Why Authors Love the Pacific Northwest

I’ve traveled across the United States, from Texas to Washington, D.C., back to Texas, and then childhood summers spent up in Michigan. I remember family trips across the hot deserts of the American West, and sticky falls spent along the Gulf of Mexico through swamps. It wasn’t until the summer of 2016 did I finally make it to the Pacific Northwest.

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Beach at Solo Point. See my instagram for more pictures of my setting adventures.

Besides living with a family that loved to travel, I’m a military spouse who moves every two to four years. It’s left me with a wide array of places to chose from for a setting. From the city outskirts of Washington D.C., to back roads in the Texas Hill Country, to long twisted highways that carve through the Colorado Rockies; my mental setting bank is full.

Last year I moved to Washington state. It’s a part of the country I’ve only seen in television shows, books, and movies, and I’ve always wondered, what makes this area so special? What is it about the Pacific Northwest that pulls writers in?

I haven’t been here a year yet, and let me tell you. It’s been an experience. It rains more than I’ve ever seen, the people are eccentric, and the cities are small. But none of those are bad things. If anything, the area reminds me of growing up in Austin in the 90’s. People are active in their community, the land isn’t built up with subdivisions, and there are plenty of outdoor events for people to get back to nature.

When you get out of the cities, you find small communities centered around churches, rocky beaches with whole tree trunks tossed on the shore and if you go out east, over the Snoqualmie Pass, you find orange deserts and oasis towns.

With my next project in the works, a dark comedy and drama both of them supernatural pieces having to do with ghosts and death, I’ve set parts of it in the Pacific Northwest for a setting. Trips to Solo Point, a beach for military personnel to unload their boats, have been the most inspiring. The scenery is stunning and I hope to take a kayak out to the small island off shore to do some more exploring.

The longer I’m in this part of the country, the more I realize why writers and artists are drawn to this area. It’s lush, vibrant, and in spite of the rain, it’s beautiful.

Is there a part of the country you find yourself drawn to? Where do you enjoy setting your placing your novels?

What’s your favorite “How To” writing book?

I’ve been picky about what “how to” writing books I buy lately. Most of them are less about story structure, and more about the nitty gritty parts of writing.

Here are some of my favorite books on writing, but I’m in the market for more. Have any suggestions that improved your writing in any particular area?

16681583_1300483536656800_6852415959332937314_n1. The Emotion Thesaurus
Good for – writing character feelings through their body language.
Lacking in – For a thesaurus, it doesn’t list off as many emotions as I’d hope.

2. Writer’s Guide to Character Traits 
Good for – Nailing down Character behavior regarding their mental status.
Lacking in – It’s one sided and stereotypical at times.

3. Writing from the Senses
Good for – Writing more expressive and meaningful scenes.
Lacking in – It’s a little “How To” and repeats what I’ve read in other books.

4. Plot Vs. Character
Good for – Helps see things from a plot/character writer’s perspective.
Lacking in – Not sure. I really enjoyed this one.

5. Bullies Bastards and Bitches
Good for – Creating fun, deep, well rounded villains.
Lacking in – Can read a little Creative Writing 101.

6. Word Painting
Good for – Explains writing descriptively better than Writing from the Senses.
Lacking in – Not a whole lot. I really don’t have any complaints about this book.

 

Getting Over the Fear of Judgement From Loved Ones

I love my family. I’m sure some of them will read this one day, so let me repeat myself. I love my family. That being said, growing up where most if not every person in said family is either Catholic, Church of Christ, or Baptist, I’ve always been afraid of them judging my writing.

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My fears weren’t entirely uncalled for. As a child/young teen, I drew a lot, and there were more than a few eyebrows thrown up by what I enjoyed sketching. Fairies, dragons and magic were off limits, practicing the nude human form was scolded, and if I drew in a style that wasn’t approved of, anime for example, I was told to not practice it. While family members saw it as them protecting me, it created a harbor of insecurity for what I was creating.

