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The #evernighties Thursday Weekly Author Blog Challenge is a once-a-week blogging adventure brought to you exclusively by Evernight authors. Each week, we answer a new question (listed below and borrowed from MFRW.org) and the answers will be featured on the Evernight Reader’s Group on Facebook, as well as our own blogs and social media platforms. Check out the group or follow the #evernighties tag to see how other authors answered this week’s question!

Week #6: Five authors (alive or dead) I’d like to meet

This was a fun list to make!

  1. Stephen King – I don’t think anyone who has read my blog for any length of time is surprised by this. Stephen King was the reason I started writing at the tender and impressionable age of 13, wanting to be a horror writer just like him. I really want to meet him, and the fact he’s getting older makes me nervous that I won’t (and he makes far less public appearances now). I would love to just say to him “Mr. King, you’re the reason I started writing as a teenager, and now I have my own books published.” As eloquent as this seems in my head, in real life I’m sure I’d be a quivering, stupid mess and wouldn’t get the words out right.
  2. Anne Rice – She’s also getting older and it makes me nervous. I’d love to tell her what sort of impression her Vampire Chronicles had on me, even though I’m sure she hears it often. Her writing style and her boldness at a time vampire books weren’t a ‘thing’ yet, and her enduring impression and legacy as an author are things I really admire, and I’d love to just be in her presence for a few moments.
  3. Anne Lamott – My favorite author who writes about writing. She has a wicked dark sense of humor very much like my own and I think meeting her in person would be a delight.
  4. Edgar Allen Poe – Of course my black, morbid, horror-loving self would like to meet the old school master. I know in life he wasn’t exactly the greatest guy to be around, and possibly a raging alcoholic, but it’s a fantasy, I think, for anyone who writes or enjoys horror.
  5. Laurell K. Hamilton – The author who introduced me to urban fantasy, which is where my desire to write both paranormal and romance that’s a little more edgy and dark than traditional romance collide.

What writers would you like to meet?

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The #evernighties Thursday Weekly Author Blog Challenge is a once-a-week blogging adventure brought to you exclusively by Evernight authors. Each week, we answer a new question (listed below and borrowed from MFRW.org) and the answers will be featured on the Evernight Reader’s Group on Facebook, as well as our own blogs and social media platforms. Check out the group or follow the #evernighties tag to see how other authors answered this week’s question!

Week #5: A book that has influenced my life

This is a great question, and there’s several–I’ve talked about some of these before, so I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record.

I didn’t exactly have the best life growing up/in my teens. My mother died when I was 13 and I went into a system of foster care, rotating between my much older siblings and other people connected to my family. I hated my life and most of all, I hated living in the small, backwards town I lived in where there was basically nothing for a teenager to do but get into trouble–which I did, a lot. Even back then I was obsessed with horror novels and movies, probably because I was morbid due to my circumstances. Around the age of 15 (it’s been a long time and hard to remember my exact age) I found a copy of The Vampire Lestat at a flea market/basement sale type thing and of course it had the word VAMPIRE in the title, so I had to have it and read it.

It turned out that book changed my entire life–largely, because if you haven’t read it, through most of the first half, Lestat is a young (human) man who is desperate to escape his dreary provincial life and horrible family situation. He ends up doing this in the most fantastical way, by becoming a vampire (though it’s forced upon him) and taking on Paris, becoming an actor and ruling the night. For me, it sounded like all my daydreams come true. And even though it’s a largely tragic story about losing your humanity while trying to find yourself, it resonated with me so strongly at that impressionable, miserable age and gave me hope. I still have that falling apart, rag-tag copy I bought for 50 cents all those (many!) years ago. It’s held together with tape now and the pages are yellow, but I will never throw it away.

Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird is also the book that changed how I look at writing, when I was a young and very green writer. Her dark and frank sense of humor is right up my alley, and the lessons she teaches in it made things very clear for me at the time. I still have that old book too! I also have an old copy of Sophy Burnham’s For Writer’s Only which is full of amazing and resonating quotes for authors. I have a lot of old books!

How about you? What book changed your life?

