A Writer In The Spotlight – Jenny Adams Perinovic

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Hello gentle reader,

Today I’m delighted to share with you another interview with a debut author! Meet Jenny Adams Perinovic, whose YA Gothic Romance A MAGIC DARK AND BRIGHT comes out on 28th April 2015. 

Jenny Perinovic

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Author: Jenny Adams Perinovic

Website: http://www.jennyperinovic.com

Twitter: @jennyperinovic

Biography:

“I’m a twenty-something writer, library assistant and bookworm. I live just outside of Washington DC with my husband, Eric, and our tiny menagerie. I spend my days working as a Circulation Specialist in a library. By night, I write YA speculative fiction about brave girls, the boys who love them, and their battles against dark forces. There’s always a bit of magic, a bunch of kissing, and a whole lot of spine-tingling creepiness. Before moving to DC, I graduated from The Ohio State University in 2010 with a degree in Medieval and Renaissance Studies (yes, really) and half of three minors. I love medieval French literature, good books, pretty things, web design, photography, baking, writing, vintage clothes, ballet, and the color purple.”

My interview (7th April 2015)

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? When/how did you decide to be a writer?

I’ve always written, but I didn’t always know I wanted to be a writer. For a long time, it never occurred to me that it was a real job I could have–I wrote books for fun all through middle school and high school. When I got to college, I decided to set writing aside in order to concentrate on “practical” things, which didn’t really work out. I ended up majoring in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and finishing another book (a truly terrible adult epic fantasy) before I graduated. After graduation, I moved to DC with my then-boyfriend (now husband), and while he started his Masters, I started working full-time. My first year in DC was rough–I had no clue how to make friends as a grown-up, I was homesick, and we had no money. So I read constantly–over 300 books that first year. It’s also when I re-discovered YA, and thought, for the first time, “I could do that.” I threw myself into writing. Three books and five years later, here I am!

Are you a full-time writer? When and where do you write?

Nope! I currently have a full-time job as a library assistant, and I also freelance as a graphic designer. So it’s like I have three jobs! Sometimes it’s hard to balance, and it means I write more slowly than other people. I try really hard to wake up and write before work, but let’s be real: most of my writing happens in notebooks during my hour-long bus ride to and from work and during my lunch break. Hopefully I’ll be able to make the transition to full-time writing and freelance work eventually (as in YEARS from now, after my husband is finished with his PhD), but for now? I love my job. I’m happy.

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To write A MAGIC DARK AND BRIGHT, where did you get your inspiration from?

Homework, actually! I briefly took classes towards my MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins. Ultimately, I decided the program wasn’t a good fit and quit, but before I did, I received the following prompt as an assignment: Write the story of one character from the point of view of another.

The first line came to me immediately: Halfway through November, Charlie stopped coming to school. I knew nothing else about the book–I just sat down and started writing. By the time I was done with that assignment, I knew three things–the story was set in the mountains of Pennsylvania where I grew up, Charlie and Amelia had done a Very Bad Thing, and because of that, someone was dead.

Over time, it became just as much Amelia’s story as Charlie’s, and that initial beginning was scrapped. I immersed myself in the history of a long-forgotten French settlement called Azilum (Asylum), where local legend claims was meant as a haven for Marie Antoinette. I read first-hand accounts of what it was like to live there, and I imagined what the town might be like if it had survived to the present day. Some of the story was drawn from my own experiences–when I was a teenager, my high school experienced a string of suicides–I think it was four or five in the span of six weeks. It was terrible and tragic, and it really rocked my tiny community to the core. So I tried to capture some of that feeling of helplessness and heartbreak, too. And everything I write includes a combination of magic, creepiness, and kissing! Eventually, all of those elements came together and I had a book I was proud of. 🙂

Why did you choose to self-publish your book? Was that a difficult decision?

