Author’s Corner: Questions and Answers

Q & A with R.L. Herron

I thought I would try to answer some of the many questions I get about writing. With your permission, I’ll get right into it.

What’s your typical writing day like?

I try to write at least 1,000 words a day, but life has a funny way of telling you what you need to do at any given moment. It often doesn’t include writing at all.

How do you plan your writing?

I’m not the kind of writer who starts with an outline, if that’s what you mean. I know there are authors who plot everything out and go from Point-A to Point-B filling things in, but I don’t think life is very much like that, and I just can’t work that way.

Author R.L. Herron

Author R.L. Herron

So how do you approach it?

I start by imaging personality traits for a character and then ask myself some basic “what if” questions. I try to understand how that character would react to the hypothetical situations; then I let them tell me their story and surprise me.

Are your characters based on real people?

No. However, it wouldn’t be fair to say there aren’t elements of people I’ve known in most of them. I think that’s true for the characters of most writers of fiction.

What do you like best about the primary characters in your award-winning books?

Reviewers have said the characters become quite believable. A few have said they couldn’t wait to find out what happened to some of them, and I’m extremely pleased by that.

Why is that?

Because they were obviously seen as real people with real issues, and not characters in a book.

What’s the principal message you want to send to your audience?

I’m not sure I have a message. I just want to write stories that entertain people.

You’ve written seven books and won multiple awards. How does that make you feel?

I have to admit it feels good to know critics and reviewers like them. Seven books in five years is a LOT of writing.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about your writing?

I’ve been fortunate to get several nice reviews, including Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals from Readers’ Favorite. I was also delighted with a nice Kirkus Review for REICHOLD STREET. They said “… the characters are bold, the plot twists surprising, and the point that we never fully know a person or his story heartbreakingly clear … Skillfully written and emotionally charged.”

Was that the best review you received?

It was nice to hear, but I think the best thing that’s happened so far is having my wife say she likes the way I write.

How have you been promoting your books?

I’m involved in social media. I have a web site, these media pages and a blog. I’ve also been a presenter on self-publishing at a local writer’s conference, and occasionally facilitate meetings of a local-area writing group. I participate in book-signings at local bookstores and my hometown public library … and I’m always open for more, like talking to book clubs or high school writing classes.

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About R.L. Herron

R.L. Herron, the author of multiple works of fiction, including several Readers' Favorite medal winners, lives and writes in Michigan with his lovely wife, an ugly mortgage, and one extremely large cat. His books are all available on Amazon and online with Barnes & Noble. Visit Author R.L. Herron's Website, Broken Glass.

Comments

  1. Interesting insight into your writing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It’s interesting to see how you go about your writing. Nice lesson. Thanks for the information.

  3. Wow, I like the way you plan it in an unplanned way Ron. I thought to succeed, you had to plot the whole thing out, glad it comes more from the characters than that….

    • Thanks, Linda. There’s a whole big argument out there that can be boiled down to plotters vs pansters. Some folks say plot it all out; others feel more comfortable with the “write by the seat of your pants” school. As you read my articles, it won’t take you long to discover which side I’m on.

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