So I decided I wanted to get in touch with myself. So I am doing a self interview. I do these internally a lot, but today I am putting it out there into the universe for you. If I don’t answer questions you think I should please feel free to let me know in the comments below this post.
Okay so here goes. These are the questions, I have to answer all of them. God this was a lot more fun, you know before I started taking myself seriously.
What were you like at school? I was such a brat. I didn’t pay attention in class, and it wasn’t because I was a class clown it was because I was so busy on focusing on the negative stuff I’d been dealing with that I didn’t really have a full grasp on the world that was in front of my face.
Were you good at English? In Canada we don’t (or didn’t) really have an “English” course in Alberta when I was growing up. I like to think I’ve always been a good writer. Before all the bad stuff I was very invested in the short stories I used to write and create in my mind.
What are your ambitions for your writing career? I would love to write one novel. To finish it, to publish it, have people buy it, maybe do a reading or two. Mostly I think especially with “Legacy” I want some girl in some small town somewhere to think “Wow. She totally gets it, I’ve been through that and if Adara can deal so can I”. I want to inspire people.
Which writers inspire you? Oh my goodness. Nora Roberts as J.D. Robb, she started as Nora Roberts and was able to combine both authors in order to create the J.D. Robb series which I read the way some people breath.
Also without a doubt Eoin Colfer is a God. I love his Artemis Fowl series. It’s one of the few series I’ve read that had me laughing crying and yelling – sometimes simultaneously.
Of course we have to add J.K. Rowling, when you break down Harry Potter she writes about love, abandonment, self discovery and child abuse and so much more. I absolutely love her books.
Last but certainly not least is Kim Harrison, the woman is a genius. I cried when Kisten died in the Hallow’s series. Like, sat in the shower and wept like a baby. I actually fell in love with that character the way some women fall in love with their life partners/husbands. The day someone comes to me and says “I fell in love with…” that’s the day I know I’ll have made it as a writer.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? The thing about Adara is that she’s me. Her name means “Fire” I actually didn’t choose that. I literally was writing and I was like “So uh, what’s your name?” And I heard that in my head. When I looked it up I had to laugh because I’d never heard the word before and here we are and she’s fire and I’m an Aries so I’m a fire element too! She’s got a lot of my qualities in that she’s very innocent and naive, she has been through a lot that we haven’t explored yet, she isn’t as loud as I am, but she’s going to go through a lot more
before she discovers, before we discover who she really is and what she is capable of.
What genre are your books? At the moment “Legacy” is a YA novel, but I am finding as I write, that Adara is talking in the past sense so it may shift at some point to an adult novel for all I know.
What draws you to this genre? I am still growing – because I suffered a lot as a kid I didn’t get to be a kid, so I guess I’m writing as if it were happening to me because I am hoping that it turns out to be the book I wish I had as a kid.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? On the cover page for the novel I have chosen some characters and some actors I think should play them. It’s been pretty helpful because it makes it easier for me to see each personality in my head, and I hope the readers agree tho I’d love to see if what I see and what they see mesh together or if they have different ideas.
How much research do you do? I can’t tell you too much about that because I research as I write. When I started I wasn’t entirely sure (still not entirely sure) where it is/was going, so as I write when I need to look something up I do. It’s funny tho because as I write when I have to stop and look something up I laugh a little bit because I’ve written exactly what needs to be written without having done previous research if that makes sense.
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers? Oh my god. Okay so before I started “Legacy” I met this cool dude on Twitter named Matt Leonard (who I named Matthew after). He’s created this really need project with 33 different authors all working on the same story. I had the pleasure and joy of writing part 34. It’s called “Crowd Sourced Writing Project: Exploits of a Midnight Traveler.” Not only is this a cool project but I really feel like this story is something parents can sit down and read with their children. I’m excited to see the ending and what happens next.
When did you decide to become a writer? I don’t think I ever “Decided” It’s just something I always knew I wanted to do. I still remember being five or six and I Had this, I don’t know if it was a dream or a vision, but I was laying on my stomach across the street from a publishing house and holding my book in my hand. I knew then that it was something I wanted, so badly. It’s always been a part of my soul.
Why do you write? Honestly it’s all I know. I’ve had ups and downs in my life and through all the good bad and ugly ugly chaos it’s the only thing that has remained stable.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? For a lot of years I’ve been writing advice and sharing my life story and I honestly just got bored. It wasn’t until Matt pushed me to get involved with his project that I was like “I seriously miss writing fiction”. Before I knew it I was going to start my own Crowd sourced project and then I decided after initially posting it that nope I wanted to write my own story that I had complete control over.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I know that like some writers have very defined rules for their writing. I don’t really. When I start writing fiction I usually keep it in a book or something hidden away. Part of the reason I am publishing each chapter as I write it is that it keeps me writing. I’ve had a couple of people say they are excited to keep reading and so if I don’t finish it I disappoint them and I don’t want to do that. I will say that I force myself to stop writing after the first hour or so because I do not want to “over write” and when I get stuck I go and distract myself.
