Interview with Chelsea Starling

Describe your desk
My desk is cluttered with a tsunami of flotsam and jetsam.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small beach town in North County, San Diego. I would say that the ocean, in particular, has influenced my writing a great deal. The many experiences I had there - both good and bad - have had a deep impact on the emotional lives of my characters. I was also blessed to have an incredibly imaginative friend who had an ability to create dragons from thin air, and who vanished into the Mystic far too soon. He is always with me when I write.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing when I purchased a light green diary with a lock and a key on it. I either used my allowance to buy this magical little tome, or it was a gift. I don't remember. I think it may have had Holly Hobby on it or something. But I mostly wrote ridiculously embarrassing thoughts that most tweens and teens (I hope I wasn't alone in this!) are guilty of thinking. I continued to keep a journal until one of my journals fell into the wrong hands, resulting in such massive life-altering consequences that I was forced to switch to fiction.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm an indie because I have a pioneering spirit. That said, if I had a great agent who had my back and believed in me, and a publisher who could get behind or even enhance my vision, I wouldn't turn that down.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love writing because it is insanely fun hanging out with my characters on their planet, and seeing their world through their eyes. Also, I get to make stuff up and share it with awesome people who like the same kind of geeky weird stuff I like.
What are you working on next?
For the rest of 2014, I'll be working on finishing up QUICKBANE which is being released in parts, as this way works for my writing process. It's the first book in my standalone Vale Chronicles series. I will likely write this series until I die - I have spent so many years building this world and connecting with characters there. I just have infinite Vale stories to share!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, I am often thinking about writing. I also like to shoot arrows, swim in the ocean, dance Lindy Hop, cook, read, garden, travel and dream about a life where writing pays my bills.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I ususally discover new books via word of mouth. Sometimes I just see a cover I like and I'll buy a book and give it a try. I also have a ton of author friends who send me copies of their books. I'm never lacking for something to read!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do. It went like this: Once upon a time, The End. Don't judge. I was in first grade, and I was a smart ass.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is equal parts agony, delight, licorice, elation, self-loathing, fluffy pillows, imagination and gummy bears. Simultaneously. I write in bed. Because desks make me use the wrong side of my brain. Bed keeps me close to my dreams. Don't judge. Mark Twain was a bed-writer.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes. The Hobbit. It was read to me in first grade. It changed my life forever, while also tricking me into having what I later discovered were false memories of my life as Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo's adventures will always be MY childhood memories - I don't care what anyone says.
How do you approach cover design?
I approach cover design from behind, quietly, sneakily, and then kiss it on the cheek.
Published 2014-06-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.