Welcome back for the second stop at WR101. If you haven’t managed to catch Renee’s author interview, you will find it below. Renee is happy to answer any of your questions, so if there’s anything you’d like to know, either leave your questions in the comments or visit Renee’s blog. This evening, in the final stop, I will be sharing the character interviews provided as part of the tour, so don’t miss out on those.
By: Kathryn Jenkins
Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember the exact moment you made the decision and why?
A: In 1995 I was going to college for film and video production, and one of the required courses was an English course that required us to do some creative writing. My instructor was so impressed with my work that he had me read it in front of the class on a couple of occasions (which I have to admit was quite horrifying for me). One day he called me up after class was over and asked me if I had ever considered getting any of my work published. I had always loved making up stories, but I never considered writing them down, and I certainly never considered I could be good enough to have something published. He got me thinking about it, though, and I started writing for fun after that. It wasn’t until a few years later that I started to consider writing more seriously.
Q: The hardest obstacle every author faces is trying to find the time to write. How do you manage your time with being a mother and a wife?
A: It’s really not easy. My daughter is autistic and has ADHD as well, so she requires a lot of my attention. I tend to write in bits and pieces throughout the day when I can find time. I volunteer in her school’s library, so I tend to do most of my writing then, or when she is occupied with something at home. Keeping a regular writing schedule is not something I can do, though, so I have to just take advantage of every opportunity.
Q: Where do you find your inspiration for your stories/books?
A: A lot of it comes from my personal experiences and interesting people that I meet. I also read a lot of fantasy novels, and that tends to get my creative juices flowing.
Q: Your first novel is in a serialized format. Can you tell us why you chose this direction with publishing your work?
A: I was originally planning to write it as a series of novels, but I decided I wanted to try something different since so many authors are doing them these days. I had read about how some authors will publish their novels one chapter at a time and charge $1 a chapter. I thought this was a bit excessive since most novels are close to about 30 chapters. That’s a lot of money to charge for a novel in digital format and most ebook distributors won’t charge less than $0.99. So I came up with the idea of writing episodes, based on the concept of a TV series, but in the form of a short novella.
I thought it would be a great way to get my story out there and see if there and see if there was an interest before investing several months of work in writing a complete novel. Plus, it will be fun to be able to give my readers something new to read every month.
Q: With having a serialized novel in the process. Do you have chapters written already for the next episode or are you writing as you go?
A: Episodes 2 and 3 are nearly ready for editing and I’ve just started writing Episode 4. Readers can track my progress from my website where I post word count widgets in the side bar. I like to keep at least a few episodes ahead because quite often I will get ideas that will need to be introduced in an earlier episode. This gives me the latitude to make changes before publishing.
Q: While you are in the process of your serialized novel are you working on other projects? Can you tell us about them?
A: I am working on a novel called The Four. It will be a standalone novel with the potential for a sequel. The only thing I can say about it right now is that it’s about shape shifters with the ability to control people’s minds. It will be a sort of fantasy thriller.
Q: What background do you have that shows up frequently in your writing?
A: I have been into shamanism for many years, and my stories tend to have a very shamanic theme, although very loosely based in reality. I also prefer to write fantasy that takes place in a modern or futuristic world compared to ours.
Q: What are your goals as a writer? Where do you see yourself in five years after starting your journey with, Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth?
A: I’m not really big on the idea of fame and popularity. I just want to be successful at what I do and make a good living at it. If in five years I can travel with my family anywhere we want to go, be able to live in a nice house and own a nice car, and do things we want to do without worrying about our finances, I will consider myself successful. Then I might consider some new goals, although, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t be tickled if one of my novels were to be made into a movie that was produced by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. To work with those two men would be a dream come true for me.
Q: What challenges do you face with writing your serialized novel that other writers don’t?
A: The biggest challenge, I would say, is meeting a monthly deadline to write, edit, publish and promote each episode. Also, once an episode is published, it’s cannon. I have to be very careful that I don’t do anything in future episodes that will contradict something that had been previously written.
Q: Since, this is your first time being published. Can you tell us about your experiences? What advice would you give to another author just starting out also?
A: Most of my experience over the years has been overcoming my fears. First, I had to get over the fear of having people read my work. I really didn’t believe I was very good until I had strangers emailing me to praise my writing skills. That was a big confidence booster for me and prompted me to start writing more seriously. I’m a perfectionist, though, and I will not publish something if I can’t read it over and over and still love it. I spend the last ten years working on my writing skills and learning about the industry and marketing because I knew I wanted to self-publish. Making the decision to finally write and publish Shadow Stalker is a big step for me because I’m facing my biggest fear of all…fear of the unknown.
If I was to give any advice at all, it would be to know your craft and your industry. Don’t just jump into things blind. You should have a plan, and you should know exactly how you will put that plan into action. Then when you have done all that, get to work! Don’t let your fears stop you from achieving your dreams.
Thanks for visiting.