1. I live in a city - Vancouver - but I often set stories in small towns for the sense of community which echoes what I find in my downtown neighborhood. What about you? Where do you live and where do you set your stories? And why?
I live in upstate New York and I adore using the small town setting in my books. Besides having a sense of what the community is like, it's fun to use both real life and fictional details to sketch out my story. I also use many of my vacation spots for inspiration to set a story.
2. What's your favorite book ever and why? I have 2 or 3 books that I read over and over again - including Jane Austen's Persuasion. I love it because the characters are older and their relationship isn't easy, but you know, when they do finally get together, they're grown-ups and they know exactly who they are.
This is an odd answer since I'm a romance author and adore the genre. But my favorite book is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and my favorite character in that book is Enzo, the dog. The story is written from the dog's point of view and it always sticks in my mind. I see passages of brilliant writing because it's pretty hard to convince a reader a dog can carry an entire book. This is the type of book that made me want to work harder on my craft!
3. What's the story you've always wanted to write but somehow can't? For me, it's a story about World War I. I'm fascinated by the stories I've read about it but I'm pretty sure I'm never going to write a real war story. I've just finished a book that is set partly during World War I but a very long way away from the battles. I think that's as close as I'm going to get.
What a great question! I think every writer has that book within and never knows when he or she is ready to write it. My own personal goal for that book of my dream is a woman's fiction novel that takes a relationship from early twenties and spans their entire lifespan. A big old fashioned heartbreaker of a book with a hero and heroine that keep getting together and breaking each other's heart, but can't seem to stay apart. I have some great ideas but I know I'm not ready to write that yet!
4. Finally, do you have a routine? If so, what is it and how easy/hard is it to stick to it? I try to have one, but because I work as a freelance paralegal and teach paralegals occasionally, my schedule tends to change from week to week, if not actually day to day. I'm always buying lottery tickets, hoping to win just enough money not to have to work and write to a regular schedule though I'm pretty sure that even if I did have the money to write nine to five, I wouldn't, as I've been scrambling like this forever :)
Oh, boy, do I hear you! I am so lucky to say I am finally able to write full-time so I'm grateful. I'm used to handling a full time job, two small boys, two dogs, and a busy household! My writing schedule is easy: I write every day, whenever I can. I am used to squeezing in time between television shows, lunches, errands, and late at night. I taught myself to write in short bursts because waiting for a few uninterrupted hours was never going to happen. So, my routine is simple. There is none - it is always chaos but somehow it seems to work!
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Website and Blog: http://www.jenniferprobst.com
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