The same joy as reading a good book or watching a great film--hanging out with the characters and wandering around their universe for a little while. I love getting lost in a good story, whether it's down to earth or not of this world and whether or not I'm the one who produced it.
The bonus of being a writer is that you're sorta forced to spend more time with story than if you were simply reading it. Also, when I write, sometimes I'm trying to figure out something that's going on in real life. So, I'll hand the situation (or a similar one) over to some characters and let them hash it out on the page. What they come up with usually surprises me.
What are you working on next?
Too many things at once! I usually post updates about what I'm doing on my website (www.christinadaley.com) and on twitter (@cdaleywrite), so those are good places to find out what's new with me.
Who are your favorite authors?
At the moment, C.S. Lewis, Diana Wynne Jones, J.K. Rowling, Tite Kubo, Hiromu Arakawa, Bill Waterson, and Jeff Kinney. Some of these are comic book artists or cartoonists, but they are all the same to me--talented creators of great stories.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My faith in God. Especially since I lost my job recently, it's been hard some days. But I'm still waking up in the mornings, so I figure that He still wants to me accomplish something on this side of Forever. Knowing exactly what that something IS is a different challenge.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I hang out with my family or friends...or both! I'm a really lucky girl to have such wonderful people in my life. One of my favorite things to do is paint with my niece. She's hilarious. My other niece is only a few weeks old, and she usually dirties her diaper when I'm holding her. Not sure what she's trying to tell me with that.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! I wrote it with some neighborhood friends when I was about four years old. I don't remember what the story was about, but we wrote it out on dot matrix printer paper (mind you, we hadn't really learned our letters yet), cut up a cardboard box for the cover, and bound it with clear adhesive tape. We were quite proud of it. However, the following year when my parents split, I lost it and never saw it again.
What is your writing process?
It's not static. Sometimes I write things out longhand and sometimes I go straight to the computer and start typing from Chapter 1. With one of my new projects, I was having trouble visualizing the characters, so I started doing some character sketches along with the writing. I'd always wanted to learn how to draw better, and I started learning more through YouTube videos. I may incorporate illustrations into future projects.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My mom read to me every night before bed when I was a kid, but the first story I remember falling in love with was The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie dePaola, which my elementary school librarian read to my class once. I live in Texas and we were learning about our state at the time, hence why that book made it into the lesson plan. It was about a girl who had nothing but cared so much for the well being of her people that she sacrificed something very precious to her in the hopes that it would help. I guess her character made an impression on me. Recently, I attended a writers conference that featured Tomie dePaola. I wanted to meet him, but each time I got close to talk to him, I started turning into a blubbering fan girl. So, I kept my distance to save him and myself the embarrassment.
Describe your desk
Right now, I don't have one! My desk is in storage along with the rest of my furniture while I'm crashing at my parents' house and looking for a new job. At the moment, my art table (which is actually a card table with folding legs) is substituting as my desk while the rest of my equipment and art supplies are scattered about. I'm usually more organized, but given how things are at the moment, I'm just rollin' with it.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Sometimes, but not always. What I listen to depends on my mood, but it can be anything from rock to Japanese pop to classical. I really like film scores, especially the ones with big symphonic sounds. If I do listen to music while I'm writing, then it's probably because I'm trying to work out the emotion for a particular scene, and the music helps put me in the appropriate context.
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