Stephanie Watson posted this questionnaire on Facebook, so I thought I'd post it here... with my answers.
Are you already a novelist?
Yes... a silly one.
What do you do when you get writer's block?
So far, I haven't had it. I have the opposite problem... I have too much queueing to jump onto the page and I get headaches from having to file it all away.
What's your favorite genre you like to write?
I like satire. Satirical social comment. A message often packs a greater punch when delivered in a humorous way... take Voltaire's 'Candide', for example.
Is your main character a male or female?
Female. I've set out, in the past, to centre a story around a male character, but somewhere along the line a female comes along and takes the limelight. I've given in to it now. In one way, I think it may be a reaction to my non-fiction writing... as I'm always writing about male artists, the females in my fiction writing balance things out.
What is your character's name?
I have several characters on the go at the moment. I'm writing a sequel to 'The Wonderful Demise of Benjamin Arnold Guppy', so Pat Guppy is up to her old tricks. I'm working on a book about a bookshop... there's Ethel, Mr Banks, and Victor. Then there's the Japanese historical fiction... Wakaume (meaning Young Plum).
Do you base any of your characters on yourself?
Alex, in 'The Wonderful Demise of Benjamin Arnold Guppy', was based on me. Well, it's more or less a true story based on events in my life, so I had to be in it really. And Alex is in the sequel, so I'm in that. Other than that, no. In the rest of my writing, I am the narrator, not a participant.
Why did I base a character on myself? It was unavoidable that I was in the Guppy book. The story is based on real events. I'll be in the sequel for the same reason. Why don't I usually? I already spend all day with myself, I don't want to create a mirror image of myself and have to deal with her, too.
Which gender do you tend to use more often for your main characters?
Females. But not because I understand them. I am one but find them puzzling... so they're interesting. One day, if I write about them enough, maybe I'll finally understand them.
Do you have any favorite writing snacks or drinks (snacks you like to have while writing)?
I drink spring water when I'm writing, and eat toast. I get crumbs all over the place.
How do you usually come across new story ideas?
They come across me. I do nothing and they land in my head. Practically anything can spark one off. I was eating jam and a story came to me. I do get more ideas when I'm brushing my teeth.
If a certain scene is on your mind, do you write it now or wait till you get to that part in the book?
I make a note, but don't write it until I reach the relevant part of the book. Things change before you get there, so there's no point in writing ahead of time only to find that what you've written is no longer relevant.
Do/will you use a pen name or your real name?
I use my own name for my non-fiction art history writing, and my satirical fiction. I'll also use it for the historical fiction I have on the way. I do also write under a pen name, as the subject is a sensitive one.
What kind of weather do you like to write in the most?
Heavy rain. I love storms. Wind, driving rain. Snow's even better, but we never really get any.
What time of day do you like writing?
When it's dark, so the hours depend on the time of year. Three in the morning is good.
Do you listen to music while writing?
No. I did while I was writing 'Utamaro Revealed', because I was having trouble ignoring what was going on around me and the music blocked out background noise. Now I prefer not to listen to anything, except the howling wind.
Causes Gina Collia-Suzuki Supports
The World Wildlife Fund
Cancer Research UK