Needless to say, I never shared my writing with the adults of my family when I started writing. There were a few cousins I trusted with my work, and a best friend I consider a sister, but those were the only people I opened up to. When I told my cousins and “sister” I was going to start submitting to agents, they weren’t surprised at all. For the rest of the family, however, it came as a shock that I was writing in the first place.

When I told them, I’ll admit, I was worried. I write about people with wings that are mistaken as angels, magicians with power over life and death, and ghosts who fall in love with girls and refuse to pass on. I have plans for a novel that revolves around a demon who hunts spirits that escape Hell and another set in a dystopian future that revolves around human cloning.

You can see why I was worried they might judge my subject matter.

How did I get over my fear of judgement and just get to writing?

In part, I found a support group. My husband, “sister”, cousins, and a strict, yet fun, tough love writing group in Texas all gave me a shoulder to lean on but they weren’t the only things that helped.

When I sat back and began to think about what I wanted in life, I realized that writing is what makes me truly happy. I love entertaining people, I love the look on people’s faces when they enjoy my work, and I love creating worlds to let characters run wild in. I love all of it. If my family can’t understand that, and judge me, that’s fine. It’s worth it.

When you’re creating anything, from a sketch, to a play, to a novel, you have to ask yourself, is it worth it? Is it something you can’t live without, or are you going to let fear of people who should love you regardless of your interests and what you’re writing stop you from reaching your goals?

What are your insecurities, and how did you overcome them? What advice would you give to artists struggling with judgement from loved ones?

One last note, if you haven’t heard Neil Gaiman’s “Make Good Art” speech and you’re struggling with fears of rejection, have a listen. I can’t stress how important it was for me to hear this on my road to overcoming fear of insecurities.

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Interviewing for Novel Information

If you have questions while writing your book, chances are the answers are online. For writers, the internet helps us create more believable worlds, shaped our characters to sound more realistic, and given us enough information to become textbook experts on a number of topics.

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That being said, one of the most important tools in a writer’s skill set is the face to face interview.

Over my years of writing, I’ve spoken with a number of people regarding my writings. From a woman who lived at a Hindu temple in Texas, to a Wiccan priestess, to even people who trim trees for a living; I’ve contacted a number of individuals to speak with to help me create my novels.

Here are some questions I get asked from my fellow writers as to how I go about my interview process.

 

How do you find the people to interview?

I’m a wanderer. I like to go for drives to see where I end up, and often times it’s in the most interesting places with interesting people. If I’m not lucky enough to find a place, however, I check with friends and family to see if they know of anyone who’s associated with the topic I’m needing information about. And last case scenario, I check online for people who come recommended in their field.

What type of questions do you ask?

Anything that could possibly pertain to your novel. From personal opinions, to politics of that lifestyle, to what it took to get them to where they are today.  Most people are willing to share it all.

What should I do if I don’t use the information?

There have been a few interviews where the information I gathered wound up not helping me for my novel at all. In most cases, I don’t do anything. I log the information away and see if I can use it in the future. I do, however, keep track of who I interviewed so I can credit them, should I ever use the information they’ve given me.

 

Anything else?

Be up front – Not everyone will want to be interviewed for a novel. If you’re not honest with them, and later on they find out you used things they’ve said in your book, that’s a bridge you could potentially burn for future questions.

Have your questions written out ahead of time – No one wants to spend 45 minutes of an interview fumbling through words, or trying to come up with questions. This is especially important for phone interviews as the interviewee can get bored very quickly, and lose interest in what you’re asking.

Be polite and professional – This should be a no brainer, but keep in mind that this person is taking time to talk about their personal life or work. They don’t want to feel like they’re wasting that time or you don’t know what you’re doing. Again, you don’t want to burn bridges with people you might need in the future.

Be aware of scams/Be safe – This is another thing that should go without saying, but don’t feel like you should have to pay your interviewee. If you’d like to take them out to coffee or lunch, that’s one thing, but if someone’s demanding payment or is asking you to follow them to a location where you don’t feel safe, don’t do it.

Be grateful – I would recommend putting a mention to your interviewees in the acknowledgement of your book. Even if you only use a little bit of information from them, it’s important to show gratitude as a courtesy.

 

Best of luck on your interviews!

