I have a special guest on my blog today. She’s no stranger here, but it’s been a while since I’ve hosted her. Please give a warm welcome to novelist, Robin Woods, author of The Watcher Series. She’s sharing about her latest projects, giving some author/writer tips, and letting us know a bit more about her life. Enjoy!
Young adult fiction writer, Robin Woods, was born and raised in San Jose, CA where she earned a BA in English and a MA in Education from local universities. In addition to writing, Robin has been teaching high school English for close to two decades, and also works as a college professor. Her love of working with teenagers and her love of books inspired her to begin writing in the teen genre.
Robin’s love affair with vampire lore began at age eight when she was mesmerized by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She took advantage of her summers off and traveled all over Europe; she even managed to find herself in one of Vlad Dracul’s castles in Romania. She escaped unharmed.
When she is not torturing her high school English students or chasing her two small children around, she is sitting in a local coffee shop wondering how vampires like their lattes.
Q & A
What genre do you consider your books? The series starts out as Young Adult (YA), but gradually becomes New Adult (NA) as the books progress. Though, I have never listed my novels as NA because there is an expectation that there will be graphic/explicit sex scenes. My novels get dark and definitely have some sizzle, but I keep to the YA “rules.”
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? Chaos!! I work about 50-60 hours a week, at minimum, as an English teacher/college professor and have two children (ages 5 & 8). So my writing schedule is fairly erratic. I do write (almost) every day, though. Sometimes it is only a paragraph or two, but it is important to look at my manuscript each day to keep my head in the story. I am usually having conversations with my characters as I drift off to sleep each night.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I need coffee in my hand and music in my ears.
What are your current projects? I am finishing up The Fallen: Part Two and will begin writing a couple of novellas for a Hollywood producer as soon as I am done. I have been tasked to write stories with the intention that they will be turned into a script. One of them is a fairytale reboot or origin story. That is all that I am allowed to say, but I am excited.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your first book, The Unintended? I would probably mix up the timeline in the first few chapters and cut some detail to help pick up the pacing. It is a little slow, but I did lay out the world fairly well for a first novel. I think there is a large jump in my writing between my first and second book. The second one, The Nexus, is much faster and sexier than the first.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Writing the exposition between major scenes. I usually write key scenes and connect the dots later. Sometimes it is hard to force myself to write those interim scenes. It isn’t nearly as fun as writing something with a high emotional impact—be it action or romance.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
1. Be consistent and write every day—guard that writing time!
2. Research and fact check, even if you are writing a fantasy novel. There is no excuse with the ease of Google.
3. Have your work professionally edited. Period. No arguments. The number one complaint about indie books is the lack of editing, and it is the top reason for being rejected by a large publisher.
4. It is never too early to start building a platform—brand yourself and not your book.
5. Read, read, read—no excuses.
I try to give back to the writing community and blog about the craft and have free resources on my website.
Do you write an outline before every book you write? Maybe a little; I do almost everything in my head. I have a very organized brain. If you aren’t that way, I do not recommend it. Outlining is a great exploratory and organizational tool.
While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? I think you have to put yourself in your character’s shoes for the writing to be authentic. I have been known to have tears in my eyes while killing off a character.
I know that you have done some other interviews recently. Do you have a favorite? Yes! I did an interview for The Hammock and want to give a shout out to Claudia Arroyo Valdez (@arroyoclau) for having me. This interview focused on music and writing. I got to show off my saucy side. 😉
THIS OR THAT
Writing during the night or writing during the day? Night
Writing from home or someplace else? I’m just happy to find time to write!
Weather: Hot or Cold? Cold
Music or Silence? Music
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
The World being taken over by Zombies or Sexy Blood-sucking Vampires? Duh, vampires
eBook or Physical Copy? Hardback (but I usually have both going)
Time travel to the Future or Past? Past
Being able to Fly or become Invisible? Fly
Bookmark or Dog-eared? Post It
Pen or Pencil? Pen (I have a special affection for Sharpies)
Coffee or Tea? Both
Manicure or Pedicure? Pedi!
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Website and Blog
Book Descriptions, Samples, and Links to US & UK
Amazon US Page