Interview with C.G. Coppola

Describe your desk
Receipts. Lots and lots of receipts. I'm not sure why I can't just take the few extra steps and toss them. They all end up on my desk, like they're trying to remind me of the money I no longer have. Scattered on top of the receipts are little notes I write on whatever piece of paper is nearby. Napkins, stickies, pages from my journal, envelopes and other reciepts which have now turned into more notes. There are usually some pens and every once in a while a set of colored pencils will appear.

I'm pretty sure there's also a Mario hat.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

Well, actually, it’s the few minutes when I’m waiting for it to brew because I think about my book. About what I wrote yesterday. About what I’ll be writing today. About plot lines and plot holes and bits of dialogue that I’m still going over. And I know that in the next hour or two, I’ll get me time. With coffee in hand, I’ll be able to sit down, forget the world and immerse myself in the story I think about at least once an hour. It’s my favorite part of the day because I get to do my favorite thing before the rest of world invades.

There’s this great quote by Ray Bradbury (actually, there are several) where he says, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

Simply put, I get out of bed each and every day to get drunk.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, that’s a tough one because I think that even when I’m away from my computer, I’m still writing. I don’t really pay attention to anything around me—it’s a surprise I’m still alive. I just sort of drift… and I tend to go back into my scenes. It’s kind of a cop-out answer, but it’s true. When I’m away from my computer, I’m usually thinking about my stories because that’s another way I write. When I’m out. When I’m in the car listening to music or part of a conversation I really don’t want to be, I go there—into my imagination. I’m with my characters, trying to understand them, to learn about them by asking questions and listening to their answers. I’m sort of writing everywhere I go (because I’m a repeat drift offender) but, if you want the few times I actually leave my head and enter the real world, here are the answers:

I go to the movies (to enjoy other people’s stories)
I read or watch television (see above)
I go to work, hang out with my boyfriend, my friends and my family.

Occasionally I check the news.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do.
It was your typical hero saves princess from the bad guy story that every girl likes. Well, this one did at least. The hero’s name (I kid you not) was Beefy. Don’t ask me why—I must’ve been seven or eight and I remember writing it on this really cheap beige paper. And I thought, yeah, this is going to be AMAZING. It must’ve been after my dad showed me Star Wars for the first time because the bad guy had a name very similar to Darth Vadar, like Dadar or Vardath. As far as writing it, I got the outline down and pictures of what I wanted to have happen. Does that count as the first story I ever wrote? It’s the earliest I remember. There were several I wrote around then but Beefy and Vardath stood out. I don’t think the princess had a name.

The first full-length, dialogue-included story was a short novel I wrote in fifth grade called Autumn Leaves. It’s about a set of four best friends who are witches and trying to get through middle school. It was pre Harry Potter. Must’ve been something with magic in the nineties.
When did you first start writing?
Hmm… probably with my Barbies. Writing, after all, is a form of storytelling. I was that weird kid who locked myself in my closet and spent hours turning the shelves into mountains and cliffs and high-rise dungeons. My mom would come looking for me and knock on the door to make sure I was like, still alive. Of course I was. I just wasn't in my closet playing. I was far away on adventures, saving damsels and defeating villians.

See, I didn’t know back then that how freakishly obsessed I was with Barbies was my way of expressing my need to tell stories. I love telling stories. I’d tell them everywhere and with everything I could. Crayons became people. My Little Ponies and Poly Pocket and trolls became princesses and witches and bad guys. They were all just characters. I even use to sit in front of the refrigerator—literally bring a chair in front of it—and help the magnets escape from the freezer, down the door handle to the safety of the fridge below. Yeah. I was THAT kid. I had to get it out. Someway, I had to get that story-telling itch out. But when I got too old and the dolls were taken away and the chair had been returned to the table, I found this neat alternative on my desk.

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I always knew I was going to be writer. There was never any doubt in my mind, not when I discovered you could actually make a career out of telling stories. I mean, what’s better than that? I knew from the start I was going to be a writer one day, even back in third grade when grumpy face told me I couldn’t. But how did she know what I was capable of? She didn’t. And if that dream still hasn’t deterred twenty something years later, it won’t. I’m meant to do this. And I just happen to live in a time when it’s more possible than ever. Just to clarify, I never dreamt of being an indie author. I wanted (and still do) my books published on the shelves of a Barnes and Noble. What writer doesn’t? But it’s a gamble… will my novel fit the hot trends at the time? And if so, will there be a publisher willing to take it on? Who’s got the crystal ball to look into the future and see what books are going to make it big? No one. The best we can do is put our work out there and let it speak for itself. And if there’s an avenue that allows that—something like, oh I don’t know, self publishing—then that’s my cue. Sure I could wait around hoping for a bite from a print publisher (and I have) but instead of waiting and hoping and praying and dreaming, I want to make my own fate. I want to say I did everything I could to make my dream come true. And I am.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No, I don’t.

I remember a lot of stories I read and enjoyed, but nothing really had an impact on me. Nothing until The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. It wasn’t the first story I read by far, but I remember thinking… wow. This is so cool. There’s like, this whole other world full of talking lions and fawns and evil snow witches. I read the entire Chronicles of Narnia in a very short time and simply fell in love with it. And as far as the impact it held, it gave me the boost to do the same.

