Author Interview: Melissa Caruso

Author Interview

Meet Melissa Caruso.

Melissa Caruso Author Photo 2

Social media links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/melisscaru
Website: https://melissacaruso.net

The Interview.

 

Hi Melissa! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little about yourself.

Sure! I’m the author of the Swords & Fire series from Orbit Books, including THE TETHERED MAGE (2017), THE DEFIANT HEIR (2018), and THE UNBOUND EMPIRE (2019). I’ve got a new book coming out in June 2020, THE OBSIDIAN TOWER, which is the first book of a new trilogy set in the same world as Swords & Fire, but with new characters and 150 years later.

My books tend to feature intrigue, magic, murder, betrayal, twisty plots, and explosions. THE TETHRED MAGE was shortlisted for a Gemmell Morningstar Award, and THE UNBOUND EMPIRE received a Kirkus Star.

As for me, in addition to being a fantasy writer, I’m a larper, tea drinker, mom, and all-around geek. I’m married to a video game designer and have two amazing daughters, and I live in Massachusetts with a wonderful old Labrador and assorted cats.

 

What are your top three favorite things to geek over?

Oooh, that’s a tough one! I’d say Fullmetal Alchemist (especially the manga by Hiromu Arakawa! MOST PERFECT MANGA EVER), larping, and writing craft. Birds come in a close fourth, but the rabbit hole of bird geekery goes very deep and I barely have my toes in it!

 

If you had to choose one of your books to live in, which would you pick?

Well, they all take place in the same world, so if we’re talking about the specific locations and events visited in the books…Hmm, I might have to say THE DEFIANT HEIR. There are some pretty good parties in that one, the outfits are fantastic, and I get to visit more places and meet more characters than in THE TETHERED MAGE (especially Kathe). THE UNBOUND EMPIRE is just too plain dangerous!

 

Did you ever create yourself, a family member, or a friend as a character in any of your story drafts?

I’ve never based a character directly on a real life person. Some of my family think La Contessa is based on my mom, but my mom is much nicer than La Contessa! There are certain aspects of real people I may have drawn on with certain characters—like I might think sometimes of someone’s voice or way of standing or general energy. And sometimes I think of which of my friends I’d cast as a particular character if I ever ran a larp based on my books! But for me each character is their own unique person, without a direct real life model.

 

How did you start your world building for the Swords & Fire trilogy?

In early drafts of THE TETHERED MAGE, it was a historical fantasy, based in an extremely alternate Venice. It kept getting more and more alternate, though, so it was a relief to revise it into an original world and to be free to really expand the worldbuilding! I thought a lot in doing my worldbuilding about how the magic in my world would have shaped history—how it would have affected who was in power, what conflicts arose, how it would have shaped the development of science. The history of the world and a lot of the core conflicts in the trilogy arose naturally from that thought process.

 

As a reader, what keeps you intrigued in a book?

I love books with well-crafted plot twists, great pacing, and really fun characters I’d want to hang out with (or love to hate, in the case of villains). And a cool magic system! I’m always extra excited when there’s some mystery or secret I can speculate about, or some source of tension that keeps me on the edge of my chair.

 

Are you a plotter or do you write as you go?

A bit of both, but leaning toward plotter! I always have an outline and many pages of notes where I figure things out in advance, but I also inevitably diverge from that outline as I get a better understanding of the story as I write it. I tend to update my outline as I go to reflect my new direction, and I don’t feel like I need to have EVERY SINGLE THING figured out before I write. So I guess a flexible plotter!

 

What was the hardest scene you ever had to work on?

The hardest scene emotionally for me to write was this one about halfway through THE UNBOUND EMPIRE where Amalia has to walk away from a certain situation, with heartbreaking consequences. I knew what was happening in that scene, and what would happen after it, and it broke my heart to write it.

The hardest scenes for me in terms of sheer bang-my-head-against-the-wall factor are always transitions! Getting my characters from one location to another (or passing time) without it feeling clunky or grinding the story’s momentum to a halt is like trying to push my face through the holes of a cheese grater, I swear.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers?

I’m really excited about my new trilogy, Rooks and Ruin, which begins with THE OBSIDIAN TOWER, out this June! It’s about a young woman with deadly, broken magic who lives in a rambling, magical castle with an ancient secret at its heart, locked behind a forbidden door. And about what happens when she makes one terrible mistake that could change her world forever.

