Let’s give a good coffee fuelled morning to Sandra Antonelli, whose book Driving in Neutral is out now!
In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.
I write contemporary, smart-assed romantic comedy for grown ups who aren’t really very grown up at all, which is due to my smartassed nature. Although, I do have a dark side…
What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer?
I get most of my writing done from 8am to 1 pm, at the office I manage. I got in this habit when I was working on my PhD in romance fiction. Basically, I have three jobs, I manage the psychology practice we own, I write romance fiction, and make my husband lunch. I have a lovely view of swaying palms, a mango tree, a gorgeous mock orange hedge, and the occasional man-on-the-deck-across-the-street. This is interesting because said man is not wearing any pants—or underpants—and seems not to be aware that from my angle I can see his goods through the slats of his deck railings.
Where do you write? Do you have your own special place? Does the location vary? Are there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?
Not that this may come as a surprise, but I start my day with coffee. And breakfast. Followed by more coffee. Then I put on some tunes. (Now how did I know that coffee featured prominently in your writing life? – Keziah)
What’s the first think you do before you begin to write?
Dear Baby Jesus, please let there be coffee at the office!
Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work? Do you have a special system in place in order to begin writing or go with the flow?
If I’m working on dialogue, I probably do spend time re-reading for about the first hour. As for a special system… All my writing hinges on dialogue. The conversation always comes first. Once I get characters talking and build the rapport beweent them, I find it easier to flesh them out as people; it’s easier to put character quirks, mannerisms, and even visualise the scene and block out their movement. For me, dialogue is everything.
Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?
I prefer to think of myself as a ‘puzzler’ because I have all these bits of dialogue I have to fit together to form a picture of a story.
Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?
Never. I find that sort of exercise to be counter-intuitive. I’ve tied them and found it was oh-so-frustrating. I’m impressed with others who can post-it note, collage, or storyboard their way through a book.
Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc and if so do you do any exercises at your desk or between sessions?
I try to. I am not always successful while at the office. However, nothing can clear my head or get my mind on track with a story like going for a run with my iPod on shuffle.
My latest release Driving in Neutral, a rom com about fear, claustrophobia, life-changing atomic wedgies, hideous wedding cakes, and love, the scariest thing of all, is out now!
Buy links for Driving in Neutral are here