1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?
I’m Elizabeth Corrigan! The best place to find me is on Facebook.
2. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.
Well, I’m just coming out of NaNoWriMo, so I’m a little like, “What is life outside of writing?” 😉
By day I am an Army contractor. I’m a QA data analyst for a part of the Army that works on monitoring and preventing suicides and other behavioral health issues. By night, when I’m not writing, I’m usually playing games. I’m a huge fan of cooperative board games and tabletop role-playing games.
3. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
I wrote my first novel in high school. My friends all liked it, but in actuality, it was terrible. It was an over-dramatic contemporary young adult novel. My published novels are all fantasy novels—the first three books in the Earthbound Angels series and my mystery/fantasy Catching a Man. Last week I finished the first draft of my first science fiction novel, which I hope to publish next fall.
4. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…
My writing has so many influences, it’s hard to pick any as the “greatest.” Probably the thing that has sparked the most plots for me is my dreams. I can’t count how many times I’ve woken up from a vivid dream and thought, “That would be a great novel!” Sometimes it pans out and sometimes it does not.
My Earthbound Angels series is most influenced by the television show Supernatural and the Nightside books by Simon R. Green. Probably the biggest fiction influence on Catching a Man was the novel Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. She wrote about a military dictatorship who were the good guys, and I wanted to do something just as different.
As for my writing structure, that has been influenced a lot by Red Adept Publishing/Editing. They’ve really helped me clean up my style.
5. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…
I just finished the first draft of a science fiction novel called Arachne’s Web. It’s a space opera about a group of characters who are suddenly having memories of past lives. One of its working titles is “Space Trains” because the primary method of traveling between moons is trains in space. And yes, one of the first scenes features two of the characters robbing the train.
Up next after that is the sequel to Catching a Man, because I’ve been putting that off for way too long.
6. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?
I spent a lot of time planning books in my head before I write anything down. It’s something for my mind to do when I’m bored on a long car drive or I’m trying to fall asleep. At this point in time, I’m on-and-off working on about 6 series in my head. I generally do a brief outline, just a one-liner of what’s going to be in each chapter, before I start writing, and I find that my outlines change a lot as I write the novel.
7. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
I always say my strength is punchy dialogue. I like writing conversations between characters. People also tell me I’m good at having distinct voices for my characters. My weakness is descriptions. I don’t pay attention to them when I read, so I don’t bother putting them in my first drafts. I have whole scenes that have no real setting. So when I edit, I need to pay extra close attention to putting in that kind of detail.
8. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?
Can I go back and make marketing my weakness on the above question? I’m definitely not great at it. I’m trying out some new things, though, that will hopefully work out. BookRazor is a great service that will help you find reviewers.
9. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
If someone asks you to pay for their publishing service, they are not a real publisher! Read the Query Shark archives to learn how to query (and write book descriptions). Don’t believe people when they say you have to write for you—you can write for any reason you want. But you’ll probably be happiest if you’re writing for yourself.