Beautiful books is a blog linkup hosted by Cait and Sky. You can read my last BB post here.

1.Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?

My books always defy my expectations. They’re wily like that.

2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

Since the book I’m working on is kind of 2 books in one, I’ll give you the first line from BOTH POV’s (Aren’t I so generous!).

Sidekick: Hunter Wright re-appeared the day before my first ever mid-term exam.

Hero: I shivered as I stared up at William Hall from behind a clump of half-dead bushes.

3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out.

I am what my friend Tracey (go check out her blog here) likes to call a planster. Meaning, I plot somewhat, I’ll have a few notes or a general outline of where I want the story to go, and some very key plot events that I know need to happen along the way, and then I’ll start writing. Generally when I start writing I realize my plans were all totally silly and useless and my characters would never do this thing, or that would totally be impossible with the new rules I just made up. So the plans go out the window, and I fly by the seat of my pants until I get stuck. Then I pull out my trusty old notebook and draw up a shiny NEW plot, with new key scenes to get me from wherever I’m stuck to whatever the end goal is, and then I start writing again and the process repeats in a big looping cycle until eventually I reach THE END.

4. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?

What is this word, “reward”?

Just kidding. I generally like to reward myself with something that is not writing. If it’s a smaller goal, I’ll take a walk or play piano or pet my dog or some other small thing that makes me happy. If it’s a bigger goal, I’ll give myself a bigger reward, like watching a movie or baking cookies or reading a book.

5. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?

Ah, names! Something I am so bad at thinking up! Sometimes a character will come with a name from the start (like Hunter and Sydney), which is always very nice, but other times I will spend WAY too much time on searching up various names and meanings and related names until I finally pick one (or two (heh. Indecision)) that works.

6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?

Beginnings are definitely my least favourite part to write – so much pressure to find the *perfect* start! I like middles because you get to really explore your characters and all the “fun and games” happens in the middle. And endings are wonderful a) because the climax is the scene that I have been building towards for the entire book, so writing it is like eating that ice cream cone you’ve wanted all summer and b) then you’re done, and finishing a book is one of the most satisfying feelings I’ve ever experienced. 😀

7. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

Sydney, hands down. I find him hilarious. So much snark and sass.

8. What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)

I actually have done very little research for this book *hangs head in shame*.

But! I have researched some strange things for the novel I finished last summer. Like that one day I spent on Wikipedia learning everything I could about how bats and dolphins use echolocation. (Even though echolocation didn’t even end up in the most recent draft. o.0)

9. Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?

Alone, and secret. Something about sharing my writing with others can be very scary, especially if it’s a piece that I really put my heart and soul in – what if they hate it? Then they’ll hate ME! AUGH!

10. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

I’m very good at the preliminary procrastinating ritual. Got that part mastered. 😛 Aside from that, I kind of do whatever floats my boat that day. Sometimes I make myself a cup of tea because it makes me feel very “author-y” to take sips of tea between paragraphs, but usually having a mug of liquid beside my precious laptop is way too nerve-wracking and so I generally don’t eat or drink when I’m writing. Sometimes I listen to music, often a movie soundtrack, or something I can tune out, like songs that I know really well. And as for the time of day – whenever I can squeeze in the time is a good time to write!

What about you, wonderful readers? Do you also find tea and computers a terrifying combination? If you’re a writer, what are your writerly quirks and tricks?