Have you gone on any literary pilgrimages?
One of the first book series I ever read was the Little House on the Prairie Series. I visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder birthplace in Wisconsin when I was in high school and it was amazing – it felt like stepping right into the books. It looked exactly how I imagined it would.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Depends on the day! On good days I can sit down and the words just flow – I can do a couple thousand words without even looking at the clock. I always feel energized on those days. On other days I sit down to write and nothing comes to me, which is frustrating and exhausting. But I’m happy to say that I have way more energizing days than exhausting days!
· Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Definitely. Sometimes it happens after I read a really good book – I’ll be so swept up in the story that I can’t imagine reading anything else. It never lasts for long, though – reading is too addicting!
· Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I did for a while, especially since my last name is so hard to pronounce (it’s Butch-in, by the way!). But then I decided that I felt too close to my work to separate my name from it (if that makes sense).
· What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I’d say every fancy coffee drink I’ve ever bought. Coffee shops are where I do the vast majority of my writing – I’m not sure what it is about them, but it’s the best environment for me to actually be productive. Plus, caffeine is always a good thing!
· What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
It’s a cliché answer, but the Harry Potter books were the first to teach me that language had power. Before I started that series, I didn’t know how books could completely transport you to a different world. All throughout elementary school I was convinced I was going to get a letter to Hogwarts – JK Rowling’s writing was that good!
· How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I’m a terrible unfinisher! I have two half-finished books and one half-finished screenplay, and I’m (slowly) working on finishing all three.
· What does literary success look like to you?
To me, literary success is being able to resonate with even one person. My favorite reviews are the ones where readers talk about how Paintbrush related to their lives. That’s why I write! And that’s how I measure my success.