Today as I searched for a good topic to share with our readers my mind wandered to what it must be like for my children to see me working all the time. If I’m not writing, I’m organizing promotions, building covers, and extending my hand to others who need the support. I find myself working many hours a day. So, I asked my kids what it is like being the child of an author. Two small people with brilliant minds and two vastly different answers to the same questions.
The following is how the conversation/interview progressed. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Question: So, do you like being the child of an author?
Son: I don’t know.
Question: What does an author do?
Daughter: An author writes a story so they can have a living. That’s what they do for a living. If they have children they feed and take care of the children.
Son: Making a book.
Question: Do you think an author has to make a lot of books?
Daughter: No, because if you have children who will you spend time with? That’s the problem.
Son: They should write as many as they want.
Question: What do you like about it?
Daughter: Sometimes you get to help them write.
Son: That I get to play minecraft.
Question: What do you dislike about being the child of an author?
Daughter: I don’t get to write when she grounds me off tech. (she’s also a published author)
Question: What’s the most fun about having mom writing from home?
Daughter: That she gets to see us.
Son: I like she can play with us, and help with homework.
Question: What do you want to do when you grow up?
Daughter: I don’t know yet.
Son: Make games.
As you can see, I’ve got a fantastic support and play system. I couldn’t be more blessed with inspiration than what I find within my arms every night and day. If you’d like to check out some of the projects that they have shared in inspiring you can find them on my Amazon Author Page, also on Nook, Kobo, and Eretailers worldwide.
I got the chance to get a little crazy with author Sarah Jayne Carr and this is what happens when we’re both lacking caffeine or sleep… or both. She’s an awesome chick, a fantastic author, and a good friend of mine. Give it up for the sensational Sarah!
Sarah Jayne Carr is a novelist who can be found most evenings with a cup of tea in-hand and her imagination racing from plot to plot. When away from her work, part of her mind is constantly brainstorming her next story and she always has writing paraphernalia within reach.
She wrote stories as a child, but became more serious about her passion during her twenties. In her spare time, she likes to read, splash in mud puddles, smell bookstores and eat Honeycrisp apples. Yearly, she participates in NaNoWriMo and has mentored others through the program. Due to her dedication to National Novel Writing Month, she is part of an amazing writing group.
Born and raised in Washington State, Sarah still resides in the area. Her life is richly filled with her supportive, yet swashbuckling husband and their golden Nugget.
Sarah Jayne Carr
Tell me something you want people to know about you: I have an abnormally long tongue. Oh? Not a fact that random? I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo and I’m a six-time champion. My muse wears the diamond-crusted medals to prove it. It’s too bad she lives inside my imagination; the value decreases drastically when compared to tangible diamond-crusted medals. 😉 My NaNo stories from 2005 and 2009 have been published: Revealing Hamilton and Embracing Hamilton.
Tell us how you live or walk us through a normal day for you: How do I live? Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. 😉
A day only feels “normal” to me if I’m able to squeeze in time to write. If I don’t write, I feel “off”. My schedule differs each day, so it includes juggling…chainsaws. A lot of chainsaws.
Are you a full-time writer? If not, tell us about your day job: Oh, to dream! By day, I work in radiology billing. By night, I’m a novelist (that’s when I put on the spandex and the cape). Watch out, Washington. Kidding. My day job is very number-oriented–much different from the writing world. In a sense, I achieve a balance this way and that allows the world to remain on its axis. You’re welcome.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? The “theme” of my stories doesn’t manifest until after I’ve written them. I don’t go into a story with an elaborately mapped out plan for what the reader should come away with. I go into a story thinking about how I can punish Amelia. Then, I think about what can make her life ten times worse. It’s sad, but true. In all honesty, reading is a personal experience and everyone interprets messages and envisions characters/scenery within stories in their own way. If I asked you to imagine a fire-eating clown juggling miniature unicorns while singing Spanish opera, I’ll bet they’d all appear differently. (When I’m sleepy, I become random. Yes, I’m tired. How could you tell?) Readers have all led different lives with different experiences. With that said, they may pull different “messages” from my stories so I don’t aim to pinpoint a certain one as I’m writing.