It’s got all new characters and takes the worldbuilding in a new direction, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

 

Thank you Melissa for joining us today!

THE OBSIDIAN TOWER coming soon!

Guest Post: “What I’ve Learned From Readers” by K.D.

Guest Post, Misc.

KD.pngMeet K.D.

K.D. lives and writes in North Carolina, but has spent time in Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, New Hampshire, Montana, and Washington. (Common theme until NC: Snow. So, so much snow.) Mercifully short careers in food service, interactive television, corporate banking, retail management, and bariatric furniture has led to a much less short career in Higher Education. The first book in his urban fantasy series THE TAROT SEQUENCE, called THE LAST SUN, was published by Pyr in June 2018. The follow-up, THE HANGED MAN, will be published in September 2019. K.D. is represented by Sara Megibow at kt literary, and Kim Yau at Paradigm for media rights.

 

The Guest Post.

What I’ve Learned From My Readers.
Everyone tells you the same thing: DO NOT read the reviews on your novel!

It’s crazy…. Literally everyone has an opinion on it. People who’ve never written a book. People who want to write books. People who’ve written lots of books. All of them seemed to say the same thing. Ominously. Like even the act of opening a reader review will cause a pale girl with lots of dark hair to climb through my computer screen.

But I did. From the start. From the first one, to the one that was written yesterday. I’ve read every word that people have taken the time to write about THE LAST SUN.

Anyway, this is me: an urban fantasy author who writes about a reimagined Atlantis in modern day society, built loosely around the theme of the tarot deck’s major arcana, with main characters who just happen to be gay. My novels center around a buddy-duo named Rune and Brand, and their adventures in the sprawling world of New Atlantis. I’m hoping to turn this into a nine novel series – 3 trilogies, actually. The overall series is called the Tarot Sequence, the first novel is THE LAST SUN, and the follow-up, to be published in December 2019, is THE HANGED MAN.

I didn’t know what to expect when the first novel came out. I’m an older writer – old enough, at least, to remember a world that looked a lot different from the one today with regards to casually including gay characters in your story. I didn’t know if my series would be pigeon-holed as simply “Gay Fiction” or if by marketing it as Sci-Fi I’d be enduring the wrath of unnamed straight readers who picked up the book assuming Rune was a red-blooded straight male who would obviously never fall in love with someone named Addam.

The truth? Most people were awesome. My readers rock this universe. They are kind and effusive. They share artwork and song recommendations. 95% of my reviews are overwhelmingly positive. I worked my ass off writing HANGED MAN, largely because these people are so exceptionally great. I owe them a great follow-up.

But for a second….let’s talk about the 5% of reviews that weren’t overwhelmingly positive. I read those too. This is a list of what I learned about my readers (my audience); my writing; and the thickness of my skin.

  • Oh wow did I mess up my portrayal of female characters. Looking back, I thought I was Mr. Diversity because I had an urban fantasy with characters who just happened to be gay men! And while, sure, I think there’s a market for that, I also learned that it’s not enough. It’s no excuse to omit vibrant, strong, interesting, powerful female characters. I literally had none. NONE. Those that I did include were either villains or heavily-flawed people. I am deeply ashamed of this, and worked hard to show a better balance in HANGED MAN. This is, by far, one of the most powerful things I learned from my audience. I can’t wait for people to meet Anna and Lady Death, in particular. And Aunt Diana returns for at least one scene where she kind of beautifully puts Rune in his place.
  • And along those same lines? My character were overwhelmingly white. Part of that originally had to do with my own sensitivity, and not wanting to appropriate other cultures. But I’ve learned that’s no excuse not to include people of color in my story. So I start correcting that in HANGED MAN, and will correct it even more in Novel #3. Lady Death, who makes her first appearance in HANGED MAN, is a strong black woman who will get along well with Rune, and play a huge part in Novel #3. And the Dawncreeks are a family with a bloodline that traces back to the Wampanoag (not unlike Rune himself)—an American Indian tribe I’ve mentioned before in the context of their importance in East Coast history. And the Arcana—the rulers of New Atlantis –are an extremely multicultural bunch. Since they’ve had business interests in every part of the human world, it wouldn’t make sense to have them be anything but diverse.
  • I also learned it’s OK not to have a knock-down, dragged-out action sequence every other chapter. Now this is a much more subtle learning. I think genre novels always have a fair balance of action and narrative; but “action” doesn’t always have to mean a fight sequence. Early in HANGED MAN, there’s a long sequence that takes place in a red light district called the Green Docks, which is comprised of long-lost ghost ships. I learned that I didn’t need to use this as a backdrop for a fight, because the backdrop itself was the action. It was spooky and haunted, and Rune, Brand, and Addam had to be on their toes the entire time they explored it to gather information on a runaway named Layne. I didn’t necessarily need to have more than that. Atmosphere is action.
  • And sure, in reading all of the first novel reviews, I got some homophobia. Shockingly little, however. So little that I actually was able to laugh most of it off. There was one person who gave me a low-star review, but also published their Kindle notes. And in their Kindle notes, I saw the point where their enjoyment of the story turned into a rejection of the gay theme. (The focus of the story isn’t on a gay character; the main character just happens to be gay, and a potential love interest that appears halfway into the story is, indeed, a man.) The reviewer made a Kindle note to the affect: “Oh great, this just turned into another homoerotic bottom boy novel. What a waste.” And most recently, a reader made comments about my pandering to the diversity crowd by having a character who wasn’t a “boring straight white male.” I should note that in both cases, I anonymously reprinted the comments on Twitter with this caption: MORE TO COME!
  • …..BUUUUT I learned, hypothetically, that the person who left that borderline homophobic comment may see that I quoted him or her on Twitter, because the next thing I knew that last 3-star review became a 2-star review, and was immediately followed by another 2-star review by a new reviewer who just happened to have reviewed no novel except for LAST SUN. So…maybe I learned not to engage? We’ll see if that sticks.

