Glenda Goertzen is the author of the Prairie Dogs Adventure series for children, and the YA fantasy novel, Lady Oak Abroad. A love of writing and television launched her into a career in multi-media production, which evolved into a career in libraries. She now spends her days, at home and at work, surrounded by books in various stages of completion. Her signature style is a blend of humour and suspense set in environments where her love of hiking, biology and fascinating ecosystems plays a strong role.
In 2007 she acted as the Chair of the CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) Prairie Horizons Conference.
More information about Glenda Goertzen can be found at www.glendagoertzen.ca.
Describe your workspace.
My traditional workspace, my office, is dismantled as I have recently moved. Until it can be assembled, I carry my workspace with me. With my digital voice recorder and Smart phone always at hand, I record and transcribe notes or entire passages which I email to myself. Ground zero of the creative process is the computer in the corner of my bedroom.
Describe a typical workday.
I’m not sure I know what a typical workday is like.
List three of your most favourite things in your workspace and why they are meaningful.
The view out my window, which prevents me from falling so deeply into the worlds I create that I forget to eat or sleep.
The variety of cartoon and fantasy figurines scattered around my office.
My great-grandfather’s antique writing desk, which I continue to use for that purpose.
Do you have any rituals in your work habits?
I like to revise the previous chapter before launching into the next. I find it builds momentum. I also set a timer for each hour I’ve set aside for writing. An artificial deadline encourages me to use the time productively.
What do you listen to while you work?
Instrumental music, preferably movie soundtracks. With a background in film and video production, my writing tends to have a cinematic quality.
What is your drink and/or snack of choice while you’re working?
Drink: ginger tea
Snack: No snacks allowed until I’m finished writing. Before the days of keyboarding, when I always had one hand free, I scarfed down many pounds of sunflower seeds while writing.
How do you develop your story ideas? Do you use an outline, let the muse lead you, or another technique?
Step 1: I have an idea.
Step 2: I come up with more ideas related to the first idea. I stick all the ideas together and decide if I have enough to make a book.
Step 3: I write an outline.
Step 4: I disregard the outline and write the manuscript in a meandering, disjointed fashion that I fix during the revision process.
If you were forced to share your workspace but could share it with anyone of your choosing, who would it be?
I can think of any numbers of creators I would be happy to share my workspace with, so long as they are quiet and well-behaved.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve heard or received?
Take a break from your work for at least a month before you revise it.
What media do you use and which is your favourite?
I’ve used many media, my initial favourite being coloured pencil, but these days I am a slave to Photoshop.
Thanks to Jennifer Chambliss Bertman for the use of her Creative Spaces interview questions.