First, let me remind you of a couple of posts regarding Jamie Ford (not that I'm a creeper or anything). I wrote about the writing lessons I learned from Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet here. I also wrote about how Jamie Ford inspired me as an author.
Jamie Ford is a super nice guy, and was kind enough to answer some questions of interest to writers. Enjoy!
Julie: Jamie, what is the best piece of writing advice you ever received? Why did it resonate with you?
Jamie Ford: A friend once told me, “Writer’s block is your subconscious telling you that what you’re working on actually sucks.”
I’ve found that to be painfully, painfully true. When I get writer’s block, it’s usually because deep down I know I’ve strayed from where the story needs to go. When that happens, I back up, revisit the taproot of the story, and find another path.
(Great advice. And he’s still a friend!)
Julie: Can you tell us a bit about your writing process? Plot first? Character development first? Research first?
Jamie Ford: Hmmm…I wish I had some Hunter S. Thompson-esque writing process to share—you know, wake up in a jail cell, get bailed out by a showgirl, go sit at the racetrack where I bet and drink all day while banging away at a manual Olympia, using my loaded .38 Special as a paperweight.
But, the reality isn’t quite so sexy. Typically I start with a very simple premise, I figure out my beginning and my ending (the ending us uber-important), I do a ton of research, and then I write, usually from 8:00 AM – Noon. I edit late in the day. That’s about it. Once in a while I’ll grab a triple latte and go buck-wild by writing at the public library.
Julie: Your novels grab the heart and won't let go. How do you create characters and stories that pull readers in and make them care?
Jamie Ford: This is when it’s beneficial to be a sentimentalist, because it takes one to know one, to understand one, and to tell those kinds of stories. Great if you’re a writer penning complicated, emotional, familial stories. Not so great if you’re a brooding, whining, angst-ridden teenager. The running joke in my family is that if I formed a heavy metal band in my youth it would have been called Melancholica. I guess I just grew into my emotions and put them to purposeful use in fiction.
Melancholica! I love that. Big thanks to Jamie Ford for visiting my blog and sharing his wit and wisdom with us.
Friends, what do you think about Mr. Ford's reference to writer's block? His writing process? And creating characters and stories that grab a reader's heart?
His novels are amazing. Wanna pick up copies? Clicky clicky below.