Welcome to the world of Shantelle Dae.
Blogging about the universe from a personal perspective.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Writers Interview: Part One

So, I’ve talked about my huge list of blog topics, yes? Well, this morning when I was looking though said list for something to blog about today... I couldn’t find anything that sparked inspiration—which seems to be half my battle lately. Crazy, right? Seeing as I have 100+ topics to choose from. But, no. I got nothing. Nothing.

I Skype'd a friend for suggestions, and she suggested a Googling for a 'Writers Blog Quiz'. I couldn’t find any really, but I did find a list of interview questions. So, let’s begin.

Firstly to note, there are forty questions all in all (more if you count the sub-questions) in this interview. That’s a lot of questions. Therefore, I will be breaking it up into four parts; ten(ish) questions per blog post. I hope you’ll be interested enough to read all four.

Second, disclaimer. This Q&A is intended for authors who have already published. I have yet to take that leap, and so I’m answering these from an aspiring author view point.

1. Q: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
A: To write the stories I’d love to read, and to have others enjoy those stories and characters. To better my craft and better myself as a writer. If I could make a sustainable living out of said works, then that would be an awesome bonus. That would be the dream.

2. Q: Which writers inspire you?
A: Okay, you know what? I’m not going to name names here. It’s not that I don’t have my favorite authors, of course I do, but, generally speaking, I don’t tend follow authors as individuals. Now, this might seem a little contradictory, and maybe it is. But... whatever.

I’m not the kind of person who will automatically pick up a book from an author who I’ve read before just because they have a new release out. The books I pick up very much depend on the subject matter alone, not so much the 'voice'. Of course, I’ll take a peek, but if an author of a series I’ve just finished has written in a different genre, or the book subject matter doesn’t appeal, I won’t read just because it’s written by said author. Some people do. I won’t. That’s just the way it is. I’m picky. I’ve been told this.

3. Q: So, what have you written?
A: I started writing at a young age, pretty much after I learned to write, really. Mostly these stories were about animals. I’ve mentioned in a blog post before that my first fanfic (although I didn’t know it was called ‘fanfic’ back then), was writing in the world of The Animals Of Farthing Wood; with my own characters. I later wrote stories based on an online virtual pets game, creating my own world for said virtual pets and their adventures.
 
Some time later, I discovered fanfiction.net, and began to write stories in several television show's worlds. A lot of it I didn’t actually post. After that, I took some time to write my own stuff again; back then it was mostly contemporary teenage high school stuff. Heh. I then moved back to fanfic for a while and wrote in the world of Marvel comics. After that, I jumped to fanfic in the worlds of some of my favorite YA PNR books: a vampire based one in particular (no, not Twilight). It was at this time that one of my stories (which ended up 89K—the longest story I'd written to date, and a basically my first novel length) received a crap-ton of good reviews, 250+. It was an ego boost, I’ll admit...
 
This then spurred me on to think about writing as a career. At this point in time, Indie publishing had started to take off, and so I thought I’d give it a go. I had never considered the traditional route—or , rather, I had, but promptly dismissed it—because, quite honestly, I thought my stuff wasn’t good enough, and the notion that there was just too much competition and not enough space on the store bookshelf, just put me off trying. But, with Indie Pub and the face of the Kindle, the world and times have forever changed.
 
So. What have I written? Nothing publishable yet. Nothing that anyone has seen—unless you count the dozen or so stories on ff.net. But, I have written several manuscripts that I have trunked, and am still working on a few things as of right now.

4. Q: What are you working on at the minute?
A: As in this moment in time? Nothing, fiction-wise. As I mentioned in my introductory blog post (which can be found here), I need a break from the fiction. I’ve burned myself out, I think. But I don’t want to stop writing. I need an outlet where I can attempt to ‘get the flow back’, and hopefully, this blog will help me do just that. Time will tell.

