Thursday, September 6, 2012

To Mystery and Wonder – An Evening with a Bestselling Author

Is there some unexplained phenomenon in the universe that allows people to automatically tell if another person is a writer? Something that causes you to look at a person and just think, I’ll bet she writes for a living. And what is the strange connection between writer folks that gives them the power to just know?

Lorna Landvik, bestselling author
That’s somewhat of my line of thinking tonight as I stood in my local bookstore with a room full of eyes turned on me while the guest speaker of the evening waited expectantly for an answer to a question she’d just asked me.

“Are you a writer?”

In fact, she had returned my question with a question. I didn’t think it was a question that warranted suspicion as to my profession.

"What time of the day do you find most productive for writing?” 

Lorna Landvik is a bestselling author of Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, Oh My Stars and The View From Mt. Joy. While she’s previously been published with Ballantine Books and Random House, her most recent title Mayor of the Universe is her debut self-published title.

She talked about some of the differences of being traditionally published to independently publishing her first book. She said doing book tours was a different deal. She has been used to publishers lining up events – hotel reservations and reminding her what time she needed to be at the bookstore – to doing the main promotion footwork. While she is on Facebook, Landvik says she is slowly making her way into the social media scene and fears spending more time in self-promotion mode than actually writing.

Landvik eventually got around to answering my question in a witty style that she has become known for; her best writing time is at night because, no matter how often she takes on a “seize the day!” type attitude, she has to make coffee and read the newspapers and take her dog for a walk and see what her husband is up to first. Still, she says she aims for about 1000 words a day.

This was the first author Q&A event that I’ve ever attended. It was a lot of fun, and proved to be an educational experience for me as well.

Her new title had sold out by the time I got up to her after the Q&A session. I overheard her asking the bookstore owner, “We sold all of them? Even the extra box I brought?”

So instead, I decided on Patty Jane’s House of Curl to be my introduction to Landvik’s writing.

When she saw me next in line she went on to ask what I wrote and the routines I’ve developed to be as productive as I can as a writer.

And then she signed my book: “Amanda, To mystery and wonder – best of luck with your own writing!”

So this week I’ll ask you the same thing Larna Landvik asked me: When have you found is the best time of day to write?


  1. Hey, Amanda! I've been trying to figure that out for myself! I've been writing at night after the kids go to bed out of necessity, but I don't think it' my best time. I'd love to be able to have some time during the day, but that probably won't happen for anther couple of years! Yesterday the twins both took a nap (shocking, huh) at the same time (woohoo!) and I was able to get some writing time in then. I just wish I wasn't so tired at night! Oh well, I work with what I get. I'm hoping to finish the first draft by the end of the month. We'll see! Have a great day!

    1. Woohoo for dual naps!

      The key is to just write whenever you can, but while making sure to take care of yourself and not get run down. The little word sprints of a few hundred here or there really make a difference and start to add up in the long-run.

      Congratulations on being so close to finishing your novel! I'm crossing my fingers that mine will be done this weekend!

      Write on!

  2. My answer to this question was once "Morning!" but now.. it's really whenever feels right. It is at any time, of any point randomly during the day. Or even during the night.

    This blog was fun to read, Amanda. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I'm with you on the morning thing Katie. With a full-time, I’m really limited to what other times of the day are available to me though. Thanks for reading!

  3. Hey, how are you? Sounds like you had a fun night with Lorna Lanvik. I liked her novels, esp Angry Housewives. It would have been great to hear her talk about the differences she has found with traditional and self- publishing.

    To answer the fun question, I write best at night when the house and neighborhood is still and quiet...however, I try to write some during mid-day also. How about you? When do you write best?

    1. I'm not really sure if I have found a "best" time for writing. That being said, I've found that if I force myself out of bed in the morning (ugh!) and write for an hour or so before work that when I get the chance to write any other time of the day, the words come easier.

      I have an hour lunch break and that seems to be when quality meets quantity for me if I've written in the morning. I think writing in the morning opens the imagination and gets all the "junk" writing out of the way and noon is a time of day when I've still got plenty of energy to be creative, whereas at the end of the day I can be exhausted and just not care.

      However, I primarily write at night because I'm a night owl and just hate getting up early! ;)

      Thanks for sharing!

    2. I'm with you on being a night owl! I see 2AM way more often than I should!


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