The Writing Sparrow

Writing Routines: R.S. Williams

February 15, 2021 Sarina Episode 23
The Writing Sparrow
Writing Routines: R.S. Williams
Show Notes Transcript

Once a month, I talk to another writer about their writing routine. We answer questions such as Are you a plotter, pantser, or somewhere in between? Do you write every day?Where does your inspiration come from?What’s your beverage of choice?, and many more! At the end of each episode, the writers recommend their favourite book on writing and share their advice for establishing the right writing routine for you.

This month, I talked to R.S. Williams, a fantasy adventure author from England.

Her book recommendations are The Fantasy Fiction Formula by Deborah Chester, Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran,  and Business for Authors by Joanna Penn. Don't forget to check out the all-new library on my website for all book recommendations from these routine chats!

***
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You can read the transcript of this episode on my website or right here via Buzzsprout.

You can learn more about Rhianne and her books on her website or support her directly via Patreon . You can also find her on Twitter and on Instagram.

Find out more about me and my books on my website, and find me on Twitter, on Instagram, and on Facebook.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/sarinalanger)

[this transcript was done by SpeechDocs]
[intro] 


Sarina: Hello, and welcome to the Writing Sparrow podcast. I'm Sarina Langer and this podcast is all about writing, publishing, and marketing your book. You can find transcripts on my website at sarinalanger.com. Let's get started. 


[music]


Sarina: Welcome back friends and sparrows. It's the 15th of February 2021, and this is Episode 23. Today, I'm talking to urban fantasy adventure author, R.S. Williams, about her writing routine. We already touched a little bit on this many, many weeks ago, when Rhianne talked about fitting her walking progress around her everyday routine. Today, we’ll be more in-depth and more specifically talking about her writing routine. Welcome back, my love, how are you?


Rhianne: I am good. I am loving life. [00:01:00] [crosstalk] 


Sarina: [chuckles]


Rhianne: I actually quite enjoy the introverted nature of what's going on in the current world. 


Sarina: Oh, yes. 


Rhianne: Because I don't actually have to go anywhere.


Sarina: It's nice, isn't it? When you're an introvert in a way, it's so perfect because you don't have to put up with other people as much.


Rhianne: Yes, exactly.


Sarina: What a dream! We should always do this. Not the pandemic itself, just the lockdown. 


Rhianne: Yes. 


Sarina: Without the pressure of killing someone when you leave the house. [laughs]


Rhianne: Yes.


Sarina: That got darker than I intended for the first two minutes of [laughs] the episode.


Rhianne: You know, let's just-- it's fine. [laughs] 


Sarina: Let's start with a similarly severe first question.


Rhianne: Ooh!


Sarina: Oh, yes, you better be ready for this. I hope you're sitting down. [chuckles] 


Rhianne: Okay. 


Sarina: Are you a plotter, a pantser, or you somewhere in between?


Rhianne: Well, [00:02:00] it's funny because I've literally just recorded an episode for this on my podcast.


Sarina: Oh, there you go. Great [crosstalk] all that.


Rhianne: Essentially, I'm closer to the plotting side of the spectrum, but I am in the middle because although I have a plot, my characters are allowed to do whatever they want.


Sarina: I think that's probably the best way to do it because you have an idea of where you're going, and you know where you need to go, so you can't really get stuck because you always have this, “If I don't know what I'm doing, I know where I need to go, so I'll just move on with that.”


Rhianne: Yeah, exactly. What I really like about it is when I get so far with my characters, and I'm like, “What the hell are you doing all the way over there?” 


Sarina: Oh, that’s the best. 


Rhianne: I'm completely lost. I know how to get them back. That’s the bit I like. [laughs] 


Sarina: Yes. Also, when your characters do their own thing to that extent, you really know that you’ve thought them through well because they've literally taken on a life of their own. 


Rhianne: Yes. [crosstalk] 


Sarina: And they know where they're going.


Rhianne: Yeah, well, at least I hope they do. [laughs] 


Sarina: More so than me, [00:03:00] I hope, but you just never know.


Rhianne: No, exactly.


Sarina: Sometimes they are wrong, but let's be honest, most of the time they are right, and we're wrong. 


