How do you start a project? Do you begin with a random idea or an urge to cover a topic, or does research inform your choices? Once you’ve got an idea, do you outline, or just write what comes?
There’s no one answer to the first question. The answer to the second question is, “Yes, and many more besides.” As for the third question—I always outline first. For one thing, 99% of my work is media tie-in fiction, and an outline is required for that, because that outline has to be approved by more than one party before you can write a single word. Besides which, I work better if I know how it ends before I start.
Describe your ideal book signing. Is it in a large chain bookstore, or a smaller independent one? Is there a café? Do they have food and drinks that tie in with your book? What is the audience like?
I like signings where people show up. If it’s at a chain or an independent, that’s fine—I’ve done both and enjoyed both. I don’t think the refreshments need to tie into what I write—I’ll just settle for having refreshments. Café is always welcome, but not required. As for the audience, I just prefer that there be one…
Tell us a bit about your current project. What’s it about? When is it coming out? Is it drastically different from your last work, or continuing a similar theme? What do you want prospective readers to know?
Which one? Right now I’m working on the revision of a Star Trek short story, after which I will be writing the revision of a Star Trek novel outline, after which I’ll be writing the outline for another tie-in novel, after which I’ll be writing a Star Trek novella that will be published in eBook form, and somewhere in there I need to write the outline for a five-issue comic book miniseries, and also proofread the pages for another Star Trek novel. I also need to edit another eBook novella and a tie-in novel I’m freelance editing—all this stuff has to be done before mid-month. And I’ve got a novel due 15 December, another due 15 January, another due 15 February, and another due 15 March, with a comic book script due 1 March.
In my life, there is no singular current project…
Keith can be found on the net at his website DeCandido.net, and his livejournal KRAD’s Inaccurate Guide to Life.