How much of the book is based off personal experiences? Within my stories, there are many real-life experiences woven throughout the pages. I’m usually pretty quiet regarding which parts are reality and which parts are pure fiction. One instance of a personal experience? Within the pages of Embracing Hamilton, there’s a morgue scene. For the sake of research, I visited a morgue. I needed to see/smell/hear/touch (not taste, that would just be wrong) everything to write the scene accurately. From the metallic sound of the garbage disposal to the salty smell of the body cooler (yes, there were bodies within), I was able to put Amelia in the necessary situation.
What are your current projects? I’m working on the third full-length novel in the JackRabbit7 series. It’s called Hunting Hamilton. Additionally, I’m working on the third JackRabbit7 prequel. It’s called Concealing Torres. I have a few other stories marinating inside my head—not JackRabbit7-related. Whenever those characters try to emerge, Amelia puts them in a headlock and knees them in the face. Right now, she’s still in the spotlight and isn’t ready to give it up yet.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? My cousins and I used to write short stories when we were kids. Throughout my teenage years, I didn’t give writing a second thought (outside of school). When I hit my mid-twenties, I was wandering around a local bookstore. Unable to find the book I wanted to read, I realized it hadn’t been written yet. However, I wasn’t sure where to begin. Shortly thereafter, I learned of a program called National Novel Writing Month. I heard marvelous stories of people who wrote 50,000-words in a month. I wanted to be one of those people and I made it happen. The rest is history.
Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you overcome it? Pffft. I eat writer’s block for breakfast. Two lumps of sugar and cream, please. Okay, the real answer is…<pause for dramatic effect> I don’t believe in writer’s block. If there’s a block, something is wrong with the story. In these times, I treat these “hurdles” like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story. If there’s a stumbling block in front of Amelia that I can’t figure out, I try to take a detour with the scene. It works. In the past, I’ve also tried writing the scene from the perspective of a supporting character. It’s helped too. To date, I haven’t had to use my flare gun to signal for help so I must be doing something right for my muse.
What project are you working on now? Is this déjà vu from three questions ago? You know I’m going to be snarky. Right now? I’m working on this interview. What are you working on right now? 😉 Coey: Nothing… 🙁
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Write. Everyday. If you wait for inspiration to strike, you’ll be waiting a long time. The more you practice the craft, the deeper you’ll be involved with your characters.
Before we get to the crazy questions, check out the trailer for Revealing Hamilton by Sarah Jayne Carr.
Sarah, The Zombie Apocalypse is a scientific possibility. What’s your plan when it happens? I’m headed to the cemetery with mallet to play Whack-A-Mole.
If you wrong someone, how do you apologize? With a singing telegram, of course. By the way, Coey? I’m sorry I stole your unicorn. Make sure you’re home tomorrow between 11 and 2. A man in a lobster suit is going to stop by and sing a rousing rendition of Crossfade’s “Cold” to you. Creepy, isn’t it? Coey: You always know exactly the right thing to give a person. 🙂
If you get cheated by the Better Business Bureau, who do you complain to? There’s no need to work my way any higher up the chain. Instead, I’ll just write them into my next novel. Then, there aren’t any repercussions for my actions. <insert maniacal laugh here> Coey: If you insist…
If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how will anyone ever know? No one will…except for Merriam-Webster. As I hop in my time machine, I envision Noah Webster, George Merriam, and Charles Merriam sitting back in leather armchairs. The setting is an office with oak furniture and crushed red velvet curtains. It’s late in the evening. They’re smoking cigars and laughing as they screw with the population by altering snippets of dictionary. Did I mention they’ve had too much to drink? I can’t see this ending well…
If you were stranded in the remote wilderness would you eat one of your dead traveling companions to survive? Is one of my dead traveling companions a cow livestock? If so, bring it on.
Would you volunteer to be one of the first colonists on Mars if it meant you could never return to earth? I need clarification here. Are we talking about Mars (the planet) or Mars (the candy bar)? Right now, I’m distracted as I think about chocolate so I’m willing to take you up on your offer of caramel and nougat.
If it is after midnight and you do not want to go home yet, where do you go? Coey, you’re so funny! I have a two-year old. I turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Then, I can’t fit through the door, I spend the night out in the cold, and I get cranky. No one likes a cranky Sarah.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I understand you’re an author, so I’m going to forgive your Internet browser history.