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The #evernighties Thursday Weekly Author Blog Challenge is a once-a-week blogging adventure brought to you exclusively by Evernight authors. Each week, we answer a new question (listed below and borrowed from MFRW.org) and the answers will be featured on the Evernight Reader’s Group on Facebook, as well as our own blogs and social media platforms. Check out the group or follow the #evernighties tag to see how other authors answered this week’s question!

Week #4: What I would do if I couldn’t be a writer

Wow, this is an interesting question. Of course, I don’t HAVE to be a writer, no one is forcing me. And like all writers I have my moments where I just want to give up. But I know it’s part of who I am, it’s part of my being and my personality, it’s essential to who I am. The thought of not having that–of not knowing who and what I am–is kind of scary.

I don’t know that I would do anything else creative because I’m not that good at any other creative pursuits. Maybe I would try to be, but I don’t know. I suppose I could learn an instrument, or learn how to draw or make art. But would I have the same passion for it? I don’t know. I’m assuming with this question I just suddenly couldn’t be a writer anymore, as I am, in my life now. That would be hard, and I feel like I would lose a big part of myself. It would leave a hole behind that I’d find hard to fill. I suppose for a while I’d just focus on my job and try to figure out what I want to do next, where I want to go. Maybe I would try to find a job that helps me travel and see more of the world.

I would probably still do something connected to writing–teaching, or being in the publishing business, something of that sort. What would you do if you couldn’t be a writer?

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The #evernighties Thursday Weekly Author Blog Challenge is a once-a-week blogging adventure brought to you exclusively by Evernight authors. Each week, we answer a new question (listed below and borrowed from MFRW.org) and the answers will be featured on the Evernight Reader’s Group on Facebook, as well as our own blogs and social media platforms. Check out the group or follow the #evernighties tag to see how other authors answered this week’s question!

Week #3: How much of myself is in my writing

This is a really interesting question this week, and the answer is kind of complex. It’s one I like to think about as a writer, though.

First, I think I put a good bit of myself into my writing as far as passion goes. Whatever I’m passionate about/into at the time happens to be what I usually write about. I mean, I think it would be hard to write about something you’re not really interested in. So I do tend to focus on subjects, places, and things that I’m fascinated by. I assume most writers do, and that’s the biggest part of ourselves that we put into our writing.

I also sometimes add personal preferences to my stories. My characters might have some trait or habit that I have, or they like (or don’t) like something that I do. No one character I’ve ever written is EXACTLY like me, but sometimes I give them a bit of my personality. I think that’s natural as a writer too–it’s part of that “write what you know” advice we get whacked over the head with. I might pull from my own memories or childhood to give a character a backstory, but again, no character is a carbon copy of me.

And of course, my characters sometimes end up in places I’ve been and I draw from those experiences. Life translates to fiction, after all. I think it’s fun that way.

What about you? Do you put yourself into your characters?

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The #evernighties Thursday Weekly Author Blog Challenge is a once-a-week blogging adventure brought to you exclusively by Evernight authors. Each week, we answer a new question (listed below and borrowed from MFRW.org) and the answers will be featured on the Evernight Reader’s Group on Facebook, as well as our own blogs and social media platforms. Check out the group or follow the #evernighties tag to see how other authors answered this week’s question!

Week #2: My earliest memory

Welcome to the second week of the blog challenge!

I only remember bits and pieces of my early childhood, but I remember those bits pretty clearly. We moved around a lot when I was a kid (even from state to state) and I remember a lot of the houses/apartments we lived in. I remember traveling a lot on a bus with my mother (we lived in Nevada but her family was here, in Ohio). I remember various significant events like birthdays and Christmas and family members visiting. I also remember school–I changed those pretty often too, due to all the moving. I think the fact that things were constantly changing is the reason I can remember them so vividly. After all, when studying the way our brains make memories, it’s been found that new experiences tend to get imprinted the strongest, because our brain is more alert and paying attention to the new information/surroundings.

However, my absolute EARLIEST memory has photographic evidence to back it up so I know it’s not a false memory. There’s a picture of me around two years old, sitting on a couch with my sister in our Easter dresses, with our Easter baskets. I can remember being on the other side of that picture, sitting on the couch–I really can! That’s honestly the earliest memory I have. It’s a brief flash but it’s definitely a clear memory. I think that’s pretty cool.

How about you? What’s your earliest memory, and do you think it’s real?