Jade answers interview and reader questions on Sundays.
Do you have any hobbies?
Reading. MUSIC is a huge hobby for me. I used to have lots of other interests, but between work, kids, and writing, I don’t have much time for anything else. Maybe when I retire!
Who or what has been your biggest literary influence?
That’s tough. I’d probably have to say writing instructors, both creative writing profs and academic writing teachers. They were the ones who taught me technique and then I taught myself how to bend the rules. They were the ones who gave me continual feedback and knew me as a writer and as a person. They influenced my growth every step of the way.
As far as authors who have inspired me, I don’t know that I can say I have someone who has specifically influenced me, because I feel that everything I read influences me (whether it’s something I loved or disliked). That reason alone is why Stephen King recommends that writers read widely (in his book On Writing). I suppose you could say that book, and thus King himself, has also been influential. What I love about that book is that King validated for me the way I was already writing. It was nice knowing a published, well-loved author wrote the way I did. It made me feel like I was “doing it right”—although nowadays I don’t feel like there’s a right or wrong way: if a person is writing and getting the words down, that’s the right way for him or her.
How difficult is it for you to come up with one of your plots?
I usually have a snippet of an idea that flushes itself out as a write. It’s usually something simple, such as “What would you do if you woke up, floating down a river, and wondered how the hell you got there and couldn’t even remember your name?” Then I start writing and let the story reveal itself to me—it always does. I usually know the ending, but I don’t always know how I’ll get there.
How about characters? How are they developed?
They are with me when I begin the writing process. I let them tell me who they are. Corny, yes, but they really do feel like they’ve been born and like I’m getting to know them.
Got a question for me? Post it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer it either here or in a future post!