Ever wish you could sit down with an author over a cup of coffee or tea or hot chocolate and ask them a bunch of questions?
Well, look no further!
Once a month, I’ll be featuring an author whose published work I’ve read or who I know personally (whose unpublished work I’ve read). Every interview, I ask the same questions so that you know what to expect and so you can compare answers between authors if that’s your thing.
I ask some personal questions, a few fun ones, and then I dig into the meat – I ask about their writing. This is a great place to find some tips or tricks that might work to help you with your writing. The more I learn about how others write, the bigger my writing toolbox gets.
Hallie’s book, Rise, came out on December 1st and I’ll be reviewing it in the next week or two, so keep your eyes out for that.
So, now, without any more delay, Meet Hallie Schaefer!
- Where did you grow up and do you live around there still? What drew you to where you live now?
I was born in Missouri and moved to Ohio when I was twelve. I went to college in Winona Lake, Indiana where I met my husband. We moved to Indianapolis in 2016 for job opportunities. So far, we love it!
- Dogs or cats?
Not a pet person. But if I had to choose, I’d be a dog person.
- Morning person or night owl?
Definitely a night owl!
- Coffee or apple cider or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate. I mean, it’s liquid chocolate, what could be better?
- City or country or ‘burbs?
- Favorite music to write to? (or silence?)
I need white noise. If I listen to a song, I start typing the lyrics; not a good thing to do. Lol Soundtracks are also distracting.
- Favorite movie? (It’s okay if there’s a few… I’m not sure I could narrow down to less than 10, haha!)
This is impossible to answer! But, I like Titanic, ALL of the Harry Potter movies, To Save a Life, and many, many more!
- What do you do when you’re not writing?
Change diapers. Haha I have three small children, so I just try to keep them alive.
- Top 3 MUST READ books?
The entire Harry Potter series, The Dear America series, and The Giver.
- When did you first know you were a writer? Was there a specific moment when you thought “yes, I want to be a writer” or has it always been part of you?
I think it’s always been there. I didn’t do well with tests in school, but I could knock out any writing assignment. Even in elementary school.
- When did you decide to pursue writing as a career? How did those closest to you respond?
I began writing when I was pregnant with my first son. (he’s 4 now.) It was just going to be a hobby, so I didn’t put much effort into it. In the past two years, I’ve started taking it seriously. Since then, I’ve been published in a magazine, published my first children’s book, and now my first novel. I hope it only grows from here.
- What is your general writing process?
I have a notebook that I like to jot down ideas in whenever they come to me. I write down what I want the story to be about, then move on to a super rough outline, then a better outline, then start working on the details from there!
- What is your general editing process? How long do you wait between finishing the first draft and starting to edit?
I start immediately after the first draft, since it’s super super rough. But when I think it’s perfect, I wait a week or two before combing over it one last time. I always find edits to make then.
- Do you use alpha/beta readers? How do you find them?
My avid reader friends! Thankfully, they love to read.
- How many times do you edit your manuscript before sending it off to your editor/publisher?
- How do you determine which subplots you want to follow?
I only follow them if I feel like it would enhance the story.
- What is your character development method?
I’m usually inspired by a person I know in real life. My background in psychology helps me understand their personality and it makes it easier to figure out how the character would realistically respond to the situations presented to them.
- How do you work your writing/research? Do you write a bit first and then research? Research and then write? Some other combination?
I write first, and then as something comes up that I don’t know much about (ie. courtroom proceedings) I will research the topic until I have a good grasp on it.
- What is the best piece of writing advice someone gave you?
Write even when you don’t feel inspired.
- Do you have a writing mentor? How did you find this person?
Michelle Weidenbenner. She came into the place where my husband worked while looking to have a website made. She mentioned that she was an author and my husband helped to introduce us!
- What does your personal writing community look like?
I have a few friends who are also writers. We like to bounce ideas off each other and encourage one another to keep moving forward.
- What are your go-to ways to overcome writer’s block?
I listen to music, watch movies, and read other books.
- If you could give starting out writers a piece of advice, what would you most want to tell them?
There is no rule on how rough the first draft has to be; just get it on paper. Worry about the details later.