· When offered your first publishing contract did you
B) Jump out of your seat and run around flailing your arms chanting OMG OMG OMG
C) Pee your pants
D) B & C
E) None of the Above You’re lying if your answer isn’t B If not A-D , what was your reaction?
B) No question. I’m a little hyper anyway, so yep, running around like that is absolutely part of my repertoire.
· After how many published titles do you think it’s appropriate to write your own autobiography?
I’ve spent a lot of time musing on this and think it all depends on the damage and potential blowback you should expect if you’re planning to write openly and honestly about your life. Do you really want to open that can of worms? Is it worth it to leave this wonderful person with guilt when they learn they failed you in some significant way? How far will you go when admitting something hidden deep in your heart? Can you afford the consequences? Those are really the questions I ponder. I guess I don’t see true autobiographies as puff pieces, but rather a minefield. Tread carefully or avoid it altogether.
· How important to you are the names of your characters?
Very important. Names naturally convey certain qualities and characteristics so I try to make them fit the character’s backgrounds, physical presence, even their profession in some way. My demonstration cook’s name in Caution: Filling is Hot, for example, is named Piper Frost. She obviously decorates cakes.
· How do you go about nabbing that perfect title for your books?
Titles are tough. I often come up with several over the course of writing a story. If I’m still not sure, I put out feelers, pleas for help in naming my next book. My daughter-in-law is great at coming up with ideas. We bounce a lot of stuff back and forth.
· What are the occupational hazards of being a writer?
Poor posture, deteriorating eyesight. Of course, aging doesn’t help that, either. You also have to make time to get exercise when you’re tied to a desk day in and day out.
· Do you have a quote or slogan you try to live by?
I always think of that line from, Throw Momma from the Train. “A writer writes—always.”
· Have you ever taken the writing to the bathroom with you?
Sometimes for me it’s the only place I can find that elusive peace and quiet. Until my 5 year old sniffs me out. Chuckling here. No. I’ve never had to resort to that.
· Pantser or Plotter?
I’ll have you know how proud I am that I just used these terms. Since I’ve just recently learned what they meant. Go me. Always keepin’ up with the author slang.
Congrats! I’m still learning the jargon. As far as your question is concerned, I used to say I’m a pantser, but actually I think I’m an amalgam of the two—a plotser. I always have to have my cute meet to begin any book. Then I’ll build the skeleton around it, which probably qualifies as plotting. Only then do I sit down and flesh it out. That’s pure pantser. One scene will tumble into the next, driving the story forward, showing me more of my characters as I go along. I love writing organically. So much comes as a delightful surprise.
· What do you like to write in? (i.e PJ’s and stompeez, a prom dress or perhaps a bathtub?) Oh, I’m so bad. When I’m in full writer mode, I throw on whatever’s handy in the morning, usually jammie bottoms from the floor and one of my husband’s big T-shirts. Imagine Penny from the Big Bang Theory going through her disturbing gamer phase, but without the Cheetoes in my hair.
· How do you react to a bad review?
I stew over it. You can’t really respond to a negative review, and my idea of negative is pretty ridiculous. I actually mope when I get a three.
· Do you feel like a complete dumbo (like I do) when people ask for your autograph?
· Have you ever been a character in one of your books?
HJ: Which I will have you know I LOVE THAT BOOK.
· Would you ever play yourself in a movie or TV production of one of your books?
· Have you ever gone a little REDRUM after a few days shacked up in the ol’ writing hole?
· What do you think is your biggest accomplishment in writing? Your biggest failure?
HJ: The people that should feel disappointed are the readers who were cheated of your awesomesausageness all those years! Accidents had me crying from laughing so hard. “A CORSET!?” oh man, I still giggle.
· Do you do research for your novel? Me... I could totally walk into the Bio Buzz pick up a bong and be like..It’s for research dude! Lol
· Speaking of bongs. Have you ever written anything while high on the weed, drunk on the wine or chill from the pill?
· Do you laugh at yourself ever?
· How much of your childhood reflects upon your musings?
· How do you like these questions so far?
· How do you feel about being interviewed? I don’t mind it.
· How do you feel about global warming?
· How do you feel about Antonio Sabato Jr.?
HJ: Thanks…I just spit my water all over. For eating crackers….ha ha ha
· Are you jealous of other writers? Not yet. I admire a lot of them.
· What makes you laugh? Cry?
HJ: Confession #452 I still giggle when someone says boner or duty
· Vacation or staycation?
· Fancy Schmancy wedding or a Vegas wedding?
HJ: Sounds like incentive for a vow renewal eh? *HINT HINT current husband*
· Favorite season? Mine’s football :P
· Who were some of your inspirations for writing? Lewis Carroll For your characters? My characters are products of situations I dream up and their characteristics suit the occasion. They develop and grow from there. I really try not to borrow from people or characters already out there. If I have, it was done unconsciously.
Did you enjoy this interview? Very much. Thank you for having me on, HJ.
It’s always a blast with you Ms. Mills! I just started reading Grading on Curves. As you all should too! New release Grading on Curves by Tara Mills available now! You won’t be sorry!
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