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ask the author

  • Did you always know you wanted to become an author?
    “Vulnerability is the essence of connection and connection is the essence of existence.” - Leo Christopher I have been a writer for as long as I can remember, but being an author didn’t occur to me until after I’d finished six manuscripts. In 10th grade when my seventh manuscript idea came to me, I remember thinking “I have to share this with people” and that’s when I started thinking about becoming an author. It took a long time for me to feel comfortable sharing my work with people for critique or telling people I wanted to publish my writing. But it was the concept that my books could be enjoyed by others and that they could enter the fantasy I’ve been creating that really got me hooked on the idea of becoming an author.
  • Why did you start writing books?
    “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.” -Lloyd Alexander I started writing fantasy books to explore the realities of this world. When I was younger there was a lot I needed to process and better understand, and writing was a safe place for exploration. In my worlds, I can see what happens when a character says or does something without the consequences of reality. It’s through writing that I was able to explore various problems and solutions to what I was experiencing in the real world.
  • What’s your process for writing a book?
    “Just get it down on paper, and then we’ll see what to do with it.” ― Maxwell Perkins I’ve been in college for a long time and working multiple jobs, so my time during the semesters has always been limited. Because of this, the first thing I focus on is timing. I tend to work better in long segments such as 8-10 hour increments. Usually the moment fall semester gets out I’d begin writing and same for the month of June. Twice a year I tend to write or rewrite a book during these times. Generally to produce a first draft and complete a revision of a draft I can complete it in just under 30 days. The first thing I do is brainstorm and outline a book for 2 weeks to a month. I used to do very strict outlines, but recently for Warrior’s Truth I switched to a more flexible outline structure including some unplanned writing and I’ve really enjoyed that and it’s improved my pacing in my work. I write a first draft just for me and don’t edit as I write. My focus when writing a first draft is to just get the story in my mind or outline written, rather than worry about if it’s good. Once I finish a draft, I put it away for 2-3 months and then work on the first revision by creating an in-depth revision plan of each scene in the book and its purpose. After a couple rounds of revision, I send the book to an editor who helps me ensure the book is ready to go onto the next step.
  • Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
    “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story within you.” - Maya Angelou My biggest advice is to write what you enjoy and write for you first. On a first draft, don’t worry about the quality of the writing so much. The most important thing is to get the story you want to tell onto the page, and then you can mold it into a great one in the revision process. When you get to revision, my biggest suggestion is to read similar books to your own and see what craft moves they’re making.
  • What's your favorite part about writing?
    “The writer's job is like solving a puzzle, and finally arriving at a solution is a tremendous satisfaction” —William Zinsser I like to imagine story crafting like a puzzle, and my favorite moment is when the pieces click together and start to form a larger picture. In writing, this is when the characters, story, or setting connects together in some way I wasn’t imagining and betters the piece of writing.
  • What is your least favorite part about writing?
    “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” ― William Shakespeare My least favorite part about writing are the doubts. It’s too easy to let doubt sink in when you’re writing and stop writing. When I was writing books just for myself and not to share, I had no problem with doubt. But the more I desire to share my work with others, the more that doubt creeps in. Those fears of “is this right?” or “Can I pull this off?” or “Will people like this?” are so scary sometimes. For me, I have to remind myself that every word I write is practice just like playing an instrument or practicing a dance. Mistakes will happen, failure will happen, but we can always learn from it.
  • Have other questions for me?
    I’d love to add more FAQs to my site! If you have a question for me, send it my way by messaging me here.
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