Over the weekend we had a lovely chat with romantic suspense author Clara Grace Walker.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
At 9 years old, my 4th grade sent me off to a “Young Authors Conference.” That first instance of being called an author shaped my identity in a way that has been with me ever since
How long does it take you to write a book?
While the length of time varies depending on my “real-life” schedule and the creative flow, generally it takes about one year.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I would love to say I have a work schedule, but the truth is it’s usually just crammed in wherever I can find time.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I draft everything in longhand. I also do my first 2-3 rounds of re-writes in longhand. I am very non-creative when sitting in front of a computer screen.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Occasionally I get ideas from news stories or real-life events, but mostly I think the characters and plots in my stories are just a stew of everything I read, see and experience. The sum total of my life seems to marinate in my subconscious and then come out in stories that contain pieces of many different events, yet are wholly different.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
My first novel-length book was written when I was teen-ager. I’m sure it was quite ridiculous.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love traveling, photography (taking selfies…lol!), crafting, scrapbooking and spending time at the beach/pool.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Of the books I’ve actually completed (not just started), about 5. I hope to add significantly to that total before my journey here is through.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
There really is no substitute for just writing. I’ve found I become a better writer with every book I write…which is probably why it’s so difficult for me to go back and re-read my earlier works. I’m always finding things I want to change.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Most frequently, I hear from them on Twitter. They seem to appreciate my characters.
What do you think makes a good story?
I don’t think you can have a really good story without an honest portrayal of people and life. While you want your protagonists to be generally good, it’s important to remember that no one is perfect.. If you don’t allow your heroes to have their flaws, they will not be believable as human beings. Similarly, even villains have their reasons and justifications for what they do. The world is full of shades of gray, and that’s the world I write about…the good, the bad and everything in between.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Be a writer. 🙂