Author Naomi Downing
1. Hello Naomi, how are you today? Is so good to have you here
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m doing great today, thank you for having me. Well I’m a single mother with MS. I live in Vermont, yes it’s beautiful here but boring. During the week I work as a janitor for the local resource center. I love to read, i read almost another other than romance (I do read some just not the type with Fabio on the cover.) I read and review books for indie and self published authors. My favorite things to do other then reading and writing are hanging out with my son, dyeing my hair, and wood burning.
2. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
The most difficult part is working through my MS. Some of the symptoms of MS are pain, numbness, twitching, brain fog, concentration and memory issues. I hand write the first draft of my books before i type so sometimes my hands ache before I get to far. I don’t usually take notes as I’m writing so I always have to look back to make sure what I’m writing works with the story.
3. Tell me more about Fat Free Nation.
At first it started out as a few pages of random scenes that wasn’t going to go anywhere, I loved writing as a teen but never thought I’ve good enough to publish. It sat in a notebook in my closet, along with other ideas and false starts. When I was packing to move I found my notebooks and decided it was time to get serious about my lifelong dream of being published.
4. How long it took you to finish this book?
It took about 2-3 months to write, if you don’t count the years it sat in my closet.
5. Where did you got this idea for this book?
Oh boy, this is a funny story. The idea for Fat Free Nation came to me in a dream as a teen. I had just read The Long Walk by Stephen King, and it’s a very vivid read. I was hungry after reading it but was waiting for shopping to be done, so I sat at home and watched Cops with about a million McDonald’s commercials playing. That night I dreamt that I was being chased by the cops and was arrested for possession of a Big Mac.
6. Tell me a bit about the characters. Who is your favorite and your most hated character and why?
Jenna is definitely my favorite, she’s a very strong willed character. Sharpe and Major are tied for most hated, you can probably guess why.
7. What did you edit out of this book?
I didn’t edit anything out. Originally I wanted a scene in it but left it out, hopefully it will work in a short story collection.
8. What was your hardest scene to write?
I have a scene in the sequel to Fat Free Nation that took me forever to write because it was something that had happened to me.
9. If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Definitely pay more attention in English class and write more.
10. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It varies, Fat Free Nation took me about 2-3 months. I’ve been working the sequel for about a year, life likes getting in the way.
11. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Probably a librarian or something else where I’m around books.
12. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Giving up TV would make me a better writer
13. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I’d choose a tiger…strong, determined, and fast. But in truth it’s probably a dog… loyal, energetic, and oh look a squirrel!
14. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
It depends on the project. While writing Fat Free Nation I did some research, but the sequel needed a little more research. I’m doing a lot of research for another book I want to write also.
15. What has influenced you the most as a writer?
I like taking my ideas from real life. Like with Fat Free Nation, everyone is always talking about overweight people… either that they need to lose weight or to judge them.
16. If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
Somewhere haunted, I really like stories that take place in asylums, so probably one of those.
17. Picture this: You feel uninspired and you’ve sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?
I usually jump around. If I’m having issues writing what happens next I skip to a future part in the story and write that. That usually helps me.
18. Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B)Mind-blowing Plot twists or C) Epic settings?
That’s a hard one… I’m a big fan of plot twists, but I really think you need strong characters and settings to pull in readers.
19. Is there a sequel to Fat free Nation?
There will be as soon as I finish writing it.
20. Thank you so much for being here with us.
It was great to be here.
About the author
Naomi Downing, I’m a single mother with a passion for writing. For as long as I can remember I have always carried a notebook and pen incase the muse struck. Horror is my favorite thing to watch, read, and write. My biggest dream has always been to become a published author. I live in Northeastern Vermont with my son.