Tough Love Talk About “The Writing Fantasy”

This isn’t a tough love talk about writing fantasy. No, I’m talking about The Writing Fantasy. The fantasy all new writers and creators have about the world of writing.

This is coming from someone who’s never been published outside of vanity sites, so take it as you will. That being said the more I interact with writers, the more I get sick of hearing about this mythical world we’re supposed to live in.

So here we go! Top five fantasies I’m going to completely crush into the ground!

 

1. Every bad review or person who doesn’t like my work is personally attacking me!
 

Well okay there, self absorbed Sandra, let’s tone it down a notch. When someone doesn’t like your work, it has nothing to do with you as a person. I know it hurts when you put months or years into a project only to get rejected by agents, your audience, or even past fans, but you can’t make everyone happy. Is it okay to get your feelings hurt? Yes, but if every bad review makes you fall apart and threaten to quit creating art, maybe it’s time to take a step back.

Now there is an exception to this rule. If you’re getting the same negative feedback every single time you put something out there, but you’re not fixing your mistakes, yes, some of the reviews might start to get personal. This is because you’re not fixing things that your audience doesn’t like. If your counter to this is “Well, I’m writing it for me, not to make everyone else happy! I’m not a sell out!” then why bother caring about reviews in the first place? Heck, why even put it up for anyone else to read if it’s just for your personal enjoyment and you don’t care what other people think?

2. I don’t have to read other people’s work anymore because I’m a writer now.
 
This isn’t “I don’t have time”, this is the “Nick Miller” defense.

Most, if not all professionals in any job, keep themselves sharp through practice, study and staying informed. Reading is part of the studying/staying informed portion of that for writers. You learn how other authors break writing rules, what works in their market (or in some cases what doesn’t work), and how to better your writing by studying the works of others.

And for those who think “I can’t read anyone else anymore because I’m just so fantastic as a writer, it’s insulting to read their drivel.”

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Welcome back, self absorbed Sandra. Get over yourself. There’s ALWAYS someone better than you out there.

 

3. Writing is romantic so I should try and copy some of my favorite classic literature.

Copying an author’s style as a warm up is eye opening, or doing it so that it makes sense in the story can be acceptable when done well. It’s when you’re forcing it on every aspect of your writing does it get old. Here’s a little secret. Readers are smart. They’re going to know you’re trying to be someone you’re not. It comes off as insincere and boring. It’s one thing to try and find your voice, it’s another to be so pretentious to think you’re the next Hemingway or Poe so you have to copy their style down to the last period.

4. I’ll just get an agent and they’ll do everything for me!

No. Wrong. Don’t expect this. Agents are very busy and the last thing they want is an author who can’t pull their own weight. Many new authors have to do a LOT of work in order to get their work noticed. You need to self promote, keep up your writer’s platform, network with other authors, talk to your agents about possible marketing opportunities, travel on book tours, start your next book, look for contests or magazines to submit short stories to, and those are just things off the top of my head! There could very well be a million other chores to do in order to get your book off the ground. Don’t expect your agent to be your fairy godmother, as magical and amazing as many of them are.

5. Editing is for writers who don’t know how to write.

Editing is CRUCIAL to writing your book. I can’t tell you how many self published authors I’ve spoken to who’ve excitedly told me about how they “wrote a book in three weeks” and then instantly put it out to the public without even doing a second read through. I’m not going to point out that there could be HUGE grammatical errors (because trust me, there will be), but you could have completely forgotten to finish a paragraph, or you might’ve accidentally cut out something without realizing it that one night when you were up till 2am working. There could be glaring inconsistencies that might’ve been fixed if you just took the time to edit your work.

I’m not saying you have to spend years on edits, or completely rewrite your novel, but not even looking at your work once you’re done could turn off readers if you have annoyingly obvious problems with your work. I’m even going to go back through and do a round of edits on this blog posts just to make sure things look good! Editing is important!