[laughter] 


Sarina: Okay. To do the actual writing routine thing, what does your writing writing? [chuckles] You know what? This is my second tea, and I thought before we started recording that this may be a terrible idea and look at me slurring my words. It's tea-


Rhianne: [laughs] 


Sarina: -in my cup. It's definitely tea on this day-- [crosstalk] 


Rhianne: We’ll believe you, don’t worry. 


Sarina: -which is possible, but it's tea. [laughs] It's definitely just tea, please believe me. 


Rhianne: I do, don't worry. 


Sarina: Thank you. What does your writing routine look like?


Rhianne: Just my writing routine looks like me getting up at 4:50 every morning and then writing before I go to my muggle job. 


Sarina: Oh, crikey, 4:50.


Rhianne: Yeah. Now, see, when I say that to people, [00:04:00] they often go, “Jesus, I wouldn't get up that early.” Now, in all fairness, I do only have an hour, maybe an hour and a half to write because I usually start my writing at 6, so I give myself an hour to get up, have breakfast, sort the cats out, move around a bit.   


Sarina: That’s really very relaxed.


Rhianne: Yeah. Then at 6, I sit down, I write, and sometimes I write for an hour, or sometimes I'll write for an hour and a half. It just depends what I'm doing in the morning and how quickly I need to be out of the house.


Sarina: That's still very nice and relaxed. That's probably the best way to do it because that way, you're getting up early to get it done, but also you're doing it in a way that doesn't really put any pressure on yourself.


Rhianne: Yeah. Then I do my editing in the evenings and on the weekends, because I just think doing that in the morning would fry my brain.


Sarina: I think it would, especially before tea, or with too much tea as we've just seen. [chuckles] 


Rhianne: Yes. [chuckles] 


Sarina: It's funny because we talked about-- well, a little bit about your writing routine and then getting up early and all that [00:05:00] on the last episode that we did together. At the time, I was saying, “I could never get up that early, some days I just don't write and that's fine.” Actually, I think about a week after we did that, I changed my routine so much that it's not really anything anymore like what we discussed at the time. You may say you inspired me. Thanks for that. It's changed a lot again, because at the time I changed it, I was going into work, physically back in the day. Because of that, I ended up getting a lot earlier than I needed to if I were only go into work. Then, I made a point of writing for 15 minutes or half an hour before I left. What you've told me the last episode has inspired that a lot.


Rhianne: Yeah, I think if you put too much pressure on yourself, you just end up not writing anything. From last year, my worst day, [00:06:00] I was like, “I'm just going to write one word, and then that will spiral.” My worst day was 66 words, they're still 66 new words I put down.


Sarina: Well, exactly. It's all progress. The important thing is that you've written on that day. It may not be much, but it's all going [unintelligible [00:06:14] and your work in progress is 66 words, which [unintelligible [00:06:18].


Rhianne: Yes.


Sarina: What I really like about it, I don't know how you feel, but if I get it done first thing in the morning, especially before work, I then have that really nice accomplished feeling throughout the day, it doesn't matter if I don't write anymore, because I've already written.


Rhianne: Yeah, well, that's one of the reasons why I moved my writing to the morning because I found that I was coming home from my muggle job. Then I was trying to work and I just wouldn't get anything done because my brain was fried from the day job. I thought, “Well, let's do it beforehand.” That [crosstalk] worked. 


Sarina: Yeah. Clearly, you're more motivated in the morning to do it, and you're more-- Ah, I've just had the word. See, there is such [00:07:00] a thing as too much tea in short succession.


[laughter] 


Sarina: Yeah. You’ve got to write when it works the best for you. I find when I write in the morning, I probably write a lot more than if I wait for it in the afternoon, and then you have more the feeling of, “I need to write now, or the day is going to be over and I won’t have done anything.” Getting it out of the way early is always always a bit of a motivation boost of productivity. That's the word I wanted. You feel more productive that way, you know you've already achieved.


Rhianne: Yeah, exactly. Yes. 


Sarina: I think you've already just mentioned a little bit about that, but do you set yourself specific goals like a number of words you want to write every week or how much time you want to spend writing a day? Do you have an ideal goal?


Rhianne: Yes. I've always kept my goals small. My bog-standard goal is 500 words per session. The majority of the time I hit it, sometimes I'm just super epic, and [00:08:00] I write 1000 words, which is great. Then, as I said, sometimes I get two words done, but it's all progress. At the moment, I'm really enjoying using a website called StoryOrigin. You put in your book, and then the goal words that you want, and you set a start date and a finish date, and then it tells you how many words to write at the moment. 