OK! Now that I’ve blown this blog entry’s word count request out of the water, I’ll stop here. Lord knows there are plenty of other lessons I’ve learned, but these are the Big Ones. These are the lessons that heavily impacted how I wrote & structured THE HANGED MAN.

Thank you for the opportunity to write this, Rae! I’ve been wanting to put this into words for a while!

 

Thank you K.D. for sharing!

THE HANG MAN comes out in December of this year!

Guest Post: “Self-Publishing: How I Came Full Circle” by Elana A. Mugdan

Guest Post, Writing

Author Elana A. Mugdan picture.jpgMeet Elana A. Mugdan.

Elana A. Mugdan is an author and semi-retired filmmaker based in New York City. She has received many accolades in the film industry, including a number of awards for her feature film Director’s Cut, which she wrote, directed, and produced by herself. Currently she is working with a production company in California which has optioned her newest screenplay, a sci-fi action triller called Paradox.

In 2016, Elana’s debut novel, Dragon Speaker, was published in the U.K. Dragon Speaker has enjoyed critical acclaim, and is the first in a 5-book Young Adult epic fantasy series entitled The Shadow War Saga. The second installment, Dragon Child, will be published worldwide in May of 2019. She is currently doing her final round of revisions on book three, Dragon Blood, which has a projected release date of March 2020.

An avid reader, Elana is a lifelong fan of fantasy stories – particularly ones which revolve around dragons. She is described by her friends and family as “the weirdest person I know”, and wears that weirdness proudly on her sleeve. Some of her favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkein, Peter S. Beagle, and Robert Jordan.

Elana currently resides in New York, living a quiet but eccentric life with her adopted pet snake, Medusa.

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ShadowWarSaga/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/dragonspleen
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/officialdragonspeaker/
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42967730-dragon-speaker
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Speaker-Shadow-War-Saga/dp/1532387938/

Dragon Speaker Cover - Web.png

The Guest Post.

Self-Publishing: How I Came Full Circle

Back in 2015, when I had just put the final-FINAL-really-final-for-real touches on my manuscript, I decided I would go the self-publishing route. I’d spent a couple years in the query trenches and I hadn’t gotten any good bites. The few nibbles I had gotten hadn’t panned out, and I was tired of waiting. Self-publishing, I reasoned, would ensure that my book would get out into the world and be found by readers near and far.

This was a terrible idea for a whole host of reasons, the main two being that (a) I am not good at marketing, and (b) I am not good at socializing. But hey, I had a Facebook account and that should be enough! Surely the book would sell itself, right? All I’d have to do would be to throw up a link to the thing on Amazon and people would flock to it.

Oh, how naïve 2015-me was.

