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Pencils In Cup (rworks)

Turning the tables on Shae Connor

Fellow Dreamspinner author Shae Connor does this nifty thing where she asks authors Seven Questions. Today, I'm turning the microphone on Shae, on the occasion of the release of her debut novella, Model Student.

So without further ado...

Seven Questions with Shae Connor:

The basics first: what's your new book about, and how can readers get their hands on it?

My book is a novella called Model Student, and it’ll be available October 13 from Dreamspinner Press. It’s the story of Aaron Stevens, a filmmaking student paying his way through college by working as a model, who meets Matt Carson, a journalism student who wants to interview him for a school project. Sparks fly between them, but as they open up to each other, they find both have difficult backgrounds that they’ll need to overcome if they want to be together.

Where did the inspiration for your story come from?

It was originally fanfiction, actually! I was inspired by a set of photographs from an actor’s modeling portfolio, and I wrote the story over a couple of weeks based on the character he played. I later decided to revise it and convert it into an original story. I was inspired to do that by one of Dreamspinner’s other authors, Rachel West, who’s a friend of mine through the same fandom and who did something similar with one of her fanfiction stories.

How did you get started writing fiction?

I wrote a few very short fiction stories when I was younger, but I didn’t get into writing fiction regularly until I started writing fanfiction about twelve years ago. I haven’t written steadily all that time, but I tend to be very prolific when I’m writing. After revising and submitting Model Student, I’ve written and submitted two other short stories, one of which was accepted for Dreamspinner’s Naughty or Nice 2010 Advent Calendar collection. I have several others in progress as well.

What's the most challenging part of the writing process for you?

Making myself sit down and write. I tend to write in spurts, pounding out a lot of words at a time and then going through days or even weeks of dry spell. I’d like to develop a more disciplined approach and schedule daily writing time, but I haven’t yet gotten into that habit.

How do you write, physically speaking? Longhand, laptop, desktop, inside or out, at a desk, comfy chair, in bed?

I write on my laptop 99% of the time, and usually sitting on my bed, where I have a laptop desk. It’s probably not the most ergonomic way to do things!

Do you write just one story at time, or do you usually have several works in progress?

I usually have several in progress. I like to have a backup plan if I get stuck on one story, so I can move over and work on something else. I also tend to vacillate between original fiction and fanfiction. I’ve been writing more fanfiction the past couple of weeks, because I have a couple of big stories I want to get out of the way this month, since I’m planning to write for National Novel Writing Month.

What are your long-term goals as a writer?

To keep writing, mainly. I feel better in general when I’m writing, because it’s such a great creative outlet. I don’t plan to make writing a career, though. I think the pressure of trying to make a living at it would give me the worst case of writer’s block in history!

The main thing I’d like to do is to work on writing longer stories. Model Student is only around 18,000 words, and the other two stories I’ve completed recently were around 12,000 each. I’d love to finish an original novel! The project I’m planning for NaNo should qualify. I wrote a fanfiction story for NaNo last year as a sort of warm-up, so I’m hopeful about my chances to hit the 50k mark again this time around.

Thanks for giving us a peek into what makes you tick as a writer, Shae! And best of luck with your new release!

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