Friday, December 18, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

Alright, so to be honest people haven't asked me very many questions in the comments of my blog, so these cannot technically be Frequently Asked Questions yet. Really, I'm answering questions that could theoretically be asked. I'm pretty loquacious in real life, so it's not unlike me to answer questions no one has asked!

Q. Who are you?

A. You can see on the site that my name is Guinevere, but I usually go by Guin (as I tell people on the phone who want to transform my name into Jen or, for some reason, Quinn, "like Gwen Stefani").  I'm a 26-year-old with a very boring day job, and I'm going to school for Finance. Writing is the little sun in my wintry world (as are my darling husband and cat... so three suns... very alien landscape).

Q. How did you end up with a name like Guinevere?

A. My mom majored in English and is a bit of an Anglophile. Actually, I lucked out -- the other baby-name contender was Cassiopia. No, that Cassiopia. The space-prostitute-turned-nurse from Battlestar Galactica Cassiopia.  I also had a very ethnic maiden name, so learning to write my name in  kindergarten was brutal.

Q. When did you start writing? Pretty much as soon as I started reading -- as soon as I developed the skill set to put words on the page. So around 6. I had been telling stories for a long time before that, though. I told many long involved stories to my parents involving six orphaned sisters (orphans being a hot commodity in children's stories).

Q. What do you write?

A. A little of everything.  When my adolescent angst wore off, I stopped writing poetry, but now I'm back to writing poetry (this time about a more diverse range of subject than unrequited love and alcohol).  I write short fiction. I have a completed YA novel that I need to revisit.  I have a literary fiction tale that I had marketed and am now re-working, and a half-finished fantasy novel.

Q. Have you been published at all?

A. Yes -- I've two publishing credits that I proudly brandish on my cover letters with submissions, both poetry. Cicada and Windhover.

Q. Why start a blog?

A. I discussed this in my very first blog entry. This is what I said:

What would happen if you made a truly dedicated effort, as a writer:
• To produce – not just to write when you feel like it, but to write consistently, as if it were, in fact your second job, even if not your day job;
• To hone your craft in a dedicated and disciplined fashion – reading, researching, re-writing.
• To market yourself and your writing. To network. To send out your query letters and outlines. Maybe even to start a self-serving writing blog to help enhance your visibility. ;)

If you really put forth a concerted effort, will the literary world - as happens in most human endeavors - eventually succumb to the pure force of will?

So this blog is a gamble. I’m betting that I can make it in five years. And I am going to chronicle the process – the writing, the editing, the rejection letters, the break-throughs.  In the end, I'm hoping that twenty years from now I'll be a popular author, a career novelist with multiple books, and new writers can look back over the blog and see the journey. And if it doesn't happen? To be honest, I'm not going to stop writing anyway!

Q. What are your goals?

These are the short-term goals:
  • Secure an agent for SHARDS OF GLASS, my completed chick lit novel about a 22-year-old woman who helped her terminally ill father commit suicide in high school (it's more upbeat than it sounds, I promise);
  • Sell several more short stories and poems;
  • Break into non-fiction writing;
  • Complete and then polish my fantasy novel WIP, tentatively titled HER OWN NIGHTMARE. 
  • Write another novel.
  • Keep the blog updated!
The long term goal is to make writing into my day job!

Q:  Why Twitter?

A. Ah, this is a question I often ask myself. I don't "get" Twitter... which makes me feel old. But a) it's another way to connect to other writers and escape the solitary nature of the work and b) I thought it would be neat to have a Twitter feed with more personal stuff. I want to share a little of my personal life with y'all, but without displacing writing and book themed content on the blog.

Q. What's with the advertising on the blog?

A. I use Swagbucks, Google Adsense and Amazon links (for which I get a percentage of any purchase you make from a link, even if it's not the item I linked to). My perspective on these things is that they don't take anything away from the blog (I don't think it looks cluttered, and I was using Amazon links and book covers anyway in my posts).  Aaaand... I plan to put any money raised right back into the blog, buying books and whatnot for giveaways.

If there's anything else you'd like to know, feel free to ask. :)


Stephanie said...

Thanks for sharing!! I write chick lit too....not too often do I meet someone who writes it and actually tells people what they write it!! I know it's gotten a bad rap...but I love it!!

Stephanie Thornton said...

I love your name! When I was in middle school I wanted to go by my middle name because there are so many Stephanies. I love unique names, especially those with historical roots.

Guinevere said...

Stephanie -- I know what you mean about the "shame" of chick lit. The thing is, chick lit is no different from any other genre -- some examples of it are better than others. So I've read some really weak chick lit, but I've also read some amazingly funny, touching, beautifully-written chick lit. As long as you're telling a good story, I think there's no shame in any of the genres!

Stephanie Thornton, thanks! I always wanted a simpler name as a child (Jane or Nichole were my two top picks) but now that I've grown into it, I appreciate how unique it is. I've also read far too obsessively about the Arthurian legends and the history behind the real Guinevere, so perhaps that helps. :p

Shannon O'Donnell said...

It was so fun reading all about you - thanks for sharing. I have to say, I enjoy good chick lit - be proud and shout it from the rooftops. I also agree with Stephanie about your beautiful name. I love it!

Thanks for visiting me at Book Dreaming. I love getting to know new people! ;-)

Lisa Kilian said...

Hey! Great blog!

I hope you don't mind if I add you to my blogroll/link you to my own bloggy writing space?

"What Not To Do As A Writer"
(Don't worry, it's a satire.) :)

Lisa K