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Day 19 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Laura Whitcomb

I met Laura Whitcomb at a Willamette Writers Conference where we were signing books at tables next to each other. She has since moved to the same town as me, written many books in just several years, and has spoken for me at The Northwest Author Series. I have encountered her walking her dog around the park musing. I bet she was dreaming up her another great book idea. Please help me welcome Laura!

Laura Whitcomb is the author of the supernatural YA novels A Certain Slant of Light (a Discover Great New Authors pick at Barnes and Nobel) and The Fetch (#5 on the Indy Next List’s Top Ten YA books of 2009) and the writing book Novel Shortcuts. She also co-authored the book Your First Novel with her literary agent, Ann Rittenberg. Laura’s novels have been published in eight foreign languages, produced as audio books, and Slant is optioned for film by the producer of the movies The Departed and The Time Travelers Wife. She lives in Wilsonville, Oregon with her one-year-old son, Robinson.

The Fetch, a young adult supernatural novel. Calder is a Fetch, a death escort, the first of his kind to step from Heaven back to Earth. The first to fall in love with a mortal girl. But when he climbs backwards out of that Death Scene, into the chaos of the Russian Revolution, he tears a wound in the ghost realm, where the spirits begin a revolution of their own.

Q: How has writing (either just the act of writing or writing this book or both) impacted your self-confidence?

A: When you have one novel published and it does well, you feel great. But finishing a second helps you know that it wasn’t a fluke. This is your career! I was proud of myself and now I’m almost done with a third, the sequel to my first novel.

Q: What are three words that describe your creative book-writing process?

A: Hard to describe. Hee hee. Just kidding. Let’s see . . . how about Mysterious Inconsistent Magical.

Q: What good has your book created in the world?

A: Other than making me money for world-brightening things like adopting a baby and having enough money to support the writing of the next book, I hear from the fans who write to me that The Fetch has inspired them to read more, inspired them to write, stirred their imaginations and emotions, and encouraged them to learn more about history. Once in a while one of my fans will also say my writing gives them comfort or opens their minds about the Afterlife.

• • •

Okay, back to the fun stuff, you guys.

How about you give us three words that describe your writing process?

But you will have to say more than just the three words to get to 50-200 words. 😉

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway! Please bring your five people you just met next time you come. :)

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  • Rebecca Cherba May 19, 2011, 8:31 am

    I just had to begin by saying how much I love “A Certain Slant of Light,” and I obviously need to pick up “The Fetch” very soon. The question for this one is tough, because I generally struggle to picture how three words can encapsulate the ups and downs of my writing process. I guess I have to start with “evolving,” because my writing process is, in many ways, still a work in progress. I’ll also add “overwhelming,” because so much of what I feel about what I’m currently working on is overwhelming in both positive and negative ways. Then I’ll end with “euphoric,” for those rare times when the sentences fly onto the virtual page, or when my character’s voice describes something so uniquely that I’m completely floored it came from somewhere inside of me. If only the euphoric part happened more often!

  • Sera Rivers May 19, 2011, 1:04 pm

     Just three words to describe my writing process? This question
    makes me sit and think. I have to choose the best words, but there are so many words
    to choose from. What if I choose the wrong choices? Thesaurus dot com can only
    get me so far. But I see I am running out of words space here, so I suppose I
    should just suck it up and pick three. How hard can it be?  Really? Now I am rhyming when I should
    be thinking of the three words to describe my process, but all I hear in my
    head is bed, dread, Fred and dead. 
    Oh what a terrible poet I am. Thank god I am a fiction writer. Eureka! I’ve
    got it.  Free-writing always gives
    me the answer I am looking for. 
    here it goes. Are you ready? 
    Okay, you asked for it.  How
    about: FURIOUS, ANXIOUS, EUPHORIC (in just that order).

