At Malice Domestic 2017, I attended an interview with the very talented and funny Charlaine Harris. Here's what I learned about her and her writing.
- The best example you can set for a child is for them to see you reading. She said that she grew up in a house full of avid readers and books in every room.
- She said that she writes personal stories with one character or a small group of characters.
- We all face struggles that cause us (or our characters) to make decisions. As a writer, you need to think about the choices your characters make.
- She said that she's a pantser (one who writes by the seat of her pants) because that's the fun of writing. It's exciting to see what happens. She likened outlining to paint by numbers.
- She said she started writing about the paranormal because she wanted to do something different to make money. She said that she's always been interested in things we can't see or hear.
- She said that she often writes about the south in many of her books. She talked about southern charm and living in Arkansas and Texas. She was asked what was something about southern culture that she had to explain to folks in other areas. She said that y'all is plural. And she wanted to let people know that there is more than one southern accent. Not all southerners sound the same.
I love listening to other authors talk about their paths to publication. Ms. Harris was charming and gracious and so willing to share her experiences.