This interview was originally posted by Louise Findlay on her blog, Louise Findlay Books:
Louise: Do you find it hard to keep track of what happens in every episode so you don’t contradict yourself?
Renee: Yes. Yes I do. Now that I’m using Scrivener I’m trying to work out a system for easy referencing. But it has been rather difficult. Thankfully, my beta readers tend to point out when I do contradict myself.
Louise: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Renee: I used to be a pantser, but I ran into the problem of going off on tangents and finding it hard to get back on track. I’ve recently started using a loose outlining system where I write about a paragraph per chapter. It makes it easier for making changes as I’m writing if I need to and at the same time, I can keep track of what I’m supposed to be writing. If a little subplot comes to mind during the writing, I can look over the outline and decide where it might fit it, or whether it really needs to be there at all. Saves a whole lot of time during the editing process.
Louise: Do you create character profiles?
Renee: I create very basic character profiles to start with. Usually just names, an age range and simplistic physical descriptions. The main character usually has a little backstory as well. Then I add to the profile as I write. I don’t like the character to be fully developed before I start writing. For me, they seem more real if they’re allowed to take on a life of their own during the course of the story.
Louise: Did you think about publishing e-books first or print books?
Renee: Both, really. I’ve always recognized both as equally valuable markets. I think to do well in any business (and writing is a business for me), you have to make yourself available in every available market or else you’re just limiting yourself.
Louise: How do you create your book covers? Do you like the serialised style of them?
Renee: I actually haven’t created any of my book covers so far. I have a friend who has done the Shadow Stalker covers. She’s a graphic arts student and she volunteered in order to get some practice and I was certainly happy to let her.
Demon Hunt’s cover was designed by Kathryn Jenkins at DKC. I’m making an attempt to design the cover for my first novel in the Savior of the Serpent Isles Series, The Galvadi Invasion. I’ve got a good idea in mind for it, and I’m pretty sure I can pull it off. If not, I’ll likely see about hiring someone to do it.
Louise: After you’ve finished with the Shadow Stalker series, would you think of writing something completely different to them or just write spin-offs?
Renee: I’ve actually got other things in mind. Later this year I’ll be starting work on a stand-alone novel called The Four, which will be a kind of fantasy thriller kind of story involving shape-shifters. Something a little different for me. It’ll be a bit on the darker side. I’ve also got another series I’m planning for at the moment, but I’m still working out the details for that one.
As far as Shadow Stalker, I’ve got plans for that as well. I’ll be writing a series of eight full length novels that will involve details of what’s going on in other parts of that world, rather than just being focused on Auren’s story. The novella series worked as a great intro for me into the industry, but I’ve always had visions of doing much more with that world. I also have a prequel novel planned that will tell the story of the formation of the Galvadi Empire. And going even further back, I want to write a series about the first shadow stalker. I’m also planning a junior reader series (at the request of my daughter) involving Kado as a young boy. I’ll likely write other novellas and short stories based on this world in the interim as well.