  • Sera Rivers May 19, 2011, 1:06 pm

     Lol i SWEAR I did not read your comment until after I posted. My third word is euphoric too 🙂

  • Laura Ackerman May 19, 2011, 3:55 pm

    As a new writer, but one who has been writing for years in various capacities, I will have to say the three words to describe my writing process are Scattered, Determined, and Growing.  Scattered because I have so many interests, ideas and projects on the go at any one time that I never know what to do first.  This year I was determined to truly devote time and energy to developing my freelance writing.  I have written more, read more, and organized more, but I still have a long way to go.  I have been Determined and it shows.  I am on Day 19 of the Wordcount Blogathon and I am answering these questions daily.  Both are helping me to be more focused and organized.  And Growing because I am working on two articles for submission.  I am hoping these 3 words change a little next year – at least the first one!  🙂 

  • Melissa May 19, 2011, 5:16 pm

    First word: yearning. That deep desire, tug at your heart
    strings, you know you want to be writing but instead need to be working (and
    then home-working in my case). I’ve tried to brush away the muses off my
    shoulder in the middle of commute traffic…but somehow those little incessant narrators
    creep back onto my shoulders to whisper in my ear…


    Second word: hypnotic. When I do finally have a free (though
    few and far between) moment to listen to the running narration, relax my
    shoulders and let my fingers fly with the “click-ey click….backspace backspace…click
    click click” over the keyboard…What! It’s 2AM! It was only 10:07PM a second
    ago! How the heck!?!?!?


    Third word: inevitable. It’s my writer-mama’s fault. Don’t let
    her public relations title fool you. It’s her genetic writing code that got
    into my bloodstream, and now my brother’s too. Sharing and comparing, even
    NanoWriMo-ing…but I don’t blame her, I thank her. It was inevitable, and it’s
    my creative pleasure.

  • Val Mallinson May 19, 2011, 8:31 pm

    I wish I could say my writing process is like the Covergirl
    tag: easy, breezy, beautiful; and on elusive, joyous occasions it can be. More
    often, I must exhort, or even extort, myself to write using something along the
    lines of the Nike slogan: Just do it.


    The words I would select, in an attempt to distill my writing
    life, are less tidy, but I hope they are more authentic. I choose Vital, as
    writing is as essential to my being as breathing; Startling, in that what I
    intend to write is rarely, if ever, what I end up with on the page; which leads, often, to the last, Fulfilling. Little else—save perhaps chocolate and my
    spouse—fills those empty spaces inside myself as completely as being a writer.

  • Pam Maynard May 19, 2011, 9:23 pm

     Spontaneous, scattered and cluttered 🙂
    I have a bad habit of only writing when I feel inspired.  I need to write every day, whether I want to or not.
    My writing process is scattered also.  I don’t have my own space for writing.  I need a desk and bookshelves and folders to be more organized.  I feel scattered when I write because there is no place for my newest works of creative prose!
    And, needless to say, my mind and my couch is cluttered with so many idea, so little space to put them.  There are only 3 of us living in our home, but we tend to “collect” things that should have been thrown away.
    Happy Writing to all!

  • Tania Dakka May 20, 2011, 12:21 am

    My writing process is slow, disorganized, and heartbreaking.  I try to write in between kids and home, blogging, FBing, and Twittering.  The hardest part is keeping up with where I left off and forcing myself not to spend each precious minute that I could be writing editing what I have already written.  It is quite frustrating.   

  • Mar Junge May 20, 2011, 3:15 am

    I’ve been thinking about this since the first author interview. I would describe my writing process as deadline-driven, trance-inducing and revision-compulsive. (PR writers love to create hyphenated compound adjectives.) Then I noticed my daughter entered the contest today and I got this ear-to-ear grin (more of those hyphenated adjectives). I’m a Writer Mama who has inspired two of her three children to be writers! So I figure that allows me to describe my writing (not the process – the writing itself) as inspirational, multigenerational and legendary. Hey, we have to pat ourselves on the back every now and then because if we don’t believe in ourselves and in the quality of our work, who will?

  • Mar Junge May 20, 2011, 3:18 am

    You’re living proof that I’m a writer mama. You’ve got talent, kid. Keep it up and someday you may even be better than me. (Just give me a few more years to enjoy my senior status.) 

  • Mar Junge May 20, 2011, 3:27 am

    Tania, anybody who cares as much as you do about writing won’t give up. And as long as you don’t give up, you’ll get faster and more organized. I swear it gets easier as your kids get more self-sufficient. They’ll respect the time you’re writing because they’re proud that their Mama’s a writer. Then one day you’ll see your first article in print and all the heartbreak, all the frustration, will be worth it.

  • Anonymous May 20, 2011, 4:24 pm

    rambling. research. reflection. I start by brainstorming or journaling until I have all my goals and ideas in place. Then  I find information to back up what I want to write about. Sometimes the research guides my writing or leads me in a different direction. As I reflect over all the words I wrote and read…I conquer them with my red pen!