Sarina: Oh.


Rhianne: That's really fun. StoryOrigin is currently free, but I know that they are bringing in paid plans soon. Sign up if you want to continue to have it free for a couple of extra months longer.


Sarina: Well, I can totally bear that in mind for myself. By the time this episode goes live in a month, it may already be too late. We will see. If it's still there and if you're interested listening to this now, can’t hurt to have a look just to see what’s available. 


Rhianne: It's been free for about two years. 


Sarina: Okay.


Rhianne: Hopefully, it still will be. 


Sarina: It'll probably last another two months or so.


Rhianne: Yeah.


Sarina: At least just [00:09:00] one more month. [chuckles] You've already answered that just now, I think, but my next question would have been do you write every day but you said that you try to write every day and then you edit it at the weekends?


Rhianne: Yes. My main writing days are Monday to Friday for books. Then, for any blog posts or podcast episodes or anything like that, anything that's not related to a book, I do on the weekend or on an evening. Then, that's when I do my editing as well. So, I tend to do a similar sort of thing with word counts as I do for editing. I'll split it by chapters. Usually, that means I've only got to do four chapters a week, which is really easy to fit in in [crosstalk] own life. 


Sarina: When you put it that way, it doesn't sound like too much and it sounds easily achievable.


Rhianne: Mm-hmm. Yeah, it makes my life so much easier because I don't feel I've put on a horrendous amount of pressure on myself. For example, I'm planning on editing [00:10:00] my book, Kingdom of Lies, by this first quarter, so by the end of March. When I worked out, I only had to do 11 chapters a month, which meant I literally have to do two a week.


Sarina: That's fine. That's doable. 


Rhianne: Yeah. 


Sarina: I know you’ll power through it too.


Rhianne: Yeah, I am. I did my first session the other day, and I already did three. So, we're on to a win. 


Sarina: Very good. That feels good as well because you can almost already take off that goal, I think, when you achieve things early on, in the timeframe that you've set yourself. Even if it's just a small thing really, you feel that instant boost off, “Yes, I'm getting things done.” 


Rhianne: Yeah. 


Sarina: Has your writing routine changed over the years? If so, what have you changed and why?


Rhianne: Well, it hasn't changed in the last, how long have I been with Ian? Six years. It [00:11:00] hasn't changed in the last six years. Before I got with my now-husband, I used to write in the evenings after work, and it was when I got with him that he was like, “Oh, all you do sit on your laptop all evening, and you never spent any time.” I was like, “Well, I get up early, and you stay in bed till like 9 o’clock, so I want to do my writing then.” It worked for me because I was a morning person. It was like, well, I was already up two hours before him, so I might as well do something productive in those two hours.


Sarina: Yeah. That sounds very-- well, as you said, it's very productive, because you're working with the time that you have available very well. We've already talked about that a lot in our last episode, so we won't go into it massively now. But if anyone is interested in how Rhianne is organizing her time, and how she knows when she has time free or time to spare, you want to check out the last episode that we did together because that's what we talked about in detail there.


Rhianne: Yeah. 


Sarina: [00:12:00] Obviously, at the moment, we're still in lockdown, and we have been for a little while. Many writers have either struggled with that and not written at all for a while, or they really took to it and they've written a lot more than they usually do. How has lockdown affected your routine?


Rhianne: A lot, to be fair. The only thing that lockdown has done really is given me more time to work on the weekends because I don't go out and see people.


Sarina: [laughs] Thank God. [laughter] 


Rhianne: Yeah, normally I'd go out and see friends or my family or stuff like that. Yeah, at the moment, I can't do any of that. So, I just spend my time either playing Pokémon on the Switch or doing something productive.


Sarina: That sounds nice. That's such a good weekend.


Rhianne: Well, I bought myself the game for Christmas and within three weeks, I've completed it. [chuckles] 


Sarina: Which edition do you have?


Rhianne: I have Pokémon [00:13:00] Sword, no Pokémon Shield. Oh my God.


Sarina: I think I've got yours as well. 


