“I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.”
~Lou Holtz

After spending more time editing lately than I thought was humanly possible – seriously, how is it that each subsequent round takes even longer? – my brain has decided that it needs a break from anything writing-related for the rest of the day. That means, instead of a normal post, y’all get a Q&A today. I remember filling out surveys like this all the time back in college, usually over on LiveJournal, MySpace, or Facebook, and figured it would be fun to do one on the blog, too. Here we go…

1. What is your favorite month?
Is is strange that I’ve never really had one? Different months are special for different reasons. April is when spring really starts to blossom, July is filled with the kind of summer memories that make you feel like all is right with the world (well … not this year, not by a long shot, but normally), and December is overflowing with all the love and light of the holiday season. Really, each month is great in its own way. How’s that for a non-answer to the first question? Ha.

2. What is the best candy to get while trick or treating?
As a kid, I always used to eat the Nestle Crunch and Kit-Kat bars first. Now I’m a fan of Whoppers and candy corn, and often grab a bag during the after-Halloween sales.

3. What kind of pen do you use?
The better question here would be “what kind of pen don’t you use?” For as long as I can remember, I’ve been one of those people who writes with a myriad of pens – every color of the rainbow, every kind of ink you can imagine. In fact, I distinctly remember my 11th grade AP History teacher teasing me about writing my notes in a lime green pen that was so bright-light he couldn’t understand how I could even see it. I liked using different colors, though. It helped me study. Today, I use those different colors in my writing journal. Each story gets its own. So does each character. It helps me to literally see their personalities as I work.

4. You go to a new Italian restaurant. What is your go-to order?
Same thing as my go-to order everywhere: plain pasta. Go on, laugh at me. Most people do.

5. If you could choose to have any celebrity’s hair, whose would you choose?
Hmmm … Megan Ward (for a shorter style) or Laura Wright (for a longer style). Ooh, or maybe Ellen Pompeo, especially when her hair’s all wavy. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a superpower that could give us any length and style we want at any given time?

6. What’s your favorite board game?
Scrabble! Hands down, it’s the best game ever.

7. What’s your favorite television show for each day of the week?
Monday – Dancing with the Stars
Tuesday – Dancing with the Stars
Wednesday – X-Factor
Thursday – X-Factor, Grey’s Anatomy (though this week’s episode upset me so much that I’m tempted to boycott from now on!), and Private Practice
Friday – Does General Hospital count, even though it’s daytime and not primetime?
Saturday & Sunday – HGTV (especially Bang For Your Buck!)

8. Do you read newspapers?
Yep – sometimes online and sometimes the hard copy.

9. Would you tell everyone the name of your baby before he/she was born, keep it a secret, or not choose until after they were born?
I have had a list of names for my future kids for years now, though recently there have been some new additions to the possibilities. I think I’d like to wait until the baby’s born to find out boy/girl – except that must be SO difficult, when the little one is growing inside you and you have the option to know ahead of time – but either way, I’d keep the name a secret until the baby arrived. How fun must it be to announce your son or daughter’s name?!

10. What was your major in college and did you end up using it in your career?
I double majored in Print & Video Communications and Elementary Education, with a minor in Arcadia’s Honors Program. The journalism degree is important for my freelancing, and even though the type of writing isn’t the same, I think it comes into play with my novels, too. It sounds corny, but I really believe that the more you write, the more experience you have, and the more you grow. I may have switched from writing news articles and broadcast commercials to crafting characters and storylines, but the love for it is still the same.

Your turn! Answer one – or more – of the questions in the comments, or link me to a Q&A post on your own blog!


8 thoughts on “Q&A.

  1. 2. What is the best candy to get while trick or treating? Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. I could eat a whole bag of those.

    The months you listed as your favorites are probably my favorites as well.

    I love that you write your characters with different colored pens in your writing journals. That’s such a good idea. I’m curious to know who gets what color (aside from Lila, who I already know is purple). It must really give you a feel for each character as you work on creating their personalities and getting to know them better.

    Oh, I’d be quite happy with Ellen Pompeo’s hair too! And speaking of Grey’s: I AM SO WITH YOU ON A BOYCOTT. Except that I feel like I have to see how things play out, especially with Teddy. That episode was just…so unfair though. None of the things that happened seemed very necessary. It didn’t have to be this way (obviously I’m a little too invested in this show).

