It sounds like fun, so I'm doing the same. Let's start with the questions:
1. What author is inspiring you right now?
I don't think I can pick just one, so I'll go with two whose recent books filled me with new ideas about storytelling and characters. First is Brandon Sanderson, whose Firefight showed me that there are always new and interesting ways to throw plot and character twists at your readers. Second is Jim C. Hines, whose Unbound did the same and reminded me that unusual relationships between characters are the start of something interesting, not the end.
2. How has your writing changed since you started? As in, has your style or focus shifted from what you originally set out to or thought you’d write?
It's changed quite a lot, and nobody's more thankful for that than me. O_o All my early work was epic fantasy. Everything was medieval in setting, world-saving in scope, and utterly heroic in character. It wasn't until I started reading more widely that I started to realize there was more to fantasy literature than "hero on quest", and that things are more interesting when the heroes aren't bastions of incorruptible pure pureness.
3. What do you do to overcome doubt or insecurity?
There are times I can't, and I just go to bed hating myself and thinking that I'm doomed to failure. (Anyone who reads this blog regularly has seen those entries.) Most of the time, I just tell myself to keep working, and that anything that's going wrong, I can fix, but I have to get the words down first. It's not easy, and sometimes I don't believe myself. But it gets my ass in the chair, which is the first step.
4. What do you do to celebrate accomplishments big and small?
When I have an accomplishment worth celebrating, I'll let you know. -_- Most of the time, when I finish something, I'm wracked with doubt about it and/or just glad it's done so I never have to look at it or think about it again. So, yeah, there's nothing to celebrate.
5. Favorite writing beverage?
I don't drink while writing, as it slows me down. Same with eating, usually. But I take a shot of something alcoholic before writing or plotting. Coconut rum or Baileys are two of my favorite pre-work drinks. I edit completely sober, accompanied by large glasses of water.
6. Dreamcast: who would play the main character in the movie version of your novel?
I don't have a current novel, but let me think. If we go by the plan I have for the new Shiloh & Alexi book, then... I have no idea. I'm sure Hollywood has no shortage of early-twenties pale blonde women for Shiloh, though finding one who's nearly six feet tall and can play a magic geek might be difficult. And Alexi's supposed to look Indian or Arabian, so who knows who they'd get for that part. Alexi has some particular mannerisms and ways of speaking, so it would take someone special to match what's in my head. All I know is that any movie rights contract I sign damn well better include a provision to keep Alexi's part from being whitewashed. Hmmph.
7. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched for a manuscript?
Recently? Snake sex. Wholly unrelated to the previous question, I assure you.
8. Who is your favorite Doctor? (You know what kind of Doctor I mean.)
I've never watched a single episode of Doctor Who. I'm a completionist when it comes to entertainment, and that show's been around for fifty years; surely you can see why I haven't started watching it. Please don't shoot.
9. How do you prioritize your to-be-read pile?
I look at the pile and decide what I want to read next. :P It really is that simple. Though if the pile contains sequels to books I already own, I'll usually read those first, after re-reading the previous book in the series. To make sure I remember everything, y'know.
10. If you could go on a swanky writers’ retreat, where would it be? (Mountains? Tropical island? Historic city?)
Hmm. I'd want to be in a place with as few distractions as possible, so somewhere off in the mountains sounds like the best choice.
11. Would you rather live in a post-apocalyptic anarchic world a la The Walking Dead, or work for the Alliance (Firefly–but you knew that of course)?
Going to have to say work for the Alliance, because I'd be
Eleven Random Facts about me:
1. I graduated with a BA in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I made very sure to graduate in four years because my parents said that was all they were paying for.
2. I have a ridiculous love of raisins and buy them in five-pound boxes.
3. When I was young, I wanted to grow up to design video games, and even drew up all kinds of plans for several different games. I've never forgotten them, despite my best efforts.
4. I can't stand coffee - I just don't get how something that smells so good can taste so vile. I've been told this will get me a lot of weird looks now that I'm in Washington.
5. I have a real love for non-standard relationships in fiction, and will always cheer for anything other than the typical "boy meets girl and they end up together" stuff. This is why, nearly three months later, I'm still geeking out over the end of "Legend of Korra".
6. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 19, and didn't own a car until I was almost 30.
7. My absolute favorite band in all the world is Garbage. I've seen them in concert twice and am really hoping they come through Seattle whenever they next tour. Their music is consistently awesome, and they have an insane amount of energy in their performances.
8. I've been training myself to be as observant as possible since I was 13 years old, as I figured it would help me with my writing. Twenty-two years later, I've learned that there is an amazing amount of stuff people simply don't notice. I've had to learn not to ask people, "You didn't see that?"
9. I've only ever dyed my hair for cosplay purposes. Twice I've dyed it black to go as Professor Snape, and there was a brief and unfortunate time when I dyed it blonde (more like yellow). Fortunately, it was short then, so growing it out didn't take too long.
10. I once got hit by a car on Friday the 13th.
11. I have one tattoo. It's the rose symbol from the anime "Revolutionary Girl Utena", and it's on my upper back. The series has been a huge influence on my life and way of thinking and writing, so I decided it was fitting to wear a piece of it on myself forever.
And that's it. There was part of Cait's entry where she offered more questions for people to answer, but it's late and I'm tired and I can't think of eleven things worth asking. :P Hope y'all found this interesting enough to read this far.
Next week: Will they? Won't they? Should they? WTF?