Please welcome Summer Prescott, author of the popular Frosted Love cozy mystery series, to the willow tree. Summer has agreed to answer some questions for us. Welcome, Summer.
What are you currently working on and when do you plan to release your next book?
I’ve been busy, busy, busy lately! I’m continuing to write the adventures of Missy, Chas and the rest of the gang from the Frosted Love series, but have decided to produce them every two weeks
rather than every week, so that the books will be a bit longer, and I’ll be able to take my time writing them, making characters and situations more intense and richly detailed.
In addition to writing the new Missy and Chas series, entitled The INNcredibly Sweet Series, I’m also publishing the work of two up-and-coming authors in the Cozy genre, and am currently in
negotiations with a third writer for future projects in Children’s Mystery.
Book 2 of The INNcredibly Sweet Series has just been released, and I’m looking forward to receiving Book 7 from Patti Benning in the next week or so.
Do you have a favorite genre for your writing or do you write whatever moves you?
I love writing in multiple genres. Cozy is fun – I always seem to become great friends with my characters – and I’ve been predominantly writing in the Cozy genre for more than a year, but I’m working toward expanding into a more intense Mystery/Thriller realm, with books that are more in line with works by Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I don’t think that I’ll leave Cozy behind, but will most likely divide my time between the two genres.
In my “free time” (which has been in short supply lately), I write commercial fiction and even dabble a bit in poetry.
What is the best piece of advice you were given about writing?
I think, actually, that I read the best piece of advice about writing in a quote from Stephen King,
“Write, write, write.” That, for me, really sums it up. I’ve found, both on the writing side of things as well as the publishing side, the writers who are successful, are the ones who actually make the time to write, and write, and write some more. My own writing has evolved significantly since I wrote my first Cozy (thankfully), and I really believe that it’s because I’ve been cranking out a book per week for a year – that’s a lot of practice!
The second piece of advice that I try to live by as a writer is to have a thick skin when reading reviews. I evaluate reviews by first looking at what I can learn from them. I ask myself if it’s valid criticism, and if so, I strategize as to what I can do to fix the issue(s). As every writer knows, there are plenty of trolls out there, trying to do harm by posting awful reviews. I’ve learned that if someone says something that personally attacks the writer, or our intelligence, it’s best to just shake it off and move on. Constructive criticism should be just that – constructive. If there’s nothing to be learned from a nasty review, take a breath, shrug your shoulders, and get back to writing.
Do you have a special spot where you like to write or are you a “have lap top will travel” writer?
Both. I’ve written at airports, in hotels, and in foreign countries, but my favorite spaces are on my comfy couch and (blushes), sitting on my bed. I love cranking up the fireplace while I write.
What is your favorite book and favorite author?
That’s an impossible choice, lol. Here’s a handful…Stephen King, Dean Koontz, JR Ward, Mary Higgins Clark (her earlier stuff), the classics (sisters Bronte, etc…), and Idaho wilderness author, Patrick McManus, just to name a few. Yes, my tastes are all over the place, and I’m obviously not opposed to reading just for the sheer entertainment, even if it’s not literary art.
When did you discover your passion for writing?
I think I wrote my first poem at age five, and never looked back. Seriously, I’ve loved writing my entire life.
Do you have a favorite beverage or snack you must have while writing?
COFFEE!!! Too many times I get into a groove and forget to eat. When I’m really on a roll, I’ll grab a handful of pretzel crisps and call it good.
What inspires you?
Everything! People, places, news stories, Facebook memes…I look at everything with an eye trained toward story potential. I also have an amazing muse with whom I can toss ideas around, and explore storylines and characters.
Do you have a favorite vacation destination and do you write while vacationing?
I go to the Caribbean every winter, and while I do use some of that time to figure out storylines and character development, I don’t do any writing, other than to jot down my ideas.
Do you have any advice for other writers on any subject you choose?
EDITING!!!! It’s so disheartening to see new writers, who tell a darn good story, held back because of deficiencies in grammar, spelling, tenses, and other technical aspects of writing. I’ve seen books where the story was good, but it was edited so poorly (or not at all) that I couldn’t get through it. Also…as well as write, write, write, make sure that you read, read, read.
Any last thoughts you would like to add?
Probably the most important thing that I can say about writing is that it should make the reader feel something. When a reader picks up a book, they’re not just killing time, they’re looking for an experience. That experience may be pure entertainment, but that often involves making them laugh with delight, or cry in anguish. When I’m done with a book, I want the reader to care about my characters as much as I do. I hear the voices of my characters in my head, and can mimic Missy’s southern accent. I stop to cry sometimes, and occasionally crack myself up when I write, and I’m perfectly okay with that. People and relationships are what life is about, and even in the context of a mystery, if we don’t feel anything about the people and relationships in the book…what’s the point of reading?
Contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter: @summerprescott1
Find my Book Catalog on my blog: https://summerprescottbooks.com/book-catalog/