This was early elementary—maybe I was nine? Ten?—so it’s very blurry, but I vaguely remember this land I created. It started with an A. Azzaria or Amazia or something. For any assigned writing project, I would use it to set my story and in my free time I would draw pictures of what it looked like. On my desk at home, I had this little black pouch filled with glitter that I would pretend was magic powder from there. I would sprinkle it around my room and was thoroughly upset when my mom asked me to dust. She didn’t get it.

Azzaria or Amazia or whatever it was called was always in my head. And I think that despite some of the other good reads I had as a kid, Narnia gave me that sense of possibility. Of really stretching the limits of imagination. It was like being given the key to eternal escape. Not only because it was a tremendous read, but because it gave me the belief I could continue to create it for myself.
What do you read for pleasure?
I kind of feel like this is a trick question because isn’t everything we read supposed to be for pleasure? That’s what I think.

Of course, I used to read things because I HAD to, because I was in AP Language and Literature and there was a specific syllabus. Ready for a shameful secret? Here it is—I was never a big reader. Yikes! It's true. Unless it was something I absolutely loved and had to read every delicious morsel of—like the entire Harry Potter series—I could go either way on books. Some, yeah, I really liked and they held my interest enough to stop playing the piano or going outside or drawing in my sketchbooks. But most times, I read because it was assigned.

Now, with that said, I grew up thinking that reading was something of a chore.That was before I started selecting books for myself… which is when I discovered the truth. Reading IS for pleasure. Up until that time, I hadn’t even discovered a whole world of romances and magic and adventure that lived outside the required syllabus. Once I did, I thought, well screw that. I’m reading what I want to going forward. And I have.

But, to answer your question, I like good stories about mystery and suspense and adventure and mostly, romances. My good friend handed me some books by Sherrilyn Kenyon and JR Ward a while back and I have absolutely fallen in love with their characters. I’m sure there are several other amazing romance writers out there and I’m very excited about discovering them too!
Published 2014-03-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Better Than Now
Pre-release—available August 17, 2018. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 67,110. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
With the talent show behind them, Autumn and Alex can finally begin their relationship. It took a school assignment, but they’ve managed to move beyond their awkward past to become one of the most popular—and gossiped-about—couples in school. Dating was supposed to be the easy part, but now that they’ve been plunged into the spotlight, Autumn isn’t sure she can keep up.
Better Than This
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,970. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
After avoiding each other for three years, Autumn Sommers and Alex Wolf put their awkward past on hold for a school assignment where they must pretend to be a couple. Once the two realize there may be some truth to the façade, Alex reveals a secret, and it’s not something Autumn is sure they can move past.
Crusade Across Worlds
Series: Arizal Wars. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 109,250. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Fallon has returned from three months of training and is eager to fight against those who enslaved her. Joining up with Reid and the gang, they set out to prepare for the Vermix’s final attack—a highly prophesied invasion that could mean the possible end to a centuries-long war. But when unforeseen events arise, causing the plan of defense to crumble, it will take everything they have to survive.
When the Lights Go Out - Ink Slingers' Halloween Anthology
Series: Ink Slingers Anthologies. Price: Free! Words: 110,020. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror
A collection of twenty-five short stories just in time for Halloween. Enjoy thrills, chills, and mysteries. Meet ghosts, demons, vampires, and monsters everywhere from dark city streets to the English countryside. Scares lurk in the most unexpected places and, when the lights go out, no where is safe and no one will be spared.
Strange Portals - Ink Slingers' Fantasy/Horror Anthology
Series: Ink Slingers Anthologies. Price: Free! Words: 92,930. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author, Fiction » Anthologies » Horror
Just in time for a much needed holiday break, twenty-two stories about fairies, vampires, zombies, werewolves, and everything in between. Stories by AK Stein, Adan Ramie, B.G. Hope, Barbara G. Tarn, Bonnie Mutchler, CG Coppola, DM Yates, JK Rosaline, Joleene Naylor, Kay Kauffman, Maegan Provan, Mark R. Hunter, Rami Ungar, Roger Lawrence, Roxanna Mathews, Terry Compton and Tricia Drammeh.
Discovery at Nerwolix
Series: Arizal Wars, Book 3. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 116,360. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
After a visit to find Blovid, the last Arizal Leader, Fallon and the others reside on Nerwolix, preparing for and anticipating the Vermix invasion. With startling revelations about herself and her future with Reid, Fallon must use all her new strength and knowledge to help ensure the survival of her friends while protecting a sacred artifact that could disrupt the balance of the World.
Plague of Mybyncia
Series: Arizal Wars, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 114,980. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Fallon and the others are on their way to Mybyncia, an underwater world where they hope to find Blovid, the Dellapalanian Leader on the run. Faced with unforeseen challenges, new friends and an uncertain future with Reid, Fallon must use all her strength and wits to protect herself for the trials that lie ahead.
Escape from Harrizel
Series: Arizal Wars, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 143,090. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Fallon is just like every other Arrival brought to Harrizel—an alien planet restoring the human race after a fatal war left Earth in ruins. But once viewing the all-day work camps and the nightly, orgy-like atmosphere, Fallon suspects her hosts, the Dofinikes, might have a secret agenda of their own.