Self-publishing had always been on the table. However, I wanted to try my hand at querying first. I entered a few contests (including PitchSlam and The Writer’s Voice) and received an overwhelming amount of attention. Over the course of last summer, I sent out over 50 full manuscripts and several partials. The agent feedback I received was invaluable, but so much of it boiled down to: “I love your writing, but paranormal is an incredibly hard sell right now. Please send me your next book.”

I supposed I could have kept querying, but after talking it over with my husband, my CPs, and several other friends who self-published, I made the decision to go indie. Traditional publishing is notoriously slow, and I’m sure that the agents were right–by the time my book could be published traditionally (if it ever would), paranormal would be out. I figured I may as well take a chance and use the speed of indie publishing to my advantage and get my book in the hands of readers as soon as possible, before the market dried up.

It was a shockingly easy decision to make–it was either shelve it or self-publish it. And I believed in it too much to shelve it. Since then, I’ve learned A TON and even banded together with a group of other indie (or soon-to-be) indie authors to found our own collective press, Bookish Group Press. It’s been quite the adventure, and I’m really excited to see what the next few months have in store for us.

Do you listen to music when you write? Any recommendations?

I do! I’m a Spotify addict, hah. I have playlists for all of my manuscripts. You can listen to the music I played on loop for an entire year while I wrote A Magic Dark and Bright here.

What are you working on now?

I’m actually working on three different projects. One is the sequel to A Magic Dark and Bright, of course. I’m also working on Like Drops of Moonlight, which is an NA romantic suspense I plan on self-publishing, and Dead Man’s Hand, which is a historical with a hint of magic set in the circus in 1918, which I plan on querying in the next six months or so.

Which authors inspire you? Any books you’d recommend?

Oh, I’m inspired by others constantly! But here are a few authors who gave me the courage to go indie with A Magic Dark & Bright!
+ Rachel O’Laughlin‘s Serengard series is absolutely amazing. It’s poetic, sweeping, and absolutely un-put-downable.
+ Leigh Ann Kopans‘ ONE was one of the first indie YA books I read, and to this day remains among my favorites.
+ Faith McKay‘s Prophecy Girl was so much fun–bold, brash and full of sisterly love and sunglasses.
+ Anything by Trisha Leigh. Her YA books–The Cavy Files and The Last Year are perfection, and her NA books (written as Lyla Payne) are so much fun.
+ Other indie authors I love: Shari Arnold, Teresa Yea, and Anya Monroe.

Thanks for the interview Jenny!

You can pre-order A Magic Dark And Bright here and you can add it on Goodreads.

A Writer in the Spotlight – Aimee L. Salter

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This week again I was lucky enough to have a YA author give me an exclusive interview! You may remember I interviewed the wonderful Aimee L. Salter back in November 2012. At the time, she was an agented writer with a book on submission and I asked her questions about her writing process. Since then, Aimee has chosen to self-publish her amazing debut, BREAKABLE, which came out on Monday 4th November 2013. This time, I’m interviewing her about her self-publishing adventure…

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Author : Aimee L. Salter

Genre : Young Adult, Magical Realism

Location: Oregon, USA

Contact: Blog, Twitter, Facebook

Bio: Aimee L. Salter is a Pacific North-Westerner who spent much of her young (and not-so-young) life in New Zealand. After picking up a Kiwi husband and son, she’s recently returned to Oregon. She writes novels for teens and the occasional adult who, like herself, are still in touch with their inner-high schooler. Aimee is the author behind Seeking the Write Life, a popular blog for writers.

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My interview (22d October 2013)

Where did you get the inspiration for your book?

In early 2011 I was reading the website www.dearteenme.com, in which published authors write letters to their teen selves. As I kept reading and reading (you know, one of those days when you should be doing something else, but a website catches your attention and you just keep reading “one more post”?) one sentiment was a recurring theme in the letters. Many of them, very early in the piece, said something along the lines of “I know you won’t listen to me when I tell you this, but…”

That got me thinking – what if I could actually talk to my sixteen year old self. That line would be paramount in my letter because I know if we could sit down, she’d nod and smile, maybe even think I was right, but go ahead and do whatever she wanted anyway.

