Saturday, March 15, 2014
Inside My Head
Today Alison and I are strolling along the brick path surrounding Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston. Looking out over the harbor, the sky is a mixture of blue and gray with a weak sun trying desperately to peek through the clouds. A cool breeze of sea mist brushes across my face. There's a stillness in the air. We are almost alone except for an occasional passerby. Alison seems deep in thought today, not her usual chatty self. I'm concerned that something is wrong.
Tweet: Everything okay?
Alison: (nodding her head, she gives me a slight smile). Mmm...hmm.
Tweet: This is going to be a very short Q&A if you're going to answer via guttural noises. (I smile. She knows I'm just teasing her.)
Alison: Sorry. I've got a lot on my mind.
Tweet: Now I'm curious. What's got you all up in your head?
We approach the huge pineapple fountain, water spurting from the top, and sit.
Alison: Well, for one thing my next book. Scenes and dialogue keep popping into my head, but I haven't written any of it down. The thing about writing is, it's hard to turn it off. You don't just write while sitting in front of a computer screen. I'm always writing in my head. It's very consuming for me. Also, I have a special project in the works for Present Perfect and Past Imperfect that's occupying my time along with the continued promoting and business aspect of writing. I'm not a multi-tasker, so sometimes it's overwhelming.
Tweet: Being a writer isn't just something you do, it's who you are. You started writing Present Perfect January 2013. You've got two books completed and a third just beginning. Have your goals changed since starting this new career?
Alison: The goals for my books haven't really changed. I want to write stories that impact the reader. I want them to feel the emotions of the characters, get invested in the lives of the characters, and learn something from the characters. I want to continue to choose subject matters that are unique, shine a light on situations that people need to be aware of.
My career goals have certainly changed. When my first book was released I didn't even think in terms of this being a career. I figured if I had one story in me then so be it. At some point between Present Perfect being out and Past Imperfect being written I started to look at this as a viable career. Reading it such a personal thing and I've been given the opportunity to reach people in that way. Do I care about numbers? Sure, to a certain degree. There is a business aspect to writing, but the numbers aren't the end all be all. I want to inspire others to go after their dreams no matter the situation. I had help getting to this point in my career, it's my job to pass that help along to another. I'm not trying to be better than the next person. I'm just trying to be better than I was yesterday.
Alison turns her gaze toward the harbor. By the look on her face there is no doubt that the scenes and dialogue for book 3 have started swirling around her head once again.