Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A (Maybe) Teen Author Comes Visiting

Hi everybody! I'm Emily Rachelle, blogger of Struggles of a (Maybe) Teen Author, aspiring author (obviously) and online friend of Katelyn here.  :)  Since Katelyn was looking for more authors to interview and host guest posts for, and I fully intend to be a published author someday, I offered to drop in.  However, I'm not entirely sure what to say to you strangers, so I *borrowed* a few questions from Katelyn's previous interviews.  This is my first time interviewing myself, though, so bear with me...

Yes, I like Edgar Allen Poe, but no, that is not a book I would typically pick up at the library - or, with that cover, anywhere.  Yeah, yeah, I know the whole "don't judge a..." nonsense, but who really listens to that anyway?  Why else would we have covers?  Why else would authors and publishers go to such great lengths to ensure an amazing cover?
GeekPhilosopher: Instant download of free stock photos, images, backgrounds, and desktop wallpapers. Pictures can be used for personal and commercial web sites.

Some basics: How old are you? 16. Where do you live? Georgia, at the moment. Education? Homeschooled, tenth grade. Favorite non-writing hobbies? Reading, movies, crafty stuff, web-surfing... um... collecting zany socks?

How long have you been writing?  Well, my love of reading bloomed in first grade, but writing didn't come in until fourth grade.  The social aspect of that year of my life was terrible, as were a few other aspects, but my teacher was stellar and her focus on creative writing played a part in who I am today.

When did you know that you wanted to be an author? I don't really know.  Back in that fourth grade class, I didn't know much about authors.  Honestly, I think it came upon me slowly as I got older and started writing - and raeding - more.

Did you have any trouble with dialogue, plot, etc? Actually, plot is pretty easy for me.  Dialogue sometimes is forced at first, but I fall into it quickly.  Same with actions and emotions.  It's the scenes that have more description or information than dialogue or action that I struggle through.  Also, like most writers, I. Hate. Editing.  Polishing and shining and proofreading is (scarily) easy for me, but content edits drive me up a wall.  Especially the 'big picture' variety.

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? That would be fun.  (I'd probably research her beforehand just to avoid discussing things I could've learned from Google - although I would have a terrible time acting like we really haven't met when I've read her most famous book and watched Anne Hathaway reinact her life story.)

What do you love most about writing? Getting swept along by the flow of the story - that moment when the characters and dialogue and scenes take over and you type faster than a cheetah runs, while the scene crystallizes in your head and you suddenly feel like you're watching your new favorite movie or a dream play out in your very own mind.

If you could be any character from any book - including your own - who would you be? Oh dear.  Um... I'd really prefer to just be me.  Is that an option?  Because my life is so totally suited to me.
What role does your family play in your writing? Actually, they're more character influences than real-life influences.  My grandma loves my stories, my parents follow my blog, and my brothers signed up for NaNo this past year.  (Not that they actually participated, but they *did* sign up.)  I'm a bit of an introvert (okay, so my mom sometimes gets frustrated with my lack of social activity...) so I don't talk so much about what I'm writing.  What I'm reading could be a different story...
What is your favorite author/book? Actually, I have several: Shannon Hale, Melody Carlson, Robin Jones Gunn, A Family Forever, Tour de Force... there are many others, and these are in no particular order.
Do you outline, or just write ideas as they come? Sort of both?  Well, I keep a writer's version of an outline for most stories, but then I have lots of side notes and paper scraps that may or may not make it into that story.  Also, outlines change.  A lot.
Okay, I'm gonna log off now.  Thanks for letting me pop in, Katelyn, and meet all your lovely readers!  And, said lovely readers whom I don't know, why don't you come visit me sometime?  You can find me at my blog, Struggles of a (Maybe) Teen Author, where I've listed some other contact information - not to mention lots more to know about moi. ;)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Interview with author Cidney Swanson!

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I was seven. Well, actually, I could only carve out time for poems and essays in my twenties and my Decade of Giving Birth, but I switched back to fiction after that.

When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I had that figured out by the time I was eight. I read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, and although I’m sure I didn’t understand tons of it, I understood one thing very clearly: I was like Jo March, and like her, I wanted to be a person who made stuff up and wrote it down for a living.

