Writing Q + A

Hey everyone, welcome back to the blog, where normal service has resumed! Today, I thought I’d do something writing focused, so I hope you enjoy that! I recently read Switched by Amanda Hocking (the first book in the Trylle trilogy), so look out for that in the July wrap up. In the back of the eBook was an interview with the author. So I thought, I’d replicate the questions here, but with my answers obviously!

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What first inspired you to write? I’ve always loved books from an early age. I have fond memories of my mum reading The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien to me at bedtime. My dad made up stories as well and I can still see the pictures he painted in my head. Naturally, when I started reading for myself, and writing things for school, I knew that I wanted to be an author. Although when asked what I wanted to be when I was an adult, I often said I wanted to be a fairy… In fact, a concert I went to had an unusual dress code – come as what you wanted to be when you were young. So here’s the proof!

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Do you start with a character or a storyline? Usually the characters make themselves known, banging at my brain with their fists. The story follows closely behind.

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Have other authors/books inspired you, and why? There are plenty of books I could name, but inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere! Every time I pick up a new book, or I reread something, I can be inspired. Sometimes it’s the characters, the plot, or the writing style. Cliché as it is, the biggest inspiration I have is J. K. Rowling – it’s not just her books, but how she rose to fame from nothing. She’s a heroine.

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What genres have you written before, and what would you like to try? So far in my writing career, I have written for young adults and adults. I have written horror, romance, and fantasy. In the future, I’d like to try a proper contemporary – without any fantasy elements. Just a straight up contemporary – but I’m not sure of the audience.

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Would you ever write a children’s book? It’s definitely something I’d consider. It would probably be about cute fluffy animals, but spooky stuff does appeal to children. My non-fiction/sequential art tutor once said that children are interested in things that have sharp teeth – maybe I could make a cute vampire work?

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How do you manage to keep all your characters and series separate when working? Both WIPs that I’m working on are very different – and so are the characters, so I don’t have a problem there. The notes I have are in separate places too. My YA WIP notes are in a notebook, whereas my adult WIP notes are on my laptop.

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Do you have a favourite character or series that you’ve written? Erica from my upcoming release VRES: Digital Quest is my favourite, so far. She’s strong, sassy, but she’s experienced a lot to get where she is now. If she can manage it, so can I!

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What attracted you to having a publisher over self-publishing? By being with a publisher, I have a wide readership – there is definitely an aspect of promotion there. I thought about self-publishing VRES: Digital Quest – I even said to myself, if it wasn’t accepted this time, I would self-pub. The idea of it scares me though – the editing, the cover design, the formatting/layout… Makes me shudder – someone more experienced than me can do it!

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What advice would you offer other aspiring writers? I’m still aspiring myself – higher things, big sales, international success… My advice for other writers though is to keep writing. It’s a craft that improves with time. If you keep writing, one day you will have a fully fledged first draft, and that will be something to be proud of. And read – you can learn so much from other books.

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Where do you want to go from here with your books? I’d like to be successful with what I write, but I’ve learnt from past mistakes. It’s not about churning books out for publication. For me, whatever I want to write in the future, I should be fully invested in the story and its characters. I’ll always write.

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What do you think about the future of physical books? Do you think most people will buy eBooks in future? Physical books will always exist, because people love to read. There is nothing like holding a hard/paperback book and entering the world that awaits. I don’t think they will ever go ‘extinct’. People will still buy eBooks though – you can get good free books or special offers. They don’t take up room on your shelves or in your bag/suitcase. They’re convenient and you can reach a wide audience just as much as with a physical book.

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What format do you read in – eBook or physical? And why? I read in both formats – I love curling up with a book, or reading in the bath. I’d sooner do that with a physical book as it can be dried and saved if its damaged. eBooks are great for travelling though, and for getting special offers – I recently picked up Caraval by Stephanie Garber and When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon for 99p each on Kindle! They are both fairly new, so at those prices, I couldn’t resist! Quite a lot of BookTubers/book bloggers read both, like Little Book Owl pictured here!

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What can you tell us about the next books you’re working on? Project #1 is currently titled Exile. It is a YA fantasy novel. Faye has always dreamed of life outside of her village. One accident changes her life forever. She has to find the strength to keep going. It was inspired by my favourite episode of The Simpsons – Wild Barts Can’t Be Broken.

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Project #2 is currently titled Power Play. It is an adult fantasy novel. Nora is the privileged daughter of a vampire politician, but an attack leaves her life in pieces. Nora is about to test herself in ways she never thought possible, and risk everything for life and love. I have no idea where the inspiration came from, but I’ve had the idea for a while! Some character inspiration came from Bianca Del Rio’s runway look for the black and white challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

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Did you enjoy my writing Q + A? If you have any questions for me, please feel free to ask – I’d love to hear from you guys!

– ReadWriteZoe.

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