I swallowed and shook my head as tears slid down my cheeks. “Dane, don’t.” I gulped. “Gasoline. He has a gun. Matches.” —Engaging Kennewick
Molly Kennewick is involved in a long-distance relationship with a secretive IA employee named Dane Pascall. A prior breakup gone wrong with a resident bad boy leaves a bad taste in Molly’s mouth and also leaves her on edge. A significant amount of time has passed since Axel vanished from her life, but he’s been reminding her of his presence in peculiar ways. A weekend getaway is what Molly believes she needs to clear her head, but history is waiting with bated breath to repeat itself. Can Molly resolve her past and present before her future goes up in flames?
Today, we’re showcasing Skye Knizley in celebration of her Halloween release of STORMRISE. We’ll learn a little about who she is, what she’s about, and then I’m throwing her into the Hypothetical Hotspot™ where the real fun begins. ::wink::
Skye Knizley currently lives in Connecticut, USA, a small state of confusion where she spends most of her time writing urban fantasy and role-playing game adventures. When she isn’t setting quill to parchment Skye can be found hiking with her Siberian Husky Piper and her spirit guide Sheba, camping in a variety of state parks, motorcycling, ghost hunting or practicing and studying the healing arts of Wicca. Which doesn’t mean she dances naked under a full moon… as far as you know. Besides, you need a stone circle for that and they knocked the last one down to build a six-lane bypass.
Tell me something you want people to know about you: This is important and not something everyone gets; if I tease you, I like you and consider you to be, at a minimum, a close acquaintance. On the other hand of my teasing becomes snarky, mean and doesn’t include a smile, you have managed to annoy me and should back off. In some ways I am still a thirteen year old girl…
Tell us how you live or walk us through a normal day for you: I am certain this will be fascinating… My alarm usually goes off at 6:00am. I let my psychotic Psyberian (yeah I spelled that my way) Husky out and then the first thing I do as an iPhone junky is check my texts and Facebook messages. An hour later I put my hair in a tail, throw on some light makeup and go to the gym for two hours. I do an hour and a half of cardio and a half hour of circuit training. I swing by DnD for a coffee afterwards and head home. By ten I am working on a novel or promoting my current work. I go outside to eat some lunch a few hours later; have to rest my eyes and get some sunlight. Too many of us look like the vampires we write about.
After lunch I work for another couple hours, then I shut everything down and sing, practicing first scales then I do songs ranging from Heart to Queen. Afterwards is a cool down period where I play with my Husky and check the mail. This time of year I burn most of it in my firepit.
Dinner comes around 5:00pm and is usually cooked outside. It tastes better and costs less. If the weather is nice it is eaten outside, too. Once clean-up is done it is back to writing and promoting, with the exceptions of watching my addictions: Castle and Once Upon a Time.
The only days that are really different are certain Wiccan observances and alternating Thursdays and Fridays/ occasional Saturdays. On alternating Thursdays and Fridays I play Dungeons and Dragons or Halo (or the shooter of the month). Yep, I am officially a gamer girl and proud.
On the Fridays I am not playing a game and occasional Saturdays I sing and sometimes play drums for a local bar band. We may not be Halestorm but we’re loud. I’m proud of that, too.
Are you a full-time writer? If not, tell us about your day job: While I make a little cashy money singing, I am a full time novelist.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? If there is a message, I am not aware it exists. Growing up I always hated that we were taught to analyze books and “find the meaning.” I read for fun and my novels are written to entertain. There are no Orwellian messages hidden in them. But if you read one backwards it will undo the universe. Be careful of that.
How much of the book is based off personal experiences? I am not aware of ever encountering a vampire, though I do have unanswered questions about my first grade teacher. That said actually quite a bit of my stories is based on my real life experiences in a variety of ways. When it comes to forensic science, shooting and so on, that is all based on my education. I have a degree in Forensic Science and I try to be vaguely accurate with that in my novels. I also own the firearms my protagonists use and I know how to use them. I have a pet peeve about books that use weapons (or anything else) and the author clearly had no experience with the item, so I go out of my way to learn. If I tell you I can drift a 1966 Mustang around a tight corner, it is cause I know personally it can be done. I just sold it, in fact.
What are your current projects? I have a novel titled Stormrise from Vamptasy Publishing that comes out on Halloween. I am working on the first sequel tentatively titled Stormrage, and have also started a new series about a witch named Aspen. I’m trying to title those based on Credence songs.
