Today, I’m joined by Deanna Anderson, another member of SCWW. She’s been kind enough to answer some questions about her writing process, so I hope you will enjoy!
1. When did you start writing?
Honestly, I started writing when I eight years old. I remember being bored one summer and I wanted to read a book but had no new ones on my shelf. I decided that I would write a story so I’d have something new to read. From then on I was hooked and wrote several short stories. I have also tried my hand at poetry, but I prefer short stories over anything else.
2. Are you a pantser or a planner?
Some things are planned, especially my non-fiction titles which are planned with outlines. But short stories and novels are often ideas I kick around for awhile in my head and then sit down and just start writing what comes to mind. With two teenagers, a garden, animals, and working full-time I can’t always plan a regular time to sit and write.
3. Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
As I said above, I often kick around ideas for awhile and then sit down and just start writing. I have started and finished some short stories in the matter of a few hours (rough drafts anyway, always have to go back and edit) but some titles, especially novels, are works in progress expanding over years. When I work on my non-fiction titles I always start with an outline as it progresses along nicer, for novels or short stories I don’t do outlines as I like to see where the story can develop and let the characters take on a life of their own. Often the characters end up doing things I had no idea they could or would do when I started!
4. Which authors have influenced your work?
For short stories it is definitely O’Henry and Edgar Allen Poe. Stephen King also writes amazing short stories but he is also my inspiration for novels, as is V.C. Andrews. I have a picture of King’s house that a friend took when she visited Maine and I keep it in my writing folder for inspiration. For non-fiction, since I write about alternative spiritualities and folk magic the authors that inspire me are Scott Cunningham, Gerwina Dunwich, DJ Conway , Ellen Dugan, and Patricia Telesco.
5. What are you plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?
Two new releases this year are “Of the Seven: Sinner or Saint” and “Unputdownable Tales of Terror” which are both short story anthologies and I was very excited to get them published because I have been wanting to showcase my short stories for quite some time now. “Of the Seven” is fourteen short stories all with an underlying theme of either a sin or a virtue. “Tales of Terror” is a collection of short stories and poems co-authored with G.L. Giles (also of South Carolina). I am also working on a non-fiction title “Magick for the Homesteading Witch” that is part of a series and combines homesteading (gardening, farming, etc) with different folk beliefs, folk magic, and spirituality.
6. Any tips for new writers?
Never give up. Dr. Suess’s “The Cat in the Hat” was rejected seventeen times before being picked up by a publisher. Never give up, and learn everything you can about the writing world from proper grammar and sentence structure to the ins and outs of publishing.
7. Any tips for old writers?
Think about re-vamping yourself every now and then. I have a friend who wrote vampire fiction and recently veered from that to children’s story books. Dean Koontz also wrote a children’s book one time and Stephen King has changed his genre from time to time to that of aliens and psychological horror instead of the haunting-monster-type he was first known for. I have a vampire book at home written by V.C. Andrews that is just waiting to be read. Break away from the genre you have placed yourself in and try something new.
Connect with Deanna: http://andersondeanna.weebly.com/index.html