On The Write Way today, I am really pleased to present Maggie Stiefvater, author of such amazing books as The Shiver trilogy.
1) Dream Thieves, the second book in your Raven Cycle series will be published later this year,how do you normally spend a publication day?
Ha! On Twitter, refreshing senselessly. Though I don't know what I'm looking for. By publication day, the book has really been "out in the world" already because of review copies. So I usually already have a sense of how it will be received well before the official day.
2) Can you tell my readers a little bit about the Raven Cycle series?
It's about a group of teens who are looking for a possibly dead, possibly sleeping Welsh king under the mountains of Virginia. The two main characters are Gansey, a rather rich boy who goes to a posh private school and looks for the king Glendower for secret reasons of his own, and Blue, the daughter of a town psychic who has been told ever since she was small that she will kill her true love if she kisses him. It's basically about magic and cars and boys behaving badly and mythology.
3) I noticed on Goodreads, that you are presently working on three different books, how doyou managed to juggle these projects?
I can't write two novels at the same time, but I can write a novel and edit a different one at the same time. So although it looks as if I'm writing three at the moment, really one is in copy edits, one is in edits, and one is being drafted.
4) Do you find that the writing gets easier or harder with each book you publish?
Harder! I wish I didn't know now what bad writing looked like.
5) What comes first, the character, the plot or the idea when beginning a new project?
The mood, actually. It's like going to see a movie in the theater. A lot of times, I don't know the specifics of what I want to see, I just think to myself: I'd like to see a thriller. And so really it's this question I ask myself: what sort of book do I want to be living with for the next year?
6) What was your one line synopsis for the first book you tried to get your agent with?
Oh man. That was 15 years ago, and it was a type-written query, so I'm sure I don't know the wording of it. But it was a political thriller about a man released from prison early so that all of his old cronies would think he was an informer. It was terrible.
7) Do you plot out each book before you write it or do you let the story unfold as you go along?
I have to know, at the very least, the beginning and the end. And then I try to map out a few points along the way before I begin. I know myself. I won't finish the book if I don't know the end first.
8) Do you have a daily word count that you aim for when writing your first draft?
No, but I do like to reach a definite finishing point for a day's work. So I will aim for a chapter, or a scene.
9) Do you edit your first draft as you write it or wait until you have finished it?
I know it's very bad form to confess that I edit as I go along, but I do. I know some writers can press on knowing there are problems in the draft, but I can't. It niggles.
10) When your touring with your books, how do you find time to write?
Oh, I am very happy to write on planes. I used to feel quite self-conscious about writing in public, because I thought people would read over my shoulders. And in fact, while I was writing The Raven Boys on a plane, I wrote a joke into it and the man next to me laughed. I was quite annoyed with him. But it's a lot like learning to busk with a musical instrument. You get over the stage fright.
11) If you could be any other writer in history, who would you like to be?
Oh, I like being me. But Poe and Chaucer and Diana Wynne Jones could come to my dinner table in the afterlife.