Stormrise by Skye Knizley
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Yes. The first thing I ever wrote was a very long character background for a character named Rissa for a Dungeons and Dragons game. I spent ages on it using my dad’s beaten up urethane-spattered laptop and made him print copy after copy at his office until I had it just right. I detailed where she was from, who her parents were, her brothers and sisters, why she became a wizard and who her mentor was, everything. I knew her better than I knew myself by the time I was done. And then the game master decided not to run the game after all. He survived my rant afterwards but only barely. I enjoyed creating that character so much, I never stopped writing.
Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you overcome it? I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe you can get to a point where you are not sure how to join part A to part C. So I do one of three things: I write part C, with the hope that while I am writing that, part B will come to me, I work on another project and let my subconscious deal with the problem, or if I am really stuck I present part A to my gaming friends and see what they would do if it were a game.
What project are you working on now? I am working on two: Stormrage and Midnight Special.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? I don’t know if it is advice, but I am always happy to share what I have experienced. First, don’t listen to most of the stuff spouted by “experts.” You can read and buy their books, but remember there is no magic bullet to getting published and an expert’s advice is no guarantee you will get that manuscript in front of anyone. Second, edit. And I don’t mean you or your cousin or your mom. Find a good editor whose only interest is being paid to do a good job, pay them and LISTEN TO THEM. A good editor has more experience doing their job than you do and it is their job to make your manuscript the best it can be. If you disagree with a comment, discuss it with them but for Gaia’s sake listen! Lastly, never give up, never stop writing. No one ever got published by surrendering.
The Zombie Apocalypse is a scientific possibility. What’s your plan when it happens? Kill’em all? My friends have said many, many times they are coming to my house when it happens. I have weapons and ammunition, including Hornady Z-Max. I have cases of MRE’s and I have water. I also have no problem executing someone to save others. That may sound scary, and it puts some people off, but once someone is infected and there is no hope? They’re dead already. Say your goodbyes, say a prayer to Gaia and put a bullet in their brainpan before they have to suffer becoming a soulless monster.
So… from there the plan is to sit out the first few days. I and my companions will sit quietly on watch while people panic and are quickly consumed. Again, harsh, I know. But I can’t save everyone. Neither could you. If it is a matter of survival or trying to save someone running around like a chicken with its head cut off, the chicken gets eaten.
Once things have quieted down, we pack everything into trucks and move towards safer territory far away from cities. Cities are where the zombies are…
What happens when you get ‘half scared to death’ twice? You get scared half to death twice. Look, you got scared half to death. Then you got over it. Then you got scared half to death again. This isn’t a mathematical equation and the effects are not cumulative. If you’re lucky, whatever scared you the first time won’t ever scare you again, so you got tougher in the process. Woot! Go you!
When is the world going to end? October 13, 2037 at 6:33am. And fifty-nine seconds. So some clocks may stop at 6:34am. They aren’t as accurate as I am.
Are the good things that come to people who wait, the leftovers of people who went before them? Eww, I have a leftover phobia and that’s just gross. Besides, good things don’t come to people who wait. It is like standing in line for a video game you didn’t preorder. You’re going to be out of luck, bub. Good things come to those who get off their butts and hunt them down.
If electricity comes from electrons, does morality comes from morons? Morons, as we know, orbit neons, the smallest part of a fracktard. As we are taught in high school, a moron is the tiniest but most powerful element of stupidity, so I find it very unlikely that they could create morality. They are far more likely to bond and form a government.
Why do we teach kids that violence is not the answer, but then teach them all about wars that solved America’s problems? I’ve been toying with this question. I could say something funny about stupid people, or refer to fraktards and neons, but I am going to take a leap and be honest and hope no one sets fire to my house.
I was not aware we taught kids that violence is not the answer. It wasn’t what I was taught, nor my friends, their parents, or their grandparents. I will take a wild stab that goes back pretty far. If a parent is teaching their child that violence is never the answer that parent needs a Gibbs slap upside the head. I’m not a sociologist, I am just an opinionated novelist, but that teaching could be part of the bullying problem. Are parents basically teaching children not to defend themselves? That leaves them open to the bullies, who are going to be violent no matter what you do (trust me, I’ve been a victim and I’ve seen it in my career) and limits their options… possibly resulting in the increase in child suicide as a result of bullying. What are they supposed to do when that bully comes after them with an aluminum bat? Use harsh language? “No means no” is all well and good but it’s not nearly as effective as a solid kick to the groin and an elbow to the temple. I know if I was taught not to fight back, I wouldn’t be here answering, writing, and doing what I do.
