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October 26, 2016

Y - Your Questions Answered

In the U Post for this series, I opened the floor for all of you to ask me questions about my books, blog, writing...anything.

Here are your questions and my answers:

NOTE: Diedre, Yvonne, and Lidy Wilks all asked me a similar question, so I chose the first version asked by Diedre.

Diedre Knight's Question: With your website, newsletters, blogs, and editing on the side going on, how do you ever find time to write new books?

My Answer: I plan ahead. I’ve already started writing my blog posts for next year. If I set aside a day, I could write 5-10 posts. With my newsletter, I can put together 3-4 in an hour or two with most of the content done. For the IWSG Newsletter, I create a few pre-made issues and add the content when I get it. If I have to edit for a client, I edit up to a certain page count each day, and then I try to write in one of my own books for the rest of the day. Marketing my books is another matter, I’ve spent hours and days doing that. I do lose writing time, and it does suck.


Loni Townsend's Question: Are you feeling better yet?

My Answer: I am much better. Thanks, Loni! (And Alex, who also asked this question, and everyone who wished me well.)


Nick Wilford's Question: Which of your books have you most enjoyed writing, and why?

My Answer: This is tough. I want to say one of Avrianna Heavenborn’s books (more on her in a later answer), because those were the first books I wrote and completed. I also want to say Tsunami Crimes, because it turned out to be the easiest book I've written. On the other hand, (I guess I have three hands?) I want to say the book I’m working on now because it’s just so much fun! I’m back in the fantasy genre that I enjoyed so long ago but got away from. It’s a three-way tie! :D


Karen Wojcik Berner's Question: How did you get your publisher?

My Answer: Well, I was Googling publishers that accept romance short stories, and the first one I found was The Wild Rose Press. I checked out their requirements and sent off a query letter for Hurricane Crimes. I was in a bad place at the time, so when I was asked to send them the full manuscript, I was in shock. I sent it, and then the Senior Editor for the Crimson Rose Line wanted it!


Elizabeth Seckman's Question: Who is your favorite character you've ever written and why?

My Answer: Avrianna Heaveborn. She’s the detective in my short story, Ghost of Death. I have written a series for her, going deeper into who she is and all the things that make her unique. I’m working on getting representation for book one of her series. *fingers crossed*


Alex J. Cavanaugh's Question: Why the fascination with disasters?

My Answer: Disasters happen everywhere, to anyone. Nowadays, they are happening more often, too. I think it’s the unpredictability and the power of them that really draws me in. You just never know.


Chemist Ken's Question: You provided such a wonderful writeup on how to put newsletters together. How have you been doing with yours? Any new tricks you've discovered?

My Answer: My newsletter is going great. I have a happy number of subscribers, and I’m having fun with it. The trick is to offer your readers something. It can’t be all me-me-me or my book this, my book that. I like to offer recipes, teasers for a current work-in-progress, and giveaways. I try to do one special thing in every newsletter.


Elizabeth Otten's Question: Where did you learn this abundant amount of information about writing, publishing, blogging, etc.?

My Answer: I did a lot of research and learned along the way.


D.G. Hudson's Question: Have you experienced many disaster events yourself?

My Answer: I’ve experienced category 5 (and lesser) hurricanes, tropical storms, severe thunderstorms, mild flooding, and a brush fire (started by an arson) that almost took my childhood home.


Pat Hatt's Question: Which disaster would you find the worst to be in? Zombie apocalypse?

My Answer: For the world, a zombie apocalypse would be the worst. Personally, it would be a tsunami. I’ve been horrified by them since I first saw “Deep Impact.” I can’t swim well, and I have a fear of drowning.


Lidy Wilks' Question: What show would you spend your entire weekend binge watching?

My Answer: When you asked this, I was binge watching the first two seasons of "House of DVF." I love fashion, and this was the only thing I could concentrate on. I’ve also binge watched "The Walking Dead."


The Beer Guys' Question: Do you have any characters roaming around in your head that you want to write about, but haven't found the right story to put them in yet?

My Answer: Nope. As soon as they introduce themselves to me, I know exactly what their story is about. But I do have way too many characters roaming around in my head who need their stories written.


Shannon Lawrence's Question: Is there a different genre that you have the urge to play around in? Something that pokes at the back of your brain sometimes?

My Answer: Western. I have one story idea with cowboys and outlaws that would be fun to write. Of course, there would be a romantic storyline. But I have so many other stories that need writing first that I’m waiting until I have time to really learn about this genre before I attempt it.


Jeffrey A. Scott's Question: Have you ever had to delete a loved character completely from one of your stories?

My Answer: Never. I make sure all of my characters, even the minor ones, have a purpose in the story. Doing that ensures that they’re not dispensable. If I cut a character out, there would be a hole, something missing from the story. It could be something as simple as comedic relief, which is important to balance out the tension in some of my stories.


Carrie-Anne’s Questions: A) Have you ever had the experience of characters talking to you and demanding you do things much differently than the way you'd planned? Did you change the storyline accordingly, or stick to the original plot exactly? B) Have you ever been surprised by the appearance of a completely unplanned character? 

