Thursday, September 1, 2011

13 Questions with...Jenn McKinlay

1. You’re hosting a dinner party. What is the menu, and do you cook it yourself, or do you call a caterer?

Definitely, cook it myself. The Hub and I usually cook together (he's in charge of the meat) and we will make London Broil (him) and twice baked potatoes, asparagus, a strawberry spinach salad
and I'll either bake a chocolate cheesecake or cupcakes (any variety but usually a mix of lemon/raspberry and chocolate/chocolate) for dessert.

2. What is your beverage of choice?

Coffee and lots of it.

3. Physical book Vs an E-Reader. Your preference and why?

I don't have an e-reader yet. Being a book junkie, I'm afraid that the ease of downloading to an e-reader will cause me to make imprudent purchases that I would never make if I was buying hard copy or paperback. I can see owning one in the future, but I'm holding off as long as I can. It's painful.

4. What kinds of books make up your personal library?

Everything from the Bard to Manga, with a heavy concentration of mysteries.

5. How and when did you catch the writing bug?

I was 7 or 8 and I found my mom's old portable typewriter in the attic. It was a delicious red color and I loved the sound of the letters when they pounded onto the paper. I wrote newspapers about the family and sold them to mom for 25 cents. Candy Money! Cha-ching!

6. What is your writing routine?

Ten pages per day -- every day -- even holidays and weekends. If you love what you do, it's not a hardship.

7. If you ever encounter writer’s block, what steps do you take to get past it?

Fortunately, it hasn't happened yet. If it did, I would go people watch at an airport. Fascinating places, airports.

8. Do you have a hidden talent?

I can rub my tummy and pat my head at the same time, but it's not pretty. 

9. What was your best subject in school?

Recess. I excelled when my imagination was set free.

10. As in any entertainment, there are current trends. How much do these “current trends” influence what you write?

Because I write contemporary stories, I am always aware of the trends and they do have an impact. The cupcake bakery mystery series came to me when it seemed everyone around me was talking cupcakes. But after the initial idea hits, the writing, characters and plot have to be strong enough to hold their own because trends are generally short lived.

11. Mac or PC?

Currently PC, formerly Mac, but I may be going back to Mac.

12. Where do your ideas come from?

From observing the world around me and trying to wrestle it into being a world I want to live in.

13 What advice would you pass on to an aspiring author?

I absolutely hated hearing the line "a good book will sell" when I was trying to get published and failing spectacularly. Here's the thing -- it's true. When I did sell, it was because I fin
ally wrote a good book. There
is no secret handshake, there are no shortcuts. Write a good book -- your best book -- and it will sell.

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