You wrote a book? How long did it take you?
Short answer: 6 1/2 years.
Long answer: I first thought the trilogy was one book and started it during NaNoWriMo in 2008 (November). I had a bare draft of the whole story a couple years later. However, I wasn’t happy with it and kept revising and deleting scenes and adding scenes and changing where/when/how things happened in the story. Finally, I split the story into three pieces in 2012 when faced with trying to finish the whole thing in time for making it my honors thesis. Daunted, I only wanted to write the first part for my very helpful Professor Coke, and that part became the first book. So, you could say book 1 was finished in 4 years. (Even in 2017, I still tweak book 1 now and then.)
But I still wasn’t done with it. There have been fewer major changes in the past couple years, but the story, and the characters, are different than they were. After graduating in 2013, I tackled book 2 and finished a solid draft about a year later. I finished a more polished draft of book 2 in January 2015, and all this time I was making minor changes to book 1. Finally, I printed out five copies, sent them to beta readers, and made final changes in May 2015.
Then I started book 3 . . . .
What do you like best about writing?
I love getting to read my favorite books and pretend I am being productive. Oh, and telling my math students that I wrote a fantasy book; that is fun. :)
When I’m drafting a scene, typically I’ll start in my notebook. When I have the bare bones (a few descriptions, some dialogue), I’ll transfer it to the computer. A lot of my ideas start in the notebook, and many of those never make it to the computer. Many of the ones that do make it to the computer never make it into the final version (my deleted scenes file is nearly as long as my book).
Advice for writers?
Listen to Brandon Sanderson’s Writing Excuses podcasts and get David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants. Read a lot; write a lot; do a lot (so you’ll have something to write about!). Oh, and pay attention to people, unless you don’t have any people in your books. People quirks and habits are great to make characters more rounded.
First, the Holy Bible. Next, check out my goodreads page and you can see all the books I’ve read and gave 5 stars to. Otherwise, I really like Brandon Sanderson’s books, Rachel Aaron’s books, the Percy Jackson books, and many more YA fantasy novels. I even enjoyed Twilight (did I just admit that out loud? No? Good.).
Met any authors?
- Brandon Sanderson
- Rick Riordan
- Donita K Paul
- Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J Anderson
- Hilari Bell
- TA Barron
Basically, I wait for them to visit Colorado . . . and for me to not be in class at the same time. I love meeting new authors, but I also love meeting new readers. This reading/writing community might be even better than the teaching/learning community, but I am happy to have a foot in both worlds. If only I could read/write/teach and take college classes for the rest of my life!
Favorite kind of bug?
Probably whichever kind doesn’t live in Colorado. Do butterflies count? Maybe pill bugs or fireflies? My least favorite would probably be chiggers.
If aliens stole one thing from you to make your life difficult, it would be . . . ?
Probably my head. Quite inconvenient to live without it. Otherwise my contacts or my water bottle. I might be able to live without my phone faster than without a water bottle . . . but I’m not sure.
Why didn’t you write the Prince Duckbill stories?
Because I told them while babysitting, and I could never remember them after telling them. They wouldn’t be as funny if written down. I mean, Prince Duckbill can peck his way into and out of anything, but it’s more fun to act out the story and add lots of sound effects.
Princess Jasmine with steamroller arms? Better in person. Princess Aurora addicted to apple seeds and ate buttons by mistake? Better in person. A dragon obsessed with its pink toenail? Also better in person. How to explain that sticky-unsticky glue? How to describe the time Prince Duckbill ate a house-sized cookie dough monster? What about the trampolines at Cinderella’s ball and the foolish Blackilocks?
Yes, these stories will have to remain impromptu.
What “acceptable” sin do you struggle with the most?
Probably impatience. Next?
Well, I am impatient, and I shouldn’t be. God made everything beautiful in its time, and it’s all HIS time, not mine. Actually, frustration comes a close second. Especially when something is already trying my patience . . . .
Why don’t you use “Worcester” as your last name?
People think Worcester is hard to spell and hard to pronounce (rhymes with rooster). “Denae Worcester” is not as easy to remember as “Denae Christine.” Plus, it makes me feel like I have a secret identity, ha! (Unless you read this entire page, in which case it’s no longer a secret . . . .)