I think I knew I enjoyed writing from when I was a young child. I use to keep a very descriptive diary that I would pour my heart out into. As I entered my teenage years, I started keeping a journal with short stories in them. However, even though I have completed 2 novels (one soon to be published) I don't think I consider myself a "writer." I reserve that term for the best of them out there. In my opinion right now, I am just a housewife who lives in Pennsylvania who decided to tell a story.
Do you have a specific writing style?
If I do, I am not aware of it. Though I must admit, I consider my writing "fluffy" at times.
When did you start playing with the idea of writing a novel and what inspired it?
I had to undergo a surgery last year and in the middle of re-cooperating, I got bored. I wrote my first novel (which is sitting in the dust right now) and when I was finished with that I moved on to 'Collide.'
Can you tell me a little about the current projects you are working on and what stage of finish they are at?
I am working on 'Pulse' which is the sequel to my first published novel 'Collide.' Though I do expect it to be ready for release by the summer, it is no where close to being finished.
Is there a specific genre that you prefer to write for, and if so what is it and why?
Romance. I have always been taken aback by a good love story. The connections that are formed between two people when falling in love is something that has always riveted me.
How hard has the journey been - both emotionally and mentally, on yourself as a writer?
It has been one of the hardest things I've ever been through and I've been through some hard things in my life. I have a problem disconnecting myself from my characters, so I tend to rise and fall with whatever emotions they're feeling. From a writing standpoint, that is not necessarily a bad thing because I feel it allows me to get their emotions down better, however, from a real life standpoint, those around me suffer. While writing 'Collide, I lost 35 lbs. That alone explains the emotional toll it took on me.
Can you tell me what you've learned so far?
I have learned that I need to find a happy-medium while writing. Balancing my family, house and writing has been a challenge for me but I hope to find that perfect mixture eventually. Essentially, I am still a work in progress.
Some writers prefer to write in the morning, locked away in the study, others at night. What is your own writing process and are there certain quirks you have that are uniquely you?
I write from 7:30 in the morning when my children leave for school until the moment they walk back in the door at 2:20 in the afternoon. I love writing outside so I find myself usually set up on my deck with my notes and laptop. Not sure if I would consider it a quirk, but I need to write to music. I'm not even sure I'd be able to write without it.
Which writers inspire you?
A.L. Jackson. I read her first book 'Pulled' in March of last year and was completely blown away. I have never connected with another writers words the way I did with hers. She has a true talent to make you feel every raw emotion that can come from a human being.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging when writing (Research, psychological, literary etc?)
To be honest, I find myself my own worst enemy. I over-think things to near compulsiveness. This year I am striving to allow myself to just free flow while I write. The rest is 'easy-peasy.'
In your opinion what makes a book worth reading?
I need to connect with a character, and when I say that, I don't necessarily mean understand their choices, but feel the reason why they are making their choices. If an emotion is tapped within in me, be it good, bad or anything in between, then the writer has done their job for me.
The bad... I would say that I am sad to see some major and not so major book stores closing down. I am an 'in my hand' type of reader. I love the way a book feels while I am reading it. I even love the way it smells. I love curling up on the couch and turning the pages. I hope, though most of society has turned over to other means of reading (Nook-Kindle) that everyone continues to support buying actual physical copies of books.
The good... It's a great feeling knowing that we can have instant access to something we've been looking forward to reading. One click is close to heaven sent, and a very dangerous thing at the same time. My credit card shows this danger everyday. Haha.
And lastly where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Not sure. I hope that I am still writing. I hope that any stories I have written have touched readers in a good way. More so, I hope I've grown as a writer in both the community and my writing skills.
Gail McHugh's book is now available from Amazon.
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