I recently met Lydia on SheWrites.com and knew I simply had to interview her and share it with you here on the blog. So, as a special author Q&A during my busy month of much-ado-about-August, I present writer Lydia R. LeRoy-Williams.
You’re a mom, a wife, and a writer. How do you manage to make time for writing?
This is a constant struggle. When days go by and I have not written anything, I feel as though a piece of me has been neglected so it is important to get writing time in.
The other night I worked on a piece, on my laptop, while my daughter was in the bath. Sure, I got a few water drops and bubbles on my screen but it was worth it. I have to MAKE the time, even if it is only at ten minutes intervals.
Also, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything if it weren’t for my husband, who's completely supportive, or my mom, who's there when I need some quiet writing time.
In the perfect world, what would your writing day be like?
That is an interesting question and I am going to take this question and run with it without borders.
I would have a quiet room or office of my own that overlooked the Oregon Coast, (this would require me to move) it’s an inspiring place for me. My space would be Shabby Chic, with candles lit everywhere and a fireplace. I would have a sofa with lots of pillows and throws, as well as a desk. There would have to be a fridge with water and champagne (when I want to feel glamorous) and snacks, for the comfort of it.
My day would start around 9 o’clock (need my sleep) and work until lunch. Spend that with my family and then get back to it. I would write until I knew what I wanted to start with the next day rather than write until I was blocked.
Quite honestly, I think the environment in which I write is what I have dreamt of. Usually I write where there is a moment of quiet i.e. bathroom, bed, car. It would be brilliant if I had that quiet, private, inspirational space, of my own. Virginia Woolf was right when she said every woman needs a room of her own.
You write fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Tell us about your writing.
Poetry was my start. My first poem, that I remember, was titled: ‘Boys.’
Boys are toys/they’re sometimes joys/but be careful/or you could be/a toy to a boy.
I have continued to write poetry, some have been published. I began writing fiction during school. When given an assignment in school all the other kids would sigh with distaste. I, on the other hand, would be so excited to sit down and write.
I decided that I wanted to be a screenwriter when I was in my early twenties. I had a mentor at that time who taught me amazing things in regards to writing. He encouraged me to write the screenplay. I did, I even finished it, knowing it was terrible.
After that reality set in (that screenwriting was not my area of expertise), I decided to try my hand at a novel. This felt more like me. I have also, throughout the years, written some essays and articles; a few, I have had published.
What have you written that you are most proud of?
I would have to say, surprisingly, that my screenplay is what I am the most proud of because I continued, stayed with it, and gave it all I had at the time. When later, after sharing it with my mentor and my family, I was informed how raw and imperfect it was, I was sad, but I was so proud that I had finished it! I worked on it every single day, come rain or shine.
Think of all your favorite authors and books. What book do you wish you had written?
My absolute favorite book is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I admire Plath as a writer because she wrote out her guts, no matter what anyone else thought. Her writing was her life, wrong or right, no one could accuse her of not putting her soul into what she did.
I want to be that kind of writer. With all the responsibilities that one may have, one must give their souls to their work, pour it out, lay it down, raw and with honesty.
What are you working on now?
I am always doing poetry, it’s in my blood. My current work in progress is my first novel. I have been working on it for too long and my main goal is to finish it. I am also working on articles for a new online magazine that I will be freelancing for. I have recently started a blog and have been working on that as well. In addition, I love to journal.
How do you stay connected with other writers?
I have recently been involved with online groups, which has proved to be outstanding and extremely motivating. My favorite online community is www.SheWrites.com.
If you could commit to one thing, in the next year, to benefit your writing life what would it be?
To get back to Wellspring House in Massachusetts. I was able to spend a full week there in October 2008. It was the best experience I have had in regards to my personal writing growth. I would also make sure to finish my novel!
What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading: The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty, Mommywood by Tori Spelling, and Jodi Picoult’s My Sisters Keeper.
What books are on your to-be-read pile?
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Time and Again by Jack Finney, I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, Everyone is Beautiful and The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center.
How can readers learn more about you and your writing?
Well, I have a blog (it is very new so be kind) http://lydiawilliamswritenow.blogspot.com/ as well as my profile on www.SheWrites.com. I am also on Twitter: lydiaruth77
Be sure to visit Lydia on one (or more) of her web links above. And be sure to come back Monday for another guest blog from author Kiersten White.
Until next time….