Interview with Yvonne C.

What is your writing process?
I'm not sure that it is a process as such. I sit down in front of my PC with a blank page open and ready, and I start to write. I have a vague idea in my head of what I'm going to write about, I have a theme or subject matter rolling around in my brain, and as I write it is like putting flesh on a skeleton. I aim to write a certain amount each day (up to 4000 words if I'm in the zone). I aim for a minimum of 1000 a day but if I write less that is no bad thing. Writing even a line is an achievement. After writing I save and close my document then when I go back to it the next day I read back through what I'd written the previous day, checking for errors, spelling, grammar, and refreshing my memory as to what I had said. Then I continue. At some point I get a feel for when I'm nearing the end of the book then once I've finished I go back to the very beginning and I read through the entire book, editing and proofreading as I go. Then I put the book aside for at least a month, go and do some other things, then go back to it with fresh eyes. I read through aloud the second time because I find reading aloud is useful for spotting any last mistakes and helps to judge whether my story flows. I have been known to go through a book about four times until I'm satisfied that it is as good as it's going to get. Though, in all honesty I am never entirely satisfied. I always think things could be better. But eventually you reach a point where you have to say to yourself "it's now or never, publish or die." Once I've put my book out there I start another one. Depending on what I'm writing it can take anywhere between three and nine months to write a book, and that does not include the time taken to read through and edit. I write usually in the morning, at a desk that's in my living room. I use a PC with keyboard. I can't type on a laptop. I need to be able to "feel" the keys under my fingers. I usually write in silence, or at least as silent as you can get with outside background noise. I can't write and listen to music at the same time, as some people seem able to. I need relative quiet and no interruptions. I'm always writing something, whether it's a novel, a poem or just an entry in my diary, and, touch wood, I've never yet experienced writer's block.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
At the moment I only own the basic Kindle. I would have preferred a colour one because covers look so much better on them.
Describe your desk
Just a second hand pine desk 48inches long, 28inches wide and 28inches tall, with three sliding drawers to the right. There is just enough room on my desk for my PC, monitor, keyboard and printer. I have a dictionary at my left hand, my folders with work in them piled up under the desk, and I'm sitting in a black swivel chair.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing since I was in junior school, though I can't recall any of the stories I wrote then, but I know I enjoyed the creative writing side of English lessons. I enjoyed that side of things in high school. It was about the only thing I enjoyed about school. I've always been writing something, whether it be short stories or poems, but it was about ten years ago that I decided to go for it and write a novel. I thought it would prove too difficult a challenge but when I finished my first book I couldn't wait to start on the next. I've found publishing and marketing a book far more of a challenge than writing one. Compared to that writing is easy!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To see a world appearing under my hands as I type. I don't want to come off as big-headed or anything but being a writer is in a small way a bit like being a god. I have the power to create a world and to make characters live or die at my whim. I can make good things happen to them, and bad things too. Though, at the same time I also find myself somewhat powerless as my work shapes itself into something I had not quite planned. I love how creative a process writing is. I love how I learn new words as I go along. I love telling a story, giving my characters voices. Writing allows me to say or do things I could never do in reality. I can explore different points of view through my characters. I can use them to explore thoughts and feelings. I can live various lives through my characters. Writing is quite magical in its way.

And it's not just about the feeling I get from writing I also enjoy the act of writing itself. I love hearing the clicking of the keys on my keyboard. I love seeing the words appearing on my screen. I love the ease of Microsoft Word. I can make words appear and disappear so cleanly, no more inky splotches, messy crossing out and smelly Tipex, and editing is so effortless. I love how neat my writing looks on the screen. My hand writing is atrocious so I consider the PC and Word to be some of the best inventions ever designed.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After trying to go down the traditional publishing route and getting nowhere I decided "what the heck" and started looking into ways of getting my work out there by myself. The growing popularity of ebooks and sites like this and Amazon and Lulu have enabled people like myself to get our work out there and at least have a chance.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything by Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, Anne Rice and Terry Pratchett. There are other writers I like but I would be here forever if I listed them all.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King
Diana Gabaldon
Terry Pratchett
Anne Rice
James Herbert

There are many others who works I enjoy but I would be here forever if I listed them all so I will say these are my top five favourite writers.
What are you working on next?
I have it in mind to go back and edit some of my other fantasy novels before I think about getting those out before the public gaze. I took a break from fantasy writing to write some erotic fiction. I also want to write some more erotic fiction. I also want to write some more poetry at some point. I have so many things I want to do that it is often difficult to prioritise and concentrate on just one.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read. I exercise (or try to; sometimes the motivation is there, sometimes it's not). I enjoy digital photography. I like crosswords and jigsaw puzzles. I bake now and then. Sometimes I knit; I can knit you anything square or rectangular (please don't ask me to turn a heel because I've no idea how). I enjoy listening to music, from pop to rock. I enjoy cinema and films (and film soundtracks), and I like looking for bargains in charity shops.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I need no inspiration. I have a furry alarm clock by the name of Rogue who looks more like a gremlin than a sweet little pussy cat. She wakes early and then wakes me with very soft but extremely persistent meowing that doesn't stop until I get out of bed. I generally leap up with a cry of "alright! I'm up! for God's sake!" Then about five minutes after I've got up she goes and flipping well nicks my vacated spot on the bed.

