Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Writer Routine Wednesday: Camy Tang

Hey, all you writers and readers!
It's another week of my new blog segment: Writer Routine Wednesday, where every Wednesday from now until September 8th, I will host an author.
We'll get to know them better and their books as well as hear them describe their usual writing routine
Maybe you'll pick up an idea they use for yourself!
Lots of great prizes are scheduled too!

Yes, only one more author left!
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Please welcome author Camy Tang today and hear about her writing routine!


BIO: Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. She grew up in Hawaii and now lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious mutt, Snickers. She graduated from Stanford University and worked as a biologist researcher for 9 years, but now she writes full-time. She is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. She belongs to several writers’ groups including American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Sushi for One? won first place in the Debut Author category and second place in the Chick lit category of the 2008 ACFW Book of the Year awards, Single Sashimi finaled in the Chick lit category of the 2009 ACFW Book of the Year awards, and Deadly Intent finaled in the Inspirational category of Oklahoma RWA’s 2010 National Readers Choice Award.
For more information visit http://www.camytang.com/

Thanks for stopping by, Camy!

**Describe a “typical” writing day for yourself. For example: Do you get up have your coffee, check e-mail, then write to a certain time? Do you have a set word or page goal when you do write?
I’ve been trying to get up earlier, but it’s hard when I’m on deadline. Usually I get up between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and have a small breakfast. 4 days a week I go running about a half hour after I get up. I don’t write well during the day—I usually hit my creative stride in the late afternoon and through the evening. So I do most of my emails, marketing, and class teaching during the day, then I start on my writing when all that’s done. I start dinner sometime during the late afternoon (or, if I’m using the crockpot, the first thing when I wake up). My husband gets home from work around 9 p.m., so I spend a few hours eating dinner and hanging out with him, then I’m usually back at the computer for another few hours before bedtime. If I’m on deadline, I’ll stay up really late.

**Do you have another job outside of writing? (Being a mommie definitely counts!!) If the answer is yes, describe how you balance the two and how much time you devote to each.
I run the Story Sensei critique service, which does telephone mentoring, online classes, and manuscript critiques. The time during the day before I do my writing is the time I reserve for my Story Sensei stuff, while the rest of the time is usually reserved for writing. Sometimes I’ll check email and do some Story Sensei stuff just before bedtime. I really try to compartmentalize my time so that I have large chunks of creative writing time that’s uninterrupted by non-creative things.

**Are you a laptop, PC, Alphasmart, or by hand kind of writer?
I usually write on my Alphasmart in order to get me into right-brain creative writing mode (see these articles):
http://storysensei.blogspot.com/2007/03/separate-right-and-left-brain.html,

http://storysensei.blogspot.com/2007/03/learning-to-get-into-writing-zone.html

The Alphasmart only has 4 lines, so it’s harder for me to try to edit as I write, and it forces me to get into right-brain creative mode more fully. It also doesn’t have internet, so if I need to check a research fact, I can’t—I’m forced to just write a note to myself and keep writing, which again forces me into full right-brain creative mode.
I edit on my Mac laptop, which is hooked up to an external monitor, keyboard, and trackball. I stand at my desk to write—those three peripherals are on cardboard boxes at the appropriate ergonomic heights. Standing while I write helps my back, which was injured from a work-related injury a long time ago. I always tell writers to try lots of things to figure out what works best for them ergonomically.

**Plotter or panster? If you’re a plotter, how much time do think you put into plotter before writing.
Plotter. I usually spend as much time plotting as I do writing, or sometimes even longer. My time for writing a book varies, but the average is 4 months. So I’ll spend 2.5 months plotting, 1 month writing, and 0.5 month polishing.

**Some writers make collages or listen to or create music soundtracks for their work-in-progress? Do you do any of those or have you thought about doing one of them?
Sometimes I do. I especially like listening to music when I’m plotting. I will often have a music album that’s my “theme” album for the book, which acts as a trigger to help me become immersed in the story world faster.


**What’s your favorite book on writing?
Can I have two? I recommend Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain to my clients because it really is an excellent book for laying out how to write a well-structured novel. The book I open up and use as reference for every single book I write is 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. I use that book’s archetypes to help me do my characterization and plotting, although I’ll always find a way to turn the archetype on its head so that the characters aren’t cliché.


**What’s your favorite fiction book you’ve read so far this year?
The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir. Really entertaining.

**What’s your favorite way to reward yourself after you’ve finished writing a book?
Food! LOL When they’re in season, my favorite reward is a bowl of Bing cherries. Other times I’ll reward myself with reading a book, or buying something for myself.
Thanks for the interview, Jennifer!



Camy has a new Love Inspired Suspense that was just released called FORMULA FOR DANGER. Here's a little bit about it:

HER LIFE WAS ON THE LINE
Someone wants dermatologist Rachel Grant’s latest research, and they’ll do anything to get it. Including trashing the plants needed for her breakthrough scar-reducing cream—and trying to run Rachel down. Desperate for help, she turns to Edward Villa, the only man she trusts. But the greenhouse owner knows too much about Rachel’s research, and now he’s a target, too. Break-ins, muggings, murder...the would-be thief is getting desperate—and getting closer. Edward vows to protect Rachel at all costs. Yet with time ticking away, Edward knows they have to uncover the madman shadowing Rachel before their chance for a future is destroyed
.

