It’s a bit awkward watching a grown woman cry. India Drummond tries to pull herself together, but she’s just too frightened. Oh well, no sympathy from me. She got herself into this situation. Welcome to the HOT SEAT!
Let’s get started. What genre(s) do you write?
Mostly urban fantasy, but my books also stray into “epic fantasy” territory as well. They have a splash of murder and romance to boot!
Tell us about your recently published book, ENEMY OF THE FAE (Caledonia Fae, Book 3), in 25 words or less.
With a young, inexperienced monarch on the Caledonian throne and traitorous plots implicating those nearest Queen Eilidh, unrest is rife in the kingdom.
Most of us write part time. How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
Writing is my full-time job. I also do freelance cover design from time to time, but all the many tasks associated with publishing books take up nearly all my time, so I accept a few jobs here and there, but don’t actively seek out new clients. When I’m not working, I’m spending time with my family and enjoying living in Scotland, the most beautiful place on earth.
[CJ: Sounds awesome! Living the dream… ;)]
Tell us a little about your writing process.
I begin with a one paragraph statement about the main conflict in the book, then I expand that to 2-3 paragraphs about each third of the book. In the first third, I set up the characters and conflict, but by the end of that third, the main character needs to be in trouble. In the second third, the trouble gets doubled, until by the end of that section, I’m not sure how to get them out of it. Then the last third is for resolution. After I get this finished, I write a detailed outline that is usually about 4000-5000 words where I divide that general outline into chapters, and detail what needs to happen in each one. Then I start writing!
After I finish a draft, I muck around and polish until I’m happy with it, then I send to beta readers. After another round of self-editing, I send it to my professional editor. I take her suggestions and edit and polish again, then I listen to the book using Kindle’s text-to-speech feature to help me catch any lingering errors.
It’s a lot of work, but it’s the only way I’ve found to produce as polished a product as I can.
[CJ: Sounds very thorough. I found your post about how to choose a freelance editor extremely helpful. :)]
Who or what are your biggest writing inspirations?
I’m constantly inspired by things I see every day. I love watching strangers and thinking about their lives, their secrets and dreams.
[CJ: Yep, I’m a people watcher too.]
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a writer?
Without a doubt it’s getting through the initial period of learning, struggling, rejection, starting over. So often, writers face a long battle of trial by fire, working to catch a break in a difficult industry. It took me a long time to find success, and it’s so hard to continue to plug away in a situation where I just wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen for me.
[CJ: Congratulations for breaking through! :)]
Time for the HOT SEAT questions!
Have you ever considered giving up writing? Why? What made you continue?
I started writing fiction in university, and it took me a long time to find my voice and the style and genre that I enjoyed the most. But I worked hard all along the way to get published. At one point, I had an epic fantasy novel that an agent was looking over. She asked for more pages, then more, then finally the entire manuscript, but each step took months, and I was constantly getting emails from her saying “Oh sorry, I haven’t gotten around to it, but I love the book and I need a few more weeks.” Finally after nearly a year of giving her an exclusive look, she wrote and said the book wasn’t for her, but she recommended this book doctor who was a personal friend, and he only wanted about a thousand pounds for reading the book and giving me a one-page report. I was devastated and felt like my trust had been broken. I quit writing for a couple of years, having decided that the entire industry was crooked.
[CJ: That would have been a very disheartening experience.]
In the end, though, I came back to it and wrote a different book altogether, and this one was picked up by a small publishing house. A lot had changed since I first started submitting though. I decided self-publishing was a smarter way to go for me, so when I started my next series (Caledonia Fae), I intended from the beginning to self-publish it. It was with this series that I finally found the success I’d been dreaming about for so many years.
[CJ: Hooray! :-)]
Finish this sentence from your character’s perspective: I’m embarrassed to admit this, but…
… I loved him from the beginning, but I couldn’t tell him because he was human.
[CJ: Ooooh eeee!]
Now finish the same sentence from your perspective: I’m embarrassed to admit this, but…
I don’t usually admit to things that embarrass me! [CJ: yeah, but this is what the HOT SEAT is all about! :D] But… most people think I’m very confident, and in some ways I am, but I have a horrible fear of new situations, especially ones in which I don’t know anyone else who will be there. I don’t mind public speaking or talking to strangers… it’s more about going into a situation where I don’t know what is going to happen or what will be expected of me.
More about Enemy of the Fae (Caledonia Fae, Book 3):
With a young, inexperienced monarch on the Caledonian throne and traitorous plots implicating those nearest Queen Eilidh, unrest is rife in the kingdom. She must sift through the intrigues and lies to survive, all while trying to discover which of her trusted companions hates her enough to commit mass murder.
Pressures threaten to overcome the young ruler, and to protect Quinton Munro, her bonded druid, she must send him away. His journey becomes a mission when he stumbles on an ancient truth that will shake the foundations of the entire faerie realm. Confronted by infinite danger and the promise of limitless power, Munro faces the most difficult choices of his life. Will he hide the truth to preserve stability in the faerie kingdoms or embrace the promise of his true druid heritage?
One friend will die because of that truth, one friend’s betrayal will cause irreparable scars, and the once tightly-knit band of druids will learn that not all magic is benevolent.
Are you tough enough for the HOT SEAT? Let me know in the comments and I’ll schedule you in for a buttocks burning. 😀