As I chewed that over – what I’d say to try and make her listen; what approaches I might take that might actually get through to her; it just kind of came to me. I could see these two versions of this one person, both with feelings and thoughts based on their point in life. Both with the same hurts and wounds – but different perspectives on them…

Anyway, I started writing that afternoon, more for my own interest than anything else. It was a hard book to write. But I’m glad I stuck with it!

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Your book has just come out. Can you tell us about your (complicated!) path to publication?

Gosh, complicated is right! Well, when I wrote Breakable (then called Listen to Me), I was trying to get another book, an urban fantasy, published traditionally. Unfortunately, I’d “broken up” with my agent the year before, and I was having trouble finding a new agent for it. It took another year to refine Breakable and get an agent for it.

Brittany Howard (AKA: NYT, USA Today, International and everything else Bestselling author, Cora Carmack) picked my book up in August 2012. By November of that year her own author career took a massive leap. We were still working, revising, and submitting to editors when in June of this year she admitted she just didn’t have the time to agent anymore.

But she still believed in my book and wanted to help it find a home, however I chose to do that. So, after a couple weeks of discussing, chewing, praying, and, yes, freaking out, I decided to go ahead and self-publish Breakable rather than look for another agent (there were all kinds of legal rigmaroles I’d have had to jump through, not to mention that with the editors we’d already seen, some agents would be concerned their “pot” had shrunk).

So… here we are! “Cora Carmack” blurbed my book and is busily promoting it to her entire network (can’t TELL you how grateful I am for that!) and Brittany also has a useful network of bloggers and reviewers who’ve jumped on board to help too.

All in all, there’s no guarantees for any kind of self-publishing venture. I know that better than anyone. But I also know my book couldn’t get a better chance than this. So if it doesn’t “make it”, then it wasn’t ever going to anyway!

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Getting your book out there was quite a bumpy ride, did you have moments when you thought of giving up? (If yes, what made you carry on?)

Yes. And yes. And yes. And YES. (Did I mention, &#$% YES?)

I think every writer goes through those moments (or weeks, or months – even years) where they believe it’s pointless. Or just too hard. I certainly have (and do!) but there were two reasons I never actually let go:

  1. I think this is what I was meant to do. I think God wants me to do it. I know I want to do it. And frankly, even if I never tried to publish another word, I’d keep writing – so why not try if I’m going to be carving these worlds out of nothing anyway?
  2. Every time I’d start to feel like giving up, something would happen to encourage me. I’d feel like I just couldn’t get the story to do what I wanted – then someone would read it and rave. I’d feel like my writing was poor, then I’d send the manuscript in for a critique clinic and (besides all the useful criticism) I’d get unsolicited praise for my writing. When I was (nervously) looking for an agent I got a really good response to the query. When I kept getting rejections or R & R’s I wasn’t comfortable with, I attended WriteOnCon and got several new, unsolicited requests. Then when nothing came of that and I was discouraged, I got an offer from a small, independent press. Then Brittany offered to represent me – and she turned out to be PERFECT for me. On and on and on… the number of times I’d start thinking “I can’t do this anymore”, then something good would happen…well, it just picked me up. I had to keep going. Those little stories continue to this day!

What were the challenges of self-publishing your book you didn’t expect?

Hmmm… how much time do you have? I mean, don’t get me wrong, there’s been some pleasant surprises in the self-publishing process. So it hasn’t been all bad. But I’d been researching self-publishing for two years. And I had the advice and foresight of a very successful self-published author. I felt like I was going into it prepared. But there’s some things you just can’t understand until you get into them.

Like, the fact that so many reviewers and bloggers just flatly refuse to look at self-published books. I actually knew this, but I hadn’t anticipated how widespread it was. I even understood why people did it (I have turned down more self-published author review copies than I care to count for my blog, and I don’t run a “big” blog). But being on this side of the coin… it actually made me angry. “What, so just because I have “self published” next to my name, you won’t even look?