Rhianne: Yeah, my friends have Pokémon Sword, so we swapped Pokémon that we can't get, so it's really--


Sarina: I was going to say we can't exchange Pokémon that way-- we can-- that's fine, you're sorted. [laughs] 


Rhianne: You'll have to send me your friend code though, so we can be friends on the Switch.


Sarina: Oh, yeah, I have to do that. For Animal Crossing as well, I'm sure you either got that already or you will get it at some point. 


Rhianne: No. 


Sarina: No? You're not an Animal Crossing person?


Rhianne: I'm not an Animal Crossing person. 


Sarina: It's so relaxing.


Rhianne: I tried it, but it's not my jam.


Sarina: Did you know Barry told me the other evening while I was playing Skyrim, again--


[chuckles] 


Sarina: --that the three most relaxing games apparently-- I don't know what list that's from, but, apparently the three most relaxing games to play are Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley I think, and Skyrim.


Rhianne: Skyrim isn't [00:14:00] really a relaxing game though.


Sarina: It is, because if you don't do any fighting, if you get lucky for a bit, it's basically a walking simulator in a very detailed--[crosstalk] 


Rhianne: Beautiful. Yeah.


Sarina: You can just sit there and just watch the Northern Lights for a bit.


Rhianne: Yeah, unless you're me, and then you just go running around killing things.


Sarina: Yeah, but then of course, if you have all the power, you don't really need to worry about your character dying, so that's the relaxing.


[laughter] 


Sarina: It's all good. What writing program do you use? Do you have a favorite? 


Rhianne: Um. [pause] Huh.


Sarina: Ahem. I didn't think that would be-- the hard question is still to come, I didn't think this would be it. 


Rhianne: I don't actually use anything exciting. I just write because-- I'm an Apple person, so I use Pages to write my first drafts because I find it has less distractions. Then, I use Google Docs and Word [00:15:00] to send people to do edits. That is me in a nutshell. 


Sarina: That’s fine.


Rhianne: I don't [crosstalk] exciting. [laughs] 


Sarina: Well, I don’t have Apple, so I don't even know what Pages is. Is that like Word, basically--?


Rhianne: Yeah, it's essentially Apple's version of Microsoft Word, but it has-- I mean, I don't know how to use all the features, so I ignore them. In which case, I just have a blank piece of paper, beautiful [crosstalk].


Sarina: There's only one. See, this is what I like with Scrivener’s full-screen mode, because you don't see any of the other usually very distracting tabs. You’ve only got the blank screen and whatever words you happen to put on it, which sounds like it's roughly the same thing. I think a lot of listeners or new writers who haven't done this process an awful lot yet might not know how you can use Google Docs, for example, or Word to get feedback from critique partners and beta readers. What about that do you find the most helpful and how does it help you edit? [00:16:00]

 

Rhianne: I like the fact that if both people are in the same document, then you can have a little chat down the side, so that's always fun. The way me and my critique partners use it is, I won't look at the document until they’re finished because if I start making changes, it messes up all the comments and stuff. 


Sarina: God, that is so good, because I know I would go in just to read their comments, I would be too curious.


Rhianne: Well, the thing I like about it is I get emails with their comments, and I can reply directly to their comment from the email, it's perfect. I've had loads of conversations while I've been at work, getting all these emails through and I just reply to them. [laughs] Then when I go into the document, when I'm editing, not only will it have their comment, but it'll also have the conversation that we had. If say they've taken, I don't know, six weeks to go through the whole manuscript, when you go back to that comment in Chapter 2, [00:17:00] you can see your conversation and go, “Oh, yeah, that's exactly what I need to do.” 


Sarina: You get all the joy of going through the comments, but without feeling the need of doing any changes right away.


Rhianne: Yes.


Sarina: That sounds perfect. 


Rhianne: Yeah. [crosstalk] 


Sarina: If that's not the perfect advert for using Google Docs, I don't know what is.


[laughter] 


Sarina: Right. What are three important things you need to have when you're writing?


Rhianne: [pause] That is a good question. I need to have--


Sarina: I think that question came from Jess over in my Reader group.


