M.L Newman is one of the rising stars of the book world. Her first book “Glimmer of Hope” was well-received, and fans are anticipating her second release. What really makes a writer run? I wanted to pose questions during this interview that would really allow us to look inside the mind of a writer who really knows her craft. Hold onto your seats… This is a goodie!
Good morning, M.L. I want to start this interview by asking you one question. Why is writing important to you?
I enjoy writing because I get to share my stories with others. It’s important to me because my stories, while fiction, can bring hope, love and joy to others. So many stories I’ve read have touched me and brightened my day. I’d love to do that for my readers.
I was thinking earlier that many of your readers will be wishing they could write like you. How many times have you read a book and wished you’d written it?
I haven’t actually read a book that I wished I’d written, but I’ve read books that I wished I lived in.
As a writer, I guess you get to create any world you want to live in– that must be a pretty amazing feeling. How many story ideas have you got at the minute?
I have plotted out about 40+ storylines, and I’m hoping that at least 39 of them are published. There are many different storylines and series that I have planned where the final decision on book numbers is more about where the story goes than how many I can publish.
So, let me ask you this: What really makes a good story?
Personally, I believe what makes a good story are the decisions that are made within the story. Anyone can fall in love or fight it, but the difficult choices that have to be made bring me closer to the characters. If I find a connection with a character, I’ve been sucked in.
How many times do you rewrite a sentence to get it just right?
I don’t usually rewrite my sentences. Sometimes I tweak them to make sure it makes sense, but usually the first time it sticks. I spend the majority of the time on detailing than rewriting.
Here’s a curveball for you… Is there anything you wouldn’t like to write about?
When I write a story, it’s because it has been called from my soul. I don’t have a choice but to write what comes out of me. I don’t specifically have anything against writing other stories; they just have to wait their turn.
How many times did you considered becoming a writer before you became a writer?
I never considered becoming a writer. I just started writing about a story that interested me, and I was encouraged to publish it.
You have a brand new short story coming out soon. Your first novel, “Glimmer of Hope,” was an excellent read, and I know many people are looking forward to this new one. What will it be about?
My newest book is a short story in the Romance genre. This is actually a personal favorite of mine. Blowing The Whistle is about a unique student, Ally Fields, who does her best to keep up her grades and prefers to not have a social life. And it seems to work out quite well for her until a challengingly persistent Trevor barges in. It causes quite a few skeletons to peek out of the closet…
Covers are the in-thing right now. I know many writers are really paying close attention to their covers at the moment. How did you come up with the cover for your new book?
I have an amazing graphic designer who knows just what I’m looking for even if I don’t know it myself. I told him the storyline, gave him the key words, the colour scheme I was thinking of and he created a fantastic cover that I can’t take my eyes off of. We collaborate well together.
Many writers are interested in the promotional side of things more than the writing side of things. Do you enjoy writing or promoting books more?
I enjoy writing my books more because I get to take the rollercoaster ride with them. There have been so many tears that I’ve cried during scenes, so many laughs with playful banter and inside jokes that I’ve placed specifically for my inner circle to chuckle at with me. Promoting is very new to me and I haven’t found my comfort zone in it just yet.
What does it really take to finish a book?
It takes a lot of patience and focus. There are some scenes that are more fun than others but in the end, it all has to be good. I spend the majority of my time trying to stay focused on ‘what’s happening’ in the story because I get impatient and overly excited while writing.
Do you use storyboards to help you with your writing?
I write outlines to make sure that the story flows just the way I want. The details are added on the second round of outlining and those details easily can take a 10-page outline to a 21-page outline.
Do you know the end of a story when you start writing the story?
I have a rough idea of how I want the story to end, but I try not to plan it in detail until I know the characters better. It leaves a better ending and exciting anticipation for me.
What do you think is the most important thing for a writer to know?
Don’t give up on a story just because it doesn’t seem to be playing out the way you saw it in your mind. It could lead to an exciting and thrilling story that you had no clue you were even able to produce. I believe in being limitless because I have no idea what kind of amazing stories can come out until they decide to.
When do you feel most comfortable writing? Are you a morning or evening writer?
The best time to write is in the morning around 7-8 am, with my writing playlist playing in the background and the weather and traffic channel on mute showing on the TV. For some odd reason, this produces the most creativity out of me. Another writing comfort is to write with Forensic Files, Cold Case Files or Inspector Lewis playing on the TV. It makes me pay extra special attention to details in my stories.