Featured Author: Ailish Sinclair trained at one of the top dance and drama colleges in London and then ran her own ballet school for several years. Since then she has worked as a teacher, bookkeeper, website designer, special needs assistant, and for a short while as a housekeeper in a castle. She now lives beside a loch in Scotland with her husband and two children, where she writes many stories, both contemporary and historical, and eats a lot of cake.
She blogs at http://ailishsinclair.com/ and can be found on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AilishSinclair, Instagram: http://instagram.com/ailishsinclair and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ailishsinclairauthor
Featured Author: Ailish Sinclair Interview
- How long have you been writing?
- What/who inspired you to be a writer?
- What genre do you prefer to write in?
- Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
- What is your daily routine as a writer?
- What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
- Do you have a set number of words each day or a goal?
- How much time is spent on “the business of writing” – queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?
- Do you prefer short stories or full-length novels in your writing?
- Can you give some us some insight into your story?
- What advice can you give other writers?
LHP: How long have you been writing?
Ailish Sinclair: I’ve been making up stories since I was quite a small child. I recall writing a tale about finding magical treasure in the woods and also an invasion of fleas!
LHP: What genre do you prefer to write in?
Ailish Sinclair: I love writing and researching historical fiction set in the area of Scotland where I live, but I do enjoy contemporary too, both adult and YA.
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LHP: What/who inspired you to be a writer?
Ailish Sinclair: When I was a child I would frequently make up stories of how things could be better and this became a habit. Those stories needed somewhere to go, though now the thought often changes to: how could this be worse? Raise those stakes!
LHP: Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
Ailish Sinclair: I tend to have a rough outline in my head before “pantsing” my way through a first draft, but character always comes first. I have to know all about them to understand their place in the story. And they have to like chocolate. No, that one’s not true. Not really…
LHP: What is your daily/weekly routine as a writer?
Ailish Sinclair: I try to write every day but the times vary depending what else is going on. Sometimes I get up at 4am to write before a busy day out.
LHP: Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you use often while writing?
Ailish Sinclair: Nothing special: plain old Word. It’s the content that counts!
LHP: What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
Ailish Sinclair: The fear of not being good enough, of doing it “wrong”. Participating in NanoWrimo several years ago really helped with that as the message seemed to be that first drafts are all a bit rubbish, so just do it anyway!
LHP: Do you have a set number of words per day you target? or do you set other goals to meet?
Ailish Sinclair: I usually have a plan for when something should be finished i.e. in three months. I don’t stick to a set daily word count but 1000 words is probably the minimum.
LHP: Do you prefer short stories or full length novels in your writing?
Ailish Sinclair: For years I’ve been devoted to novels but recently I’ve dived into writing short stories and am enjoying the freedom it gives me to experiment with new genres and formats.
LHP: How much time is spent on “the business of writing” – queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?
Ailish Sinclair: It varies. I love those times when I’m not querying, just living in the story and not caring about what anyone else thinks/publishing etc. But then I do enjoy doing a batch of queries too and reading responses and feedback. They’re very different aspects of writing.
LHP: Can you give some us some insight into your story?
Ailish Sinclair: Well, it’s set near where I live in Scotland and is the first speculative piece I’ve written. It’s a dark story but does contain three of my great loves: stone circles, a little romance and hot chocolate!
LHP: What advice can you give other writers?
Ailish Sinclair: The clichés are true, even the conflicting ones: write every day; write what and when you want; don’t try to write to a market, write from your heart… But really, that last one: the heart. It’s all worthwhile then, published or unpublished, you will grow as a person through your writing.
Ailish Sinclair recently authored “Norn” for Terrors Unimagined on sale now.
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