Q&A Stephanie Wrobel
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Q&A With Stephanie Wrobel
Hello everyone I am doing a Q&A with USA Today and Sunday Times Bestselling author Stephanie Wrobel. Stephanie is the author of “The Recovering of Rose Gold,” and “darling Rose Gold”.
Just a quick note to say I’ve only written two books: Darling Rose Gold and This Might Hurt. (The Recovery of Rose Gold is the UK title for DRG, but they’re the same book.)
Q: What advice would you give to someone who aspiring to be an author especially those who want to write in your field of mystery and thrillers?
A: I have three pieces of advice for debut writers:
- Set a measurable goal. It can be words/hours/scenes per day/week/month, but come up with something so you can watch yourself make progress. The idea of writing 90,000 words is daunting but less so if you break it down into bite-sized pieces. If you write 1,000 words a day, you’d have a first draft in 3 months! It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you do it—work as your schedule allows. The important thing is to chip away and keep to your schedule. I also find it really rewarding to keep a spreadsheet of chapter word counts so I can watch the total word count climb.
- Get qualified constructive feedback. You read a lot about the importance of practice—getting and keeping your butt in the chair—which is true! But in order to get better at anything, you also need someone to tell you where you’ve gone wrong. A family member or friend isn’t going to cut it unless they’re an author or work in the publishing industry. This doesn’t mean you have to commit to a two-year course or pay an editor tons of money, but there are plenty of starter courses where you can dip your toe in the water and receive feedback from a qualified professional.
- Treat the business side of writing as part of the job—because it is! Start writing first drafts of your query letter months before you’re ready to send your manuscript out. Same goes for the synopsis. Research agents and take the time to find a list of twenty or thirty that fits your book really well. Do all of this alongside writing your novel—or, if you can only take on one project at a time, don’t rush this part of the process. You will learn a ton along the way, and the final result you send out will be much more polished.
I’m trying my best to share what I’ve learned so far via the For Writers section of my website.
Q: Which book of yours did you have the most fun writing? Which scenes in all of your books did you have the most fun writing? Which scenes did you have the most difficult time of writing?
A: I probably had more fun writing Darling Rose Gold, because there were no external expectations attached to it, i.e. my editors and readers weren’t waiting for the book, because I was unpublished at that point. Patty’s voice came to me quite easily, which always makes the writing more fun, whereas I had to work much harder to find my three narrators’ voices in This Might Hurt. The most fun scenes to write are often the climax or twist reveals—I won’t say more, as I don’t want to spoil anything! The hardest scenes are the ones where I don’t have a clear picture of what I want to happen beforehand.
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to any of your novels?
A: Nope, not yet!
Q: Are you writing a new novel now? If you are, can you spoil a little bit about the book you are writing now?
A: I’m hard at work on my third novel, which is untitled at this point. It’s about an American woman living alone in a giant manor in the English countryside. For reasons unknown, she hasn’t left her home or spoken to another human being in three years. One day an elderly British woman knocks on her door and sets a whirlwind in motion.
Q: What were your favorite books you read this year so far?
A: Stray by Stephanie Danler; Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka; Tell Me an Ending by Jo Harkin; A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay; and Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh.