I work from home, which means I spend a good deal of my writing time talking aloud to myself, staring at a wall while I figure out a plot problem, and rambling somewhat incoherently. My husband also sometimes works from home, and today it struck me that he must think I'm totally insane. When asked about this, he just laughed. So I thought it might be interesting insight to interview the spouse of a YA writer.
1. What do you think writers are doing when they're staring at walls?
Probably thinking about what to get me for Christmas. Isn't she? If not, playing God (or "goddess") in her head as she decides which characters will live & die.
2. What is the best thing about being married to a writer?
Knowing the end of her book before anyone else.
3. What are some of the not-so-great parts?
Getting attached to a character in an early draft, only to discover later that character got cut from the final draft! Also, because authors tend to write at all hours, having to tiptoe around the house when all I really want to do is party with the cats. Also, during brainstorming sessions, coming up with tons of brilliant ideas, only for her not to use any of them.
(author's note: is it just me or does it seem like there were more negatives than positives?)
4. Has being married to a writer changed the way you approach reading for pleasure?
My wife gives great recommendations; she reads so much that when she says I'll like something, I know for sure I will. But after listening to her talk about plot devices and set-ups, I can see those coming in lots of books, which is a little like peeking behind Oz's curtain. On the upside, it helps me appreciate a great book that much more.
5. What about writing for work?
I recently wrote a one page newsletter for work. It took me all day. Then I came home and found out my wife had written ten chapters. Obviously I'm still a brilliant writer, but not prolific. Or very good.
6. What advice would you give to significant others of aspiring writers?
Being published doesn't make a writer. Writing makes a writer. If your significant other wants to be a writer, support their dream, and know that he or she is making sacrifices for his or her art. If you can do something to make his or her life better, that's your job. I also suggest finding an economical source of fresh cut flowers and visiting that source often.
7. What are you feelings right before your significant others' book is published?
It's a roller coaster you're both on. It's exciting, then scary, then exciting again. I highly recommend it.
8. What do you talk about when you hang out with other writers' spouses?
Food and beer mostly. Writing, not so much. We get our fill of that at our homes.
9. What's the best thing your writer spouse can do to make you feel appreciated?
Making good food for a loved one is always a good idea. Also, taking time to stop and smell the roses together. To sit down and celebrate her successes, my successes, and just life in general.