Writer’s Toolbox

Author Q&A

Here we present our exclusive collection of Q&As with a long list of illustrious authors.

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Andy Harp

Andy HarpAndy Harp is the author of the books Northern Thunder and Retribution.

What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?

The cure? I have two or more writing projects going on at the same time and they are very different. I just finished a thriller, have another thriller in the works, and am working on a literary fiction story from the deep south. If I stumble, I just put one down and try the other. A shift of gears helps me come back to the road block and see it in a different light.

What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?

Much of this is a matter of observation and many of the best prompts help one look back on observation. List the five people you hate? Or love? They all invoke your memory of your observation of that person which becomes your character. Sit down at Grand Central and watch those that pass by. (Can you sit at Grand Central? I can't remember where, but you get the point.) Take it all in. Another is to read your work out loud. Read it to yourself but not quietly.

What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?

I have to attribute this to Stephen King although I had heard this from others. It is, however, very true. Once you finish something, put away in a drawer for some period of time. It will look completely different to you when you bring it back out.