Tell us about your latest book.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
The idea sparked from my experience in Russia in 1997 when we traveled to adopt a two-year-old girl. She’s 18 now and a gift from God.
Who and what inspire you to write?
Life, circumstances that people experience, the pain and joy we all endure that make us relatable no matter our ethnicity, social economic status, or our past.
Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing?
After we adopted our daughter, in 1997, I didn’t want to go back to work full time. I wanted to be available to her as often as possible, so I decided to try writing articles for magazines. I thought, how hard could that be? I learned really quick that it’s butt-hard. (Well, maybe not MY butt.)
What has been the most pleasant surprise about writing?
How addicting it is. If I don’t get my writing time in it’s like I didn’t get my coffee for the day. I get cranky.
How about an unexpected down side?
The feeling that there’s not enough time in my life to tell all my stories. The feeling that I’m trying to beat the clock, but I know the clock will win because no one lives forever.
Do you have any writing rituals?
When I’m writing for word count I have to turn my internet off. If I get my words done for the day I reward myself. I get to do something different—like make myself a cup of coffee.
Do you write your books in order?
No. I finished SCATTERED LINKS in 2004 and thought it was terrible. It was too sad, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay in Oksana’s point-of-view. I thought about switching to Katie’s point-of-view and even wrote chapters that way, but eventually I put it on my WORD shelf and moved on to another story, which I’m still writing. I like to have multiple books going at once when I’m in the FAST DRAFT phase, otherwise I can get bored.
Any favorite writing snacks?
Almonds, chips, coffee, nothing healthy.
What advice would you give writers who aspire to be published?
1. Don’t worry about the trends. Write what’s in your heart. 2. Keep writing because it’s the only way you will improve the craft of writing and presenting the story. You can read how-to books but nothing gives you better practice than writing.
Are you working on anything new right now?
Of course. Lol. Lots of things. Thanks for asking. I’m in the middle of a children’s chapter book series about a seven-year-old girl, Éclair, who has to go live with her eccentric grandma when her mother gets sick. It’s for first-third grade girls.
I’m also working on a mid-grade novel about Wily, a nerdy science kid who’s abducted by kids with powers. They need him to save the canine race. It’s been a blast to write.
But I hope to launch another YA novel this year. It’s a supernatural suspense novel about a teen girl. I wrote it at least five years ago. I won’t say anything more than that now. I’ll be working with an editor in March to fine-tune it. (You have to wait in line for good editors.)
Who is your favorite character in your current book?
What is your favorite book of all time?
I have so many. I love to read so many genres. My favorites this year are THE SNOW CHILD by Eowyn Ivey and THE ORPHAN TRAIN, by Christina Baker Kline. I’m a sucker for stories about children and orphans!
Tell us in one sentence why we should read your book.
I’d love for you to read SCATTERED LINKS so you might better understand the complexities and importance of bonding with children. So often post-institutionalized children and foster children lack the love they need in infancy that’s so important in childhood development.
Blog link: http://www.randomwritingrants.com
Random Writing Rants
Teaching adults and teens how to get published
Website link: http://www.mweidenbenner.com
Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/randomwritingrants
Twitter link: @MWeidenbenner1
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7171873.M_Weidenbenner
Thanks for all you did to help me get the word out about Oksana's story! I enjoyed being a part of your tour group!