Sunday, 28 February 2010

Interview with Mireyah Wolfe

Welcome back to We Do Write. We're still brand new but slowly building up a following, isn't that great?

Today we're having a chat with 17-year-old aspiring writer Mireyah Wolfe!

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Mireyah.

I live in Louisiana with my parents and my animals. I’m homeschooled and currently studying for my GED, hoping to go to SLU later this year. When I’m not writing, I’m reading or doing research, making knives or playing with the dog. And if I’m not doing any of those things, then I’m probably procrastinating on Twitter with my other writer buds. *blush*

We're all guilty of procrastinating on Twitter, don't worry! So, what is the name and genre of your manuscript?

The title is almost always changing these days, but the current title is “Grace of the Grave.” It’s Urban Fantasy with a few romance elements thrown in.

Love the title! I'd definitely pick it up if I saw it in the bookstore. Here’s the part where you pitch it. What’s your story about?

I tend to get rambly and confusing when I talk about it—which I really need to work on—so I’ll give you the description I’ve got on my blog.

“In Johanna Devlin's world, everything is simple-- her work is fulfilling, her home is warm, and her fiancĂ© is loving. In Joey's world, demons don't exist and angels are simply regular people who are nicer than most.

But when her grandfather dies and her loving fiancĂ© turns abusive, Joey is forced to return to a life she’d long left behind, complete with family secrets better left buried and friendships that hide betrayals.

If only life were simple.”

How did the idea of the story come to you?

To be perfectly honest, I came up with the original idea (which has since evolved and changed quite a bit) while I was brushing my teeth. I had spent the day alternately reading a friend’s book and watching episodes of Supernatural (the tv show), so my head was filled with demons and angels and hunters when I went to go to bed that night. At the time, I was smack dab in the center of a huge idea drought. I couldn’t even dredge up a micro-short story, which I can usually do at any point in time.

Maybe it was a combination of minty freshness and letting my mind wander, but I suddenly had this idea and this character who was going from the normal life to utter chaos. I think I might’ve freaked my parents out when I burst out of the bathroom, practically squealing that I’d finally had an idea for NaNo!

I'm a Supernatural fan myself! Love those
Winchester boys! Is your manuscript complete or still a work in progress?

Definitely a work in progress. I started it for NaNoWriMo and I did hit the 50k mark, but the story wasn’t done. I’m in the middle of major revisions because I’ve recently had a few epiphanies about it. (I swear, those things are gonna be the death of me.)

Do you have a word count goal, and how far along are you at this point?

My general word count is 70,000 words, since it’s an Urban Fantasy. I’m not as far along as I’d like to be, but it’s coming slowly but surely. If only I could finally defeat the Procrastination Demon—it sneaks up on me whenever I look at my WiP! I’m gonna catch it one day…

Maybe we should call in Sam and Dean to lend a hand! Hehehe! Do you have a critique group or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I’m a member of an online critique group, but I can’t really post my work there because the group is for YA Authors—I joined because it was the only I could join when I was 15—and my work is definitely not YA. But through that group, I met a few other authors who are wonderful and willing to read and help me out. Minor edits, I do myself, but the major things are usually the stuff I completely miss.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Staying interested. I’m not a fast writer by any stretch of the imagination and I tend to get bored with things after a while. Because it takes me so long, I have a hard time keeping myself from simply drifting away from whatever I’m working on. (And yeah, it’s happened quite a few times before.)

 I’ve managed to find a few ways to keep it fresh—reading an as-yet unpublished work in the same genre, watching movies and television shows that have similarities to my story. I recently started drifting away from my current WiP, and I watched an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer—it made me want to jump back into work. *grin*

Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

It doesn’t have to be a solitary art. With the support of family and/or friends, of other writers, it doesn’t feel like you’re alone in this seemingly impossible endeavor. I think that’s the one thing I see a lot of—writers who think that writing is something you have to do on your own, that you have to be completely self-dependant, and that’s simply not the case. You can if you want to, but it’s not a requirement.

Great advice! Do you have an idea for your book’s cover art?

Oh, I love making mock cover art—and I fully blame SM Blooding ( for that. I have so many thoughts on what my cover art would be that I think I’d be happy with whatever they gave me! *grin*

Who are your inspirations?

I’d have to say that the television show Supernatural is my number one inspiration, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a close second. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series inspired me to write in first person, and many other books have kept my attention there.

My friends, Ceridwen Swift and Ashelynn Sanford, have kept me on my toes and I thank the fates every day for having met them.