Rhianne: I like to have a notebook to make notes on because I'm really bad at remembering what color hair my character has. When I write things where I've described what their hair is like or stuff like that, I have a notebook, I write all of those down, so that next time I do it, I don't have to flick through like, loads of information, I can just go, “Oh, yeah, I wrote that down. That's fine.” I also like to have-- I'm really weird, I either prefer dead silence, or I have to have some kind of background on. Whether that be a TV show that I've already watched, and I know what's happening, I can just hear it on in the background. Watching some YouTube person play a game, that's always fun. Or, I just listen to instrumental music.


Sarina: That's roughly what I do. I think I've just talked to Villemey a little bit about that, because she's very good at having music going and getting inspired by the words and basing, maybe chapters and some scenes of what she's hearing, but I can't do that because when I try to write and there's any kind of lyrics or [00:19:00] talking going on around me, I can only do one thing. I need silence or I need instrumental music.


Rhianne: Well, I have had instances where I've been listening to a song with lyrics driving on the way to work, and then all of a sudden, this scene has just unfolded in my head. I do understand where she's coming from and I have had that happen to me. In my Project Kerradin playlist, I do have three or four songs with words, because they inspired a scene. Otherwise, it's all just instrumental background noise so that I can do that while I'm writing. 


Sarina: All right. What do you do when writing gets difficult? Sooner or later, you're going to sit down with your work in progress, you look at it, and you're not quite sure how to go from there. What do you do? How do you fix it?


Rhianne: I act like a toddler and have a little tantrum.


[laughter] 


[crosstalk] 


Sarina: Don't knock [00:20:00] it if it works. [laughs] 


Rhianne: That is usually my routine. I'll usually have a little tantrum, and then I'll just go away. Sometimes talking it through with other people helps. Most of the time, I will come to either yourself and be like, “Can you help me with the plot point?” Or, I'm part of a membership for authors. The coaching that offers one to one sessions every couple of months. Sometimes, I'll just wait and then I'll have a session with her and then we'll full-on hash it out. And then, that'll be good. To be fair, that is how I got the plot for book 3 of Project Kerradin. That’s how I worked out. She helped me with weaving in some things that are happening in the previous books to tie back in. I can't say any more, because it'll just give spoilers but, yeah.


Sarina: We don't want that. 


Rhianne: It fired me up so much, and I was like, [00:21:00] “Oh, my God. Yes.”


Sarina: How does this work? Is this an online writing group, basically? 


Rhianne: Yeah, so it's Pagan from Paperback Kingdom.


Sarina: Pagan from Paperback Kingdom?


Rhianne: Yeah. It's Authorpreneur Kingdom membership. Basically, she has a coaching call every week. She'll put up a post and you can respond whether you need mindset help, knowledge on how to do something, and stuff like that. Then, every couple of months, she'll put in a post to say, “I have this many sessions available.” Then, you basically just do what we're doing now. You hop on a video call, and hash it out.


Sarina: All right, that does sound very helpful. Okay. You've already mentioned a little bit of that just now when you said that sometimes you're driving and you hear a song and suddenly, bam, there's a whole new scene. Is that where most of your inspiration comes from? Or, [00:22:00] is there anything, for example, that when you stuck, you know you can go to that, and you'll probably get inspiration from it? I phrased that terribly, but I think you know what I mean.


Rhianne: Well, my brother asked me this question the other day. He was like, “Where do your ideas come from?” I was like, “I don't know.”


Sarina: I think it's quite a popular question, isn't it? 


Rhianne: Yeah.


Sarina: One of the first things that people ask you when you tell them that you're a writer, or an author is, “Where do you get your inspiration from?” You're like--


Rhianne: I've had inspiration from TV shows that I've watched, books that I've read, films that I've watched, conversations that I've seen other people have that had nothing to do with me. I had this really weird dream about Henry Cavill, which has started off an entire Assassin trilogy. They can come from anywhere.


Sarina: To go a tiny bit off-topic just briefly, because I need to know. We talked a little bit about that. I thought at the time that when you said Henry that this was a character [00:23:00] in GreedFall because you were talking about that. I've gone through the entire game looking out for this Henry. I thought, “There is no Henry in this. She told me there was this really hot guy in this called Henry and I can't-- Where is he? How am I missing him?”


Rhianne: Henry Cavill is an actor who plays Geralt. 


Sarina: Well, you only said Henry at the time. Then, eventually it occurred to me she must have meant him. Literally, I went through the entire game looking for Henry, and I thought, “I can't find a Henry.” 