Fortunately, I was saved from the agony of self-publishing just in the nick of time. Shortly after I came up with my brilliantly bad idea, I linked up with a small press publisher based in the U.K. He loved my book, and in 2016, he published my debut novel, Dragon Speaker, Book I of The Shadow War Saga. My publisher and I worked closely together for the next two years, organizing reading events across England, recording an audiobook, and preparing for the release of the remaining books in the series.

But alas, the best laid plans of mice and men will often go awry. Despite my publisher’s best efforts, he wasn’t able to bring the book out in America (he only had the rights to publish in the U.K.), and we also failed to achieve a release of the second book in the series. 2018 was fraught with roadblocks and disappointments, and I learned a series of hard life lessons.

But not all was lost. I remembered that I’d once thought it a good idea to self-publish, and I decided to revisit that concept. I’d learned a lot over the two years I’d spent in the world of traditional publishing. More importantly, I’d gotten an inside look into the world of marketing, and I now had a much better understanding of how to make that process work for me . . . and how much work I’d actually have to put in if I wanted to see tangible results.

Thus, I began my research. A big step forward was attending the annual Writer’s Digest conference, last year hosted in my hometown of New York City. There I connected with IngramSpark – a printing company only slightly more expensive than Amazon’s CreateSpace, which offers comparable quality and is infinitely better to deal with. Through IngramSpark, I self-published Dragon Speaker in America and worldwide last October. Finally, my book was available to all audiences!

Also during the Writer’s Digest conference, I linked up with a company called DartFrog, which is a purveyor of “outstanding independent books and talent”. Since they were also experts in marketing, and marketing was my major weakness, I figured it would be a good idea to work with them. Through them I was able to gain additional exposure for my book and my brand. Not only that, DartFrog helped place Dragon Speaker in 50 brick-and-mortar independent bookstores nationwide.

I have now gotten in touch with many of those stores, and have been cultivating my relationships with them – something that has been difficult, but very rewarding, and undeniably invaluable to my progress. I’m pleased to report that I single-handedly organized a book tour spanning from January to May. I’ll be stopping at The Next Chapter Books & Novelties (El Dorado, KS), The Book Rack (Cincinnati, OH), A Freethinker’s Corner (Dover, NH), and Cupboard Maker Books (Enola, PA), which are just a few of the DartFrog stores currently stocking Dragon Speaker.

On the surface, it seems like things are going swimmingly. Compared to last year, they are. But I know the road is long and the war will be bloody. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I will need to market (shudder) and communicate with people (oh, the horror!) if I want to continue gaining momentum. And while self-publishing has certainly had its downsides, it has its perks, too. The best thing about self-publishing is that you are your own boss. Your fate is entirely in your own hands. You’re on no one’s schedule but your own, and that gives you the most wonderful sense of freedom. It creates a lot of anxiety and stress, too, but personally I think the trade-off is worth it.

You must be prepared to work harder that you ever have before. Your success – or failure – is riding on  it, after all. But if you go into the process knowing that, then you stand a fighting chance. 2015-me was not prepared to make this journey, and she would never have survived it. I’m not sure present-day-me is adequately equipped for the cutthroat world of marketing, but she’s doing a damn fine job pretending she is.

Despite the anxiety, the sleepless nights, and the crash course in marketing that I never wanted, I’ve ultimately enjoyed this process. I’ve learned many useful skills along the way – by necessity rather than choice – but I believe the hard work has made me stronger. While it’s still difficult to tell if any of my efforts have improved visibility for the book, I can say without hesitation that they have improved me as a person. I am older, stronger, a little wiser, a lot tired-er, but unarguably better.

And that has made it all worthwhile.

 

Thank you Elana for sharing your journey with us!

Guest Post: “AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: I’m A Small Fish in A Big Pond” by Donna L. Martin

Guest Post, Writing

donnaMeet Donna L. Martin.

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in ebook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

Social sites:
Website: www.storycatcherpublishing.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays
Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

 

I can also be found on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

The Guest Post.

AN INDIE AUTHOR’S JOURNEY: I’m A Small Fish in A Big Pond

Thanks, Rae, for inviting me to chat about my journey to becoming a self-published author.

 

I’ve been writing for almost fifty years, but only professionally since 2010. That was when I received my first traditional book contract for a picture book I wrote the year before. I’ve had a total of four books traditionally published so far, including “My Journey, My Journal” just released this past year.

Then why pursue self-publishing, you may wonder? In one word…

 

POWER

 

Now, I don’t mean the type of power that steps on the rights and feelings of others.

