I’m so happy that I had a chance to sit down with Writing Academy alum Roslyn Bane. Her WA book, an incredibly exciting novel called The Long Way Home was published in 2017.
We met up to talk about her time in the academy and her latest release, Time for Terri.
First, what inspired you to join the Writing Academy?
I knew my writing needed to improve and realized formal instruction would help it improve faster.
Do you have any writing rituals? Anything you need to have a good writing session?
I prefer to be in comfortable warm clothes. Some soft background noise, either TV or radio. I guess the closest thing to a ritual I have is that the girls must be free for me to write. (Ed. Note. We always support freeing the girls.)
You have a new book out, but it is not the book you were working on during your time in the academy, right?
Correct. The Long Way Home was the book I worked on during WA. My current book is actually a re-release of my first work. Time For Terri was lengthened and some loose ends were tied up. Overall several chapters were added to the book.
Who was your mentor in the Writing Academy?
Catherine Friend. I enjoyed working with her. She gave excellent advice on pacing, character emotions and scene development.
We love Catherine Friend. Did she help you get The Long Way Home ready for submission to Desert Palm Press?
Yes. I originally submitted The Long Way Home to Desert Palm Press prior to the start of Writers Academy. Lee, the owner, was interested in the book but said it needed work. Through the WA, I worked on making it a better book. I resubmitted the book with multiple changes, including Lee’s specific request of focusing on showing, rather than telling. She liked the revisions and I received a contract on the book. I was assigned an editor and we went through three rounds of edits. Mary and I worked well together. That’s not to say that I agreed with all her recommend changes. There were two or three I was able to convince her to keep my way, but for the most part I followed her advice.
When you aren’t writing, what are you reading? What’s currently on your bedside table?
Connections In Death by JD Robb and The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer.
And what are you writing right now?
I am working on a suspense with touch of romance thrown in. Revenge, bureaucracy, teamwork, love and an arsonist out for justice.
Sounds exciting! Do you have any advice for newer writers?
Write every day. At least 50 words. This helps you develop the habit of daily writing. Make those 50 words a daily priority. You don’t have to necessarily keep them in your story, but that’s not the point.
I’ve often said that. Not everyone feels inspired to write every single day, but I find the acting of forcing myself to sit down in front of the computer often brings the inspiration. Of course, on the other side of good advice is bad advice. Have you ever been given any bad writing advice that you wished you hadn’t believed?
Yes. I was told that the second draft should be pretty much what you submit. WRONG! You go through as many revisions as is needed to make your book the best possible book it can be. What you submit for consideration tells the publisher what your attention to detail is. Also, your friends cannot beta read for you. They don’t want to offend you, so they won’t necessarily give you the feedback that you really need. Third piece of bad advice was read every review. NO! This has the potential to be demoralizing. No matter how many 4 and 5 star reviews you get the review that will keep you up at night and shake your confidence is the one star. Instead of sitting there reading your reviews, write something new.
Wow! That is some seriously bad advice. I’m usually on at least the third draft before it even goes to beta readers, let alone out to the wide world. And reviews are for readers.
Exactly. You don’t want to give yourself any regrets about your work.
Speaking of regrets, if you could go back in time twenty years knowing everything you know now, would you?
Indeed, I would. I love my life, but I would change some things. Primarily I would have stayed in closer touch with friends. Loved more, apologized more, and forgiven more.
Those are some excellent life takeaways! What about your takeaways from the Writing Academy.
Learn what point of view will work best for your story, it might not be what you first plan. Make sure each character has room to grow and develop through the story. Believable character arcs are necessary. Even villains need an arc.
Great advice. Is there anything you want to say to readers that we didn’t ask?
Be patient with your writing. Study the craft even after WA is over. Pick a specific area and work on that area while you are writing. The second book is harder than the first, don’t despair.
Great advice, Roslyn! Thank you so much for being with us today.
If anyone wants to know more, you can find Rosyln on the web at https://roslynbane.com/
Remember, the best way to buy books is to ask your local independent bookstore to order it for you! If you don’t have a local bookstore, you can also order books through bookstores in other areas. You can also find books through the following links.
The Long Way Home can be purchased on Amazon https://amzn.to/2EPAGbT
You can find Time for Terri at Desert Palm Press https://desertpalmpress.com/product/time-for-terri-by-roslyn-bane/
Or Amazon https://amzn.to/2GXfwe9