Since posting some recent questions and answers from my fan mail, I've received a few follow-up questions. I thought I'd post those here too, since they're such fun questions.
Do you make playlists and listen to music as you write?
No. I love music, it's important to me, but I can't listen to it while I'm writing. I suspect this is because I'm a dancer/choreographer of many years. I can't just let music play in the background without my mind wanting to count out sets of eight and picture combinations of moves to accompany it. It would make for a busy writing time, a little like mental juggling, trying to keep all of that going in my head at once.
I do, however, usually come across songs that remind me of certain books or characters of mine. For example, Things I'll Never Say by Avril Lavigne will always remind me of Loann and Marcus from NEVER ENOUGH. Sick Cycle Carousel by Lifehouse is Claire's song.
I also have a "rejection song." It's a song I listen to after I've received a particularly painful rejection. It's officially a breakup song, but publishing, in a lot of ways, can be like a relationship. This song doesn't build up bitter feelings or anything, at least not for me. Instead it reminds me that I don't want a publisher who is just willing to take on one of my books. I want an editor who is head over heels in love with my story. Plus it's good to dance to, which always helps. So here's my rejection song, Thanks For Nothing by Fefe Dobson:
Enough about music. Next question:
What's your favorite book?
Here's my answer: Anyone who has a favorite book doesn't read enough. LOL. I read over a hundred books last year. I loved over half of them. And that was just last year. I really, honestly, can't imagine narrowing my all-time favorite down to one or even ten books. Here are a few loves that come to mind off the top of my head, but it's by no means a complete list: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green, THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER by Sarah Dessen, GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, CATALYST by Laurie Halse Anderson, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins, HARMONIC FEEDBACK by Tara Kelly, GUITAR GIRL by Sarra Manning, THE LUCY VARIATIONS by Sara Zarr.
Are you a fast reader?
Not particularly. I know I said I read over a hundred books last year. Thirty of those were audiobooks I listened to while driving back and forth to dance classes. Also, I keep books (or my kindle) with me EVERYWHERE. So, really, those books were read in very short spurts, and not terribly fast. Once in a while I'll find a book that I cannot put down, and I'll push off other responsibilities to read it in a day or two. Or once in a while I'll find a book I really want to savor, and purposely only read a couple of pages a day. Right now I have one of those "savor" books living in my gym bag--that gymnastics book by Lance Ringnald I talked about on the blog a couple of weeks ago. I keep promising to read it with my son, but I'm finding it inspiring, so I don't want it to end.
Are you a fast writer?
Yes. My next book (out either later in 2013 or 2014) will attest to that. It's called FAST FICTION and will teach you my process of writing quickly. It still takes me six months to a couple of years to get from the conception of a story to the point where it's salable, but I can quite easily write the first draft of a sixty thousand word novel in a month now (I've even written two of those in a month once!). Honestly, if I wasn't homeschooling and busy with other parenting/family/business responsibilities, I suspect I could put out a few books in a year now. But a season for everything...
Thanks for the questions, friends! Keep them coming and I will keep answering! (You can post your questions in the comments here, on Twitter @denisejaden, or email me at d(at)denisejaden(dot)com). I love interacting with people who are reading my books, and it's never a bother.