I also “knew” that the formatting process was complicated. But when you’re working through it – even with the good advice that I’ve been given ahead of time, and the fact that I’m a genuine, advanced user of the Microsoft suite, I am surprised on a daily basis at how one, tiny little slip or miss can make such a big difference to the appearance or professionalism of my book. It’s frightening actually.

But I’d say the biggest thing, and something I didn’t anticipate at all, is the fear of and sense that I’m “going it alone”. I mean, I went into this with a lot of support. My husband is behind me 100%. I have a bestselling author promoting me and blurbing my book. I have an awesome community of writers and bloggers (like you, Eve!) who are encouraging me and supporting me.

I didn’t anticipate that, when push came to shove, I’d feel so isolated by this process. The success or failure of this book is squarely on my shoulders, because I’ve done all the work. Sure, I’ve had editorial critique, and designers involved. But all the decisions are mine. The final buck stops with me on everything.

One the one hand, there’s something very freeing about that. I can do exactly what I want to do and I don’t have to answer to anyone else about it.

But on the other…no matter what the product, there’s no one actually behind it except me. If there is criticism, I can’t say “well, such-and-such made me do that”, and if there’s failure I can’t say “well, the press should have do thus-and-so.” It’s just me.

Of course, if there’s success, I get the kudos too. But let’s be honest, failure is a MUCH more likely scenario in this game. I’ve had to power through that on a mental and emotional level and prepare myself for it. I do feel prepared now. But I definitely wasn’t a couple months back. It’s an interesting ride!

Thanks, Aimee!

Thanks for having me, Eve.

Add BREAKABLE on Goodreads.

Enter a contest to win BREAKABLE here.

Buy BREAKABLE for Kindle, Nook and in paperback.

A Writer In The Spotlight – Rachel O’Laughlin

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Today I’m delighted to welcome Rachel O’Laughlin on my blog as a part of her Coldness of Marek Blog Tour!

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Coldness of Marek, an Adult Epic Fantasy, is the first book in the Serengard Series and it comes out today!

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Author : Rachel O’Laughlin
Genre : Epic Fantasy
Location: New England
Contact: Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads
Books : Coldness of Marek (2013)

Bio: Obsessed with all things history, Rachel O’Laughlin grew up writing adventure stories and only recently fell in love with fantasy as a genre. She lives in New England with her husband and children, grows roses and tweets often. She adores lattes, The Fray, long drives in the country, and any dark story with a good twist. Coldness of Marek is her first novel.

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My interview (29th July 2013)

On Writing

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Yes! I always knew. When I was a little kid I used to write picture books, and by the time I was six or seven I was writing chapter books. They were all pretty lame, I’m sure, but I had a lot of fun. One of my friends who has read a little bit of everything I wrote through the years claims my signature event is a kidnapping. “Someone always gets abducted in your stories,” she claims. Glancing through my various drafts, it’s pretty true. Why do I always have a kidnapping? I have no idea. I guess I’m morbid like that, ha.

When and where do you write?

I write for about a half hour in the early morning before my kids awaken, and then again for two hours in the afternoon while they nap. These days I tend to perch on the loveseat with my Netbook. I’ll occasionally go to a coffee shop when I have a babysitter, and a lot of words to catch up on. I’ll end up writing again after dinner if I’m on a deadline. Hubby is a sweetheart and watches the kids whenever he can. WIN!

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Quite a bit, actually. I always have emotions pouring through me, sketchy visions of what characters are feeling and saying to each other, but I often fail at plots. I can write pages and pages of dialogue that makes no sense whatsoever plot-wise — but it has ALL THE FEELS — and then writer’s block will hit when I’m trying to iron out those details. When NaNoWriMo comes around, I fortify myself with all the chocolate and coffee and push through every barrier, no matter how bad the writing I end up with may be. It’s totally worth it. I fast-draft in spurts throughout the year, and then revise when I can look at things with a cold, critical eye. It works for me.

What do you say to people who want to be writers?

