Question Time: Ask Me Anything

It’s that time of year. Ask me questions. I’ll answer.

Ask about the writing process, or whether it’s true I snort coffee straight from the bag before I sit down at the keyboard. Ask about my novels, or my characters. About plot and structure and dialogue and research. Or how I feel about talent, inspiration, and luck. About the secret tunnels under the Vatican, and about that thing that has built a nest in the attic. What the hell is it?

I’ll be here all week.

11 responses to “Question Time: Ask Me Anything

  1. “China Lake” will forever be one of my favorite novels of all time. As it was your first, how did you begin your research? I’m assuming that “networking” plays a big part in having technical questions answered when writing a novel. Did you have friends to rely on for questions or was there “cold calling” involved? (I was honored to be mentioned in your acknowledgements for “The Nightmare Thief” when all I did was answer a question about Toyota fuel consumption.) Were most people receptive and happy to help or was there more effort involved?

  2. I’m copying this question, which was left yesterday on another Ask Me Anything post:

    Anne Molinarolo | February 10, 2016 at 12:53 am

    Ms. Gardner, when you hear things “go bump” in the night, what is it? And does “it” find its way into your novels? Sorry about all of the Its.

  3. Here’s a question posted on Goodreads by Christa:

    Hi Meg,

    How do you know when you have adequately developed a character in your story? With a more complex character, the urge to insert more clues and examples as to their inner nature and motivations presents itself often, but how do you know when you’ve accomplished your goal with that character?

  4. Editing, what condition is your manuscript in when you finally send it of to get edited? How much freedom do they have to make changes?, and what is the Capital of Washing D.C?, I can’t find the answer anywhere..

  5. I’ve got a two-parter for you, Meg O’Death:

    a) If you compared that first dirty draft to the polished gem of a published novel, what percentage will have survived the rounds of editing (and I’m talking about physical words, sentences, paragraphs, and not story)?

    b) In your writing process, how long does it take you to wrangle a first draft into shape compared to getting that original draft down on paper?

    Actually, maybe this is only one question, asked in two different ways.

  6. Joshua Arthur Ramseur

    Inspiration: an absurd whirlwind of all facets of being commanding spontaneous prose, or a constant state of curiosity allowing continuous laborious revisitory circumstance? Kerouac or Poe? Or both?

  7. These are great questions. Answers coming up!

  8. Here’s one more question, posted on Goodreads by Cathie:

    Howdy Meg!

    I always wonder about writers and reading, so I’m curious….
    Do you enjoy reading as much as you do writing? (Obviously those two things are very related but also very separate). Care to share some favorite books or authors?

    If you do also enjoy reading, what do you read the most–fiction, non- fiction? What fiction genres do you read most often?

    Do you have a favorite character from your novels?

    And what’s your favorite mythological creature? (Random, I know!)

    Also, thank you for giving me many hours of entertainment! I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by you, which is almost all your novels so far!

    Thanks, Meg!

  9. How can I get people to read my blogs? You seem somewhat popular. How can I get their? How do I advertise my content?

    • Write lively, insightful, polished stuff. Be active on social media and make sure your biography links to your blog, so people can find it. Comment on other sites with lively, insightful points. It takes a long time, but can work.

      • Thanks. I’ll try it out. It obviously worked for you, so you must be doing something right. I appreciate it.

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