Just in time to bid farewell to another month and celebrate the release of her Lucas North-inspired novel, Clean Break, here’s our interview with Abby Vegas.
What type of environment do you need to write?
Someplace comfortable! In the summer I write on my screen porch, and in cold weather I write inside by the fire. Background music is a must for getting words on the page, but when I’m editing I usually prefer to work in silence.
How do your ideas come to you? Do you always write them or do you let them disappear?
Clean Break was my first novel and I drew inspiration from so many different places — movies, books, fairy tales, Spooks, real-life experience, and pure imagination. It took some time for the whole thing to come together. In the process I’ve absolutely let some ideas come and go. You can’t pack everything into one novel.
Do you plan a story from the beginning to end or start with an idea and let the chapters come to you as they do?
A little of both, although I think I veer closer to flying by the seat of my pants. With Clean Break I had a definite idea of where I wanted to start and finish, but how I’d get there was still a mystery when I started writing. The characters didn’t really come to life in my head until I had them on the page, talking and moving and thinking, making mistakes and learning from them. And some directions I initially took the story didn’t work, so I had to rethink my approach and try again.
Do you prefer writing easy, quick stories or long, layered stories?
Both! Short stories are a lot of fun because they don’t take two years to write (and edit and publish.) But there’s something very satisfying about a long-form story, too, and that’s why I wanted to try my hand at writing a novel. There’s freedom to explore in all that space, and I loved bringing in the secondary characters and taking time with some of the thematic elements.
Which do you find easier to write: dialogue or description – or are they equally hard/easy?
Writing dialogue is definitely easier for me. Description and introspection are a hard nut to crack – but it’s immensely satisfying to nail it, which I hope I do on occasion.
Is there anything that you won’t write or feel uncomfortable writing?
I wouldn’t say I *won’t* write it, but explicit sex scenes and erotica are not my forte. Given a choice, I’ll leave that to the experts.
What do you do to cure writer’s block? What advice can you give to new writers who might be scared to post their stories?
The only cure for writer’s block is to write. I’ve learned to embrace the wretched first draft as a necessary part of the process.
My advice to a new writer would be: start small. Try writing a one-shot fanfiction, post it on an appropriate site of your choosing, and see what kind of feedback you get. Then repeat the process. Fanfiction is an amazing point of entry for new fiction writers (I call it my gateway drug) because you have this built-in community of voracious readers and fans who are already invested in the characters and their stories. And connect with other writers in your genre! The fanfiction sites are an excellent resource for that kind of networking.
What is your favorite book and why?
Shining Through by Susan Isaacs — I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this novel. It’s a historical romantic spy-thriller chick-lit masterpiece with a kick-ass heroine. It’s just so good.
Abby´s Official Website:
http://www.AbbyVegasAuthor.com (includes bonus material for Clean Break + four nonfiction RA fandom adventures)
Visit Abby’s site and read the first ten chapters of the novel for free: FREE SAMPLE