Draft something. Anything. Get your words down, and finish a whole MS. It might not be the one you want to polish and take all the way, but simply writing words will keep your brain going and your craft improving. Someday you’ll write something amazing that you want to share with the world, and all that drafting will pay off.

Is it better to outline and plot your novel or “go with the flow”?

I outlined my first two 100k manuscripts, then I completely went with the flow for COLDNESS OF MAREK. It took a lot a revision AND a full rewrite, but it was nice to just run with it while writing. The second book had a definite outline…but I just tossed half of that outline out the window, so we’ll see what happens. I do have a future novel that I’m outlining the heck out of and I have a feeling it will be the most epic of anything. Needless to say, my process seems to change with each project, and I’m cool with that.

Do you set goals for yourself as you write?

Always. Rewards for reaching 15k, 30k, 50k, 80k, for finishing a revision, for getting through edits, anything. Usually the reward is just a break and an episode of The Mentalist or something, but it keeps me pushing through instead of procrastinating. It’s cool when I have rewards from the outside, too. Like, my sister-in-law brought me a pound of homemade butter for finishing my rewrite. My husband is more of an endless dispenser of chocolate and delicious drinks whenever he sees me getting bogged down.

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On Coldness of Marek

To write this book, where did you get your inspiration from?

I wanted to try epic fantasy when I was about 13 but I was just terrible at it, and I swore off of fantasy.  Then, when NaNo 2011 rolled around, the cliffs and cliff men begging to be written, and I knew it had to be a fantasy. Really, the image was just THERE and I couldn’t shake it. Trzl was challenging. I felt like I knew her, because she reminded me of a tenacious girl I grew up with. Just, boom, she existed, everything about her crystal clear. Maintaining that consistency wasn’t easy, though. I was tempted to change her all the time. I had to force myself to come back to my muse and ask myself what she would REALLY do. Mikel, on the other hand, was this purely fantastical character that was hazily in the back of my mind for years and I couldn’t shake him. I tried to fit him into an apocalyptic mystery, but he didn’t really belong. He definitely belongs in the midst of swords and soothsayers.

What type of music did you listen to when you wrote this book?

I can’t listen to music while I’m actually writing, but I always have a playlist that I listen to in the off-time to give context to certain emotions I want to evoke in the story. When I drafted COLDNESS, I was listening to Norah Jones, Keith Urban, Colbie Callait, and Vanessa Carlton. But during the rewrite? Breaking Benjamin, Switchfoot, and Jewel. Oh, and of course, The Fray. Always The Fray. 😉

What are you working on now?

I’m deep in the sequel to COLDNESS, with a lot of revisions already done. It’s going well! This main character is so different from Trzl. Akkk, I want to tell you so much more, but I don’t want to spoil it, so all I will say is this: NINJA ASSASSINS. That is all.

Reading advice

Which authors inspire you now? Any books you would recommend?

Oh, my. For plots, Agatha Christie, J.R.R. Tolkien and Rafael Sabatini. For writing style, L.M. Montgomery all the way. But those are all old books, haha. I just love classics. In modern lit, I’m definitely inspired by Leigh Bardugo, Geraldine Page, and Michael Crichton. I would recommend anything by Crichton to anyone, any day of the week, but especially his book TIMELINE. If you haven’t read it, you just…you have to. Also, GONE WITH THE WIND (Margaret Mitchell). That book floors me over and over again.

On self-publishing

Why did you choose to self-publish Coldness of Marek and would you recommend self-publishing to would-be-published writers out there?

I chose self-publishing because I decided I’m not interested in having an agent represent me at this point in my career. I want to slowly get to know my audience, what they like about my writing, and what they’d like to see more of. I want Serengard to evolve somewhat organically, and I don’t have that option with an uber-competitive market and a readership that already has certain expectations. That said, I would love to have an agent represent some of my other projects. I believe I can write something that could sell on a large scale — someday — and I might want a major book deal and a wider audience reach.

