Here’s an interview that Quanie Miller did with me. It was originally posted on her blog Quanie Talks Writing.
1. How’d you get the inspiration for your Shadow Stalker series?
I first got the inspiration to write Shadow Stalker after reading The Celestine Prophecy. That’s actually how I came up with the character, Kado, and then it grew from there.
2. Are any of the characters based on people you know?
Not entirely, no. I do tend to pick certain traits from people I know and characters from other novels, but they’re usually just little things I think will fit the character.
3. What are you working on currently?
Well I publish an episode of Shadow Stalker every month, so I’m always working on that. I’m also compiling the episodes (every six episodes I write) to write a novel based on them. The novel will have the same story as the episodes, but they will be written in third person as opposed to first person and have a lot more elements involved. I’m also working on a prequel novella for the Shadow Stalker series called Demon Hunt. I’ll be writing that one during NaNoWriMo this year.
4. I was actually going to ask you if you’d be participating in NaNoWriMo. Can you tell us more about the project you’ll be working on this November?
As I mentioned, Demon Hunt is a prequel novel based on the Shadow Stalker series. It takes place the year before the series starts when Kado takes Auren camping on Luten Isle. Something goes wrong, and Auren ends up having to face her worst nightmare. It will be a lot of fun to write.
5. What does your family think about your writing?
They love it. Even my mom, who hates to read, has been eager to read my stuff. My husband gives me ideas and feedback on ideas, but he refuses to read them until the series is done. He can’t stand the suspense of waiting for the next novel. So he’ll read it all at once. LOL
6. Do you write in other genres?
I haven’t yet, but I’d probably consider it if inspiration struck.
7. What’s your writing process?
I always start with a character. Once I have developed the main character and that character’s back story, the plot usually starts coming together in my mind on its own. When I have the plot worked out, I start writing summaries of each paragraph. Other characters and subplots start to form during this process. Then I’ll start writing the first draft once my outline is done. I don’t use a very detailed outline because things tend to change too quickly during the writing process.
8. How do you deal with fear and doubt as a writer?
Whenever it rears its ugly head, I start thinking about everything I’ve accomplished so far or my goals. That always puts me in the right mindset. I don’t have very lofty goals, so I can’t be too intimidated by them. LOL
9. Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique? How did you deal with it?
Not really harsh, no, but I’m pretty laid back and don’t get offended easily. I get frustrated easily, though, when people point out things or offer suggestions and I’m not sure what they’re talking about. I always seem to figure it out, but it drives me crazy until I do. I also get really frustrated when someone says that I haven’t previously established something, then I’ll read back and find it two paragraphs before the one they pointed out. It’s good at the same time, though. Most of the time I find I can expand on it and make it more obvious so people don’t glance over it.
10. What’s some of the best and worst writing advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice was to write what you know, don’t over-complicate things, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
I don’t know if I have ever gotten any bad writing advice, but I have been told on more than one occasion that it would be a mistake to self-publish. Apparently, it lowers an author’s credibility.
11. Have you ever gotten inspiration for a story from something truly bizarre?
I have thought about writing a series of children’s books based on a cat I used to have. I think he thought he was human or something. He certainly didn’t act like a cat!
12. Any advice for aspiring writers?
Get to know people and don’t be afraid to help them. This is the best way to get your name out there. Also, spend some time learning your craft. It will go a long way to saving you time and heartache in the long run.