Available at Barnes&Noble, Amazon, and ChristianBookstore.com
Check it out!

Thanks so much, Camy, for stopping by and telling us about your writing routine!

29 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

I love Camy's blog for writers! What a wealth of information there for writers! Glad to hear she has another book coming out!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Cool to see Camy here. I took one of her online classes. Phenomenal. And as far as wasabi goes, I had a little bit too big of a bite with my sushi rolls a few weeks back and let me tell you about kick!
~ Wendy

Maria Zannini said...

Ref:
The Alphasmart only has 4 lines, so it’s harder for me to try to edit as I write, and it forces me to get into right-brain creative mode more fully.

I never thought of this. It makes sense.

Welcome, Camy!

Rula Sinara said...

Cami, your Story Sensei posts have played an instrumental role in my writing development. Thanks!

I highly recommend that all you aspiring authors out there go through the Story Sensei archived posts. Cami makes it all so clear.

Awesome interview, Jennifer!

Piedmont Writer said...

Great interview, thank you both.

Diane said...

She's so passionate! Love it :O)

Jessica Nelson said...

Oooh, I really loved the Night Watchman. So good.
Thanks for sharing about her routine. I can't imagine her sleep schedule. It's totally opposite of mine. LOL

T. Anne said...

Hi Camy! Nice to see you here! Your new book sounds great. I'll never forget how much fun I had dispersing your bookmarks this summer!

Laura Marcella said...

Thanks for the writing book suggestions, Camy! I haven't heard of either of them and I like reading craft books on writing. :)

Camy's novels sound terrific! Thanks for a great interview, Jennifer!

Tamika: said...

Awesome interview ladies:) Taking one of Camy's writing courses is on the top of my Christmas wish list! I've heard great things and I know it would really be good for me.

Soon Camy..soon!

Jen Chandler said...

I've been out of the writing-blog loop for a long time, but I've alway enjoyed Camy's blog and her guest posts on other blogs.

Thanks for a wonderful interview, Jennifer!

Cheers,
Jen

Carol Kilgore said...

All of this is really interesting, including the articles on Camy's blog. I'm a switcher. Gotta be with my lifestyle, or I'd never be able to write.

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Ooo..this alphasmart sounds like a great tool for people such as myself who love to edit and edit and edit until I go mad.
Im always so suprised at the efficiency of all these writers and I love that she plots out things so well that the writing happens faster. Maybe one day i'll hit this stride...if I would just stop editing all the time!
thanks for the interview ladies!

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Ooo..this alphasmart sounds like a great tool for people such as myself who love to edit and edit and edit until I go mad.
Im always so suprised at the efficiency of all these writers and I love that she plots out things so well that the writing happens faster. Maybe one day i'll hit this stride...if I would just stop editing all the time!
thanks for the interview ladies!

Terri Tiffany said...

I love Camy cause she just taught me so much in her online class. Would love to win her book!

patti said...

My parents told me stories.
Camy taught me how to write them.

She transcends most of us out there as one who not only captures God's whisperings on "paper," but shows others how to do so.

AND NOW SHE's A RUNNER SOULMATE AS WELL!!!!

Love you, Camy. U 2, Jennifer!!!

Susan R. Mills said...

I love the idea of using the Alphasmart. I might have to give that a try. Thanks for sharing.

Susan R. Mills said...

I love the idea of using the Alphasmart. I might have to give that a try. Thanks for sharing.

Jill Kemerer said...

Jennifer, these writer routines are always a treat!

Camy, thanks for sharing your process with us. I can't wait to read this book!

Karen Lange said...

Thanks to both of you; always enjoy hearing these kinds of details. It's inspiring:)
Blessings,
Karen

blueviolet said...

That was really interesting and her book writing/plotting timeline was fascinating. I'm going to have to investigate her book collection!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm a fan of the Alphasmart too--but never knew about the right brain-left brain thing. I just know I DO write differently when I use one.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Oh, I loved this. Thanks to Camy for all of the great info. And thank you Jennifer for the great link! I hope you're having a fabulous day!

Kristi said...

Loved this interview with Camy! I love getting a little glimpse into everyone's writing day and style! Thanks for sharing!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Great stuff! Best of luck to Camy too.

Carolyn V. said...

I want an alphasmart. I have writing friends who love them. Great interview!

Camy Tang said...

Thanks so much, everybody! I had a lot of fun with Jennifer's interview questions! Sorry I'm late chiming in, this is the first chance I've had to get online all day and it's 7pm here in California! Ugh!

If any of you guys are interested in keeping up with my online class schedule, you can subscribe to my blog via Feedblitz and get my posts in your email inbox. Just go to http://storysensei.blogspot.com/ and put your email address in the box on the right sidebar near the top. I haven't been blogging there much lately since I'm on several deadlines, but once things clear up for me in November I'll do more posts and schedule more online classes. My next online class is October--Synopsis writing! If you're interested, just email me!

Thanks so much for the interview, Jennifer!
Camy

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

Jayne said...

Hello Jennifer, hello Camy! Came by from KarenG's blog BBQ. :)

Great interview - I love your bio, Camy, and that you write standing up. I think Ernest Hemingway also wrote standing up. Also your routine sounds similar to what mine would be if I didn't work full-time, I definitely write better at night.