New York Times and USA Today Bestselling novelist, screenwriter, editor, namer, critic, movie addict and chocoholic
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Two Writers Talk Technique
Clea Simon and I are swapping notes again, this time about whether or not certain times of year are more condusive for writing. Please check out her great blog for my response. And thank you, Clea!
Now that Thanksgiving is done, I'm reading lots about "seasonal" mysteries. Everyone wants to read a story about the holidays, a "killed by Christmas" mystery, or a "let it snow" essay. Of course, for those to come out now, they were probably written over a year ago, and maybe in the summer. But they have made me think: Do we write differently in the holiday season? Or just as winter approaches?
In some ways, it's hard for me to judge. Up here in New England, the weather has turned unseasonably mild. The thermometer says 59, which is warmer by far than it has been for weeks here. And I haven't started any of my gift shopping (or making or baking). But I do know that once the mercury sinks again, I'll be in the mood to cuddle up and read a good book, so why shouldn't I want to cuddle up and write? After all, when it's dark and grim, the idea of a fictional escape is even more tempting than usual. And when it's cold and wet (or simply cold), I find it very hard to go outside. So if I lose hours of writing when the weather is gorgeous and the birds are calling me outdoors, maybe I make up for it during the short, dark, harsh days of winter, when a cat and a computer tempt me far more than a walk.
As for the holidays? Well, for me they are a distraction. A wonderful distraction, mind you, filled with friends and food and sparkly earrings that I never wear the rest of the year. I love them. But as far as helping me write, well, no they don't. Except when my friends start asking me just what I'm working on now and as I start to tell them, the ideas start rushing out... like presents I'll give myself a little later, when I have time and quiet, in the cold, dark days to come.
Stay tuned, THIS OTHER LIFE has sold to Algonquin, my beloved publisher and I am busy writing it now. My 11th novel CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD is an Indie Next Pick. IS THIS TOMORROW was an May Indie Pick. I'm also the New York Times bestselling author of PICTURES OF YOU, a San Francisco Chronicle Lit Pick, a Costco "Pennie's Pick." a NAIBA bestseller and on the Best Books of 2011 List from San Francisco Chronicle, Providence Journal, Kirkus Reviews and Bookmarks Magazine. I'm the recipient of a New York Foundation of the Arts Grant in Fiction. I was a 2013 finalist in the Sundance Screenwriting Lab and a finalist in the Nickelodeon Screenwriting Fellowship, four of my novels were optioned for screen, and I talked my way into writing the script for two of them. My essay, HIgh Infidelity, has been optioned for film. I'm a book critic for The San Francisco Chronicle and People Magazine. I teach novel writing for UCLA Extension Writers' Program, and Stanford online, do private fiction editing, and I am a professional namer! I live with my husband, writer/editor Jeff Tamarkin and we beam with pride about our son, an actor/filmmaker in college. Visit me at http://www.carolineleavitt.com.