Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ronlyn Domingue

Join us in welcoming Ronlyn Domingue as our guest. Ronlyn is the author of The Mercy of Thin Air (Atria Books), which sold to 11 other countries. Her writing has appeared in New England Review, Clackamas Literary Review, New Delta Review, and The Independent (UK). Currently, shes at work on her second novel. To learn more about her writing, visit her website at

Here's the question we posed to her...

What is the secret to writing a novel?

I have no clue, but this is what has worked for me the first time. So far, it's working for the second.

1. Discipline. Some people say that a writer MUST write every day. That isn't true. You have to figure out what works in your life. That might take a while to discover. You might plot your story, then write, then revise. You might start to write and watch it evolve as you go. Early mornings or late evenings, all day Sundays--whatever, it doesn't matter--as long as you put your rear in a chair on a schedule that works for you. My current process is to do lots of research and thinking for several years. Yes, years. I take notes, of course, and I don’t have a schedule for this. Once I actually write, however, it’s a serious binge of eight to sixteen hour days, several days a week. I mark this on my calendar, often in ink. (No, I don't have children.)

2. Passion. Love what you’re working on. Even when you hate it, love it. Surprisingly, writing a book presents challenges much like an intimate relationship. Remember what brought you together in the first place.

3. Study. Read what you love over and over again. There's a reason you love those books. Those authors are your teachers. Make a point to read new books every now and then. With them all, take notes, draw diagrams of the structures, and find those sentences that hold secrets in the balance.

Thank you, Ronlyn, for being our guest. And for those of you who haven't read The Mercy of Thin Air, pick up your copy today. It is a marvelous novel!


Anonymous said...

This book is beautiful and I love Ronlyn's website. Good advice for writers!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice. I love your novel! Can't wait to read your next one.

Mary said...

All good advice!

Anonymous said...

I love the tip about reading your fave novel often. I used to read Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye in this way. Maybe I should dig it out again because I'm feeling overwhelmed in my latest revisions. I look forward to finding your book.

JKB said...

This is a nice interview, thanks for the info! I'd love to read your book, so I've ordered it!

Pity it has to come from America.