My Answers: A) I have had some characters go off and do things a bit different, which resulted in unplanned scenes, and I always let them do it. I’ve realize that giving them freedom made the storyline that much better, but I was always able to keep the plot pretty much the same. B) Unplanned characters have popped into my stories. Mostly it happens during moments that need them, and they waltz in to save the day. One of these surprise characters was Detective Thorn from Seismic Crimes. He wanted to be in the story, and I let him. After that, he dictated everything he wanted to do.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Almost losing your home to fire would be scary.
You are super organized. Which is why you were perfect for the IWSG newsletter.

Pat Hatt said...

A Tsunami would be horrible to be in indeed, even if one can swim, won't do them a whole lot of good with that thing coming at them. Being ahead works indeed. Into November of next year at my feed lol

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

You are so well organized, especially re blogging! :) I'm happy when I've got my posts written a week or two ahead, never mind a year.

nashvillecats2 said...

Yes, Chrys you do seem well organised, well done with all your pursuits and achievements.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

That's great that you found a publisher that fit so well so fast.

Chrys Fey said...

It still haunts me.

Thanks, Alex! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Olympic swimmers wouldn't have luck in a tsunami.

I've done a lot of posts up to December of next year, but I skipped one post each month, because I can't do those yet.

Chrys Fey said...

I just can't help it. If I didn't write ahead, I'd be constantly stressed about having to write something NOW.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Yvonne!

Chrys Fey said...

I was indeed lucky...and blessed. :)

Crystal Collier said...

Being organized really is the key. Time is like a budget. You only have so many resources and you have to use them wisely. Loved reading through all these!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Thanks for sharing these things about you, Chrys. We have a lot in common. Except for the potential fire. That would be terrifying. Glad you're feeling better. Hope you put your feet up every once in a while, or at least shut your eyes when you can.

A Beer for the Shower said...

I'm terrified of tsunamis too, for the same reason. I can't swim, and there's no avoiding them, so that means insta-death for someone like me.

And thanks for the answer! Sounds like you've got everything very well figured out. Our heads are more of the scrambled variety, so making sense of everything is half the battle for us. Once we do, though, it all works out. :)

diedre Knight said...

What a fabulous post! Really enjoyed the Q & A session ;-) You are an extremely organized and very busy bee. As indicated by the results, you're doing it just right!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

A western would be interesting. it's like a lost genre now.

A tsunami is scary because if you're close to the water, there's not much you can do.

Chrys Fey said...

I got the idea for the western years ago after watching 3:10 to Yuma.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Diedre! Glad you enjoyed my answers. :)

Chrys Fey said...

"Time is like a budget." I like that. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I've been trying to put up my feet more often. I work too hard sometimes.

Chrys Fey said...

I'd be right beside you with that insta-death.

You're welcome! I had a lot of fun answering these questions.

Liz A. said...

Sounds like you have your days pretty planned. You would have to.

sage said...

I am amazed at how organized you are!

Chrys Fey said...

Yup. I need to have a plan.

Chrys Fey said...


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chrys - well done on answering so many questions and so fully. The first one Dierdre's question, which I'm sure others of us would have asked ... such a great answer - planning: so essential ...

Cheers Hilary

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Wow, great questions and answers. I'm so impressed with how far you blog in advance!

Well done.

Chrys Fey said...

I had fun answering these questions. I need to do it again sone time. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I can't help it. LOL I probably wouldn't blog at all if I had to write the posts weekly.


Lisa Thomson said...

Awesome post, Chrys! The questions are great. I especially loved the last one because I've had this happen in a story. A character popped up and I kept writing him, then I wondered how it happened and why. I second guessed him and one should never second guess these types of characters. LOL> Loved your answers. Very educational, too.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Thanks for answering the questions. In regards to my question, the reason I asked it is because I recently had to delete two entire characters from my story. Considering it was about three close friends and their girlfriends along with other bit characters, I felt the story was over crowded to I merged two of the female characters into one, and two of the male characters into one. However three of my other main characters have been left unchanged.

Dabbling into Fantasy? Cool! I'm excited to read it when it's done.

Chemist Ken said...

Thanks for answering all these questions. I can't imagine being that organized.

Chrys Fey said...

You're right. One should never second guess characters that pop up. They do it because they're needed. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Sometimes, writers do have to delete characters. It happens. When I rewrote that series I started ages ago, I deleted a bunch of characters from that. I only kept three.

I am so excited about this fantasy story. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I can't imagine not being this organized. lol

Carrie-Anne said...

You blog really far in advance! I also tend to schedule posts in advance, though normally I'm not already writing next year's posts (except for my A to Z posts). I need to start writing the rest of November's posts, which will include some research for my Song of the South series (and seeing if I can find a bootlegged version to watch).

Chrys Fey said...

I like to have them done so I don't have to worry, but there are some posts I can't do. Like next year, I'm doing monthly mishmash posts, and I can't do those ahead of time.

Elizabeth said...

This post turned out well! Great questions and I enjoyed getting to know you better through your answers :) I really like your answer to Alex's question about disasters. And I can relate to your answer to Carrie-Anne, I had a minor character take over a short story I wrote last year. I can't believe you schedule posts that far in advance. I think maybe, if I quit my day job, I could get a month ahead...maybe.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this posy and my answers. :) I can easily get ahead with my blogging while I watch TV at night. I write out posts in my notebook then type them later.