How I Write | Jake Kerr

Reading Time: 1 minute

How I Write is a short segment that lets authors talk a bit about themselves and how they write. Today’s segment features Jake Kerr.


Location:
Dallas, Texas

Mac or Pc:
Mac

Pen or Pencil:
Keyboard

Thick Crust or Thin Crust:
Thick Crust

One word that describes your writing style:
Eclectic

A bit of background about how you got to where you are as a writer:
Lots of reading. Lots of writing exercises. Then writing lots of scenes. Then writing a few stories. And, finally, writing novels.

What software/apps do you use to help with your writing:
Scrivener, Onenote, and, sometimes, Microsoft Word.

What is your office/desk/writing set up like:
I write on a laptop wherever I happen to be. I guess my writing office would most usually be me sitting up in bed writing, while my wife is watching TV.

Are you a planner or a fly by the seat of your pantser when you write:
Sometimes one. Sometimes the other. Usually a bit of both.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received:
You can’t revise a blank page.

What’s your latest published work you want to tell people about:
I released a cyberpunk/virtual reality re-imagining of G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. It’s a labor of love for me, as I’m a huge fan of the novel, and I wanted to bring the book more attention, as the original is very dated.

 

How I Write | Marshall Ryan Maresca

Reading Time: 2 minutes

How I Write is a short segment that lets authors talk a bit about themselves and how they write. Today’s segment features Marshall Ryan Maresca.


Location:
Austin, TX.

Mac or Pc:
Mac. Much to my father’s chagrin.

Pen or Pencil:
Pen, all the way.

Thick Crust or Thin Crust:
THIN.

One word that describes your writing style:
Active.

A bit of background about how you got to where you are as a writer:
Very much the “traditional” path. Wrote bad novels. Put them away in a drawer. Wrote better ones. Queried agents. Landed an agent. Agent submitted to publishers, one bought the books… and here we are.

What software/apps do you use to help with your writing:
I am a big fan of Scrivener for both planning novels and writing the drafts. I also have Excel spreadsheets, a program called Aeon Timeline, andI used Photoshop for maps.

What is your office/desk/writing set up like:
Mobile. I don’t have a set space or desk, and I move around the house to work in different spaces depending on the situation or my mood. I have a rolling bag for notebooks, laptop, headphones, etc.

Are you a planner or a fly by the seat of your pantser when you write:
Planner all the way. I have outlines within outlines. I have a structure for my outlines.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received:
It’s not, strictly speaking, writing advice, but there’s a quote from a spoken word song from the 90s that keeps coming back to me: “The race is long, and ultimately, it’s just with yourself.” It’s a good thing to remind myself with when I catch myself focusing too much on what other writers are doing.

What’s your latest published work you want to tell people about:
My most recent book is The Holver Alley Crew, which is the first book of my Streets of Maradaine series. Holver Alley Crew follows two brothers, Asti &Verci Ryan, who had retired from a life as thieves to start a new, honest life— which gets destroyed when the Alley they live in is burned down. With no home, no shop and an enormous debt, they have to go back to their old life to make ends meet. When they discover the fire was set intentionally, their original heist becomes a plan for revenge…

How I Write | Cat Sparks

Reading Time: 2 minutes

How I Write is a short segment that lets authors talk a bit about themselves and how they write. Today’s segment features Cat Sparks.


Location:
Last year my partner Rob and I moved from Wollongong to Canberra, Australia’s national capital. Our new home is a stunning three level architect-designed pole house made of jarrah wood, with a definite maritime vibe to it. We refer to it as the Pirate Ship.

Mac or Pc:
Mac all the way! I’m a former graphic designer. The Mac preference kicked in early and I doubt I’ll ever shake it off.

Pen or Pencil:
Pen, and the pen has to be a black Sharpie fine point. I’m kind of obsessive about this. I buy many of these pens and one of our cats always steals them and chews the lids off.

Thick Crust or Thin Crust:
Thin. My life is carbohydrated to the Nth Degree already without going down pan pizza road.

One word that describes your writing style:
Fluid.

A bit of background about how you got to where you are as a writer:
I started off writing short sci fi and fantasy stories. Really, really terrible ones. Took me nine years and a great many writing groups to produce anything remotely publishable. The transition from short form to long was much trickier and more turbulent than expected – I ended up binning at least 300,000 words on the path to publication of my novel Lotus Blue.

What software/apps do you use to help with your writing:
I really like Scrivener. The corkboard and colour coding functions really help me hold each project structurally in my head.

What is your office/desk/writing set up like:
I work at a standing desk, but have taken to sitting down when it comes to writing fiction – and some non-fiction. I’m physically more comfortable standing, but don’t concentrate as well for some reason. A big glass window to my left affords me a view of the Tuggeranong Valley. The comfy reading chair behind me usually has a cat on it.

