decide, but whatever you decide - I think it a generous and great idea.

May 9, 2007 9:53 PM  

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