I’m currently writing a novel about a family dealing with betrayal and healing. I also write articles about Richmond (VA) Landmarks and Historic Districts for examiner.com. I’ve got a stack of poems and a few short stories I’ve drafted over the years.
Who are your literary influences?
My range varies across the board. I’ve long been partial to stories set in the south by authors such as Lee Smith (Oral History) and Kaye Gibbons (Ellen Foster). I’ve loved to read biographies for as long as I can recall. Over the past several years, I’ve also been reading a lot of modern classics; they help to show me how literature has evolved over the years in technique, voice, and culture.
I love going back to classics as well. Now, what does your writing space look like?
My desk is a tad cluttered, but I know where everything is. Stacks of papers – prioritized. Pictures of my family. An antique lamp. Dictionary/thesaurus, pens, pretty pencil cup. File cabinet next to it. I tend to use my laptop for my novel, more than my desktop computer, since I sometimes choose a different spot in the house to work on it. I can be at my dining room table or a corner on the floor of my office or bedroom. I’ll then have my headphones tuned to one of my Pandora stations or music on my hard drive. For some reason, I feel my story a bit more when I’m away from the desk, which is why I have paper and pen on hand everywhere I go.
Is making time to write difficult?
Even though, I’ve recently devised a schedule so I work on my novel on the weekends, tinkering it during the week, writing my blog at least twice a week, and my examiner articles bi-weekly, it is difficult. I’m also the marketing manager and part-time assistant for my husband’s real estate business, which we run from home. We also have two kids. So, in spite of the schedule, I’m still a basket case during the course of the day, until I get back to my writing. It’s all I think about until I get to it!
That’s a lot of stuff to juggle while trying to write. Can you describe your current project?
It’s a story about a family centered on the matriarch who begins to evaluate the painful secrets of her past, which helps her to guide her family through the pain her granddaughter discovers about her own young life that threatens to pull them apart. The novel spans from the 1940s to the present, which requires some research. I’m halfway in it now and in order to remind me about this writing experience and hopefully to help others, I’ve been blogging about it here and here.
What do you do for fun when you’re not writing, blogging taking care of your kids and running a business?
Curl up with a good book and take walks around my neighborhood. I can also be found glued to Turner Classic Movies at any given point! I also enjoy taking pictures around the city for my articles, so my family and I play tourist from time to time.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
I listen to a lot of classic R&B, early 90s R&B (Guy, Keith Sweat, New Edition when Johnny Gill joined), and 80s alternative (such as The Police, Level 42, Depeche Mode). During this piece I’m writing now, I’ve been listening to a lot of big band, Holliday, and Sinatra, too. Funny, when I’m driving though, I listen to classic rock a lot. I’ve also thought of Johnny Gill singing over the ending credits of the movie version of my novel… some day…
What’s your favorite yummy treat?
Oreos! I have to keep them out of my house, otherwise I’ll eat the whole bag.
I have a weakness for Pringles It’s not cute. What’s your most hated household chore?
Laundry. Putting the clothes in the washer is not a big deal, it’s the folding and sorting after I’ve taken them out the dryer. Finding socks, separating items for each kid, my husband, myself, the linen closet… it drives me bananas. I get help from everyone now and then, but when it falls on me, I still just hate it!
I hear you on the folding and sorting and also ironing! Yuck. So who is your biggest fan?
My husband, Marcus. He knows how important my fiction writing is and I’m grateful for his encouragement. He even made a sign for me to put up when I’m writing my book, so he and the kids know it’s best to leave me alone. He’s also been great with helping me to visualize my book tours and the marketing of my book. Makes it fun and keeps me going.
Thanks for book-less touring, Tonya! And good luck with your writing.