Interview with DJ Colwell

Published 2014-03-22.
What is your writing process?
I try to get the story down as quickly as possible without thinking about grammar, spelling and all those things. I know that I will go back and edit. I like to type out chapters on my tablet and then transfer them to my computer for editing. I don't always write chapters in order but tend to write scenes as I think about them. Then when I get the whole story down, I go back over it many times working out details and all the editing stuff.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I still prefer a physical copy of a book but do use my Kindle a lot for reading. I actually do most of my writing on my older Kindle using a simple notepad app.
When did you first start writing?
Song of the Storm Eagles is the first story that I have completed for publication, but I have been writing for myself since high school. Most of what I write has been poetry, and I also have a stack of unfinished story ideas.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I think I was in 10th grade when I wrote down the story of the day my oldest brother died. I was only six and he was ten. I wrote about how my parents reached out and showed God's love to me and how I was given joy in my sorrow. The story was published in our school paper and allowed me to talk with many of my peers that I had really never connected with before.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Picking favorite books has always been very difficult for me because I love so many. I think it might be just a little easier to pick five favorite authors--but not much easier. A lot of the books that I have read many times, allow me to "get to know" people that I would never have met in my life. Like Willa Cather's My Antonia and Death Comes for the Archbishop. I've also read Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karanina several times and find the characters so deep and interesting. When I was a kid, I loved all of Louisa May Alcott's books and read them many time. Mysteries have always been some of my favorites, and I really enjoy the works of Dorothy L. Sayers (my dog is named Wimsey after Lord Peter), Nagio Marsh, Josephine Tey, and Agatha Christie. I could go on and on. C.S.Lewis and Tolkien, I have also read often. But that only really scratches the surface of my "favorite" books.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It took me long enough to complete my first story, and I really didn't want to take several more years trying to get it published traditionally. I just figured that I had the best opportunity of getting the book to my audience as an indie author.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy of writing has been when a sixth grade girl came up to me and said "I'm addicted to your book!" That was a thrill.
What are you working on next?
I have a sequel and a prequel to Song of the Storm eagles already outlined. I've decided to concentrate on the sequel though sometimes I find myself going back and forth between the two stories.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Some days I would love to be a full time writer but don't have that option right now. I have a wonderful husband, two teen daughters, and one little beagle. I homeschool the girls which takes a good bit of time. My husband I teach 1st and 2nd grade Sunday School class. I sing in the church choir and help write articles for our church website. One of my favorite fun activities is karate. I've never liked exercising but have come to love karate. If I stick with it, I'm hoping to get my black belt in about two more years.
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