Jamie Ford is the author of the novels The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and Songs of Willow Frost.
What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?
For me, writer's block is my subconscious telling me that what I'm working on kinda sucks. And in almost every instance it has something to do with my ending—that my ending isn't sound, or what I'm writing will ultimately conflict with the directionality of my story. I look at those two areas and figure out what's not working, cut, go back to the taproot of my story and proceed from there.
What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?
My most helpful writing prompts are always based in non-fiction, old maps, old photos, old magazines from the 40s, etc. But, historical fiction is kinda my thing.
What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?
At the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, Mark Childress asked, "Which do you like better—writing, or the idea of being a writer?" A great question all aspiring writers should ask themselves. Because if you like the IDEA of being a writer, you can buy a black turtleneck, a Vespa, and hang out at Starbucks—you can have all of the affectations of being a writer without the hard work. It's a much easier path to follow.