Another thing I’d like to add is when I’ve done writing as much as I think needs to be written for the day when it’s time to close my eyes I’ll kind of just there and be like “Alright Adara show me what happened next”. Sometimes shes silent.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when? I try to write something every day. Even if it’s not about the book, if it’s a blog post or whatever, I am trying to force myself to take some time out to write something every day so I get in the habit and don’t stop.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? I was looking up “How long should a chapter be?” because I was scared I was writing too much, and on some website I can’t remember they said that for a 50,000 novel each chapter should be about 5000 words. So I’m trying to do between 3000-5000 words a day. I admit though it’s tough because sometimes I’m sitting there staring at Adara and I’m going “You don’t have anything more to say do you?” and if the chapter needs finishing I’m kind of screwed.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? My laptop is my soul.
Where do the your ideas come from? I feel like I have a muse that sits on my shoulder and she’s been yelling at me for about ten years “you need to write, here’s an idea, oh here’s another one, oh my god will you please get writing now? You’re wasting all my good ideas”
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? I know a lot of authors like J.K. Rowling plot everything out and that’s great, if that’s what works for them. I find trying to plot everything out before I start writing the story I feel like it takes away from my ability to let the story flow.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I think for a lot of years I was so focused on dealing with what I went through, and trying to figure out “what was wrong with me” and “What I did wrong” that I couldn’t even fathom writing fiction. It’s only recently when I came out and realized that the reason I wasn’t writing fiction was because my writing was soo focused on trying to explain the world why I am the way I am, that I realized..I don’t actually owe the world any explanations. That’s where I found my freedom to let go of the past and start going back into my literature room
What is the hardest thing about writing? I don’t know yet. I haven’t found anything “hard” per say. I guess if you push me it’s that as a fan of writers I know I get really pissed off when someone kills off my favorite character and leaves me crying like I just lost my soul mate – I both want and fear making one of my future fans feel that way.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? I want to publish it as a book, and like make a lot of money (I mean I need to eat right?) but by the same token, I love this giving it away for free thing because I’m free to just create the art.
What is the easiest thing about writing? Losing myself in the character. or losing the character in me.
Do you ever get writer’s Block? For ten years! God willing never again.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? Honestly no, because for me it was such a personal thing – when I was a victim of abuse I didn’t just lose myself I lost everything. I lost my self confidence, my art, my ability to write. I honestly don’t know anyone who stopped writing because of sexual/physical/emotional/verbal abuse. Writers Block is such a personal thing. For me I’m still worried every day that it might come back and it terrifies the fuck out of me. It’s like losing an arm and sadly there is no one cure-all.
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it? lol nope!
What are your thoughts on writing a book series. Can I finish the first one first?
For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books? There is something blasphemous about e-books, says the woman writing a book on a blog. For me though I need paper or hard copy. I need to curl up with my smokes, my drink and my favorite blankie and my puppy and get comfy so I can lose myself into the book.
What book/s are you reading at present? Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? I totally have my best friends Barrie and Kelly reading each chapter as I release it and I’m still waiting on their notes. The cool thing tho is that Kelly knows me soo very well she knows exactly what potential Adara has and where she’s going, even if I don’t admit it she knows what I am thinking about what comes next.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? No! I’ve done that before and then never finished. I am going to try to release at least 2-3 chapters each week.
Why did you choose this route? Fear. I’m honestly afraid if I hold it to myself it will never get done. Also I am hoping that as each chapter comes together people get more and more excited about seeing what happens next.
Would you or do you use a PR agency? Well yeah sure. It would be nice to have other people to focus on the business stuff while I just create good art but then, I’m so new I’m still wrapped in plastic.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do? Make up your own rules. All writers and artists have rules they follow but sometimes I have found when I’m busy trying to follow rules that work for other people I’m not creating rules that work for or inspire me, so make your own. Always listen and take in what others say but at the end of the day it’s your life and no one else has to live it but you.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why? Art is a living evolving entity that no one really understands. I feel like I’m here working now to create a great story that will hopefully reach and inspire others, and if I spend too much time right now focusing on what it would/could/should turn into if I was trying to sell it, I’d lose my inspiration again. Right now this is what is working for me and you never mess with a good thing, because once you break shatter a glass you can’t put it back together again.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Kim Harrison. I’d like to yell at her over killing Kiston, then I’d like to share a glass of wine with her while we have our own little memorial. Seriously, the way she wrote him I fell in love!
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Twilight. I know a lot of people hated it, and I can understand why but by the same token it’s a book about love and devotion, obsessive scary love and in a way yes it’s even about emotional abuse. I feel like I’ve been through that in a much more dangerous way so I can actually understand Bella and her need for something stable and her devotion to what she thinks she needs to be happy.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Start Writing. And don’t ever stop. If you feel you need to step away ask yourself why. Is it because it’s affecting you in a personal way? or because you really do not have the words. If you feel like it’s affecting you personally you need to figure that out and continue writing, if it’s because you don’t have the words then take a break and continue when you can. Just don’t let ten years go by.
Where do you see publishing going in the future? Honestly I am afraid for the future of books. Self Publishing is great because it allows the author to have more power and control but like the music industry we also lose a lot of contacts and important advice from people who have been in the business for years.
How can readers discover more about you and you work? I am probably one of the most approachable people in the world. So hit me up on Twitter send me a message on Facebook. Whichever. I love talking with other writers who have more experience than I do so any advice you can all give me would be great.
*** Okay no lie? That was actually kind of fun. I learned a lot about myself by writing this so I’d love for you to steal these questions and share your own answers. Link me below if you decide to do it.