This week, I have the pleasure of featuring Author P.C. Zick for this edition of A Perfect 10.
Please enjoy this week’s installment of A Perfect 10
If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:
A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt, Karen Oberlaender, Deby Fredericks, Teri Polen, Darlene Foster, Robert Rayner, C.C. Naughton, Sherry Rentshler, Linda Bradley, Luna St. Clair, Joan Hall, Staci Troilo, Allan Hudson, Robert Eggleton, Paul Scott Bates
Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at email@example.com
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It can do both. After a good day of writing, I feel energized. That’s a day where the writing comes easily, and I write a complete scene or at least know where I’m going the next day. When it doesn’t come as easily, and I’m pushing myself because of a deadline, I can feel exhausted at the end of the day. That doesn’t happen very often. Mostly, I’m revived by writing.
Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
I use my initials before my last name instead of my full name of Patricia Camburn Zick. So, I suppose P.C. Zick could be considered a pseudonym. I have thought of using something completely different if I ever wrote in a genre at odds with what readers expect from me. But I’m not giving up any secrets today!
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
A big ego can get in the way of becoming a great author. A big ego is easily deflated or tends to ignore advice. As an author, I view myself as a life-long learner, and I keep an open mind to discover new ways to tell stories. A writer must also listen to an editor and be able to take constructive criticism to improve the work. A huge ego can get in the way of that process. Authors must be humble to handle reviews as well. I read my reviews—good and bad—and attempt to learn from them, if it’s constructive. If not, I ignore it. A huge ego will only interfere or be so deflated that the writing ends.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
This question is difficult to answer. I know I’ve wasted a ton of money on advertising that didn’t work and pie-in-the-sky claims of workshops that will change my writing career forever. Spending money on good computers makes life easier. And there are some books that have been great investments because I refer to them with every book I write. Here are three I use all the time: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, On Writing Romance, and Structuring Your Novel.
What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
My view on writing success has changed over the two decades I’ve been writing fiction. At first, I thought it meant a call from Oprah. Then I realized how many other authors wished and hoped for the same thing and how many got that call. And would that really define my success? I view it differently now. I feel successful if I finish reading one of my novels and find myself in tears at the end. I know I’m successful when I hear from a reader that one of my books touched her or him. Sales are always nice, but are dependent on other things besides writing. I do feel I’ve achieved success as a writer, and it’s more inward than outward. Others may not be able to see it, but I know I have achieved a level of success that sustains me and inspires me enough to keep at it.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
I draft and research as I go since I’m a “pantser” type of writer. Often, I come up with a new direction while writing the first draft and that sends me to research. I have a large library of books I use, but I am very dependent on the Internet. Things have changed in that way. When I first began, I would compile lists of things to research and then spend days at the library seeking sources. I’m careful on Internet sources and make sure they are respected sites—universities or articles in reliable media.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
I brainstorm for characters and sometimes change them several times while writing a novel. A name has to fit the personality I’ve created, so I go more instinctually. I don’t think I’ve ever regretted using any names. I try not to repeat names, especially of main characters. That becomes more difficult the more novels I write.
What is the hardest type of scene to write?
I find the conclusion or resolution the hardest to write in a novel. That seems silly because it should be the easiest. But endings are the hardest because I never want to sound trite or sound as if I’m in a hurry to finish the novel. I’ve sent off drafts to beta readers without the final chapter or epilogue and asked for suggestions.
If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
I’m going literary!
Barbara Kingsolver – I would ask her about her next project. She writes passionate tales about conservation issues, and I so admire the knowledge that goes into her fiction. I learn a tremendous amount from each of her books. I would want to know where her focus will go next.
Carl Hiaasen – I know where Carl gets his material—he lives in South Florida. I’ve heard him speak several times, and his tales are hilarious. I would like him to discuss how he manages to walk the line with his humor, satire, and sarcasm while still making a point about Florida and what has been done to its natural beauty.
John Steinbeck – If I was in a room with John Steinbeck, I would probably be too tongue-tied to ask anything. But if I could, I would ask him if his metaphors from the natural world were easily constructed or did he agonize over finding the perfect analogy for the story he was conveying. His symbolism and metaphorical use of language inspired me to begin writing.
Harper Lee – She fascinates me because she wrote one of the most classic pieces of literature to hit the twentieth century. Then the book published posthumously seemed to tear apart the iconic figure she created in To Kill a Mockingbird. I would ask her if she really wrote Go Set a Watchman, and if she did, why did she change so much in her interpretation of Atticus Finch from one novel to the next. I love both books, but I’m very curious that these were the only two major pieces of literature she created in her lifetime.
What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
Putting my books in Amazon Select and taking advantage of promo free days has brought me the greatest success. I’ve never been accepted into BookBub, so I don’t know what that success looks like, but I know other authors have done very well with that experience. I buy advertising slots and do guest blogs when I’m doing a promo. And when it’s for a book in a series, I try to have the other books on special sale as well, but not free.
About P.C.’s Books:
Behind the Love Contemporary Romance Series
Behind the Altar, Behind the Bar, and Behind the Curtain, Behind the Door
Behind the Altar, Book One – A TATTOO ARTIST ON A HARLEY. A DO-GOODER BEAUTY. A FORBIDDEN PASSION. Leah Bryant lives a quiet life helping others. When her future mother-in-law, Geraldine, threatens her causes, she’s left confused by the hypocrisy and befuddled by a stranger who roars into town on a Harley.
Behind the Bar, Book Two – HE WANTS A BREAK. SHE WANTS A RING. LOVE STANDS ON SHAKY GROUND. Susie Williams yearns for a romantic wedding with her boyfriend of five years. Reggie Barker runs from demands to marry any woman, including Susie.
Behind the Curtain, Book Three – SHE WANTS TO BE A STAR. HE WANTS HER. ONLY A QUEST FOR STARDOM STANDS IN THE WAY. Lisa Williams has discovered a way to achieve her life-long goal of becoming a famous actress by bringing a reality television show to her hometown. Tommy Jackson despises the idea of exploiting the town and hates it even more when his editor assigns him to cover the show for a Tampa newspaper.
Behind the Curtain, Book Four – A VOLUPTUOUS WOMAN UNLUCKY IN LOVE. A WOUNDED PSYCHOLOGIST ON A MISSION. AN UNDENIABLE ATTRACTION WITH AN ETHICAL DILEMMA. Sally Jean Compton is in love. And this time it’s with a man who isn’t in love with someone else.
Connect with P.C. Zick:
Behind the Love series – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZY5WSYH
Amazon Central: http://www.amazon.com/P.C.-Zick/e/B0083DPN4E/
Editing Blog – The Manuscript Doctor: https://pczickeditor.wordpress.com/
About P.C. Zick:
Bestselling author P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.
The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”
Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love series are also set in Florida. The novels in her most recent series, Smoky Mountain Romances, are set in in Murphy, North Carolina. She is currently working on a new romance series, Rivals in Love. Join the Crandall family of Chicago as the siblings find love despite their focus on successful careers. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.
Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.
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