Hi there, I'm Victoria "V.E." Schwab, and Charlie has been gracious enough to let me join the party.
I'm the author of numerous books for children (Scholastic), teens (Hyperion, Harper/Greenwillow), and adults (Tor), and my most recent series, A Darker Shade of Magic, just sold TV rights. The strange bit there is that I'm attached to write the pilot script (and have been working steadily on that for the last six months. As well as a comic series. And a couple stories for anthologies.
The second book in the Shades of Magic series, A GATHERING OF SHADOWS, hits shelves in 8 days (not that I'm counting).
I often get asked about why I write in multiple genres, or how I write in multiple worlds. Do I sleep? Did I, at some point, sell my soul?
I can't comment on the last one, but I did make the conscious decision several years ago to diversify, not in order to snag more minions, or for my own creative edification, but because my career was in trouble. I'd only just started in YA, and already hit a major stumbling block when my editor left, and my profitable series was summarily dropped. When this happens (a friend told me once that if you stay in this business long enough, every thing--good and bad--will happen), you can really only do one thing, which is to focus on writing. But at the time, I wasn't ready--physically or emotionally--to sell another YA, so I turned my attention to an adult project called VICIOUS, something I'd been playing with for two years because it made me happy. It was totally unsellable, and I knew it, but I wrote it any way, and then it sold (publishing is a finicky little shit sometimes).
At the same time, I was tapped by Scholastic to audition for a small Book Clubs and Fairs package, a trilogy of books. The pay was almost nill, but I felt like exposure and experience were important, so I signed on, and the strange little series went and sold half a million copies.
I felt like a hydra. Or Hercules Mulligan, if you've seen/heard the Hamilton show.
With the sudden influx of flexibility came the new challenge of sustaining that momentum, which is arguably something I'm still trying to do.
Publishing is great at stoking fears not only of inferiority, but of irrelevance, and so over the last several years, I've done my best to keep the candle burning not only at both ends, but in the middle.
The simple answers to how I get things done come off as irreverent: I don't sleep; I work my ass off; I just do it.
But the thing I'm constantly reminding readers and writers of online is that these books, whether slight or massive, don't happen in single fell swoops, but day by day by day by day, over weeks, months, years. And whether you're writing one book or four, the process is the same. You make the time. You do the work. You accept that it's flawed. You demand better. You go on.
And sometimes you procrastinate by offering to blog about it instead of actually doing the work.
I'll be back shortly to talk about world-building in fantasy (my Shades of Magic series involves not one but four separate versions of London, each with their own relationship to magic), but for now, hello, and cheers.