One good thing about being woken early is that I then have more hours in the day for writing or working on marketing my books, so I suppose I shouldn't be too cross. Though I have to say being woken at quarter past five in the morning is not fun. Not at all.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town called Walkden, in the Northwest of England. Though I think it's more down to who I am rather than where I was raised that turned me into a writer. Though perhaps if I had lived in an exciting place with a variety of activities available to growing children I might have spent more time out and about rather than sitting in my bedroom scribbling stories. I can't swear to that though. I was, and am not, what I'd consider an outdoorsey sort of person. I like the indoors and indoor activities. I was always into reading and it was a natural progression from reading to writing. Creative writing was always my favourite thing in school (about the only thing about school I enjoyed). For an introvert creative writing, or any type of writing, is wonderful; the ability to express ideas and explore thoughts and feelings and images without having to speak those thoughts aloud is liberating. My attraction to in particular fantasy writing I think comes down to escapism and the lack of magic in reality. Real life is often dull and boring. There is no magic. There are no miracles. There are no gods or angels; no mystery. There are bills to pay and washing up to do. Writing fantasy is a way of escaping the ordinary and creating gods and miracles. Where I grew up was ordinary; my writing takes me away from that.
Published 2014-10-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Series: The Free Land Chronicles. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 140,370. Language: British English. Published: October 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Pain and suffering often lead to a desire for revenge but is it ever truly worth it? This is the question for Valorian: gypsy, mercenary and future lover of Swiftsword. Fear plagues his waking hours; nightmares his sleeping ones. Will the spilling of wicked blood ease them? And if it doesn’t where does that leave him? How is he to continue living when death is starting to look very attractive?
Three Queens
Series: The Free Land Chronicles. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 160,080. Language: British English. Published: October 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Three queens come together in a battle that will determine the fates of many in the Free Land. Julill is determined to win and take dominion over all. Farina stands against her, hoping to save her people and protect her only son. Anya, feeling the call of duty, as all elves do, rides to stand at her side, but which of them will enter the Dance of Death and cross swords with the Dark Queen?
The Dark Queen
Series: The Free Land Chronicles. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 191,940. Language: British English. Published: October 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Swiftsword is long dead, the Red Lady a passing fancy; she is now the Dark Queen. Julill has returned home to reclaim her birthright. The throne and crown of Illanier are hers and with them the power to do what she has so longed to do: make bad men pay for their crimes against women, make them hurt, make them scream – spill their blood till it flows like a river in the street.
The Red Lady
Series: The Free Land Chronicles. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 188,070. Language: British English. Published: October 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Swiftsword was the past, the present now belongs to the Red Lady and she is hungry; hungry for power and blood: hungry for the blood of men. In the Kingdom of Illanier a throne beckons her and with it a crown. Between the two there’s power. The blood will come later, unless someone can stop her. Because if they can’t then the future will belong to the Dark Queen and she may be impossible to stop.
Series: The Free Land Chronicles. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 134,000. Language: British English. Published: October 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
A woman may be as ambitious as any man. She may be as cruel. For Julill nothing will stand in the way of her desire for power and revenge. Not husband, not children, not a man whose touch once softened the hardness at her core. To him she was Swiftsword, a fighter and a lover. But love is a weakness and there is no room for it in the heart of a woman destined for the title Dark Queen.
Series: The Free Land Chronicles. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 95,310. Language: British English. Published: October 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Is blood truly thicker than water? Can a man find refuge with a family spurned for decades? Jargo Mortag is about to find out as he returns home, fleeing from his master’s failure to secure the power of the U’Narai. A proud man he must now beg the help of a mother whose love he could never command. Has Julill Mortag’s icy heart melted with time or will Jargo once more find disfavour in her eyes?
Series: The Free Land Chronicles, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 169,620. Language: British English. Published: October 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
In the third instalment of the Free Land Chronicles secrets will out; things hidden will be revealed, but will truths learned destroy all that was good or lead to necessary closure? Dark forces ride across the land, white warriors do battle with them and mysterious witches do the bidding of those named the Secret Ones.
Kings and Queens
Series: The Free Land Chronicles, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 201,780. Language: British English. Published: October 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Emkel returns to Finlea to start his new life as husband, father and king. To reign well he needs strong allies and so seeks an alliance with the unlikeliest of people. Vampires and elves are poles apart but perhaps friendship is not impossible. But the vampires have troubles. In Vishtalia the black throne stands empty. Whoever claims it will decide if the vampires become friends or deadly foes.
The Gathering of The U'Narai
Series: The Free Land Chronicles, Book 1. Price: $10.99 USD. Words: 250,570. Language: British English. Published: February 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
The Gathering of The U'Narai (Book one of The Free Land Chronicles) is a full-length fantasy fiction novel, featuring a diverse range of characters and the age-old theme of good versus evil. If you enjoy magical quests, action, drama and just a touch of romance then this book is for you. And if you enjoy it I hope you will look out for my next instalment.