SM Blooding, an extremely prolific novelist (sadly unpublished), continues to keep me motivated and reaching for that finish line.

Beyond that, possibilities are inspiration.

Ooh, I like that! Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Can you name three things about yourself people may not know (or maybe they do know but they are special traits/hobbies/quirks)?

  1.  I love unevenly numbered lists. It’s completely contrary to my mild, but sometimes overly apparent O.C.D, and it drives my friends up the wall, but I do love uneven lists.
  2. I’m only a neat freak when it comes to my book shelves. Everything else…I honestly don’t care. (IE: Making the bed does not concern me.)
  3. I couldn’t think of something that I haven’t already admitted to on my own blog, but according to my mother, I make weird faces when I’m completely engrossed in whatever I’m doing on the computer—and she doesn’t mean normal weird faces, she means The Incredibles mom faces when she’s feeding the baby. And that kind of freaks me out now. I may never get on the computer in public again.

Making the bed doesn't concern me either - and I'm a mother, so that's probably not good to admit, lol. Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

Ah, so many to choose from—I’ve got amazing friends and family, but the major players are definitely my parents, my BFF, Ceri, in Australia, SM Blooding, and my friend Ashelynn. There are many more, through twitter and the blogosphere, and I hope they all know how much they mean to me.

And finally, where can people find you online?

Mireyah, thank you so much for letting me interview you. Good luck with your book, and please keep us updated when you've reached the next phase of your publishing journey!

Thanks so much for asking me, Dorothy. I thoroughly enjoyed it! 

Friday, 26 February 2010

Interview with Todd R. Vick

Hello and welcome to We Do Write's very first interview. For our debut we will be chatting with aspiring writer Todd R. Vick!

Todd is a 42-year-old freelance writer from Leesville, South Carolina. He is happily married to Tracy, and together they have seven -- yes, that's right, SEVEN -- children, 3 cats, and 3 dogs. Sounds like it's a full house over at the Vick's! Todd is originally from Monona, Wisconsin. He's also a coffee addict (aren't we all) and a proud cheesehead.

Welcome, Todd! Let's talk about what you're writing. What is the name and genre of your manuscript?

It is a work of fiction and the title is Purple Lilacs.

Here’s the part where you pitch it. What’s your story about?

The story is about a minister from the Bible Belt who experiences great loss and betrayal. He then questions his faith and loses his way. The story follows him through his grief process and the ending will be a huge shocker.

Sounds dramatic! How did the idea of the story come to you?

The inspiration for the novel is loosely based on some things that I went through years ago when I left the ministry. I was determined that this would be a novel and NOT an autobiography, hence the word, “loosely.” At first I had no idea where to begin, so I just started writing. After about 700 words, I hit a major writer’s block. So, I let the story sit for a couple of weeks.

At the time, I was having some major financial issues due to being laid off. My mother’s birthday arrived and I was invited to have dinner with her and my two sisters. I had to decline. My younger sister offered to buy me dinner, but there was still the matter of having no gift. I couldn’t even afford a card for her at the time. My older sister suggested I just write her a poem.

That day, on my lunch hour (believe it or not), I composed a poem to my mother and the title was, “Purple Lilacs.” When I was a small child, we lived in Monona, WI, and our backyard was full of purple lilacs. My best childhood memories come from that particular time in our lives. In my psyche, that backyard has served as my “happy place.” So the poem just sort of wrote itself.

The poem then became the inspiration I needed for the novel; title and all.

What a touching story! I'm sure your mother appreciated such a personal gift. Moms love home-made presents. So, is your manuscript complete or still a work in progress?

It is a furious work in progress right now. Since my Mom’s birthday, it has practically written itself! I can hardly keep up!

Do you have a word count goal, or estimation of how long it will be, and how far along are you at this point?

My total word count goal is in the 62,000 range, more or less. My current goal is to have the manuscript completed and ready for edit by June 2010. I am currently close to 17,000 words as of today.

Once the manuscript is near completion, my plan is to start a massive query campaign. I have talked with a couple of publishers already, and there is some interest out there. Twitter has been a great tool for meeting other writers, agents, and publishers. That is how I met you!

Yes, it is! Twitter is a great way for writers to network. Speaking of networking, do you have a critique group or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I have a group of four people whose opinions I completely trust that I send my manuscript to at different times. My best friend James is an insightful writer/editor who is very well read and was trained by the late James Dickey. I also use his wife, Caryn, who is also an author and seasoned English teacher. Then I have a fellow writing colleague, Heather Sedlock, who writes with me at, read and edit my manuscript. Heather is a very seasoned and published writer with 25 years experience. Last but not least, my wife, Tracy, has been invaluable throughout this entire process.