If you don’t like editing, save up and hire an editor. There are a lot of affordable options out there, and if you’re serious about getting published, it’s easy to put aside the money here or there to get your work in the hands of a professional. (I’m putting aside my coffee funds every month to get one and yeah, it takes time to save up, but it’s a worthwhile sacrifice)

And that’s it! Those are the writing fantasies I’m crushing for today. I’ll probably do another Tough Love Talk about this later, but I figure this’ll be good for now.

What are some writing fantasies you’d like to crush for other people? Comment below and let me know!

Book Review #3 – Crimson Lake

When I read the work of a suspense author, I always have one worry. Is this story going to be the same type of tropes thrown into the same scenario? As much as I loved Hades, this question sat in the back of my mind. I should’ve known better, as Candice Fox did not disappoint.

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If you read my last review of her work, you’ll know I’m a big fan. So much so, in fact, shortly after I finished Hades, I ordered Eden, pre ordered Fall, and have my eye out for Never Never, a novel Fox wrote with James Patterson. When Fox contacted me with a chance to read Crimson Lake before it was released in the US, I have to admit, I might’ve fangirled just a little bit.

Crimson Lake is a small town in Cairns in Queensland, Australia, where Ted Conkaffey’s life is in ruins. Accused of kidnapping and torturing a young girl, he’s a retired cop with a tarnished name. He’s set on hiding from the world when he’s set up to met with Amanda Pharrell, a P.I. with murder in her past. The two begin their working relationship hunting for missing author, Jake Scully, under the eyes of a town that’s waiting for them to slip up.

If there’s one thing I enjoyed most of this novel, it was the protagonist, Ted. His fall from grace creates tension in a way that many authors are unable to capture. Not only is the reader able to feel his despair and emptiness, but there’s also rage and fury. He spirals into a depression and Fox makes his PTSD from his trial and experiences vividly realistic. Through all of it, I was rooting for him to succeed.

Amanda wasn’t a character to sneeze at either. She keeps Ted constantly pushed outside his comfort zone, and the two dynamics play well off one another.

I will say this though. Fox created two of the most unlikable police officers I’ve ever read. If anyone was going to get pushed into a bog full of crocodiles, I wanted it to be those two.  But here’s the thing. I LOVED to hate them. They made my skin crawl with how much they antagonized Ted, and made for a constant reminder that Ted’s life was always in danger because of what he was accused of.

You can purchase Crimson Lake on Amazon and if you’re a suspense fan, I say add it to your reading list!

Updating my Bookshelf – Call for Recommendations

Back in 2011, I made one of the biggest mistakes I could’ve made as a writer. I stopped reading. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I didn’t look at my bookshelf one day and go, “Who gives a crap about these things?”. But somewhere between moving, getting settled into the military life, and stressors that came up in 2012, I gradually fell out of the habit of reading.

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When I moved back to Texas in 2014, however, I slowly began to pick it back up again. I didn’t read nearly as much as I used to, but still more than I did in Virginia. I started with fun reads at first; Patricia Briggs has always been a favorite of mine and Neil Gaiman is more than entertaining, but I avoided nonfiction. When I couldn’t find a book, I went off recommendations of my friend, Alaska.

Now, in Washington, I make a point to pick up a book. I started updating my bookshelf in January, reading everything I can get my hands on, never wanting to fall back into the habit of not feeding the reader in me. I started with non-fiction, not only in subjects I want to know more about, but also to learn other people’s points of view and opinions. It’s like a reading revival over here, and I’m loving it!

What I finished reading in April

Hades by Candice Fox – Suspense/Murder Mystery
Crimson Lake
by Candice Fox* –  Suspense/Murder Mystery
Jonah Axe and The Weeping Bride by Claire L. Brown* – Time Travel/Fantasy
The Funhouse by Dean Koontz – Suspense/Fantasy

What’s currently on my nightstand/in my reading pile

Eden by Candice Fox – Suspense/Murder Mystery
The Last Wish by Andrzey Sapkowski – High Fantasy
Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman – High Fantasy
The Stand  by Stephen King – Post Apocalyptic/Horror/Fantasy
Why I’m not a Feminist by Jessa Crispin – Nonfiction/Social Politics
Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs – Urban Fantasy
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs – Urban Fantasy
The Stolen Throne by David Gaider – High Fantasy

And what do I plan to buy next?