Rhianne: Well, I'm sorry to mislead you like that. I didn't mean to.


Sarina: Googled it several times, and by the time the game was over, I still don't know who Henry is.


[laughter] 


Sarina: It was really driving me mad.


Rhianne: Oh, you should have sent me a message. 


Sarina: I was going to but I kept forgetting.


Rhianne: Well, [unintelligible [00:23:51] you on that point. [unintelligible [00:23:51], because I misled you and I do apologise. [laughs] 


Sarina: Well, I think you then mentioned his full name very shortly after you said, and I thought it [00:24:00] should probably have clicked that you meant him and not a character in the game. I even thought, “I know that she likes to watch let's plays, I think, on YouTube. So, maybe she was watching a go play but in with the game in another language just narrated in English, and maybe some character's name in France is Henry, but here, he's something else. And maybe that's where Henry came from.” 


Rhianne: I love how this has gone off on a tangent about Henry.


[laughter] 


Sarina: Sorry, everyone. I’ll move it on. See this is why these episodes are longer than they should be. Sorry about that. 


[laughter] 


Sarina: I'm glad I cleared that up. As you said, I kept forgetting to ask. While we're here-- [laughs] but that's gets back to the-- I think they're on to the really important questions now. Do you snack while you write and what's your beverage of choice? [00:25:00]


Rhianne: [pause] Do I snack while I write? Sometimes. Not really, because it's usually first thing in the morning.


Sarina: Yeah, fair point.


Rhianne: I'll eat my breakfast beforehand and then I'll continue writing.


Sarina: Okay. When you do snack, do you like something dry like a crisp? That then ruins your keyboard with the flavor dust or--?


Rhianne: No, I tend to eat chocolate.


Sarina: Yeah, you can't go wrong with chocolate. What's your favorite chocolate?


Rhianne: Magic Stars.


Sarina: Hmm.


Rhianne: For people listening, I just pulled a bag out from behind my monitor and showed Sarina, [laughs] because I always have chocolate beside me. 


Sarina: My desk is littered with various snacks right now. It just depends, just so that I have something on here for when I'm in the mood for-- like if I want Malteses, I hvea Malteses on here. If I want digesters, [00:26:00] I have digesters to my right. I'm surrounded by snacks, just in case. 


Rhianne: Fair enough.


Sarina: What's your beverage of choice? Is it tea or you a coffee person?


Rhianne: I'm a water person.


Sarina: All right.


Rhianne: Yeah, I don't drink tea or coffee.


Sarina: As we've seen in this episode, it's makes me a little bit jittery at times. 


Rhianne: A little bit, yes.


Sarina: This is only my second cup, excuse you. [chuckles] I only have one cup of black tea a day. It's unusual for me to have two, but I feel like when I do an interview like this, I need to have tea. I feel like it's rude to not have tea for me. You can do whatever you want, but I feel it's only natural that when you're having a chat with friends that you have tea. So here I am, making mistakes. [laughs] 


You've already talked about this a little bit as well. I was going to ask if you listen to any [00:26:58] music while you write, and you've already talked about that. I think we can probably skip that unless you have anything to add.


Rhianne: Actually, yes, I will add something. Lindsey Stirling is great listening for when you're writing really action-packed, dramatic scenes. She's amazing.


Sarina: I second thought. Yeah, I started listening to her because I talked to you, I think I asked on Instagram for instrumental music recommendations and you said, “Try Lindsey Stirling.” 


Rhianne: Yes. 


Sarina: And it's so beautiful. It does work really well. It's very atmospheric music. It's violin music, right?


Rhianne: Yeah.


Sarina: It's been a while for me. It's quite atmospheric. It's really perfect for, well, pretty much any scene because every scene should have some form of ethnicity in it, so it's perfect for that. And there are no lyrics, so you don't get distracted.


Rhianne: Some of her songs do have lyrics, and when they're featuring other people, [00:28:00] but if it's just her, it will be instrumental.


Sarina: Yeah, those are the ones that I tend to flock to. To get to maybe the meanest and hardest question on my list. Sorry, in advance. What book has inspired and influenced you the most? What one book? I just want one.


Rhianne: [pause] Okay, my favorite book, Graceling by Kristin Cashore.


Sarina: Oh, that's been on my list for so long. It always looks really interesting. I haven't gotten to it yet, but it is on there.


