Monday, June 30, 2014
Monday, June 16, 2014
Part 3: Right here with me
The Creative Process
- Where do you get your story ideas?
Michael: Most of my ideas come from living life. Stories are literally everywhere. All you have to do is step off the beaten path and find them.
- How do you deal with writer’s block?
Michael: For me, every time I haven’t been able to put words on a page, it’s because I don’t have the inspiration. Either what I’m writing about feels dead, or the manner in which I went about telling the story. Usually, it’s the latter. If that’s the case, I do a lot of deleting.
- How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
Michael: I’m a pantser, so I develop as I go. For example, My Best Friend Death started out as Wouldn’t it be cool if Death became someone’s life coach?
I do have a formula for creating characters. I’m going to write one or two more novels using that formula, and then I’ll discard it. I don’t ever want to be call formulaic.
- Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?
Michael: Pantser all the way.
- Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not?
Michael: Yes! Critique partners and beta readers are the most important weapons in my arsenal. CPs and betas provide fresh perspectives that lead me in directions I never would have considered otherwise. I couldn't imagine penning a novel without them.
- How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do?
Michael: All depends on the novel. For My Best Friend Death, very little research was involved. Most of the novel related searches I did were to make sure I was using words correctly. I’m in the planning stages of a historical fiction novel. That’s taking a great deal more research.
Monday, June 9, 2014
Sara V. Zook is a paranormal/fantasy writer. She is the author of the Strange in Skin Trilogy, Clipped and Evanescent, Book 1 in The Sempiternal Series. She lives in Pennsylvania with her 3 small children and husband.
Author Contact Information
BRoP: How long have you been writing?
Sara: I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. I wrote mostly poetry in college and had started novels but never finished anything until 2010.
BRoP: When and why did you begin writing?
Sara: I’ve always wanted to be able to create stories that other people love. After taking a little bit of time off after college, my husband said I was going to wake up one day, be old and never have written a book, so I decided to sit down and actually finish one.
BRoP: Tell us about your early works—what was the first thing you ever wrote?
Sara: The first book I ever wrote was Strange in Skin. When I was writing it, I really never thought anyone else would ever be reading it.
BRoP: What genre do you write?
Sara: Paranormal/Fantasy but I tend to wander away and explore other genres as well.
BRoP: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
Sara: Paranormal. I love how there are no boundaries or limits to what my imagination can create.
About Your Current Work
BRoP: Tell us about your new book and when it is out? Where can people purchase it?
Sara: June 18, 2014
BRoP: Is there anything new, unusual, or interesting about your book? How is it different from other books on the same subject?
Sara: This one is geared more toward adolescents but one that adults will enjoy as well.
BRoP: What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Sara: Taking out all swear words, love scenes and gore so that it would be appropriate for a younger audience.
BRoP: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Sara: I have too many. Action scenes are always my favorite because of their intensity.
BRoP: Tell us about your book’s cover – where did the design come from and what was the design process like?
Sara: It came from Stefanie Fontecha of Beetiful Cover Designs. I saw it and loved it. She’s very talented. We've worked together on 5 books, so she makes the process very easy.
A Magic Within Book Blurb:
Normalcy. I need to get back to a state of normalcy. What’s happened to me? Why am I here in this orphanage, and why am I forbidden to leave? Everyone is so very cruel here. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. It’s the paranoia getting to me. It’s like someone’s always watching, always listening. There’s a general fear around here, and for some reason, it seems fueled by my arrival, but why are they afraid of me? I didn’t ask for this. I don’t even know how I got here. I need to go home. My parents must be worried sick. There has to be someone here who can help me, who can give me answers and lead me in the right direction so I can get out of here. There is this one boy, Lydic. Could he be my key to getting out? I can see it in his eyes he feels sorry for me. He seems to know more than he’s letting on. These people aren’t like anyone I’ve ever met before. They act like I have secrets, but they’re the ones not talking. I’ve never been alone like this, and I’ll do whatever it takes to figure out what’s going on and get out.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the Blog Ring of Power hosts and their parts of this interview
Part 1 and 4: Hi, welcome to the Realm
The Blog Ring of Power (BRoP) is a consortium of five speculative fiction writers who have banded together to bring you highlights from the current speculative fiction market--news, reviews, and interviews with speculative fiction authors--with an emphasis on small-press and self-published authors. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and relax. Have we got a story for you...