    I think I’d keep the baby’s name a secret, too. Like you said, it would be so fun to share the name when you’re actually sharing your son/daughter with your loved ones. Plus, at that point, no one can offer an opinion about the name because they’re too busy adoring the baby, as opposed to if you were pregnant and discussing potential names and a friend/relative openly admitted that they don’t like some of your choices (and it seems like that always happens, as if it’s someone’s business to say something negative about a name possibility). I’ve had a “list” for a long time as well, and creating new characters for books has led to some changes and additions to my list.

    • It’s such an amazing way to get a feel for each character — granted, I already “knew” most of them before starting DE, but I still found it really helpful. I’m curious what it’ll be like to use that technique for a completely new book with a different cast of characters.

      LOL yes, Lila is a vibrant purple.
      Ellie = pale purple
      Sofie = rose pink (which totally goes against her comment about not being a pink person, but I think the vivacity of it suits her)
      Brandon = dark red
      Evan & Beth = green
      Aubrey = pale pink
      Lily = neon orange ;-)
      Rachel = turquoise
      Jeff = blue

      Grey’s … sigh. Part of me feels compelled to see how it plays out with Teddy, but another part is dreading her reaction. It just feels too real. I don’t think I could ever actually bring myself to boycott, though. Just … poor Henry. Poor Teddy.

  2. You guys didn’t like this week’s Grey’s? Even though it broke my heart, I thought it was the best one of the season. Well, maybe not THE best, but top 2 or 3. I mean come on, you guys know we sometimes have to torture are characters in order to help them grow. :P

    Favorite month is probably September, because the weather is great, football is starting, and it’s the beginning of fall.

    I am very particular about my pens, but surprisingly some of the cheap ones are the best. The pilot G series is pretty good.

    Majored in creative writing, LOL. So yeah, I use that from time to time.

    • I thought it was very, very well written and acted. Sandra deserves an Emmy for that scene when Cristina finds out it was Henry. I just hate that they had to kill him off like that. Meredith and Derek losing Zola I understand, because there had to be consequences and ramifications for Mer altering the clinical trial, but the Henry thing felt so unnecessary. I hope Teddy is somehow able to grow from it … and that she gets happiness at some point, because she deserves it!

      Ah, it must have been so cool to major in creative writing. Did you love your classes? :-)

  3. Your answers are interesting Shari.

    Some answers: Favorite month? Not sure. Like you different ones for different months, but I guess anything with wonderful sun and heat is definitely a winner.

    TV: M = DWTS, T = DWTS, W = Survivor, X Factor, T = X Factor,
    I used to watch Grey’s a couple of years ago and got so sick of it. It became to melodramatic for me and over-acted.

    Wish I coud have done your major! I did nothing even remotely close to writing and now I’m like a fish out of water.

    I definitely had a Whoppers and Crunch phase. Then a pure chocolate phase. Now I call it the “as long as its chocolate I’ll eat it” phase. Still looking for the cure to that one.

    • Sun + warmth = happiness!

      That’s the great thing about writing … anyone can delve into their imagination and tell a story that speaks to them. It’s never too late to start!

      I love your “as long as it’s chocolate, I’ll eat it” … it’s irresistible!

  4. That was fun! I love to use a variety of pen colors, too. If I’m ever lacking the creative spark I switch pens (or, if I’m on the computer, fonts) and it often helps. I can always change it all back before I share it with anyone.

    As for sharing your baby’s name, we didn’t tell anyone Sunshine’s name before she was born. It was a fun secret to have, although people bugged us about it incessantly – especially my students! It was fun to have people guess, too. Her name was the subject of lots of fun speculation. It’s a good thing we didn’t tell people, too, because the night before her birth we almost changed what we were going to call her. At the last minute we changed it back, but it was nice to have that option. Would have been a lot harder if lots of people had already given us stuff with her name/initials on it.

    • It’s so funny that you mentioned changing fonts, because that’s something I’ve been considering for DE after the editing is finished. Not that I’d send it to agents that way, but I think it’d be fun for each character’s entries to be in a different font and style.

      Okay, you have me curious. What were you thinking of changing her name to at the last minute? I love the one you decided on and truly can’t imagine her with another one!

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