December Answers!

| Friday, December 2, 2011
Today's Tune: The Mariner's Revenge Song

Time to answer some questions! Thanks to everyone who asked a question, because goodness knows I like to talk. IT'S TRUE.

When was the moment you knew your fiancee was the one?

There wasn't really a singular moment when I was struck with BAM, THIS IS THE MAN FOR ME. Our relationship has just always been comfortable and natural and right. We had kind of an explosive initial courtship (in a good way), and I found myself purely at home with him from go. I found myself changing my perception of what a relationship was because I was with him. I'd always thought I'd NEVER EVER live with a man until we were together for two years/engaged already/other arbitrary stamp of approval here. We moved in together after about six months. Mostly because he was already squatting at my apartment because we didn't like to be apart. So. Yeah. We've just always been right for each other. It's pretty awesome.

What book are you reading right now? Which upcoming books are you looking forward to reading?

I'm actually reading Susan Kaye Quinn's OPEN MINDS right now and enjoying it very much. It's a self-publishing venture, and I have to say she has done YA self-pub absolutely correctly. The writing is clean and polished (I've noticed one typo and a few spacing errors, but that's all), the pacing is mostly good, the story is gripping. All in all, she's done an excellent job and it's become the very first self-published book I've read that I'm actually recommending. I have my qualms with it, as I do with every book I read, but I think it's a solid book.

As for upcoming books, I'm pretty excited about getting my hands on CINDER, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, and MANGAMAN.

Dear Steph: how are you so awesome, and why?

I assume you've seen the film Highlander? I have a sword to show you.

(but f'real thank you!)

Will you publish under your full name or under SE Sinkhorn?

As of now, I plan on publishing under my pen name (S.E. Sinkhorn). By the time I actually have a book published, I'll be under my new married name, which I don't plan on using for my literary work. I'll stick with what I've got unless I'm advised differently by my agent/editor.

Most crush-worthy fictional character?

Gonna have to go with Michelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Had a HUGE crush on him when I was eleven. Not kidding.

You mentioned somewhere along the way how your work was somewhat literary and somewhat commercial fiction. Can you describe that a bit more? I was wondering if you had any book/author suggestions that would fall in a similar category?

I'll try, haha. Essentially, the commercial part comes from my high-concept hook and plot (steampunk cyborg wannabe immortals!). I have some action scenes, some cool tech, and basically a lot of the stuff you'd see in a soft science fiction show or novel. On top of that, I also write very thematically and with somewhat poetic prose (sometimes, not all the time). That's where the literary comes in. It's difficult to talk about because it's difficult to speak objectively about my own prose, but the gist is that I'm attempting an entertaining commercial story alongside a semi-lyrical style. You'll understand when you read it? LOL.

For an example of my style, you can read just about any of my short works. TTTH is written in a more classic voice, since it takes place at the turn of the century, but my style is similar. Other literary-commercial works would maybe be IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Suma (magic/mystery alongside lyrical prose) or most of Laini Taylor's work (fantasy novels with lush, imagery-heavy prose). Not that I'm comparing myself to EITHER of those talented authors, just giving an example of something considered literary-commercial.

What is your writing schedule like?

Chaotic, heh. I write in spurts when I have a project I'm focusing on. I'm not one of those "I write X amount every day" kind of people. If I have something to work on, I work on it for several hours a week when I can until it's done.

How have "things" changed since getting an agent (if things have changed at all)?

Well, I definitely feel like I have more responsibility to actually BE A WRITER. Before, it was a dream. Something I could work on when I felt like it, and it didn't matter if I put things off or goofed around because it was just me. I don't have any actual deadlines or contractual obligations on the line yet, but there's definitely an additional pressure to, you know, do what I need to do and take everything professionally. Not that I didn't before, but now it's pretty much a requirement.

Also, not going to lie, it is SO. NICE. to have a professional insider who really knows the inner workings of the industry and has a plan and can guide me through the waters. It has been amazing to have my agent write real revision notes on my manuscript and know that she's in there, she knows how this works, and I can trust her.

Is your book a standalone or will it be part of a series?

At the moment, it's planned as a two-book series (this book and a sequel/companion novel).

And finally, what is your favorite recipe?

Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Salad! 8-10 oz chopped chicken breast, 2-4 slices diced cooked bacon, 1 pitted and diced avocado, 1 minced shallot, 1-3 stalks chopped celery, 1 lemon. Combine all ingredients except lemon in large bowl. Zest and juice the lemon over everything. Squirt with enough mayonnaise to bind it all together and mix. Add seasonings to taste (I just use Old Bay seasoning). Serve on big buns. I like to use brioche buns.

Tasty and fast. The ingredients are all to taste, so use less/more of whatever you like. You'll get 4-6 sandwiches out of a batch, easy.


{ Connie Keller } at: December 2, 2011 at 7:16 AM said...

Chicken, bacon, and avocado salad. YUM.

I'll check out Open Minds. Thanks for the recommendation.

{ Old Kitty } at: December 2, 2011 at 7:18 AM said...

Yay!! Another fabulous Q&A! I love that your writing schedule is chaotic! I always feel so inadequate when I read how other writers are so disciplined they rack up x amount of words PER DAY WITHOUT FAIL. :-) Sigh!

Thank you!! Take care

{ vic caswell (aspiring-x) } at: December 2, 2011 at 7:22 AM said...

MICHELANGELO is such a hunk!!!!

{ Ruth Josse } at: December 2, 2011 at 7:39 AM said...

Okay, where in the heck have I been? I was like, wait she's agented? Then I had to go back and read what happened. Holy crap! Congratulations!! So, so cool.

That chicken salad recipe sounds soo good. Chicken, bacon and avocado? How can you go wrong?

{ Elissa Sussman } at: December 2, 2011 at 9:41 AM said...
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{ Elissa Sussman } at: December 2, 2011 at 9:44 AM said...

I love that you answered Michelangelo, especially because I was literally having a similar discussion with Zoe Marriott over on her blog in which we both proclaimed our love for Donatello (what can I say, love the nerds). What is it about monochromatic men that gets our collective engine running? Do we need a support group? Vic, you wanna join too?

Zoe's post:

{ We Heart YA } at: December 2, 2011 at 11:28 AM said...

Ooo, we are split over here… Two say Michelangelo, two say Donatello, and one even wants to put in a half vote for Raphael.

Beyond that, we don't have much to say, except that we like the insight into you and your process and your personality. :)

{ Brooke R. Busse } at: December 2, 2011 at 2:49 PM said...

A sequel? Yes!

{ erica and christy } at: December 2, 2011 at 7:51 PM said...

Ah, yes, the fiance story. I have a similar one. Sometimes, you just know. Ya' know?? (good interview, btw)

{ Shelley Sly } at: December 3, 2011 at 4:00 PM said...

This was fun to read. It's a relief to hear that you're not one that's on a strict schedule, and that even after landing an agent, you're not hit with deadlines (yet, of course.) I've just started writing on a schedule, but it's only for the month of December. I don't know if I can keep doing it after the new year.

{ TL Conway } at: December 5, 2011 at 6:40 PM said...

Thanks for answering my convoluted question. :) A friend of mine would likely fit in the "YA with a slice of lit fic on the side" camp so these recommendations are a help.

And that recipe sounds delish!

{ Amanda Olivieri } at: December 6, 2011 at 6:18 PM said...

I actually made this recipe tonight and yum!! It was severely tasty. It even got the nod of approval from the husband, which is not an easy thing to earn!

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