I only recommend self-publishing if a would-be-published writer is ready to be very dedicated and open. It’s just like being a street musician. You’re basically sitting there with your coffee can, asking for coins for your art, because there’s no way the crowd is going to know who you are at first. You want people to hear you, and you have to be willing to work extra hard for that. Willing to put out cash you might not earn back (pay for editing, invest in a nice cover and promo), and spend endless hours interacting with readers (on twitter, facebook, email, etc). It can be very rewarding, including having the ability to plan and act out every step of the process, but I especially just love the down-to-earth-ness of this process.

Everybody has different reasons for publishing different ways. If you have good reasons for self-publishing and you know you can do it, I’d say go for it.

Thanks for an awesome interview, Rachel!

Thank you so much for having me, Eve!

COLDNESS OF MAREK is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes and Noble. You can order it signed by the author here. And please note the book is also available on Amazon in Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

A Writer in the Spotlight – Ada Adams

This week again I was lucky enough to have a YA author give me an exclusive interview! The idea behind the “Writer in the Spotlight” feature is that published (and bestselling) authors are the best source of advice for us, would-be-published writers. Today’s interview is with Ada Adams, a debut author who also happens to be successfully self-published.

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Author : Ada Adams

Genre : Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Location: Toronto, Canada

Website : http://www.revampedbook.com

Twitter: Ada_Adams

Books : ReVamped (2012)

My interview (27/06/2012):

1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always loved to create stories. I was the type of child that could entertain myself for hours, simply by digging deep into my imagination. At the age of five, I became a full-time chapter book reader and started writing my own stories. My mom still reads them, although I don’t think that anyone else would be very interested in my early writing! When I was twelve or thirteen, I took a break from writing stories and began writing synopses—just synopses—for some reason! That was my period of contemporary mysteries, friendship stories, and cute boy characters with piercing blue eyes. High school creative writing courses solidified my passion for the craft, and I never looked back. I love that writing is so personal and creative; it’s a different process for every writer.

2. When and where do you write?

When I’m working on a project, I usually write full-time from around 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (with an hour or so lost due to fun online distractions). When I’m trying to finish a project (especially in the editing stages), I write all the time. Sometimes, I forget to eat and sleep. Most of my projects have been written in my office space, but ever since I moved to a new place this year, I find myself writing everywhere except my new office. I think it still needs some breaking-in!

3. Do you ever experience writer’s block?

I most certainly do. It usually doesn’t center around the overall plot of a story, but rather a small scene or a minor event. I find that swimming or running are my best “writer’s block” remedies.

4. What do you say to people who want to be writers?

I say “go for it”! I think writing is such a personal journey for each individual. It’s often very hard to give advice on the process, because what works for one writer may not work for another. My biggest piece of advice would be to love what you do, keep writing, and read. I love learning about new writers and their projects. I think it’s wonderful that our world is filled with so many diverse writers and readers.

5. Is it better to outline and plot your novel or “go with the flow”?

Once again, this is probably very different for each writer. Personally, I need to work with an outline (especially for a novel). I like lists and plans, so in order for the story to be the best it can be, I make sure to plot it out. However, while outlines are important, it’s also important not to be too rigid with them. I’ve often steered away from the outlined path simply because of a character’s action or motivation. I enjoy when my characters surprise me. They often make the story a lot better than originally planned!

6. Do you set goals for yourself as you write?

I outline the entire piece in “words per day” before I embark on a new writing project. Often, my goals are somewhat unrealistic; however they do help keep me on track.


On “ReVamped”:

7. To write this book, where did you get your inspiration from?

The main inspiration for this series came from my observation of the fact that our society is currently head-over-heels in love with vampires! This fascination has always been present, but it has grown stronger over the past decade. I wanted to explore what would happen if, because of our love for them, vampires decided to “come out of the coffin”.

I love that our world is filled with so many great books, films, and shows about strong, dark, sexy vampires, but I wanted to take a different approach to the genre. I wanted to put a humorous spin on vampires, and explore the world of misfits—the vampires who need a lot of “revamping” to even become decent human beings, let alone great vamps!

