Mystery writer Traci Abramson admits to having a hard time naming her characters. To solve her problem, she reintroduces them throughout her books. And while she knows that she needs to push through the first fifty pages to really get the book going, she also needs to "learn her characters enough to get their pasts." Her first book took her many years until she finally got it to a published form. "I started toying with Under Currents about ten years before I actually got it published. I would write half of the book, then I'd start over and write half of the book, but it never quite worked." Finally, when she changed some of the background and setting, "it fell together."
Now that Abramson has gotten into the flow of writing, she writes a rough draft in about a month, and then spends the next few months editing. Lockdown seemed to materialize on her desk approximately a month after the shooting at Virginia Tech. She describes it as being her way of healing.
The advice Abramson gives to young authors is to "find somebody you trust that can give you honest feedback." She knows the value of someone who can tell you, "this word doesn't fit here," or someone who is able to pick out the action of a character that doesn't follow with his traits. Also, while ultimately the author decides whether to take a suggestion, "if someone is saying something, maybe there is something that does need to change."