When I first started writing to publish, I joined Scribophile and met several wonderful and talented writers. One of those was DL Hungerford. She leads the Writers Who Love Romance group on Scribophile, and is always encouraging and supportive of each member. It’s as if she welcomes us all under this giant umbrella of writerly love. Recently DL took a moment from her busy schedule to share about herself and her writing.
Sha Renée: When did you first realize your writing was good?
DL: At a sci-fi convention, I entered a writing workshop. We were able to pick a photo from a stack and then had x amount of time to write about it. When I read my story out loud, the published author running the workshop expressed disbelief that this was a first draft. That’s when it dawned on me. I am a writer.
I have had the experiences of looking at my writing later and not remembering writing it. I believe that’s when our muse smacks up into sub-consciousness, takes control of the writing, and magic happens.
Sha Renée: How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
DL: I have taken years to write most of my novels and novellas. And when I worked full time, that was my excuse. I’ve come to realize that I never made writing a priority. Even when I retired, I putzed around. Then my wonderful RWA chapter started sprinting almost daily. (That’s where you write without any interruptions for a set time, then check in with a word count or progress) Doing sprints for 2 hours daily got me into the habit of really treating writing as a job or career. Then I entered National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for the fifth time this year, and for the first time I won! 50,000 words! All it took was making writing a priority and not stopping until I hit my goal word count.
I had a few bumps in the month, such as having to clean out my yard for insurance reasons, getting sick because stressed, and helping to put on a fund-raiser for my RWA Chapter. And I was struggling at the end of the month. But bottom line, I did it. Now I know I can do a first draft in a month and hopefully have a polished, submittable version in 3 months.
Sha Renée: What was the hardest thing about writing your NaNo project?
DL: All the things I don’t know about computer embezzlement and gathering evidence about such a crime. I like research, but with the fast pace of the writing, I had to fudge a few things. Now my beta readers will help me make it real.
Sha Renée: What is the easiest thing about writing?
DL: Getting ideas. I am a senior citizen, and I have decades worth of story ideas on file. Until this recent break-through with my word count, I thought I would never get all the stories written. Possibly, I still won’t, but I have a better shot now.
Sha Renée: I have that same concern. When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
DL: I usually have a basic idea of who they are and what they want. But these people always reveal things to me that take me by surprise. In my Regency Banquet series, Book 2, Entree: Pure Captivation, I had been writing my princess for a few months before she told me she had been raped and that’s what drove her to stay with my hero, for protection. In the NaNo project, Crazy for Trying, the villain was capable of murder. I did not know that. In fact, in his first inception, he was a good guy.
Sha Renée: What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
DL: Not enough. I put things on my author pages, both as DL Hungerford and Roxanna Haley, I tweet things, and I participate in blog hops. I hope to get better at using Twitter to push the books and will look into things like My Book Cave for inexpensive promotions.
Sha Renée: Do you have any special plans this Valentine’s Day?
DL: Mostly I have come to realize how important it is to tell everyone in your life that you love them. All the time, and in many ways.
Sha Renée: Thank you so much for taking time to chat with us.
DL: Thank you for the chance to talk about my passion for Romance!
Born and raised in Southern California, DL Hungerford began writing right about the time you would expect. She has worked as a child care provider, a cook, a caterer, a clerk, customer service operator, blackjack dealer, house cleaner, bird breeder, a case worker for local government, and a supervisor of case workers. She honed her writing skills through fanzines, epic letters, and minutes for various clubs. She also wrote newsletter submissions for clubs, as well as movie and book reviews.
DL loves the world of fiction, especially Regency England, but hopes to explore other horizons as time permits. She still lives in Southern California with her husband, a spoiled cat, a spoiled dog, and a flock of parrots and other birds.
She also writes under the pen name of Roxanna Haley. You can contact her through any of the various links below:
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