Lucifer Eve and Adam by Peter Wilkes & Catherine Dickey Wilson – Religious Fiction/Romance
Discovery of Witches by Debora Harkness – Historical Fantasy
The Devil of White City by Erik Larson – Nonfiction/True Crime

Any suggestions? List them below! I’m looking for suspense, urban fantasy, and dark fantasy, but welcome non-fiction as well.

* – Review coming soon

Binge Watch Weekend

Are you looking for a show to binge over the weekend? Here are a few of my favorites that you might not have considered.

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theredroad_s1The Red Road – Drama
Where can you watch it? – Netflix
Watch if you like:
– Jason Momoa
– Psychological Drama
– Shows that end too soon

The IT Crowd – Comedy
Where can you watch it? – Netflix
Watch if you like:
– British comedy
– Workplace humor
– Awkward situations

The Fall – Crime Drama
Where can you watch it? – Netflix
Watch if you like:
– Murder mystery and psychologically disturbing situations
– Gillian Anderson
– Dark imagery
Contains sensitive subject matter. Viewer discretion advised.

Into the Badlands – Action/Adventure
Where can you watch it? – Netflix
Watch if you like:
– The idea of Westerns meet Kung Fu
– Original dystopian America
– Diverse cast and good action sequences

Lucifer – Fantasy Dogma/Comedy
Where can you watch it? – Hulu
Watch if you like:
– Cheesy tv
– Supernatural/Constantine/Sleepy Hollow
– Buddy cop scenarios but with the devil

airbender-completebook3Avatar: The Last Airbender – Cartoon Adventure
Where can you watch it? – Amazon Video
Watch if you like:
– Great storytelling well beyond its time
– Complex world building
– Beautifully designed settings

Gravity Falls – Cartoon Adventure
Where can you watch it? – Hulu
Watch if you like:
– Well written kids’ shows

– Family Friendly television
– Cryptozoology

 

 

Have you seen any of these on my list? Were you able to grab a second to watch any of these? Tell me what you think below, or what you recommend for a binge watch weekend.

New Blogging Schedule

I’m still learning when it comes to blogging, but as someone who loves structure and time tables, I decided I’m going to start a schedule so y’all know what to expect from my blog.

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Timing

Because I’m still trying to build my writer’s platform, I’m going to be posting three times a week, with one occasional weekend post a month. I might change that later on, but for now, this is going to help me learn how to be consistent with my blog.

Monday – Book Talk Monday

  • Author Interviews
  • Book Reviews
  • Calls for book suggestions
  • What I’m readings

Wednesday – Writing Wednesday

  • Where I’m at in current projects
  • Advice on writing
  • Favorite writing resources
  • My writing process

Friday – Life Updates, Movies, and More

  • Movie reviews
  • Any hiatus announcements
  • Life as an introvert
  • Personal updates

Saturday/Sunday – Optional days posted once a month.

  • Reviews on events I go to
  • Personal updates
  • Art updates (pictures of my art, or art of a feature artist)
  • Feature bloggers

 

Here’s hoping I get this blogging thing down!

Author Interview #9 – Mercedes Prunty

When I put out a call to writers, I’m always excited to get responses from authors who also take part in other art forms. As someone who draws pictures inspired by my own writing, I took a lot of joy in looking through Mercedes Prunty’s, my next author to interview, website!

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Q. What’s life like for you outside out of your writing? How do you like to spend your time when not behind a computer?
A.My life when I’m not writing is spent with my two daughters, my eldest is at school but my youngest is with me most of the time as she only does nursery a couple of days a week. So I’m mostly out and about with her going to toddler groups or seeing family.
 
