Sandra Brown is the author of bestselling romantic and thriller novels such as the Bed & Breakfast and the Coleman Family Saga series.
What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?
I've never allowed myself to give in to writers' block. I consider it a terminal disease. When I feel the symptoms coming on, I fight them by writing. Something. Anything. I put in the time at the keyboard until the symptoms dissipate and ideas replace them. I guess my fear is that if I ever give in to it, it will be fatal.
What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?
I keep a folder of collected articles, essays, and words of wisdom on writing. I've ripped them from trade magazines, taken notes at workshops and seminars, copied pages out of fiction writing textbooks. Some deal with plotting, others with character development, story structure, building suspense, and so on. Before I begin each new book, I read all of them. I learn something every time. Writing is a continual learning process. Every great writer dies wishing that he'd written better.
What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?
After I'd published a couple of books, I started devoting a lot of time and energy to self-promotion. My editor, Vivien Stephens, cautioned me against putting the cart before the horse, saying, "If you get the world's attention, you had better have something worthwhile to say. Nowadays huge chunks of time can be consumed by social media. It's a great tool for self-promotion. But I try to remain focused on the quality of my work. If the books are bad, it won't really matter how many people are following me on Twitter.