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Author Interview of the Month > NOVEMBER Interview by S.M.

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message 1: by Marian (new)

Marian (marianerika) | 1066 comments Here's our second author interview of the month. Done by one of our members *clap clap* S.M! Please do read the interview and pick up lessons about her experience. Thank!

-Growing up, did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I "wrote" my first short story before I could even read, if that tells you anything! I used to dictate to my mom, who wrote romances of her own, and insisted she write it all down for me. I bet I made it really hard for her to get work done.

- How do you balance family and writing? Since becoming a mother, do you find inspiration from things you didn't before?
The baby comes first, obviously, but I always make sure to leave time for my work. My husband and in-laws are really helpful and help me out by watching the baby whenever I have stuff to do. I couldn't do it without them!

- What tools do you use to do research for your writing?
The library! You'd be surprised what kind of obscure topics they cover there. I also have a lot of books on the occult and mythology from obscure publishing companies. Even though I've mostly converted to ebooks these days, I'll always have a special shelf for my books on witchcraft and werewolves!

- Being a Kindle owner, and from what I've read a died hard Kindle owner, do you find ebooks to be a boost for a contemporary author?
Definitely. It opens up a lot of distribution options to small publishers that weren't available ten years ago. Reaching readers -- including the international market, which isn't easy! -- has become a very real possibility even if you're working on a tiny budget.

-How many books will be in the Season's of the Moon series?
There will be four books total. Six Moon Summer and All Hallows' Moon both came out earlier this year. Long Night Moon and Gray Moon Rising, the last two books, will be out in 2012.

-For those with stories in the heads, what words of encouragement do you have to get them to put these stories to paper?
Nobody becomes Michelangelo the first time they pick up a paintbrush. Write a lot. Write tons of crummy stories until they aren't crummy anymore, then throw all of those out and keep writing. Never stop! It's a long road, but it's totally worth it.

-When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I used to sit at my mom's feet while she wrote romance novels. I listened to her talking to editors in New York over the phone, and it seemed so cool and glamorous. I've always known, right from the start, that I needed to do that too.

- How long does it take you to write a book?
Most of my books don't take very long to write-- never more than a month or two on the long end. It's the editing process that takes time. Just like you don't master an art without lots of practice, a book doesn't come out perfect. They have to be whipped into shape.

- What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
At first, I write slowly. I'll draft scenes here and there while I plan the story. Once I get a groove, I drop everything else and become obsessed! I write in all my spare moments. Several chapters of All Hallows' Moon were even written on my cell phone while in the car, standing in line, at baseball games, wherever.

- What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have to mix up where I'm writing to stay inspired. In high school, I used to steal empty classrooms to write, or hide out under the bleachers to finish a draft. And then the next book had to be written in the bathtub. It's always somewhere really bizarre!

- How do books get published?
There are multiple avenues to publication these days. You can partner with an agent and sell your book to a publishing company, or you can do all the work of editing and formatting your book yourself and sell it directly to readers. Both are great options.

- Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. One time I was stuck in a traffic jam (boring!) and started wondering what might have caused it. I thought it would be cool if it was an alien invasion holding up traffic. It turned into a really neat story! (But the jam was just because of a car accident.)

- When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I finished my first book in sixth grade. It was heavily inspired by Sailor Moon. I've gotten a lot better since then!

- What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I do book cover design for fun. I also like to read a lot, and I watch some TV shows (I LOVE the Vampire Diaries sooo much).

- What does your family think of your writing?
Most of my family are writers, too, so they don't think much about it at all. It's pretty normal for us.

- What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I've always got more to learn. I keep thinking, "NOW I'm starting to be a good writer!" and then I realize I have this huge flaw, and it feels like I start all over learning how to write again. Truthfully, I don't think I'll ever stop learning.

- How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I haven't kept count, but I think I've written over twenty books by now. Only a few of them are good enough to publish. I think All Hallows' Moon is my favorite! Rylie and Seth are such fun characters to write.

- Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Read everything you can get your hands on-- both in your favorite genre, and in genres you don't like (such as Russian literature). Best of all, find some honest people to read your books and give you their real opinions. Critical feedback is essential to improving.

- Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I'm sure everyone says this, but I have the best readers in the world! I get messages asking if Rylie and Seth are going to get together (please please please!). The most popular question is, "When is the next book coming out?" I'm going as fast as I can, I promise!

- Do you like to create books for adults?
Yeah, I do! I actually have an urban fantasy book intended for an adult audience coming out very soon. It's called "Death's Hand," and it's about a female exorcist whose old enemies are hunting her down. The book is really action-packed. It was a lot of fun to write.

- What do you think makes a good story?
Interesting characters and high stakes. You want to put your characters in hard places, and then give them a crummy option, and an even worse option! That's the kind of thing that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

- As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up
I wanted to be a velociraptor. Now I've had to settle for writing. It's almost as good.

- While working fulltime, how do you find time to do all the research for your books?
I read a lot of random articles on Wikipedia on my downtime. It sounds silly, but there's so much to learn, and inspiration comes from the weirdest things!

-For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and donts for getting their material published?
Be professional, be polished, and be persistent. Success is half hard work and half serendipity. If you have a great book and you make sure a lot of people see it, you'll eventually get lucky.


message 2: by Marian (new)

Marian (marianerika) | 1066 comments S.M. did a very great job in answering our questions. I hope all our writer-wannabe's have gotten something in her interview. Good luck with your book S.M., more power!


message 3: by Marni (new)

Marni (wonderwmn999) | 3578 comments Great interview! Thank you!


message 4: by Jody (new)

Jody wow you started writing so young...that is fantastic! Great interview, thanks.


message 5: by Irene (new)

Irene Pynn (irenelpynn) | 9 comments lol Great interview. I also wanted to be something impossible when I grew up: a mythical creature, in my case. Ah, well. Such is life. ;)


message 6: by Marian (new)

Marian (marianerika) | 1066 comments Irene wrote: "lol Great interview. I also wanted to be something impossible when I grew up: a mythical creature, in my case. Ah, well. Such is life. ;)"

LOL Irene! I wanted to be a Mermaid before haha! Because of Ariel of the Little Mermaid. I have asked my mom for fins and she bought me a costume, I wore it FOR A DAY in our house when I was 9 LOL Talk about love for mermaids!


message 7: by Irene (new)

Irene Pynn (irenelpynn) | 9 comments @Marian, how funny! Wow, and I thought I was the lone weirdo who wanted to transform into something else when I was a kid. I guess it's more common than we thought! :)


message 8: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia  | 13086 comments Mod
I wanted to be Mary Poppins lol and I guess I did becoming a ChildCare Worker and now mum lol...great interview Marian


message 9: by Marian (new)

Marian (marianerika) | 1066 comments @Irene Yeah, it's more common. My wants to own a dragon, UP UNTIL NOWWW :| hahaha

@Heinzypop thanks to Adriana for sending S.M. the questionnaire. I just posted it. And thanks to us, the moderatos, the members are having a grand time in our group. Cheers!


message 10: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia  | 13086 comments Mod
ok thanks Adriana for sending the questionnaire lol...and the members are definitely loving our group...so do I!!!


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