Q. Tell us a little bit about the book you’ve recently published. When did it come out, and how did the project surprise you?
A. The book I recently published is called Junia, it’s a Fantasy I’ve set in another world called ‘Junia’. The story see’s a young princess called Mira go on an epic journey learning about the world she will one day be Queen of. A great war divided Junia and with the help of others she wishes to repair the magical bond that was broken but there is danger afoot as a grand dark witch called Andromeda plans on taking the throne for herself to turn Junia to the dark side. Along this journey Mira must collect the element souls which are the gods for each country of Junia each representing a different element, with those she hopes to destroy Andromeda’s plan but only if Andromeda doesn’t get them first. It was released in March this year and I have entered it into the Kindle Storyteller 2017 competition, so fingers crossed 
😉.
This book surprised me because I actually started writing it when I went to Legoland with my family on holiday, I purchased a notebook from the Lego Elves section and instantly fell in love with the world map at the back and whilst my family slept I drew my own world map in the notebook and that is where Junia began.
 
Q. What tips do you have for other mommy writers to work with kiddies underfoot?
A. Just work as and when you can. Some weeks I go days without writing because the kids have been a handful or I’m too tired after having so much fun. But don’t beat yourself up if you have short breaks from writing to spend time with your family because in my eyes they come first, writing comes a close second. I am even known to stay up into the small hours writing if I have an idea because that’s the time when I truly get any peace.
 
Q. You look like you have a love of obscure movies. Which movie do you recommend that you think is underrated? 
A. I love all the Final Fantasy films which my little sister got me hooked on so I would recommend all of those but also The Girl with all the Gifts, a great take on a zombie horror book and I find the zombies represent what would be quite realistic to me.
 
collage-2017-03-20-19_23_38Q. You have so much artwork on your website. Do you do them yourselves, or do you have someone else in your life who draws for you?
A. I tend to draw a lot of my own artwork, mainly because it helps me imagine my stories better if I can see them my way on paper. I also like to design my own covers more to do with a non existent budget because I don’t want to take anything away from the kids, so if I practice drawing more I hope to make even better covers for my future works.
 
Q. I’m always interested in why authors choose the way they publish their novel. What made you decide to self publish instead of going the “traditional” route?
A. I mainly chose the self publishing route because I have so many idea’s for stories that to chase agents and traditional publishers would take so much of my writing time. I also like the control I have over my books, I set the price, chose the cover and do all my own self promotion, which I have heard from traditionally published authors that they have to market a lot of their own work too so I thought I might as well just do it all myself.
 
Q. When you work on a novel, what is your favourite part of your writing process?
A. The first draft. I love just power writing it all down so I know the whole initial idea. It’s exciting getting to know the new story and also the characters and how they grow as the first draft takes shape. My least favourite part is editing but I think that’s more because of how much time it takes.
 
 
92f9654826ee60226cb97cf8ab62204eQ. Which author influenced your writing the most?
Funnily enough when I was younger I was obsessed with the Resident Evil franchise, the games, the films and the books. The books were written by S.D.Perry and I loved them so much I read them to death and had to buy all new ones again so I could re-read them. I think I liked her initial style and the way the horror and gore was described it made it scary not just a gore fest, which I have hopefully done in my horror books the Alone series. But another author who really got me writing the way I do is Laurell K Hamilton who wrote the Anita Blake series, the main reason for this is because she writes in the first person and since writing I find myself writing in first person as well. When I try to write in third person I really struggle and always end up back at first person so I think her writing influenced me as well as S.D.Perry.
 
Q. In your novel, The Keeper of the Key, Selene is tossed into a world of shadows and monsters. What type of creatures does she find there, and how were you inspired by them?
A. The shadow’s are almost like an illuminati type cult that plans on destroying the world (I think I like the world being destroyed scenario too much) but even though most of them are people a lot of them are monsters with dark powers too. The creatures can be anything from black mists with tentacles to her best friend becoming a source of all evil controlled by the head Shadow Master. I was inspired by them through other films and television shows I had seen growing up but also video games. I love Tomb Raider when growing up and wanted a feel to it a little like that, in the tombs there were always shadows that monsters could hide in and I wanted to play on that feeling of what the shadows in my books could hide inside them.
 
Q. Which of your protagonists do you find is the most like you? Which one is the least?
A. I think Stacie from Alone is a bit like me in the sense I gave her blonde hair and mine is naturally blonde. I saw a lot of protagonists that were heroines with dark flowing brunette locks and wanted someone I could connect with. I would also like to think that in a situation where the world was overrun by zombie like creatures I would be a survivor like her. I think Selene would be the least like myself but in a way they are all extensions of me so I can’t completely rule her out as not being like me a little bit.
 
