Q: Do I have any clean pants, Mom?
A: Did you put them in a hamper? Because if you did, I washed them. If they were carefully wadded up under your bed, they're still there.
Q: What's for dinner?
A: Check the calendar. I wrote it down.
Q: What do you think I should do?
A: (tearing my hair)
-- Oh - were you expecting writing questions? Those come, too. --
Q: What do you do with all your extra money?
A: (Laughing maniacally) Is there such a thing as extra?
Q: But don't writers make lots of money?
A: Writers who write lots of popular* books make lots of money.
Q: Here's a great idea for a book. Want to write it?
A: Probably not. I've got ideas - that's the easy part. The actual writing is where it gets a little tricky.
Q: What's the best part of being a writer?
A: Daily naps. Second best? Writer friends.
Q: How do you find the time to write?
A: Every day comes filled with twenty-four hours. I choose what I put in those hours (and how long each thing will take) - at least to some extent. I prioritize. I wake up early. I never clean my house if I can help it.** I have 4 kids in school. I minimize other commitments. I don't answer the phone. I do much less PTA than my guilt tells me I should. I hit my daily writing goal and then I move on to something else (like a whole lot of picking up and dropping off of adorable kids).
Q:Your characters sound like you.
A: That is not a question.
Q: Okay, I'll try again. Do you write yourself into your books?
A: There has to be something autobiographical in every writing - even if it's to say: This is what I don't really believe. It's natural to put yourself into your writing, because you come with a certain viewpoint, a set of lenses through which you see the world. It's good to change lenses when you write, but recognize that the lenses are there. Also, um, yeah. I do write myself.
Q: Do you write fiction because you're scared of the Truth?
A: I write fiction because it's my favorite vehicle for Truth. The True parts are what remain after the story is over.
Q: When is your next book coming out?
A: Technically March 4th (I think). Really? Any time. (You can already pre-order on some sites!)
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Something that's starting to take shape after 15,000 useless words. Sometimes I have to write for the sake of writing - flex a muscle every day. That leads to a whole lot of useless c-r-a-p. But maybe eventually the character will emerge and demand her story to be told. That's the magic part.
And there you have it - some of the things people ask me regularly. Want to know anything else? Your socks are under the couch. You're welcome.
*I almost said "good" books, but that isn't necessarily the same thing.
**I'd love for you to think that's a joke.