Today I interviewed the wonderful and charismatic Rayme Waters, author of ‘The Angels’ Share’. Rayme answers diverse questions about writing. Grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy the read.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
I wrote twenty-seven drafts of my novel before it was accepted for publication. From chapter one to publishing contract it took eight years. The first five of that eight were just writing, getting feedback and then re-writing. I looked for an agent for about two years and another year to find a publisher, all while I was still editing and refining the story. There was a lot of rejection during those eight years. It was often difficult to keep up confidence.
What parts of your personality aid or hinder your writing?
I have great imagination and lousy discipline. You might think you know which one of these was an aid and one was a hindrance, but sometimes an active imagination can hurt because I’m getting so many new ideas that I get distracted. The lousy discipline means I don’t sit down and write fiction everyday, and this limits how prolific I can be, but it also allows me time between drafts and I’ve found that time is the best editor of all.
Where do your ideas come from for your novels?
Once I knew cooking basics, I stopped using recipes. I combine ingredients that work together and enjoy (mostly) what turns out. This is analogous to my writing. While I’ve studied craft, I don’t go in to any story with a complete plan. I have some general thoughts about setting, some sketchy details of a character and once I get it down on the page I see what sticks. One of the best essays about this technique can be found in Robert Boswell’s The Half-Known World.
What aspect do you find the hardest when writing?
Sitting down, sitting still and getting into the right mindset. Once I’m in that proper headspace I can do a lot of work quickly. I tend to write the most when I do a two or three day writing retreat when the distractions of home and family are at a distance.
What book do you wish you’d written, and why?
Can’t pick just one! Off the top of my head: Skippy Dies by Paul Murray. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Lisey’s Story by Stephen King.
How did you feel when you held your book for the first time?
I haven’t yet! People have been getting their deliveries before me and posting photos on Facebook. It’s been exciting to see The Angels’ Share on everyone’s kitchen counters.
Do you write straight onto the computer, or do you write long-hand in the first instance?
My Mac Air. If I get an idea when I’m not near my computer, I scribble it on anything—backs of receipts, paper out of the recycling bin or type it into the notes app on my phone. I find that if I don’t get ideas down right away they can vaporize.
What are you working on now?
My second novel is about a girl whose family moves from San Francisco to a fancy Bay Area suburb only to discover the town in cursed. She alone can save her family, adopted hometown and new friends. And she has a good reason not to. The name of the novel is Grimm.
Links to purchase The Angels’ Share can be found on the Winter Goose Publishers site (click on link above right), or go directly to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Thanks to Rayme for taking the time to answer my questions.
Happy Word Flow One & All.