being like the sand in the oyster. What is your grain of sand? Do you begin with character or setting or something else?
A: It depends. I usually get an idea first, but sometimes a character is wrapped up in that. In any case, fruitful writing never occurs unless there's an actual character to go along with the idea. With CHRONAL ENGINE, I went through two or three drafts just based on the concept until I got a handle on the character of Max and where he was coming from.
Q: In high school, where did you fall? (Prom Queen/King, Gamer Geek, Brainy/Book Nerd, Jock, Shy/Quiet Scholar, Skate Rat, Stoner, Class Clown, etc.)
A: Definitely the brainy book nerd. Honors and AP classes, Motorola National Merit Scholar, academic competitions, the whole shebang. Of course, my school was a bit atypical, at least by the John Hughes 1980's suburban landscape standards. I went to high school in the city of Chicago (Chicago Public Schools) -- a school called Lane Tech that had a student body of about 5000; my graduating class was about 1100. We were all required to take shop classes and a lot of math and science (even the theatre kids :-)). There were so many different students doing so many different things, it was easy to find common ground -- and get lost if you wanted to :-).
Q: Do you have a pet (pets)? Tell us about it (them) and how they help/hinder your writing.
A: Cyn and I have four cats: three short-haired tabbies and one long-haired white cat. The biggest problem with them is that they tend to like to sit on the keyboard.
Q: How often do you dream about the writing you are working on?
A: Never. Occasionally, however, I do wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea or solution to a particular plot problem...
Thank you so much for your time, Greg. We look forward to seeing you at the festival!
To read more about Greg Leitich Smith, peruse his website.