Interview with Cree Bethany

When did you first start writing?
I guess i've kind of liked writing since I was a kid. I always loved english in primary school when we got to write stories in our journals and stuff like that. It wasn't until I was about thirteen that I started really getting into it though. I've come a long way since I published my first story online (and thank god it's no longer up there, it was terrible) and I hope I've still got a long way to go.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a medium sized home with my mum, dad and sister. I've lived in three houses I think. One when I was a baby, one when I was in Kindergarten and Pre-School and then another when I started Primary school and I've been in that one ever since (and now I'm a month away from graduating high school). My family is pretty normal, we have our moments, we have days when we all hate each other, but I love them.

I guess growing up in a family of four in a suburban area has kind of drawn me to write about characters similar to me, my friends or even my family. I've grown up with a good life so it's not like I've lived an extremely bad one and my writing is about me wishing I had the best life and that things could be better. I mean sure, I don't have a perfect life, but who really does?

My writing has mainly been influenced by those around me though. By people who I hang out with, places I go, that sort of thing. I write about experiences and add little twists to them.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Mortal Instruments: I'm not sure, but I think it's because I connected with Clary so much. I guess it's the fact that we both love our mothers and would do anything for our family and friends and we both have the same sort of passionate, stubborn personality. I also adore Cassandra Clare's writing, as soon as I started reading the first book, I was entranced. Her descriptions are so thorough, they paint a highly visible image in your head. You just can't stop reading.

The Fault In Our Stars: Hands down simply because John Green is a genius and his writing is epic. The descriptions are wonderful. All his characters in this book are so real, and down to earth that it's hard not to sympathise with them.

Vampire Academy: Rose and Lissa's relationship. Their friendship is amazing. They would do anything for each other and I can relate to that. Rose doesn't care about getting into trouble, if it means she's protecting Lissa. Even though I'm nothing like Rose (if anything I'm a little bit like Lissa with the whole sensitivity side of things) I can understand her need to protect something so dear to her. It's the same with me, I would do anything for my friends even if it meant getting into trouble. As long as they were safe I wouldn't care.

Harry Potter: i grew up watching the movies as a kid (I only started reading the books later on when I was older) so it's a big part of my childhood. I love how J.K. Rowling has created this whole other world of magic with seemingly real characters. They aren't glamorised, they're just your typical teens going through teen stuff. Even though you've got the whole Voldemort thing and all that magic, if you stripped all that away, it literally would be just like a normal teenagers story and I think a lot of people can relate to that.

The Hunger Games: Katniss. I love her strength, I love the fact that she's so protective and loving of her sister. And I guess it's because I kind of want a relationship like that. My sister and I don't really get along all that often, so I guess that's why Katniss' love for Prim sticks out so much to me. But Katniss is just an all round badass character and I love that. I love strong female characters. One's that make an impression on society.
Who are your favorite authors?
Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, John Green, Claudia Gray ETC.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Bliss is the first book in what I hope to be a series of three. It's about a teenage girl named Evelyn. She's part Fey (Fairy, not the fairies we know though) on her mothers side. Her mother died when she was younger though so she kind of locks her abilities away after that. But the story is about her finding herself and embracing the Fey inside of her.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I get to write about a different world. I can make up whatever I like and no one will laugh at me for it. All the stuff I write about comes from that little imaginary world inside my head. The one I escape to when I'm having a bad day. As soon as something peeks its way through that world, I write it down, even if it's not a full story, it might just be an idea for a character but I guarantee it'll come in handy later. Thats another thing I love, making up people with different personalities and dress codes. I love creating things.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Schoolwork or playing sport mainly, but I also love photography and art. I have a very lovely camera that takes wonderful photo's and I just love snapping pictures of things when I can. I love drawing as well, I think for a while I actually wanted to become an artist ha-ha. I'm just a very creative person all round.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, and, oh dear, it was horrible. Well, of course at the time I didn't think it was horrible, but I read it over a few months back when I took it down officially from the site it was published on and dear me, it was terrible. The spelling and grammar. It was pretty funny reading it back though. but unless I re-write it, that won't be making another appearance any time soon.
What is your writing process?
I plan my characters first. When I get an idea for a character, it's usually closely followed by an idea for a story. So I work on the development of the character first and then when the story idea comes, I plan out how I want the story to evolve before I even write the prologue.
How do you approach cover design?
I make my own covers. I'm in the process of organising a shoot to get some good covers for my current story (Bliss). After taking the pictures they go onto my laptop and I edit them on photoshop. That's about it really.
Published 2013-10-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.