The greatest joy I find in writing is letting the characters who live in my head out into the world. They all have things to say, ideas or lessons or questions to share, and just having my attention is not enough for any of them. They can live so much more fully when they can live in more minds than mine.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans - or rather, my characters' fans - mean more to me than I can describe. When someone writes a review and mentions a character, or poses a question for a character that they want to have answered, it makes me feel like the proudest parent on graduation day. When fans give feedback that a character that lives in my head-space touched them in some way, that character is fed and grows stronger. Hero or villain, troubled soul or shining light, every character that receives fan mail of any kind, counts it as roaring success.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite author is C. J. Cherryh. Her ability to build entire cultures on distant worlds, more alien in custom than in physical form, amazes and inspires me. She makes them real, as if she has some way to watch them, to observe their ways and translate their languages, as if they exist somewhere in physical reality. I want to write like that. I want to be so true to the characters in my head that they come through as compelling, solid, breathing beings, as souls that other people want to get to know as much as I do. If you see reflections of any of her characters in my work, it is because they have been real to me for so long that I cannot distinguish exactly what made them hers any longer. Some of them were my very best mentors in my teenage years. I hope she takes it as the most sincere praise.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! The first story I ever wrote was a short story in the sixth grade. Mr. Porter would put assignments on the chalkboard each day, and early in the year he started using the abbreviation U.E.C with a number: it meant a unique, exact, and correct (grammar- and spelling-wise) story with that minimum number of words. I wrote about a boy my age named Cain who had adventures in the woods outside his house.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is chaos. My head-characters talk to me and I translate for them into English, trying to do justice to their personalities, problems, circumstances, cultures, choices, and relationships. Sometimes I have to ask them to repeat themselves, or let them read what I have written and critique it. Sometimes a character will refuse to confirm or deny, and another character will offer his or her version, which might or might not be accurate (or truthful!) When I write out an outline or otherwise try to plan a story, they sometimes play nice for a while and then one or more of them will completely derail that plan. We get there eventually.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My stories do not seem to fall into any clear category, even to my eyes. Publishing companies need to be able to put a story into a genre with confidence that story will appeal to people who prefer that very genre. Rather than edit out the aspects of each story that makes it risky in any one genre, I will put them here.
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