I mean…

 

POWER to create my own brand of books. I write picture books, historical fiction chapter books, young adult fantasy books, and inspirational essays. Last year I created my own publishing house, Story Catcher Publishing (http://www.storycatcherpublsihing.com) where I can now release my stories without having to wait to see if a publisher is willing to offer me a contract.

POWER to give back to this incredible writing community. Now that I have my own publishing company, I am in the process of creating my annual Star Catcher Contest, hopefully starting this year. This contest will offer young writers, ages 10-18 years old, a chance to become published authors, when they might otherwise never become published.

POWER to choose my own destiny! It took me almost a year to research and determine who would become my business partners when it came to marketing and distribution. My first book from Story Catcher Publishing is my young adult fantasy novel, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound which can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers

 

There’s a lot to be said for self-publishing. But it’s not for everyone. If you have been tossing around the idea of publishing your own stories, there are a few questions you might want to ask yourself…

  • Are you ready to invest the time researching your various publishing options?
  • If your story needs illustration, are you qualified to create the drawings? If not, do you know how to find a professional illustrator?
  • Do you have a marketing plan in place? This usually begins way before your book is even written.
  • Do you have what it takes to be writer, editor, publisher, distributor, promoter, and overall salesman? Self-publishing means you must wear ALL the hats, not just one or two.
  • Do you have the money to invest in your book’s publishing future?

 

Becoming an author is a crap shoot. Whether you go the traditional path or self-publish, there is no guarantee you will sell a ton of books or see your name on the NY best seller list. Over ONE MILLION books were published in 2017 with probably just as many last year.

But as a self-published author, I get to choose when to share my stories with the world. I may release a small fish into a big publishing pond, but they’re MY fish and in a pond of MY choice and I can live with that…

 

Thank you Donna for sharing!

LUNADAR: Homeward Bound, Donna’s latest release, is out now!

 

lunadar-cover-jpg.jpg

Guest Post: What Author Amelinda Berube Learned from Silent Hill

Guest Post, Misc.

Meet Amelinda Berube.

mwmHS-2.jpg

Amelinda Bérubé writes about ghosts and monsters and other things that go bump in the night. Her books tend to include a liberal sprinkling of weird Canadiana and the occasional zombie metaphor; for reading, she’s an eternal fangirl for YA and SFF. In her other lives Amelinda is a public service editor, a mother of two, and a passionate gardener living in Ottawa, Canada, in a perpetual whirlwind of unfinished projects and cat hair. The Dark Beneath the Ice, her first novel, hits shelves on August 7.
Social media: @metuiteme on Twitter and Instagram
www.metuiteme.com

 

The Guest Post.

What I learned about scary stories from Silent Hill
Silent Hill, the famously terrifying video game franchise, is right up there with Ursula Le Guin and Hans Christian Andersen on my list of literary influences. My standout fave is forever Silent Hill 2, with the first and fourth games being tied as runners up, the third trailing behind them, and the embarrassingly silly movie a distant last.

In The Dark Beneath the Ice, my spooky YA ghost story, the inspiration is probably clearest in the nightmare “otherworld” that haunts our heroine: like Silent Hill’s hell world, it’s a dark, sinister mirror of the real world, taking over it at unpredictable intervals. Though in my story, unlike in Silent Hill, there’s only one monster lurking in the dark.

But long before I wrote this book, these games had me thinking about what exactly they did that made them so hair-raisingly scary. I think they taught me a lot. So I thought I’d share with you some of the creepy writing insights I took away from them.

  • Atmosphere reigns supreme. Before any monsters arrive on the scene, before we ever slide into the hell world, we know something’s wrong. It’s snowing in the summer. The streets are deserted. Everything’s shrouded in fog and silence. The tension is there in the landscape, and it deepens the more you explore.
  • You can cast that atmosphere anywhere. These games completely changed the way I see ordinary urban landscapes. The hospital, the mall, the subway, the street…looked at the right way, through the right lens, anywhere can be suffused with the creeping tension of scary potential.
  • It’s scarier when it’s personal. In the first Silent Hill, our hero’s young daughter has gone missing. In the second game, he’s come to the town because he received a letter from his dead wife, inviting him to meet her there. Even though we don’t know much about either of these guys, the hook is immediate, intimate, and horrifying: we’re invested in the game right away, and the quest feels urgent and real. In short, we care.
  • It’s scarier when you don’t know everything. The games can do this visually, with the dense fog, the limited range of a flashlight, or even just with camera angles: you can’t see what’s out there, though sometimes you can hear it, thanks to the unearthly screech of radio static.