Q. What do you find is the most rewarding part about writing?
A. Holding the published paperback copy in your hands, the smell of the new book and the feeling of accomplishment but also the proudness of my husband. He supports me so much with my writing and that is really rewarding because although they might not get anywhere in the book world he is proud of me and that makes it worth it.
 
Q. Some authors spend years editing their work, others don’t have an editing process at all. How long do you usually spend on your novels, and what advice do you give to fellow writers when it comes to editing?
A. Each novel normally takes me around a year to write and edit. I tend to write one for a couple of months, leave it and start another one, then go back to the first one, finish it and edit it. My advice when it comes to editing is; mistakes happen!! I have to edit all my own work I cannot afford for a professional, I also know someone who had her work stolen by an editor who published the work as their own and she had to fight and spend money on Solicitors and Lawyers to get it back which scares me, so I find trusting people with my work hard due to her experience. But I would say we are only human, there is going to be the odd spelling or grammar mistake no matter how many times you read it. I love my mistakes because to me I know that I made that work by myself, it was all my hard work and dedication that gave birth to my book baby and no one else.
 
Q. Do you set writing goals for yourself, or do you prefer to have a more freeform style with your work?
A. My writing is more freeform, I just write and hope to finish by a certain time of year. I normally publish books around March and August time so I just aim for those months with my works that are nearly complete.
 
Q. Which villain from a book or movie do you love the most? Which hero do you love the least?
!!!SPOILERS FOR WALKING DEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN UP TO SEASON 7!!!
I’m obsessed with The Walking Dead and the Villain I love the most on there is Negan. He’s a lovable rouge even if he did kill my Glenn (highlight for word) which I don’t think I can fully forgive him for. I like how funny and charming he can be but also the dark, evil side is a bit attractive haha. The Hero I’m not the most keen on is Bella in Twilight, I actually loved the books and I liked Bella in the book but in the film I found her irritating and not at all like I’d imagined her but I guess that’s the risk with book to film adaptations.
 
Q. Who do you find yourself relying on the most in your writing life?
A. My husband, he is quite knowledgeable about things and I’m always asking him questions. He also advises me on the storyline and the characters. He is also like my agent as he’s always telling people about my books and getting me a few more sales.
 
Q. What’s your guilty pleasure “cliche character trait” do you love, even when everyone else says it’s over done?
A. The teenager that is the ‘One’ the chosen one. I know people find it overdone and annoying but I love it and enjoy reading and writing it.
 
Q. Tell us a little bit about the world of “Junia”! What’s your favorite part about world building?
A. Junia is a world built on magic and shaped like a pentacle star, each section or country represents a different magical element and has different cultures and races living there. I love world building because I can make it how I see fit, I make it fit my book not the other way around.
 
Q. The release date for your fourth book, Junia was set for April 9th. How do you prepare yourself for book release dates and how’s the event planning going?
A. The release party was indeed the 9th April although it had been out since mid March. I prepare by using apps on my phone to create fun games, create pictures with snippets from the book and teasers, I always buy one of my books to use in a competition that someone can win. It takes a lot of planning it’s not something you can just throw together.  I also make my book free to download as obviously as an author you want as many people to read it as possible and leave a review or two 😉. Next up I want to do a signing day at my local library or supermarket but I have to wait till pay day to order some more books.
 
Q. What’s next on your agenda? What’s your next project and when do you plan on finishing it.
A. I’m currently writing the final book in my Alone series, the end to my own zombie apocalypse. I’ve written half of it but with getting Junia ready it did take a little bit of a back seat but now I can plan and write again for it. I plan for it to be released around August time if I get my butt in gear that is.
 
Thanks for having me. xxxx
bdrWant to learn more about Mercedes Prunty, her love of vampires, and the world of Junia? Check her out below!
Twitter: @MercedesPrunty
Instagram: MercedesPrunty
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Author. Blogger. Traveler.