Continuing the What, Where, When? feature of writers and their writing processes, I am very pleased to welcome Tanya Reimer, author of many speculative fiction novels, to the blog to talk about her writing life.
What do you write?
I am a writing addict. I will try anything in any dosage. I once had an editor tell me I wrote too much dialogue so I wrote an entire novel with very little dialogue, just to prove to myself I could. Then I wrote a play, to counter the hell that was.
At 18, I wrote mysteries. In my twenties, I was into light romances with a historical-mystery twist. It wasn’t until about ten years ago that I set aside genre and wrote what was in my heart. No outline, no thinking up backstory, just vomiting it all out. I had no idea what my six book series was. And this is how I stumbled onto my true passion: speculative fiction. I get buzzed up on alternate history and futuristic settings, as long as they get me thinking outside this safe world I live in.
On top of the speculative fiction, I write short stories, I blog, I wrestle through romances under the freedom of a pen name, and I write young adult and non-fiction. Did I mention I was an addict?
What made you start writing in the first place?
Around the age of 15, I wrote my first column in the local paper in hopes that Superman was hanging out there. No one but me noticed at the time, but I slowly got sucked into writing with brief non-fiction binges and blissful poetry, which I enjoyed in secret and hid under my bed.
What are you currently writing?
This is always tough for me to answer because I work on several (okay dozens) of projects at a time. I stop the editing to write or rewrite when the fit takes me and I binge write for a week or two until the first draft is done and my family is shocked to see I survived another one. This draft sits and I go back to editing.
I organize my work in folders and slowly (could be twenty years later) my manuscripts work their way up to the final folder where they are ready for readers and eventually (after I can’t find anything else to obsess over) publishing.
My closest work to being publishable is Legends on the Prairies, a Sacred Land Story.
I wanted to try my hand at a Monster-In-the-House type plot so I just finished writing a challenging young adult about an underground futuristic world being sustained by an artificial intelligence who decides they will all have to die. I find I’m more into the harder, darker stuff these days.
When do you write – authors tend to have a set routine, morning, lunchtime, night – when do you write and why then?
I write all the time. I am the idiot writing while at the dentist, while waiting for my kids at dance and baseball. I am up in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep until that story is fixed. If I can’t write, I will read or have my Kindle read to me.
I wake up before my kids to get in a bit of editing. During lunch, I usually spend it handling correspondence, blogging, polishing, or submitting work. Then at night when everyone is asleep or watching TV, I spend two to four hours working on a project or reading, either alone or with my kids.
Luckily, my work demands I do all sorts of writing and reading so it helps with the withdrawals.
What do you write on: Apple or Windows? Word or Scrivener?
I am currently using Windows with Word. I use my own templates and interactive workbooks that allow me to write without outlining and I found Word worked swell for what I had in mind.
Laptop or desktop?
Since I write all the time, I have an Acer Hybrid that fits in my tiny (okay huge) backpack. It answers my writing-on-the-go needs.
I do have a wonderful writing desk with a PC, which is great for research or laying out multiple interconnecting plots (why do we do that?). I use it for proofreading or things like intense edits. It is in the middle of our home so it is surrounded by books, historical research, my son’s art table, my husband’s exercise equipment, and my daughter’s music. This way I can spend time with my family, no matter what they’re doing. I stick up motivational things like pictures or sayings to keep me going.
Where do you write— some people do it at a desk but some people do it at the kitchen table. Where do you do it?
Apart from on-the-go or at my desk, my fav place to do serious writing or reading is in my messy bed. It’s quiet, it’s cozy, and no one bothers me. I have my storyboard by it with enough pacing room so I can work out hard plots by pacing and/or by tossing myself (safely) on the bed until it jostles the answer I need. And if I pass out, my husband just tosses a blanket on me.
How much contact do you have with other writers – are you a solitary writer or do you have a writing group?
It was hard for me to admit to others that I was a writing addict. I don’t like the attention. I don’t like people thinking I know what I’m doing. I need creative freedom to be as weird as I want. On the Internet, I found other addicts. They are my support group, and I am always happy to welcome in more. I haven’t met any of my writing friends, readers, or crit partners, yet I trust their keen eyes. I have built some wonderful friendships with these strangers who get my addiction and who care enough to give me honest feedback in a way that works. And! I have met worse addicts than me, which is always a relief.
Finally – writing in coffee shops – yes or no ?!
We don’t have coffee shops around my place, but I love the idea of writing in a busy world. Of course, no one wants to see me on caffeine so I would be the one drinking blue Powerade while typing with my eyes on that last cookie which I really want (but not bad enough to stop typing to actually get up and go get it.)
Thanks again for inviting me over.
More about Tanya and her work can be found here: