Tell me a little about yourself and what led you to writing.
Writing is my hobby, but is also my passion. The ability to tell stories, as I see them play out in my head is a way for me to express myself and to cope with the events of day-to-day life.
As a writer, what’s been your experience with posting your work to Instagram?
The community has been very welcoming. More than I could have hoped for. There’s a network that all bands together, growing as more join the fray of talented writers. I’m still humbled by the number of people that enjoy my work, and have made a great many special friends in the process – they know who they are.
If you had to name only one, who would your all-time favorite writer?
As cliché as this sounds, I’ve always been a fan of Stephen King. I remember I was six or seven years old and my mother let me watch It. It was the first and arguably the scariest thing I ever saw. And I was hooked once I moved beyond the terror. I read Carrie not long after. The first adult full-length novel I ever read. And I learned very quickly how to utilize a dictionary. I found that the words were more powerful than anything I ever saw on screen, and I was hooked. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with many writers and poets, but he was my first.
You mention using a dictionary as a little girl. What’s your all-time favorite word and why?
There are so many words I’ve loved over the years. But I think there are two that really get me. Obsidian is the first. Though the traditional definition is a shiny black volcanic rock, it’s also used to describe the color black. That one word does a better job of describing an infinite expanse of darkness than any other word in the dictionary that I’ve found so far. Plus the word just sounds really fun. Vehemence is another one. Though it’s only a synonym of violence, it just sounds fantastic.
When are you publishing a book and what will it be about?
The series is for adults and the genre is a combination of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
The Earthen Witch Novels: Just Breathe Focus
Over three hundred years after their extinction and the collapse of the supernatural world, Aisling Green finds herself as the only Earthen witch in existence. With Connor by her side and a growing list of allies following her lead, she must learn to utilize the power she possesses, save the supernatural world and reunite it, protect the ones she loves, and defeat all that want her destroyed.
Are there any stories directly pulled from your own life?
Stephen King said, “Fiction is the truth behind the lie.” And that’s definitely true. As writers, we write what we know and then we expand from there. Even if we only know a tiny fragment of what we want to write about, we start at the truth. Most of what I’ve written has had some validity from my life. Some more than others. There are even a few that were inspired by the feeling of some event, but the story itself had nothing to do with what really happened in life.
My novels are filled with little truths within the lies. And when you get down to the core of them, you’ll find they’re about overcoming the demons of your past, embracing what you are, no matter how different, and being true to yourself. That’s definitely something I think we can all relate to.
Write what you know from the heart, and build on it from there.
What is your perspective on life, and how does that reflect in your writings?
Life is a gift, hard though it may be. I believe that many writers and other creative types are so unique and amazing in their own ways because of the lives they live. We’re all different. Different backgrounds, different experiences, and yet, we pull what we know and make something beautiful from it. I’m no exception.
Please give me some insight into your writing process. What’s the creative process look like when you sit down to write a new story or poem?
When I write a poem, I try to have some kind of focus to begin with. Either a topic, a photo, something as a spring board to get me started. When my mind starts forming words, I know I’ve got what I need and I move quickly. I dictate on paper or on screen and then, once it’s out, I edit and adjust. Perfecting it until it’s finished. Sometimes this process takes minutes, sometimes days.
Fiction is much different. I was a pantser before, which means I would make up the story as I went along. But most of the time I would get stuck or lose track of where I wanted to go. Now I plan and plot. Sure, some things may change as I move along, but I know the story and the characters first, and then I write it. My mind will play it out like a movie and it’s then my job to translate it into words. To keep my novels from overwhelming me, I divided everything into scenes, so it was like writing a short story each time and it made it less daunting to complete.
No matter what I’m writing, good music is key. If I’m writing something sad, I need sad music. It doesn’t exactly work if I’m listening to something to the tune of peppy rainbows and sunshine when I want dark and gloomy. This helps me convey the overall feel of what I’m writing much better than if I’m working in silence or working to the wrong tune.
What advice do you have for writers who wish to improve their writing skills and perfect their craft?
The biggest piece of advice I have is to find your voice. Whatever voice that is, be it the narrator, or your own voice, make sure what you write is completely and one hundred percent honest. Stay true to that voice. The more honest and true you are, the more those words will shine. One thing I’ve found is that the voice evolves over time. The more you read and write, the more it changes and adapts. These are good things. Embrace those changes.
Once you have that, the next biggest thing is flow. No matter what kind of story you’re telling, make sure you translate as much as you can from your mind to paper and then read it back to yourself to see if those words still translate back the way you wanted. And if space allows, try to engage as much of the five senses as you can. Then tweak it until it’s right.
Do you have any strange habits?
My hands always have to be busy. I suppose it’s a nervous tic, or just something I do when my mind is racing, which is most of the time. I listen to music way too loud and tend to sing along when I think no one is listening. If I don’t have something like my phone, laptop, or a pad of paper and a pen on me at all times, I get nervous I’m going to have some great epiphany and I won’t have any way to write it down. I’m obsessed with Ikea. And popcorn will be my downfall.
How do you like your popcorn? Perhaps, with extra butter?
I’m a big fan of lots of butter. Movie theater popcorn especially. There’s just something about the way they can load up the butter and the popcorn just doesn’t get soggy. I also over-salt my popcorn to the point I tend to gulp down ice water like I’ve walked through the desert for three days. And to my body, that’s probably what it thinks. I should probably stop doing that. Probably.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.
Zoe Kavanaugh is clueless about the supernatural world and her place in it, but after she meets an unlikely ally, she discovers the awful truth about her past and the price she'll have to pay to protect the ones she loves.