Welcome to author Avery Daniels who not only creates with words but with paint and recipes.
Describe your favorite writing spot or space.
Once Covid is over, I’ll get to go to my fav coffee shop and write again. It is a great space in downtown. It’s a little noisy since it is frequented by the local college students, but it has the best spicy hot chocolate – and wine (Hummus Pita is great too.) I have my favorite table and can get a lot of writing done there.
Describe your current writing spot or space.
Currently, I have a dinky little desk against a wall in my bedroom. But I use a laptop, so sometimes I am in bed writing as well.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
About two-four hours writing a day. If I am behind schedule, that can get longer. I am a slow writer I think.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
One-and-a-half months to two months to write the first draft, then there is a month or so for editing.
Do you write under a pseudonym? If not, have you ever considered it?
Yes, Avery Daniels and C.G. Abbot are pen names. I look at it as my publishing business persona. In this day and age, you just can’t be too careful.
What comes first for you, the plot or characters?
Actually, the murder weapon because the book is titled for the means of death. But then it is a mix of defining the victim and killer, motive, suspects, and 8 major plot points.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Sometimes the name just comes to me, other times I end up browsing baby name sites until a name strikes me as “right” for that character.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I have to slip into the character to write their scenes, somewhat like an actor. If that day I’m not feeling a particular character it is hard to write the scene. It can be hard to “slip into” a male character and adopt the persona. I had bought “How to Write Realistic Men” book to help me and the insights were beneficial.
How much time do you spend on research before starting a book? While writing?
The cozy mysteries require a matter of a few hours and can be spread out before and during. But the thrillers I write require far more research before and during because the context and plot are typically far more involved. I just hope my internet searches don’t have me on a watch list somewhere!
What kind of research do you do for a book?
For a cozy mystery, it is mostly location research and occasionally some occupational research for a character, but the thrillers can be historical and detailed (what guns are a common issue for FBI, how does a joint task force delegate duties, if a body has been buried for five years how much forensic evidence such as clothing will be intact, a history of an organization I will use and so on).
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A masterclass with Alexandra Sokoloff at a writer’s conference. She was the only one that got the three-act structure to make sense in a way that I could use.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I paint in acrylic and watercolor, I do cardmaking and scrapbooking, I am an amateur photographer, and I am puttering with various crepe filling recipes since I got an electric crepe maker. I love my two foster (brothers) black cats and spoil them.
If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
Agatha Christie (of course), Mary Stewart – a personal favorite (author of Gothic suspense novels and the epic Merlin Trilogy), Tony Hillerman, and David Baldacci. I have had dinner at a writer’s conference with Jeffery Deaver before, wonderful gentleman and thriller author.
I was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. My most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units.
I still live in Colorado with two brother black cats as my spirited companions. I volunteer for a cat shelter, enjoy scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. I inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books at the dinner table.
Before you ask, I have wanted to write since I was a teen. My first attempt was a rather syrupy “Old Yeller” tale involving an injured fawn and the young girl who nurses it back to health. I believe I was in High School at the time and had no proper creative writing training to guide me. I have come a long way baby since then.