Faye Arcand is an award-winning author who writes short stories, novels, and is a very active blogger. I love to read her blog targeted at writers. Faye has a knack for saying things that need to be said without sugar coating the realities. But she is very kind. I know this based on her blog about the Canadian treatment of their indigenous people and finding the graves of the children taken from their families and housed by the Catholic church in an attempt to indoctrinate them into the white way of living.
Let’s meet Faye Arcand
First and foremost, let me say a HUGE thank you to Billie for having me guest on her blog. The honor is all mine.
I love all things writing. I am a writer, author, blogger, presenter, and festival organizer. Anything to get others writing, to teach or inspire, or entertain. I live in British Columbia, Canada —about five hours out of Vancouver.
I come from a large family and I am the proud Auntie of about 50 nieces and nephews. They’re all so awesome, but Auntie always has some suggestions or advice—so I thought I better write it down for them.
After a full career in the field of Criminal Justice, I now write full-time.
I have two blogs, the first being Auntie Says, which is Auntie advice to people of all ages and especially for the young.
My second blog is called My Twisted Writer Brain and deals with all things to do with writing whether it be the craft, the business, the procrastination, or the accolades. My brain is always moving at a fast and furious pace which at times can leave me exhausted, exhilarated, or energized. It truly is a journey.
- What’s your favorite type of writing?
Trying to decide my favorite type of writing is like trying to name my favorite person.
The reality is that they’re all so different and unique that each has its draw.
Writing a novel for example means really investing in the development of characters and plot. I tend toward contemporary fiction with dark or suspenseful themes. This allows my imagination to soar while also keeping it ‘real’, so to speak.
Then there are short stories or flash. These are the most challenging to write because you have to develop scenes and emotion in such in a limited word count. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a challenge? Short stories are a bit of a hobby for me as I like to enter contests.
And then, of course, there’s Blogging, which has its own little world of wonder and I love it. Blogging, to me, is like freedom. I can write what I want, and in any style I want. People may read it, or they may not. The personal nature of a blog and sharing one’s story is wonderful.
I’ve been writing for many years and one of my favorite things to do is help new and upcoming writers learn the ropes.
- How do you prepare to write?
While I don’t have any specific rituals or anything, I do make sure I keep a lot of notes (a writer should never be far from a notebook and pen). Notes are so important because even though you say you’re going to remember…believe me, you won’t. Just write down.
When you’re writing it’s imperative to note details… you don’t want to have your main character with blue eyes on page 3 only to then show up with hazel eyes on page 167. Those details are a reflection back on the author so use that notebook.
At my desk, I always ensure I have enough water to drink, a scratch pad, and my golden retriever Piper.
- What’s your strangest writing quirk?
Ha Ha…good question. I don’t know whether this qualifies as a quirk or not, but I detest commas….they are the bane of my existence. Lol
Here’s the thing, I can write a sentence and put a comma in only to then stare at it for ten minutes to decide whether or not it actually should be there… so then I’ll take it out… only to put it back in. Ugh.
I’m a terrible speller (always was) and grammar—well, I write the way I speak so why do I need to know what a dangling particle is??? Like who cares? Why do I need to know all those rules? I’m a writer, not a grammar teacher.
Where this can become a bit of an issue is in the editing process, but there are now so many great sites out there that can assist you with those things. At this time I use ProWriter Aide.
- What writing accomplishment are you most proud of?
Writing is a very unique journey and each is different and worthy.
I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve secured industry validation in securing an agent for my novels. But, I’m also very proud of my blogs that inspire and educate. I love helping people.
I have completed three full manuscripts of approximately 85K words each.
I’m proud of them because it’s easy to say you’re going to do something and another to actually complete it.
- Who inspired you to start writing?
My mentor and inspiration was my eldest sister, Maureen.
She is 14 years older than me. She used to play “teacher” or “school” in the attic and I was her star pupil.
She’d point at the words and I’d read them and as a result, I could read before going to school (and she did end up pursuing a career as a teacher).
Years later she introduced me to creative writing and omg, a whole new world was opened up. Wow…the creative aspect of character development and building tension in stories truly inspired me.
- What’s the favorite piece of furniture you’ve owned?
Ohhhhh…..what an interesting question.
Years ago I invested in a leather recliner and it was so comfy and lovely.
That can only be beaten by the bed hubby and I purchased a few years back. It’s one of those beds where you can raise yourself up to sitting. It is so lovely because I can write there and I can also get a good sleep! Doubly useful.
- What odd talent do you have?
I believe my oddest talent is being able to talk about writing all night long.
I’m terrible at remembering the names of books but I can discuss the contents. Ugh…that’s bad, isn’t it? I really should remember the titles.
The thing is that with writing there are endless loops of discussions that can be had. Whether it be about inspiration, rules (or how to break them), $20 words, literary vs. commercial… oh man, the list goes on and on.
This type of “odd talent” translated over to My Twisted Writer Brain blog. My brain swirls and creates ALL the time. I see a person at a bus stop and my brain wonders where they’re going, who did they murder, why are they wearing those shoes…. It never stops.
- Where’s the most adventurous place you have ever been?
Well, I’ve done a fair bit of travel but the most adventurous thing I ever did was move to Japan.
This was in 1990 and I wanted to reinvent myself and start over again. I was in a toxic relationship going nowhere fast so I applied for a job teaching English in Japan (no grammar…more conversational) and I never looked back.
I traveled all over Japan—fell in love with the country and the people. I go back on a semi-regular basis.
Also, perhaps a bit adventurous was that I climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia.
This adventure was one that I’ll never forget as I’m terrified of heights.
- What’s expensive but totally worth it?
Investment in yourself is expensive but totally worth it.
Investing in yourself can feel selfish and narrow-minded but it’s imperative for growth.
Get yourself to a writing conference when you can. This is a way to learn the craft and the business as well as network and build a community. While the output may seem extraordinary in the beginning, you’ll get out what you put in. Go. Learn. Explore. Become.
For my writing, I see certain things as investments in my creative endeavors. This includes an excellent computer, phone, and systems like ProWriterAide.
Chocolate…. ** I also believe it’s important to spend the money and get good quality chocolate.
- What small insignificant decision has made a massive impact on your life?
I think the most significant impact comes from making the choice every day to believe in myself.
Writers can take a lot of flak. S
Readers don’t always agree with what you’re saying or they agree but want to toss their two cents in or want to completely try and rewrite your narrative.
The thing is that your writing is your own and you must choose every day to believe in it.
It’s a piece of you that you share. This isn’t always easy and sometimes daunting, but for me, authenticity is important and warranted.
Others want to see themselves, their issues, their triumphs, and failures, in other people. Does that make sense?
It helps in being able to identify with others and feel validated. Believe me when I say, if you have an insecurity or doubt, you’re never alone.
Make the conscious decision to show up every day.
November Bonus Question
When do you start listening to Christmas Carols?
I’ll listen to Christmas Carols any time after Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day)… anything Christmas before that date (November 11) feels disrespectful for those who served and continue to serve on the front lines in defense of our freedoms.
How can we catch up with you?
Hey, I’m easy to find. Go to www.fayeearcand.com for my webpage and blogs.
Make sure you follow.
I love to interact with readers so don’t hesitate to reach out.