10 Questions with Ann Herrick
Front Row Lit wanted to see what makes writers tick. Our most recent installment of “10 Questions With…” features author Ann Herrick
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m the author of several books and short stories for kids and teens. My books have won several awards, such as the ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers and an IRA/CBC Children’s Choice award.
When did you first decide that writing was in your future?
I first thought about it when I was eleven and I started my first book then (never finished). Unfortunately, it was quite a few years later before I really got started writing, but once I started the second time I never stopped.
Describe the process of finding the right publisher for your work.
It takes a lot of research, a lot of time, a lot of patience and quite a bit of luck, especially when it comes to timing. For example, one book was a Young Adult novel about blended families and I saw that Bantam was looking for YAs about blended families. I submitted my manuscript right away and a couple of months later it sold. The publisher’s needs and the timing were just right.
How would you describe your writing style?
Wow, it’s actually hard for me to say what my own style is. I try to include humor in most everything I write. My stories are character driven.
What inspires your creativity?
Anything and everything. It could be something I see on TV, something from my own experience, something I overhear at the mall.
How often do you get writer’s block and how do you combat it?
I’m not sure I believe in writer’s block per se, but some days the writing flows more easily than others. Sometimes I take a short break, but usually I just plow ahead and write something, no matter how good or bad I think it is at the time. I can always rewrite or delete it!
Along with praise for your art, rejection and negative criticism is inevitable. How does that affect your focus and momentum?
Well, rejection and negative criticism are never fun, but a writer has to think about “why”. If editors, agents or critique partners make the same comments repeatedly, it’s time to consider what might be wrong with the manuscript. If there’s nothing specific, then it’s often better to just move on, especially after a book has been published!
If you weren’t writing, what career path would you choose?
I can’t think of anything else I’d want to do, but it would have to be something where I could work independently.
Please tell us a little about your next project.
I’m working on a new Young Adult novel, but I hate to say too much about it yet, because I’m still at the point where it could go in any direction.
What advice can you offer to aspiring writers?
Read the kinds of books you want to write, read books about writing, take a class if you can, then just sit down on a regularly scheduled basis and write, write, write. Then revise, revise, revise and polish, polish, polish.
For more on Ann, visit http://annherrickauthor.com
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