Andreé Robinson-Neal got bit by the writing bug in the 1970s and despite a career in education has never been cured of her penchant for speculative fiction. Find her at http://starvingactivist.com She writes under the name AR Neal, who will hopefully one day be identified as a famous NaNoWriMo participant.
Welcome to the blog, Andree'.
How many books have you written?
I have published one novella, one collection of short stories, and one novel. I also write flash fiction on my blog and have a flash fiction novel written and awaiting review/editing, which should happen sometime in August of this year.
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
I think there is some of my attitude in every character in the book. I think if I could be one character in After, it would be Uncle Vern – he’s the most feisty.
Do you travel to do research or for inspiration? Can you share some special places with us?
Since I work in education, I am all about the research. I typically have the internet open, along with tons of books and articles as I write. I would love to travel, but work and other responsibilities don’t allow.
What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give new writers?
The greatest lesson about writing is one that I knew when I first started as a child, but forgot as life got in the way: keep writing. No matter what, it is important for writers to write regularly, even if it’s not on a major work like a book. The action of writing is important – just like working out is important to keep physical muscles in shape, writing keeps the related mental muscles working.
Where do you store ideas for later use: in your head, in a notebook, or on a spreadsheet?
I keep story ideas just about everywhere. I have multiple notebooks, sticky notes, pads, and electronic documents. I use Scrivener for more detailed organization of my stories and books because it allows me to keep a running log of research materials (articles, links to appropriate websites, and such). I try keeping story ideas in my head, but they get lost in there.
Can you tell us your future writing goals/projects?
I have a flash fiction novel awaiting editing and I have a number of partially completed possible novels. My next goal is to connect with a literary agent. I am also developing a sequel to After.
Are your books available in print and ebook formats? (please provide the buy link for easy reader accessibility)
Yes! All my books are available. My novella, Adventures in Cargo City (http://goo.gl/BFIvsi) and novel, After (http://goo.gl/VKGyBg) are available at Amazon in print and eBook formats and the collection of short stories, From Reality’s Edge Volume One (http://goo.gl/1rJNve), is available on FastPencil.
Good luck with all endeavors, Andree'!