Brilliant scientists struggled to make the first insulin. What hope does a high school dropout have?
3 adjectives: Ruminative, Sagacious, Fecund (I love these words, because they sound horrible but mean something good)
1 quirk: I think of everything in numbers.
Pop culture addiction: Daredevil on Netflix. They did what I love most. They made every character, especially the villains, real people that you could identify with.
Top 3 Pet Peeves
- It literally annoys me to death when people use a certain word incorrectly.
- Using too many exclamation points!!! I wrote a whole blog post about this. http://travisnorwood.com/2015/06/01/a-modest-proposal-for-use-of-exclamation-points/
- Being asked to pick my favorite of something. Most choices are complex and nuanced. Picking a favorite reduces it to a single number, ranked in comparison to other numbers.
What are your thoughts on book covers- in your opinion do they make or break a book?
I had a lot of artistic angst about the cover of Sugar Scars. I wanted it to perfectly represent the book. I was fortunate enough to attend a literary bootcamp given by Orson Scott Card and have kept up a friendship/mentorship since then. He changed my perspective on covers completely. He said the cover (like the title) is purely a marketing tool. Once I recognized that, it gave my cover artist the freedom to do what he wanted. And it turns out that he made a cover that beautifully represents the spirit book.
To answer the question, a cover can definitely make or break a book. There are too many books to choose from. You have to have something to make you look at a book.
How do you come up with character names? How do you come up with novel titles?
The sound of the name if very important. Think of the names of the houses in Harry Potter. You know that Gryffindor is good and Slytherin is evil without being told. I also make sure not to repeat the first sound, so each name is distinct and memorable.
The working title is usually a short one or two words that resonate with the book. But in making the actual title you have to consider marketing. The working title for “Sugar Scars” was “Blood, Sugar” and I loved it. But the comma, although important, confused people. And if you search “blood sugar” you get a million different things. “Sugar Scars” is unique, intriguing and works to describe the book on many different levels.
This or That-
*Morning or Night? Morning
*Vanilla or Chocolate? Chocolate wins in everything but ice cream (then vanilla with chocolate topping).
*Summer or Winter? Summer (but I really love Fall and Spring best)
*Ebook or Paperback? Ebook. I love my Kindle. Five hundred years ago some people were nostalgic for scrolls when the new-fangled books came out.
*Fantasy or Paranormal? Fantasy (but I was burned out on it pretty hard for a while after Robert Jordan died before completing The Wheel of Time).