How do you respond to someone calling your writing smut or demeaning your work in some other way?
Well, it depends. My books can get pretty dark in spots and it's not everybody's cup of tea. I don't try to hide the fact (far from it), but, even so, a few have found it not to their taste. All criticism hurts. If it's mean-spirited, it makes me angry. I've only had one one-star review and, while it bothered me, I knew it was an act of sabotage by another author who was jealous of all my good reviews. I know who was behind it and that she's done it to others. I believe karma and the spell I cast will return her bad actions to her in time, probably magnified. I used one of the spells in the book her hired troll attacked. Poetic justice, IMHO. I don't confront. It's not my style. I work quietly behind the scenes in my own way to bring justice about. I don't expect everybody to like or "get" my work, but, in my book (grimoire?), an honest review by someone who didn't find the book to their taste is not the same thing as a deliberate attack by a mean-spirited person who probably didn't even read it.
When critiquing or beta reading, do you ever find the voice of the other author creeping into your writing?
No. Sometimes I wish I could improve by osmosis, but it doesn't seem to work for me. I have to work very hard and very deliberately to develop my voice and hone my skills as an author.
What’s one quirky thing you do or must have around you while writing?
I've been asked this before and have no good answer. Quirky? Can't think of anything. I keep my library of books on the tarot, astrology, and other forms of magic within arm's reach, but there's nothing very quirky about that given my subject matter. I also keep my Edward Cullen action figure on the shelf of my secretary and the tarot cards relating to the book I'm working on displayed sometimes. Right now, for instance, I have the Knight of Pentacles in front of me because I'm plotting that book in my series and want him to speak to me in some way. I suppose that's a bit odd, but it's not like I have a rabbit's foot or anything.
Thanks for visiting. Time to move on and see what the lovely and talented Jeana E. Mann has to say in response to these questions. http://jeanaemann.net