Rhianne: Yeah, I read it in a day, it was so good.


Sarina: In a day?


Rhianne: Yeah. 


Sarina: God, I don't get through anything in a day unless it's a play, or a short story, or sometimes a novella.


Rhianne: To be fair, it was a couple of years ago when I was on holiday and it was raining, so I had nothing else to do but read. [00:29:00]


Sarina: That sounds like a wonderful day.


Rhianne: Yeah. 


Sarina: What do you think about this book that has inspired you so much?


Rhianne: Just the uniqueness of the idea. It's literally-- I've never read anything like it. I love the fact that they keep part of who Katsa is, the main character, a secret until the end.


Sarina: Hmm. It's always nice to have this really big reveal at the end, especially if it wasn't hinted at, or you didn't see the hints because it's your first time reading it. It's such a punch.


Rhianne: Yeah. Some people in this world have something called a grace. That means they have different colored eyes and a special power. Now, all you know about Katsa in the beginning is that she has a grace and she's got different colored eyes, but you don't actually know what her grace is until the end of the book, and I love that.


Sarina: Ooh. Okay. See, I think I'm going to maybe put it up my list [00:30:00] a little bit-


Rhianne: Do it.


Sarina: -so that I can read it this year, because you've made me very curious. It really has been waiting for its turn for a very long time. I think it's only fair if I bump it up a bit, and we could talk about it.


Rhianne: Yeah, I reread it probably once every couple years, because I just enjoy the book so much.


Sarina: That's always a good sign. I would suggest doing a buddy read, but I'm really, really bad at buddy reads because I'm a slow reader. 


Rhianne: Me too. [crosstalk] 


Sarina: To start off December, I was starting a buddy read with Lisa and Bev of The Starless Sea, which is such a stunning book. I'm loving it so much. As I'm recording this, it's the 14th of January. I think I'm just over halfway through. [chuckles] We were supposed to read the whole thing last month, so I'm very conscious that they're probably holding back off gushing about it on our group, so they don't spoil anything for me. I'm very sorry, Lisa [00:31:00] and Bev, for being such a slow reader. I am genuinely loving the book. It's nothing with that, I'm just a slow reader. So, maybe we shouldn't do that. But you've already read it, so you know what's coming, and we can talk about it.


Rhianne: Yes, we can. 


Sarina: Very good. To stay on the topic of books for a second longer. Do you have a favorite book on the craft of writing, any recommendations?


Rhianne: I have loads of recommendations, I don't have a favorite one.


Sarina: We can do a few. I'm not going to be as mean on this one. You can give me two or three titles if you want.


Rhianne: I do really enjoy The Fantasy Fiction Formula, which is fun. Then, I've got, Let's Get Digital. I'm currently reading Business For Authors by Joanna Penn, which is quite interesting.


Sarina: Well, blimey, I haven't even heard of the first two. What am I doing? You'll have to send me the links, and we can-- [00:32:00] What I'm going to do I think with every episode is that I'm going to have a link of the recommended book in the show notes and we can get a little library going that way.


Rhianne: No problem. I will just write this down as a note to remind myself to send it to you.


Sarina: Don't worry. If you don't remember it, I'll remember it, at the latest when I go through the show notes. When I do the transcript, and I realize I still haven't got any links in there. 


Rhianne: Fair enough. 


Sarina: Okay. Just to finish up, do you have any advice for establishing a writing routine? [unintelligible [00:32:35] for six years, so you're clearly very good at that.


Rhianne: Yeah. You just need to find what works for you. I would say experiment until you find what works. Don't be disheartened when it doesn't, because you can always change it.


Sarina: Yeah, very true. That's nice and short and succinct, and very to the point. Thank you so much. 


Rhianne: You're very welcome. 


Sarina: We will wrap it up on that. Thank you so much for [00:33:00] stopping by and talking to me about your routine.


Rhianne: Thank you for having me. I'm happy to chat whenever.


Sarina: Always a pleasure. Thank you so much. Bye. 


Rhianne: Cheers.


[music]


Sarina: If you enjoyed today's episode, maybe learned something along the way, hit the subscribe button. You can also connect with me on Twitter @sarina_langer, at Instagram and Facebook @sarinalangerwriter, and of course on my website at sarinalanger.com. Until next time, bye.