What we should be teaching is what I, and generations before me, were taught: Appropriate response. That is what our wars were about: The appropriate response at the appropriate time. Violence is rarely the appropriate response. But sometimes it is.
Can we spell creativity however we want? It depends entirely on how you are referring to creativity. If you are trying to use the word “creativity” in a sentence you can hardly spell it “spatula” and get your meaning across.
If, however, you are referring to the act of being creative, absolutely we can spell it however we want. You might think a bunch of car parts welded together in an abstract pattern is just a pile of rusting junk. To someone else, it is creative, mind-blowing art. Go forth and be creative. Just don’t paint your children blue and put white hats on them. That’s creepy.
Why don’t you ever see ads for advertising companies? They’re like ninjas. That’s how good they are. You never even notice those monstrous billboards that say “ADVERTISE HERE.” I have sneaky author perceptions and can see things that are really there.
Releases October 31st from Vamptasy Publishing
Life isn’t easy for Detective Raven Storm. Her best friend was recently killed and dismembered, her latest case ended with her partner in intensive care, and her mother, the vampiric Mistress of the City is playing matchmaker… again. The last thing she wants is another bizarre murder case with a partner she doesn’t know. But that is exactly what she gets when she is handed the enigmatic case of Nathan King, who was found in his car with a gaping hole where his stomach should be.
Soon Raven is unraveling a mystery that leads her deep into the city’s preternatural underworld, and into the arms of a sexy vampire she barely knows, but whose heart she seeks in the darkness…
“Thanks, Ryan,” Raven said. “Did you find anything else of interest in the car?” Finkel shook his head and turned to look back at the vehicle. “Not really. We lifted a couple partials from the door handle, but they probably belong to the victim. Lots of high-speed blood spatter inside, no sign of gunshot residue…it is like he pulled into the garage and his stomach tore open.” Levac nodded, still staring at the contents of the gris-gris bag. “You know, Storm,” he said after a moment, “they’re right.” Raven looked puzzled. “Who’s right? About what?” “The rest of the squad,” he replied. “They were telling me you get all the weird ones. They’re absolutely right.”
You can connect with Skye by liking her on Facebook and becoming a follower on Twitter.
I had the great pleasure of getting the scoop on Author, Jay Ellis. Right from the start, I want to thank him for taking the time to tell us about himself, answer my batty questions, and I hope you have as much fun as I did getting his responses. So, thank you, Jay. The pleasure was mine.
Jay Ellis writes primarily Fantasy, for teen readers. He’s been writing for about 17 years from Essex, UK.
… and I’m sorry, ladies, he’s engaged. He proposed to his fiance, Tammy, on Valentine’s Day. How romantic is that? He’s the proud father of three little boys under the age of seven and it’s a wonder he has time for anything else!
“Before you pick up the pen to write, make sure you realize how long you’ll carry it for and how heavy it will be” -Jay Ellis
I met Jay Ellis several months ago and he’s kept me entertained with his wit, humor and charm since day-one. Something about his English accent makes him even more interesting. He’s self-publishing, he designs his own book covers, and he’s always working on something new. He’s been an inspiration to me since I’ve known him, just don’t have the coffee vs. tea argument with this bloke. He’s English and very serious about his tea.
Let’s get to it, then. I asked, ‘Who is Jay Ellis?’ I want to know more than the basics but I did cover all the good stuff, as well.
I wanted to have some fun. I asked Jay some questions just to see what he would come up with. As a writer, it’s our job to create. Day after day, we spend our lives exaggerating, embellishing, telling stories and doing the best we can to entertain those around us. I wanted to put him on the spot and test his ability to talk his way through some confounding questions. Also, I like to hear him talk… So, check it out. Jay Ellis tells us what he’s going to do in a Zombie Apocalypse, why Superheroes wear their underpants on the outside, and much more.
Hypothetical Hotspot with Jay Ellis.
“Jason Ellis – Wears a cap, he’s English and he drinks tea. His books must be great!”
Jay has a plethora of books to choose from on Amazon.com, so, head on over there and check out the many titles he has to offer. Here’s some additional links to get you started.