And now for the third and final installment of our correspondence with novelist Ginny Aiken. Her "Deadly Decor" mystery series includes Design on a Crime (2005), Decorating Schemes (March 2006) and the upcoming Interior Motives (August).
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What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
It’s almost too dumb, really. They need to read, read, read as much as they can get their hands on, and not just the kind of book they want to write.
The other so-called "secret" is to just sit down and write. You get better at the process only by doing it over and over and over again. Practice may not make perfect, but it will make you pretty good.
What one aspect of God do you most hope your readers will take away after reading one of your books?
There are actually two. First and foremost, is that He’s always there ready to welcome you back to His unending love, comfort, and grace. Reconciliation is only a prayer away. The other thing I hope readers take away from my writing is that God has a great sense of humor. Let’s face it, the God who created humans with all our quirks and foibles has to know how to laugh.
What one thing about writing do you wish non-writers understood?
That it’s hard work. Sometimes when I’m on a writing tear (that’s when the images flash through my mind super-fast, and my fingers can barely keep up), I’ll shut down the computer and crash—literally. I’ll be so drained, yes, even physically, that I’ll sleep for a couple of hours before I’m able to do anything else.
What one thing about writing do you wish other writers understood?
I don’t think it’s so much a matter of what I wish they understood, but rather what I wish they remembered more often. It’s easy to forget how hard it is to be on the outside looking in.
The aspiring writer struggles to break in, and too often a published author doesn’t keep in mind how it felt to be in their shoes. A word of encouragement is priceless.
For the writer with a new book, what do you consider the BEST thing he or she can do to promote it?
I’ve done the whole promo postcard/bookmark/local and not-so-local book-signing thing, and I’ve come to one conclusion. Unless the writer is on a major, publisher-sponsored book tour, the best thing he/she can do is to write the next really good book.
BONUS: "The Munsters" or "The Addams Family"?
Ah ... if you’re asking me to compare mine to those families, then you’re out of luck. Our insane crew defies description. Let’s just say that as the mother of four sons, I also have an assortment of more than a hundred of their friends who at one point or another have called me mom.
Besides that, our days are ruled by two spoiled dogs and a four and a half ounce Sun Conure. What is a Sun Conure, you ask? It’s a colorful, beautiful, but insanely screechy loud parrot. And I’m a writer on deadline. Peace and quiet, anyone?
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Many thanks to ouir guest! Ginny Aiken's Decorating Schemes (Revell) is available at Amazon and other fine retailers.
Q&A: GINNY AIKEN, PT 1
Q&A: GINNY AIKEN, PT 2
Q&A: CRESTON MAPES (Full Tilt)
Q&A: BRANDILYN COLLINS (Web of Lies)
Q&A: RANDY SINGER (Self Incrimination)
Q&A: TASHA ALEXANDER (And Only to Deceive)
Q&A: LONNIE CRUSE (Murder In Metropolis)