Who/what was your main inspiration for The Ripple Trilogy?
I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of invisibility. (Harry’s cloak, Bilbo’s ring, and some character in the extended Oz series . . .) One day, I had an image pop into my head. In my mind, I saw a girl looking at a river, and she disappeared without realizing it. Why? And why didn’t she notice she’d vanished? I had to know. Then this dark back story emerged, tying my modern-day invisible girl with old Nazi experiments. At that point, I couldn’t stop writing!

Did you have any trouble with dialogue, plot, etc?
Plot is very challenging for me. Character and dialogue come pretty easily. And I’ve always been able to string sentences together. But plot can throw me for a loop. Also, writing action (i.e., fight) scenes is very, very hard for me. I get lots of praise for my action scenes, but it’s only because I’ve gone over them a bazillion times ‘til they are working nice and tight.

 What was the hardest part of The Ripple Trilogy to write?
Writing from the point of view of my villains was really disturbing and yucky. I had to do a ton of research into Nazi Germany and the eugenics movement in the USA, and that was just really depressing and awful.

 Can you tell us a little about Rippler?
Rippler begins a trilogy about a girl who can turn invisible, the boy she’s falling for, and the neo-Nazi scientist who is hunting them both. 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure! I love to read, of course! I also like to cook and go for tea with friends. And I seriously love to travel. I have a long list of places I still need to visit, most of which require long plane rides.

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Oh, my! Well, I think it would have to be Joanne (JK) Rowling. I mean, how cool would that be? I’d love to tell her thank you for those amazing stories and how they made me want to be a braver and kinder person.

Will we see any more books from you anytime soon?
You mean, like, you want a tease? Well, I’m revising a piece right now that has pointe shoes and hobgoblins and Russian food. I also have a first draft of a sci-fi novel that’s aging. As in, set aside to improve the flavor. Like wine or cheese.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Okay, ready? Here it is: Cidney, what do you love most about writing?
I love the arranging of words. Sure, I love telling the whole story, but the part that absolutely intoxicates me is the moving and shifting and perfecting of the order in which words appear on the page. Yeah. Weird. Now you know why no one has ever included this in an interview before. (As far as I can recall!)
Thanks so much, everyone, for the chance to stop by and visit today! Come say hi anytime!

Thank you so much Cidney! And I'm so sorry for the delay. Now, here are a few links where you can find more of Cidney!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Guest Blogger, Jill Williamson!

My * I judge the book by grammer, spelling, plot, and, well, everything that matters! I do not always agree with all religious standings, or Bible doctrines. Please keep that in mind.*

 name is Jill Williamson. I write weird books for teens.
My name is Jill Williamson. I write weird books for teens.
My most recent book is called Replication: The Jason Experiment. It’s about a girl who discovers her biologist father is covering up multiple secrets—all of which are named Jason

My name is Jill Williamson. I write weird books for teens.
My most recent book is called Replication: The Jason Experiment. It’s about a girl who discovers her biologist father is covering up multiple secrets—all of which are named Jason.
My most recent book is called Replication: The Jason Experiment. It’s about a girl who discovers her biologist father is covering up multiple secrets—all of which are named Jason.
Originally, I called the book Jason Farms. I came up with that title the day I came up with the idea for the story. I was in a car with my sister in upstate New York. We were driving to an orchard to pick apples. As we passed farm after farm after farm, I got to daydreaming: What if there was a Farm that grew people? They could call it Jason Farms! And the idea was born.
But my publisher felt that Jason Farms 

But my publisher felt that Jason Farms was confusing, so they changed the title to Replication: The Jason Experiment.
I have two book trailers for Replication! I made one from each main character’s point of view. Here are the links:
I love book trailers. I made one for my very first novel, By Darkness Hid, then a bunch of teens got together to film a live-action trailer for my second novel, To Darkness Fled. They had such a great time they decided to make a trailer for the third book in that trilogy, From Darkness Won. That trailer is in post-production right now, but should be done any day. I can’t wait to see it! I even got to play a small role in that one. *grin*