Today, I’m honored to have Brit McGinnis telling us about her work as a writer. . . I’m particularly eager to read her book Smugglers because the main character is a girl named Andy. 🙂 Plus, I love Brit’s answer to #7. . . especially given my announcement at the end of this post. Enjoy!
1.Tell us about your book.
In Smugglers, it is the year 2012. 95 percent of the women on Earth are dead. But one little girl is fighting to survive.
On Easter Sunday in 2012, one of the last women on earth died on live television. Her last message: “You did this to us.”
Andy has never known a world where she didn’t have to hide the fact that she was born female. Androgyny isn’t an identity: it’s a survival mechanism. But when one of the last women on Earth dies, it’s time for her to go fully on the run. Racing to a safehouse with her gruff godfather Mr. Fu, Andy meets people who doubt the narrative that the virus that killed all the women was just a mutation. What if it was a conspiracy? And even if it was, what do we do with the truth years after it happened?
2. What stories, themes, motivations do you find yourself drawn to in your work and in the works you read?
Someone once pointed out that my stories contain a lot of “angry young women.” I love that. Otherwise, I find that I often incorporate the theme of love being more complex than anyone ever imagined.
3. What made you believe you could write a book? How did you dispel doubt as you wrote?
I always wanted to write books, and struggled with what making that actual career would look like. But finally, my stories wouldn’t leave me alone. Regardless of whatever skill I may have, only I know about these stories. I have to be their conduit.
4. Describe the first 2-3 steps of your process in writing your book.
Every book starts with a question that won’t leave me alone. What if we could have seen the thought process of Persephone as she chose to join Hades? What if children were the main forces behind a social revolution? From there, I sketch it out and make a playlist to match.
5. How do you balance what will sell with what you want to say?
I try not to let sale potential mess with the process of conceiving my story. But I try to come up with a conceivable category for each idea, and I shelve anything I can’t describe in two sentences or less.
6. Which is more difficult – drafting or revising? Why?
Drafting, no question. Revising allows you to go in and tweak things out of love for the characters.
7. What is your least favorite part about being a writer?
The fact that it takes just as much time (and about twice the money) to promote my work as to write it.
8. What are some things that get in the way of your writing? How do you move them out of the way?
The main thing that gets in the way of my writing is my other goals. So I do my best to wipe out my goals in order of their size. I’m very lucky to have people in my life who will make space for me to write.
9. What’s the best writing advice you ever received?
Don’t try to pretend that what you’re writing has to be perfect. By all means, try to make it good. But allowing yourself to be burdened by “perfect” gets in the way of the work.
Brit McGinnis is an author of many books, including the Maskheads trilogy and the supernatural romance Romancing Brimstone. She runs the weekly newsletter The Weekly Spooky, which you can subscribe to on her website.
My new book Steele Secrets is now available for pre-order today. You can pick up a paperback or an e-book here. For a limited time, the e-book is only $1.99, so reserve yours now. Thanks.