Summer in Words

Writing Conference

Introducing Randall Platt

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Randall Platt is an award-winning writer of fiction for adults and young adults and for those who don’t own up to being either.

Q: How long have you been writing and when did you make your first sale? 

A: The first things I ever wrote were teleplays for popular TV westerns. All had a plumb, ripe, juicy, hammy role for a little girl. I was all of 11 and wanted to be an actress so badly that I wrote ‘next week’s episode’ and offered myself as the guest star. I actually mailed them and got nice ‘thank you for writing’ letters back from the studios. So I guess you could say I have been writing nearly my whole life. But I did not make my first sale until I had finally taught myself how to write …. 1991!

Q: What comes first for you, story or character?

A: Character, although I sure wish it was story. I am great with character and dialog but plotting is my weakness. It’s no coincide I don’t write mysteries!

Q: What is the hardest part of writing for you and how do you get past it?

A: Deciding on what to write next. I have so many terrific ‘what ifs’ waiting in the wings. Great characters waiting for their chance to really come alive. Once I got past it by taping about a dozen story ideas to the wall and throwing a dart over my shoulder to see which was got picked!

Q: How do you push yourself to take risks as a writer?

A: It seems the older I get the riskier I allow myself to be. From dangerous settings to dangerous dialog. First drafts are always very dangerous for me. I will over-write knowing that, for me, it’s far easier to cut back than to add. 

A: Tell us something most writers would not know about you, but find interesting.

Q: That I make a soundtrack for each novel when I begin it. I fill my IPod with dozens of songs that evoke the time and the emotions of my work in progress. I listen to it constantly while working. By the time I am done with that book, I never want to hear ANY of those songs again!

Q: What do you do for fun besides write?

A: Writing is fun??? I didn’t get that memo! I am an internationally ranked handball player and play three times a week, if time allows. I also run, lift and bike. 

Q: Sushi or pasta?

A: Pasta!

Q: What books are on your night table?

A: My ‘night table’ is the CD player in my car. Having to read so much for research I find that my recreational reading time is limited to my driving time – which is a lot. Right now, I am on an autobiography kick.

Q:What comes next for you?

A: Looking forward to the 2012 release of another historical YA, LIBERTY JUSTICE JONES.

Author: jessicapage2

Jessica Page Morrell lives near Portland, Oregon where she is surrounded by writers and watches the sky all its moods and shades. She’s the author of Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us, A (Sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected; Bullies, Bastards & Bitches, How to Write the Bad Guys in Fiction; The Writer’s I Ching: Wisdom for the Creative Life, Voices from the Street; Between the Lines: Master The Subtle Elements Of Fiction Writing; and Writing Out the Storm. Morrell works as a highly-sought after developmental editor because if your characters are a bundle of quirks and inconsistencies, or the plot stalls and the scenes don’t flow, these problems need to be unriddled before you submit it to an agent or editor. She also works on memoirs and nonfiction books with a special focus on the inner logic and voice of each manuscript. She began teaching writers in 1991 and now teaches through a series of workshops in the Northwest and at writing conferences throughout North America and lectures to various writing organizations. She is the former writing expert at which was voted as one of the best 101 sites for writers. She formerly hosted a series of writing conferences and is now focusing on creating online classes and workshops. She hosts a Web site at, and she wrote monthly columns about topics related to writing since 1998. She also contributes to The Writer and Writers Digest magazines Her former Web log is at

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