Liz Hedgecock, “I write in the corner of the dining room where the family computer sits. He’s named Fry, for Stephen Fry, and as you can see from the picture, he generally has a lot of windows open! There’s a coaster for my ever-present mug of tea, and pens for scribbling (loose A4 sheets and a big notebook sit under the desk on my printer). I also have a couple of postcards that spur me on, an amethyst crystal to fiddle with, and my lucky writing rhino (sometimes when I’m stuck, I rub his bottom). I’d like to say it’s organised chaos, but really it’s chaos.”
Brea Behn:What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Brea Behn: I was wracking my brain to think of a single thing I don’t like about writing. I am not a huge fan of the editing side of being a writer, but that’s not the writing. Marketing can be frustrating when all your efforts do not come to fruition, but that’s not the actual writing either. When it comes down to it, I am a writer at my core. It is my happy place and I love it. I love putting my thoughts into words. I love letting my imagination and passion lead me as the words flow out of me onto the keyboard. When I write, I am myself more so than in any other thing that I do.
My office working area is often referred to as an offshoot of a space station. The designers of computer equipment have the right idea for increasing sales- every six months bring out new/improved and ‘By the way it won’t talk to any peripherals you’ve already got so you’ll have to buy new ones and add to the landfill. We’ve also changed the connectors so they won’t fit any other hardware you already have.’
My Mother used to call me stubborn; I prefer to think of it as using ingenuity, not to be beaten.
Hence the reason for two keyboards, two laptops, (the main one not visible,) two printers, two mice, a scanner, two 10-point USB extenders, and a larger screen monitor. Also stored away are several other PCs which will only talk to the next eldest if I need to retrieve any old files. It sounds weird but it works for me. It also means I can shift it all around at regular intervals as a break from writing.
The photos will give you an idea of what I mean. Just out of the picture is that other invaluable writing tool – a small desk with kettle, supply of water, coffee and cup.
Interview question: “Do you ever listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?”
Maria Lawless, “Yes, I do sometimes while writing, but mostly I have complete quiet as everyone is sleeping. If I am writing or editing during the day, I will listen to Native American, Spanish Guitar or Celtic music to help me focus. The album The Sky in the Water by Ricchary is the one I listen to the most. In 2008, they were touring and playing live at small venues throughout NZ. I was in our Healing Centre and heard this amazing music that reminded me of my step-father who had passed; he was Ho-chunk/Winnebego Native American and Norwegian. I followed the sound to Majestic Square, a small outdoor concert venue, and there they were in traditional South American Indian dress, dancing and playing this amazing music. I bought a cd and it has been my favourite since that day. I used it in all my sessions as well, and my clients loved it. It triggers a sense of connection and gratitude for me and reminds me how blessed I am. Being in that meditative state allows me to let the words flow without the mind getting in the way.”
Interview Question: “What is your least favorite thing about writing?”
Sue Wentz, “Realizing that as hard as I’ve worked on a particular scene, and as much as I love absolutely everything about it—the snappy on-point dialogue, the emotional nuance, the gut-kicking turn of phrase, the light touch of metaphor—it isn’t going to make it into the final version. That is just plain crazy-making!”
Interview Question: Julie C. Eger, “What is your least favorite thing about writing?” I would have to say my least favorite part of writing is checking my work to make sure I’ve got all my compound words compounded and all my hyphenated words hyphenated. There are rules to follow for that sort of thing, but most of them are foreign to my backwards way of thinking. Checking for those two things is usually a hair-pulling event for me, even with the help of online sites that state the rules for the correct way to do things.
Interview question: If you could meet any author and sit down for a nice long chat about the writing craft, who would it be and why? (Note: Living or dead is fine, but it has to be someone you’ve never met before.)
Brea Behn: Stephen King. He is such a prolific and talented writer. I have read his memoir and loved it, so I would probably ask him very pointed questions like: “Are you happy you chose a career as a writer?” My guess is we could have a very deep conversation.