Originally, “ReVamped” was a TV show script. I was inspired by some great comedic shows and web series about life’s underdogs. However, the budget for shooting the project in the quality that I had envisioned was simply incomprehensible, so I let it sit on my computer for a couple of months. Soon, the characters began to invade my dreams—and even waking moments—and I simply knew that I would have to finish their story one way or another. Hence, “ReVamped” the novel was born!

8. Dawn: How did you come up with this character?

In most YA vampire novels, it’s somewhat rare for the main character to actually be a vampire. However, I really wanted Dawn to be unique. I created her to be strong, adventurous, and intelligent, yet to also have some quirks and weaknesses. I’m not a big fan of “perfect” characters, so I enjoy seeing Dawn make mistakes or be unsure of herself at times. (Hmm…I just divulged that I like to watch my character struggle? Does that make me a mean writer?)  Weaknesses also provide the character with opportunity for growth as the series develops. As well, Dawn is not the type of girl that “needs” a man in her life, so I didn’t want to rush any kind of romantic relationships when it came to the guys in the story. Even in fantastical stories, I think it’s important to have strong female role models that girls can admire or relate to.

Many readers have asked me if “I am Dawn”, and to that I have to say that all of my characters are completely fictional. Sure, I injected Dawn with my love for martial arts and adventure, but I would never be able to objectively write about a character if I saw them as myself or they reminded me of someone I knew. Dawn is 100% Dawn (despite “you know what”)). 😉

9. What type of music did you listen to when you wrote this book?

To be perfectly honest, I’m the type of writer that requires silence while writing. I get very distracted when I listen to music (especially songs with words in them) I did get inspired by certain songs (before and after the process). Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” comes to mind when I think of Dawn’s journey (especially in the third book).

10. What are you working on now? Is “ReAwakened” finished or still a work in progress?

I’m currently working on the rest of the “Angel Creek” series, as well as a few other personal projects. My main goal is to finish Dawn’s story within the next year. “ReAwakened” is almost finished. It’s currently being subjected to a lot of rewrites and edits—my least favourite part of the writing process (though often the most important).

Reading advice:
11. Which authors inspire you now? Any YA books you would recommend?

Overall, I’m a very diverse reader. I love the fact that there are so many talented YA authors out there (I still have many to explore)! I usually enjoy books with strong heroines like Katniss from “The Hunger Games”, and I’ve always been in admiration of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. Whether you’ve enjoyed the story or not, there is no denying that Ms. Rowling is immensely talented and extremely creative! “Harry Potter” was a book that instilled a passion for reading in so many young readers. Is there any greater accomplishment for an author?

On self-publishing:

12. Why did you choose to self-publish “ReVamped” and would you recommend self-publishing to would-be-published writers out there?

One word: vampires. It’s a genre that’s somewhat oversaturated at the moment, so I weighed my options of spending the next few years trying to pitch a debut vampire novel, or sharing it with my readers a little sooner. I really wanted to tell Dawn’s story, so I did a lot of research on self-publishing and decided that for this particular book, it was the way to go. However, I have many other projects that I would never allow to see the light of day unless they take the traditional publishing route. Self-publishing is not easy, especially since I am a perfectionist and strive to create the best product possible.

There’s a lot to say for the importance of agents and publishers in the industry. I believe that traditional publishers can aid in ensuring that the author’s best work is presented to readers. It’s not easy to pursue a self-published route, but if you choose to do so, my advice would be to make certain that your work and presentation is professional, your editing is good, and your pricing is fair.

I know that there is much discussion amongst the writing and reading communities when it comes to traditional vs. self-publishing, but personally, I’m not on either side of the spectrum. There are some amazing indie authors out there, just like there are some awesome traditionally published authors. Every single writer’s (and even novel’s) journey is different! As long as you love what you do and believe in your work, you’re already on the right track!

Thank you again for doing this!

Thank you so much for the wonderful interview questions, EM! I had a blast!

 

ReVamped is out now and you can buy it on Amazon.