5. Q: What genre/s are your books—or, what genre/s will your books be?—and also, what draws you to this genre/s in particular?
A: Mentioned before on this blog, but... mostly Paranormal. Young Adult Paranormal Romance, if you want to break that down further. Why? Because Paranormal has very much always been my first love for writing, reading and watching (television/movies).
 
I guess the draw is... primarily escapism. The 'not real', and I like that. I like that you can enter a different world for a while. I like the endless possibilities that you can create around demons and magic and other things of the paranormal. I’d also like to write some Sci-Fi, and perhaps some Apocalyptic stories, but, even then, a lot of my ideas (as of right now) for those brush on the side of Paranormal mixed within.
 
As for YA? I like to write that age group because, again, the reason stems from love for writing, reading and watching. But also, YA is a time of firsts, of the characters discovering who they are, and I feel a lot can be done with that, lots of stories to tell.

6. Q: How much research do you do?
A: Let’s just say, a lot. Too much, if I’m honest. And I’ve come to learn that’s not always a good thing. At least, not in the beginning of a manuscript; the first draft. I’m a serious plotter. I over plot, and recently, with some writing friends help, I’ve come to understand this bad. For me, at least. It slows me down until I just, well, stop. I need to learn to curb the research, to not get caught up on the details on the first draft. I am trying my best with this, and I'm hopeful that if I can indeed talk myself out of ‘research-mode’ and the major plotting aspect, then when I get back to writing fiction, in the long run, it’ll go a long way to help me write better. And finish a damn project. Something I haven’t done in a long, long while, not since research-mode took the hell over... and basically killed my muse.

7. Q: Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
A: No. Not even fanfic way back when. I’d like to do this, but I’m not sure I could, or how successful it would be. I’m very much my own ideas person; I like to write the core of the story and characters my own way, the way I see it. I’m very solitary like that.

8. Q: When did you decide to become a writer?
A: Do you decide? Unprofessionally, I mean. I am a firm believer in, if you have the need to write, and you write, then you are a writer. This ‘need’ isn’t a chosen lifestyle choice, it’s ingrained into a person. It’s an itch you can’t avoid scratching, and when you do, when you can’t write for some reason (blocked, or lack of time, or whatever), that itch becomes a living hell. There’s a saying, 'writers gotta write', and it is absolutely true.
 
But, Professionally, when did I make that decision. I think... late 2011? Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit to this date. Almost four years later, and I still have nothing to show for it. Oh, I’ve written a fair few manuscripts—unfinished manuscripts—and I’ve had a lot of health issues to deal with in that time, but still, I'm embarrassed and ashamed that I haven’t gotten my butt in gear, and, well, tried harder to get a book out into the world. Now, I have learned a lot in this time, especially about publishing, but that is no excuse.

9. Q: Why do you write?
A: Again, it’s that ‘need’. I might be failing at getting my first book out into the world, ultimately kick-starting my author career, and I might be blocked beyond belief at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to write. I do. I need to write. I need to write stories. That itch is, well, itching. But, I promised myself a break from it, I committed myself to this blog—for Camp NANO, at least. So, this is my honouring that. Meanwhile, ideas have sprung to mind, a few constants, but nothing has stuck thus far.

10. Q: What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
A: Beyond that self ‘need’ to write, and if we are talking professionally getting my first book out into the world, then, part ‘others spurring me on’, part ‘belief in myself’, and (a huge) part ‘wanting’; I want to write as a career. I want to make a living doing something I love. I want to share my stories and ideas with others. It would be awesome.

End of Q&A part one.

Thanks for reading, stay tuned for part two.
-Shan

1 comment:

  1. Hey, as promised I have filled out the interview as well - http://www.still-searching.net/2015/07/12/a-writers-interview-part-one/

    It's interesting how we agree or some things but disagree on others. I think research is probably the thing we differ on the most. Although from the sounds of things you are lumping plotting together with research, that right? As I have to plot and outline but when it comes to research, well I'm not exactly all that diligent. Google is my friend.

    I answered one more question than you did and like you, I left the rest to another post.

    ReplyDelete

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