But there’s more to it than that, too. The first game explains so little and in such fragmentary snippets that it doesn’t make a lot of sense; it has the vague coherence of an extended nightmare. The second game reveals what’s going on gradually, cumulatively, through hints and thematic suggestions. It never comes right out and explains it, but we have enough to connect the dots.

The third game and the movie make the mistake of trying to explain what was going on in the first game, and no matter how much gore you fling around, it’s just not as powerful as the emotional punch that comes with putting it together yourself, in your head. It’s scariest when there are some gaps where you can invest your imagination.

  • Little details and everyday objects can speak volumes. You know monsters are nearby by a real, specific sound: static on a radio. A mannequin wears clothes that belonged to our hero’s dead wife. A safe room features the quiet whir of a ceiling fan – when that fan breaks, it’s unspeakably sinister, even though there aren’t any monsters (yet). The 20-minute teaser you can find on YouTube for Silent Hills – tragically never to be released – features the sound of a baby crying in gradually escalating distress. That last one freaked me out so bad I couldn’t finish watching.

Concrete, real-world details, things we know and take for granted in an awful new context, bring the scariness home; they anchor it. Snow might not be scary, but in the middle of summer? A stuffed rabbit might not be scary, but when it turns and points right at you? Nothing weird about a phone ringing…but when it’s not connected?

Silent Hill isn’t scary because of the monsters, or the jump scares, or any kind of gory grossness. Its scariness is a carefully constructed thing that gets under your skin, taking the familiar and twisting it into something uncanny and frightening. The flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants terror of having your character running through the rainy dark with monsters in close pursuit is icing on the cake. It wouldn’t be nearly as frightening without an underlying story that’s soaked in atmosphere, under-explained, deeply personal and grounded in everyday details.

That’s the kind of story I love best – and I hope I’ve cooked up a good one for you.

Interview With Candace Robinson

Author Interview, Misc.

vZycYyXb_400x400.jpgMeet Candace Robinson.

Candace Robinson spends her days consumed by words. When she’s not writing, she’s reading books and traveling to those places where she wants more than anything to truly go. Her life consists of avoiding migraines, admiring Bonsai trees, and living with her husband and daughter in Texas—where it can be forty degrees one day and eighty the next.

Social media links
Website: http://authorcandacerobinson.wordpress.com
Blog: http://literarydust.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/literarydust
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/literarydust/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/literarydust

 

The Interview

Hello from a fellow book reviewer and blogger! How did you get involved in the bookish community?
I actually hadn’t read much since back in school. I remember seeing the second Hunger Games movie and how it ended on a cliffhanger. I was like, nooooo! I had to know what happened, so I picked up the book series back in 2014. After reading it, I need more, so I started constantly picking up books to read.
Tell us the creation story of your blog, Literary Dust.
I developed a love of reading, and I wanted others to be able to see what I’ve read and what I thought. But just because I like or don’t like something doesn’t mean someone should have to read it or decide not to pick it up. I think if a book has a bad review, don’t let it push you away from trying it out for yourself.
What has your writing experience been so far – from the good, the bad, the ugly, and the success?
Writing has been quite the journey. I never knew how long it exactly it takes to create a book, but it’s a lot. Really, everyone deserves a five just for all they have to do. The worse part is reviews—I don’t read them. If it’s bad, I will go and hide into my shell for days. So I can’t do that to myself lol.
Tell us about your average (or maybe not so average) day of writing, reviewing, and general plotting to take over a favorite book world.
During the summer, it is pretty non-existent because my daughter is home from school. But during the school year, I basically read a little, then I’ll try and write a minimum of 2,000 words, and then read or write reviews.
How has your writing process changed from your first novel till your current series in progress?
I still don’t technically do an outline. I write the important stuff down and just get to writing. If I tried to do an outline, I’d never write the story. I’d have writer’s block!
I see you have multiple works in progress, how do you juggle it all and keep the stories separate?
That part is actually easy for me. Once, I start reading my character, I can hop right back into their minds! That may change in the future, though!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers today?
Reading is an escape for all of us, just try and enjoy the ride when you read other people’s stories. And if it’s not for you? Then it’s not for you.