Are you a planner or a fly by the seat of your pantser when you write?
Planner. Pantsing just leads me up the garden path and off on a series of messy, irrelevant interludes. But if spontaneity happens to strike during a planned sequence, I tend to roll with it.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received:
Artistic integrity is everything. Write what you love, what you read, what you care about as opposed to what you think you might be able to sell.

What’s your latest published work you want to tell people about:
My debut novel, Lotus Blue, was published by Skyhorse last month. It’s an action adventure story with deep themes centered around loss, set in a climate and war ravaged far future Australia. Peter Watts described it as “A Canticle for Leibowitz by way of Neuromancer.” My favourite review to date comes from Gary K Wolfe at Locus. Gary really gets it – there’s not much more I need to add to that – aside from that you can buy the book here.

How I Write | Jake Bible

Reading Time: 2 minutes

How I Write is a short segment that lets authors talk a bit about themselves and how they write. Today’s segment features Jake Bible.


Location:

Right here, right now. Or Asheville, NC.

Mac or Pc:

Mac

Pen or Pencil:

Pen. Really digging the Paper Mate Ink Joy gel 0.7 lately.

Thick Crust or Thin Crust:

Hand-tossed by me (Ten years of pizza experience, so I know how to toss a crust!)

One word that describes your writing style:

hyper

A bit of background about how you got to where you are as a writer:

I’ve been writing since I was a kid. Took some time off to start a family. Got back into it in 2007 by podcasting my first novel (Dead Mech) for free. Got hella lucky and went full time in 2013.

What software/apps do you use to help with your writing:

Pages for novels. Celtx for scripts.

What is your office/desk/writing set up like:

I sit behind a 1955 mid-century modern design desk that is twelve kinds of awesome. It’s a 6ft diameter half circle. There’s an 11ft matching credenza behind me which I’ve already managed to fill with manuscripts. 27″ monitor connected to a Mac Mini sits on my most awesome desk.

Are you a planner or a fly by the seat of your pantser when you write:

Depends on what’s needed to get the job done. I tend to work on the first scene in my head then go for it. But if I have a tight deadline then I’ll do some outlining to make sure I stay productive. Or sometimes I outline the whole novel. I don’t box myself in with labels. A one or the other mindset is ridiculous.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received:

It takes 4-5 years of professional writing before you even have a clue about what you are doing. At that point you realize no one has a clue about what they’re doing and we’re all winging it.

What’s your latest published work you want to tell people about:

EverRealm– a LitRPG novel is my latest release. Mix of fantasy, gaming, zombies, and snark. I also have Mech Corps coming out in May. I do love writing about mechs!

How I Write | Tom Merritt

Reading Time: 2 minutes

How I Write is a short segment that lets authors talk a bit about themselves and how they write. Today’s segment features Tom Merritt.


Location:

Mac or Pc: 70% Mac, 30% PC. I have a MAcBook Pro that I do a lot of my other work on so I’m often on it when I find time to write. But I also really like my SurfaceBook and thanks to the magic of Dropbox and Office 365 can use it to write too!

Pen or Pencil:

Do you mean stylus? ;). I don’t write anything but my rent check with a pen anymore. Is that sad?

Thick Crust or Thin Crust:

Thin. I’m from the St. Louis area so I love that style. But I do have a solid admiration for Chicago Style deep dish pizza.

One word that describes your writing style:

Competent?

A bit of background about how you got to where you are as a writer:

I’ve been attempting to write books since I was in high school. I wrote my first complete novel, Boiling Point from 1993-2001. After that National Novel Writing Month really got me energized to stop making excuses and stop being a perfectionist and just write. On demand publishers like Lulu let me trot out a few novels to see what people thought.

What software/apps do you use to help with your writing:

You know I use SimpleNote to take some random notes and occasional scene sketches and then Word to create the novel. And I use a browser for research. That’s about it.

What is your office/desk/writing set up like:

I write wherever I am. It’s most often at the kitchen table, but sometimes on a couch sometimes on an airplane or in a hotel. NaNoWriMo really helped me stop using location as a procrastination excuse.

Are you a planner or a fly by the seat of your pantser when you write:

I like to know the world very well so I usually sketch that out. And then I usually have a very high level view of where the story is going. The rest is just flying by the seat of my pants, filling in the gaps and then going back and seeing if I can identify the holes that still need to be filled in or the contradictions, weak spots, etc.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received:

Just write. You can always revise but not writing will not get your work done.

What’s your latest published work you want to tell people about:

Pilot X from Inkshares. It’s the story of a timeship pilot who loves to fly but keeps getting sucked into situations where he has to save his people and eventually the universe.