Sue Fagalde Lick spent many years in the newspaper business before retiring to become a fulltime writer and musician. She has published books about Portuguese Americans, freelance writing, and life on the Oregon Coast. A graduate of the MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles, she has taught writing at Oregon community colleges and at conferences and workshops across the country. On weekends, she puts on her music hat and co-directs the choirs at Sacred Heart Church in Newport, Oregon. She blogs about childlessness at http://www.childlessbymarriage.blogspot.com.
What inspires you to write?
Everything inspires me to write, things that happen, things I see or hear, things I read, dreams, everything. Sometimes I think God appointed me secretary to capture everything that happens in my portion of the world. What actually gets my fingers on the keys or pen to paper is when a word or phrase suddenly triggers a connection, like finding the combination that opens a door. Suddenly I know exactly what I’m going to write and I just start pouring out words.
Tell us about your writing process
I treat my writing like a job and try to do it every day five days a week. When I’m starting a new piece of creative writing, I usually just start pouring out the words. When I pause to take a breath, I might do a rough outline then, especially if it’s a long piece or a book, so I can keep track of where I’m going. For example, on the novel I’m currently writing, when I stopped to list what had happened so far and what I thought was coming up, I discovered that one scene could not have happened when I said it did. But I have that scene and it will come in handy later. I don’t do character sketches before I write, but I sometimes stop and do them after I’ve been writing for a while. I have always felt that if I plan everything in advance, it takes all the fizz out of the story.
For articles and more journalistic books, I do outline, not with A’s and B’s but with a list of questions to be answered and topics to be covered, so that I don’t forget anything and balance how many words go to each section. But I may not even look at the outline for the first draft. I’ll just start writing.
I use whiteboards to keep track or my time, but as for my writing when I get a thought, I usually just grab a sheet off my stack of scratch paper and start making notes. I also keep miniature voice recorders handy so that if I think of something while I’m driving or walking or sleeping, I can get it down.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to my characters, but I try to climb inside their heads and become them. When I writing, I remind myself that this is not me and ask what would my character do or say about this.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have published books traditionally and through print-on-demand, and I have done print and e-books completely on my own. I think getting traditionally published is still the easiest way. The publishing house takes care of a lot of tasks that are frustrating for someone who would rather write than market or worry about formatting, cover design and other issues. Also they pay the costs. I would advise new authors to start by trying the old-fashioned method of pitching to agents and editors. If that doesn’t work–or if you don’t want to wait years to see your book, then consider self-publishing.
I would be very cautious about doing print-on-demand again with one of the popular companies you can find online. They give you very lttle control of your book, you get less respect for your books, and you don’t wind up making much money.
Self-publishing as an independent publisher has worked pretty well for me. It does allow complete control of the whole process, and the potential is there to make money. Also, it takes months instead of years. I’m proud of the appearance and content of these books, and I find it exciting to have them available as both print and e-books. But be forewarned that it’s an awful lot of work and pretty expensive to have it done.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Book publishing is all over the place these days. I know people who never buy print books now that they have their e-readers. Others still love the feel, smell and convenience of printed books. Our society is becoming more and more digital-oriented. We’re doing everything online, so why not read books there? I worry about what will remain of our e-books in 10, 20 or 50 years. I have print books that are 100 years old. What happens when the technology changes or the Kindle dies? There’s no tangible physical product. On the other hand, I find it exciting that our work can be offered to people all the world with a couple of keystrokes. In the end, we want people to read what we write, and if that means they’ll be reading it on their e-books or smart phones, that’s okay.
What services do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both Print and eBook