Sounds like you have the right connections! Tell us, what’s the hardest part of writing for you?

I currently write for 2 online publications, and a local magazine. The hardest part of writing for me has been with budgeting my time each day for each publication, and then making time to work on the novel. Mrs. Sedlock has been a huge help in that regard.

What do you always have to have nearby when you are writing?

As weird as this is going to sound, it is the truth. When I write, I like to have coffee in my Daffy Duck mug (seriously). When I work on the novel specifically, I like to have the movie 1408 playing in the background. For some reason, it pumps my creative juices. My children now hate that movie with extreme prejudice! HAHA!

Hehehe. Well, I'm sure they'll forgive you for your movie-watching injustices once your book is published. Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

I have received a great deal of advice from various writers. Some of it has been wonderful. In my personal writer’s journey, three things have helped me a lot, and I will happily share them. 1) Just write. Sit down, focus, and start writing. Start a blog. I posted on my blog for 5 years before I ever started REALLY writing, but the blog is a great outlet for me. 2) Join local and/or online writer groups. I am a member of several, and some of them are incredible and full of very useful information. 3) Get a copy of The Writer’s Digest. That book has changed my life as a writer. There are many other great books, but that one gave me the confidence to write professionally.

Do you have an idea for your book’s cover art?

Nothing concrete yet. I have found great pictures of lilacs on the web, but I have yet to design a cover, and I know very little about how to do it! My good photographer friend, Jeff Hammond (, has agreed to do the dust cover when the time comes.

Who are your inspirations?

My biggest inspiration to write came from my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Lola Richbourg. Mrs. R. saw something in me that I didn’t see, and encouraged me to keep at it. Whatever I may achieve as a writer, I owe it all to her. She is a gem! She retired recently, and the world got a whole lot dumber! HAHA!

Another source of inspiration is my two best friends, James Kirk and Rick Stilwell. They are both prolific writers, and make me push myself harder as a writer. I’m not even sure I have ever told them this. Perhaps I will!

I also owe a nod to my good friend Caryn Crabb Kirk. She gave me the best practical writing advice of all. She told me to base each character in my novel on a particular actor or actress as I develop them. That has helped me tremendously. Should the novel ever become a movie, I want Judd Apatow to direct it. Most of my characters are based on characters from his movies.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Can you name three things about yourself people may not know (or maybe they do know but they are special traits/hobbies/quirks)?

  1. I am a semi-retired pro wrestler. Strictly small time and barely that.
  2. I am a Sci-Fi enthusiast (geek, nerd, dork – take your pick). I absolutely love Star Trek and The X-Files, and I greatly respect the works of Irwin Allen and Rod Serling. These men were “light years” ahead of their time. My lifelong best friend’s name is James Kirk…Sci-Fi was my destiny.
  3. In 2002, I recorded a Gospel CD. I hope no one ever finds it. 
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

In addition to the ones I have already mentioned, I want to thank my Mom for inspiring the poem and the novel, as well as all the good memories. I would also like to thank my children, Cody, Jenna, Katie, Steven, Christi, Matthew and Nicholas. They get so excited to see my stuff published online, and it keeps me going. They also give me my space when I am in “writing mode.”

And finally, where can people find you online?
My website is There is a link to my blog on the website, which, like the novel, is a work in progress. You can also find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Readers can also see some of my work on RUSE the.magazine and on my page
Todd, thank you so much for letting us get to know you. I wish you lots of success on your writing journey, and please let us know once you've reached your next phase of publication!

Stay tuned! Interview with aspiring writer Todd R. Vick coming up later today!

Monday, 22 February 2010


My next step is to make a questionnaire for my victims ... er, I mean, interviewees.

This could be rather fun, though I can't believe I'm trying to fit it into my busy schedule. That's me, though. Glutton for punishment when it comes to anything creative.

Okay, so a questionnaire goes on my to-do list. But not to-do today or tomorrow, because tomorrow I'm sending out query letters to literary agents.

See, I'm an aspiring writer too!

In The Beginning ...


Here's the deal. I'm looking for aspiring writers who wouldn't mind being interviewed about what they're working on and how far along in the getting-published process they are. If you think this is something you'd be interested in, drop me an email at dorothyanndreyer [at] gmail [dot] com.

I look forward to hearing from you!