Today (for our first interview!) we’ll be visiting with my sister, Éowyn Peterson. She’s loves writing, history, playing with horses, and studying healthy lifestyle practices. The author of Blue Ice and Amber, you can read more about her writing here. You can also find her at her blog Captured by the Word and her book and movie review blog High Noon. Thanks so much for visiting and sharing with us today, Éowyn!
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1. (Heidi) Some differences and similarities you see between the three major forms of storytelling—literature, music, and film?
(Éowyn) Movies are very often made by the music within them. Music can weave so much story within your mind and my one regret when it comes to books is that dance scenes are much less effective than ones in movies, because you can’t have music. However, the beauty of emotion and scenery described in books can at times almost make melody, so I think it all balances out. :)
2. How have you seen those three mesh together in your own creative process?
I love how—when reading all sorts of juicy tidbits of description—character and mannerisms are woven to a complete web. Seeing characters in a movie very much helps me spice up my own characters and, without copying, have somewhat of a model of behavior to base them from. Music brings them completely alive—as listening to the swirl and cohesiveness of song brings deep emotion to places where you can’t even see a face.
3. When and how did you first begin writing?
Firstly, stories were read to me. Then I learned to decipher them on my own. Paintings, travel, photos and adventures of all kinds inspired me…and the words and stories came naturally out of it all.
4. Particular author/s who have influenced you?
There are so many authors that inspire me to write, but the three that I think most constantly influence my style are: L. M. Montgomery, P.G. Wodehouse, and Zane Grey in his Light of the Western Stars.
5. Is there a “non-writing” activity that shapes your writing?
Definitely working with my horse, and my other studies help my brain work as well. Long walks that afford both wind-whipped hilltop views and forest glades. Surfing internet sites and blogs written by/featuring adventurous and creative people is also very motivating.
6. Have you chosen to go with a publishing house or independent publishing? (Please elaborate.)
With complete honesty I have never even looked into traditional publishing, and though I do like the sound of it I very much like the freedom that independent publishing gives.
7. Your opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of digital books?
Advantage: for emergency reading, you can bring them up on your father’s phone on the way home from church and other important occasions… Disadvantages: though at times you simply have to do digital, they are inanimate objects, peoples! Instead of smell and feel and three dimension, there is only clicking…and that, friends, is a sad exchange.
8. Do you ever do graphic design to help with your writing?
If especially inspired I might attempt a drawing of a character, but for the most part I leave the cover designing, etc. to my younger sister. However, I am a great collector of character photos.
9. Do you outline? If so, in a general way or very detailed?
It depends on four things (at least, I think only four things as I came up with them even as I write here): 1.) How complicated the interactions are between the characters. 2.) How many different story threads there are to be woven together. 3.) How clear the image of the story is in my own mind. And 4.) How grand and large the scope of the finished work is going to be.
10. Do you work on multiple projects at once?
If inspired, I work on several. And lately I have been most definitely inspired.
11. Do you edit as you write?
After most writing sessions I do go over what I have written, but sometimes I also let it rest.
12. Certain themes you see surfacing and resurfacing in your work?
Freedom, loss, change, horses, nature, and ill and wounded characters. :)
13. A particular aspect of writing you struggle with or a challenge you’ve overcome?
Dialogue! When I’ve got it I’ve got and when I don’t…oh, the agony! Also (and this is somewhat awkward and shocking) writing young, friendly heroes. But I am working on it…or trying to!
14. How do you deal with feedback—particularly negative feedback?
I have to confess that my first reaction is to get a little hurt and irritated. Yes, I know, very dignified and mature to be sure. However I am trying to work on this one, so keep on with the feedback!
15. One thing you’ve learned from other writers?
What I have learned! In every book I have ever read the author has taught me something. But I think the most important thing is that no matter whether the story is romantic, humorous, tragic, or all three spun together, the best authors keep Don Lockwood’s motto before them at all times: do all with dignity—and decency.
16. A helpful nonfiction book and/or website?
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon is absolutely AMAZING! K.M. Weiland’s blog is also really helpful, too.
17. What do you consider one of the single most important things to remember (i.e. an attitude or technique)?
Don’t wait for the Insp. Just write and it will come sooner…or later.
18. A word of encouragement for fellow writers?
Keep positive and diligent about your work.
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Thanks a bunch for having me, Heidi! I greatly enjoyed having both a reason to studiously take note of my writing practices and to drown myself in the gorgeous photos!