This past week I sat down with author Libbi Duncan to talk about The Scorching Trilogy, managing time, and advice for future authors… To get a free copy of ASHES, comment below with what you’re currently reading and a winner will be picked a random. Enjoy!
How do you juggle personal life and teaching while having a trilogy to write?
Libbi Duncan: I’m a binge-writer. I don’t write every day, although I’d like to get into that habit eventually. I usually just write on weekends, holidays, and during winter and summer break. I write best late at night, so it generally doesn’t affect my personal life. It is difficult balancing all three though. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have any free time to just relax, but I do enjoy staying busy.
When you first started The Scorching did you know how it was going to end?
LD: I start each book with a general outline and I wrote a vague arc for the trilogy when I started, but both the individual storylines and overall story have changed. Naturally the endings changed along the way as well. I try to let the story tell itself based on what the characters would do as things progress in their world.
How far along are you in finishing the third installment?
LD: This question gives me anxiety. Can I skip it? Haha. Just kidding. I meant to start writing on June 1st, but I’m in the process of moving and my internet hasn’t been connected yet, so I’m behind. I’ve finished the outline and all of the planning, and I know how the first scene will begin. I just haven’t started writing it yet. I hope to have the rough draft finished by the end of July though.
Thoughts on audiobooks vs hardbacks?
LD: I will always prefer hardbacks/paperbacks over e-books/audiobooks, but I love that we have those options. Flexibility in how you read is important, and no one should be judged for choosing one method over another. As a writer, reader, and teacher, I see variety in publishing as nothing but a good thing. So far my books haven’t been made into audiobooks, but I definitely hope they will eventually. I especially love the idea of audiobooks for people who travel a lot or like to listen while exercising.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
LD: First of all, I dislike that phrase. There’s no such thing as an aspiring writer, in my opinion. There are only people who write and people who don’t write. If you write, you’re a writer.
You can be an aspiring author, though, and that path is difficult to follow. There are countless books on how to be a writer or how to get published; however, there’s no 100% foolproof method, and anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you their book, not help you. For me, the best advice is as follows:
1.) Read as much as you can.
2.) Write as much as you can.
3.) Revise and edit what you write only after you finish a complete draft. (But again, some authors say the exact opposite.)
4.) Get feedback from both readers and writers, and be careful asking friends to read your work early-on.
5.) Don’t show anyone your first draft. It’s going to suck. Don’t worry. You’ll get better.
6.) Research the writing process as well as the publishing process. Knowledge is power.
7.) Find a support group, either online or in person. I have two writing groups online, one in real life, several critique partners, author friends, beta readers, and loads of awesome friends and family that encourage me. I couldn’t do it without them.
8.) Find what works for you. Where you write. When you write. Paper/pen vs. Laptop. How you edit.
9.) Don’t be afraid to bend or break the rules, but be careful and use common sense.
10.) Persevere. Don’t give up when it gets hard. Don’t give up when you get bad feedback or a bad review. Keep writing.
Ashes: Book Two of The Scorching Trilogy is available now on Amazon.