Friday, September 19, 2014

Guest Post: Author Anne Lipton

How/why did you start to write?

In second grade, I won a poetry contest in honour of Sooner Day at Sky Ranch Elementary School in Oklahoma City.

I began to write short fiction in junior high. Even on school projects, I enjoyed adding my creative stamp. Assigned to write sentences with a list of vocabulary word, I wrote a rhyming rap.

How did you become an author? What was your first published piece? Where was it published? How long ago?

I got my start as an academic author in the medical field. I have published scientific papers since college. But, I maintained my literary bent, too. As a medical student, I had a poem included in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association).

Reflected on your writing process

I enjoy editing, but I love to write. Rather than writer’s block, I have writer’s flow—or flood—of ideas. This demands its own discipline

I usually have several irons in the fire, but try to prioritize each in terms of importance, input from collaborators, and deadlines. I try to write down (or email myself) any good idea I have, the moment I think of it. Occasionally, I wake up with inspiration and rush to the computer to immortalize it. However, I usually do my household tasks first, start in on writing mid-morning, and go to the gym mid-day. I get back to it in the afternoon or evening, which is my favorite time to write. I often get on a roll and work late, sometimes well past midnight..

The solitary nature of writing can be a bane to me. I have therefore made a point of making friends and getting together with fellow writers. We write and talk about writing and read and edit each others’ work.

What did you do before embarking on your writing career?

I am a neurologist by training, but now write full-time. My background in medical writing provided me with a great deal of experience in editing, criticism, and rejection, but also in the joy of publication.

Was it an asset to your writing? How?

A neurologist is like a medical detective. My well-honed observational and research skills, as well as my understanding of people, come in handy as a writer.

What inspires you?

Art, dance, history, food, language, music, people, and places. The brain. And unsolved mysteries:

One fierce mild day, in the cobbled courtyard of Dublin Castle, a guide’s casual mention of the century-old unsolved theft of the Irish Crown Jewels captured my curiosity and sparked my imagination. I was living in Dublin at the time, and spent the next two years researching and writing my first novel, The Emerald Eye, a story of the hunt for this missing treasure.

Please share one of your successful author platform building technique

Make and carry book cards. These are business cards with an image of your book cover on the front. If you don’t have a published book, then you might play up your blog, etc. Put your contact information and useful links on the back, which might include a QR code linking to your website.

Parting words

Write what you love.