Interviews with Joan Carney, Sandra Lopez and JC Roberts

Hello my little munchkins. How are you all doing? I am doing okay. I am studying so I can take my permit test so YAY!!! But besides that I am extremely tired. Have any of you watched The West Wing? Because that show is AmAzInG.


Interview with JC Roberts:

JC Roberts

What is your writing kryptonite?

Everyone says a writer’s biggest critic is himself. I know that’s definitely true of me. I could go on and on about my weaknesses, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll say that pacing is probably my biggest struggle.

What made you want to write this book?

I used to be a teacher for a school called Focus Academy. It was designed to help students who struggle in school due to social issues. We don’t like to use specific diagnosis, but our students often had disorders like Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Tourette’s Syndrome.
The things is, my students’ social struggles didn’t just extend to their classmates and friends. Communication is hard for their families and even strangers, too. Having been diagnosed with Asperger’s myself, I have a knack for translating for adults and children with social disorders.
I wanted to write this book so that I could help create that bridge between parents with their children who have Asperger’s. When they read Warren High together, I want the parents to get a glimpse into their typical thought processes and behaviors. In addition, I want the children with social disorders who read it to be able to grasp why certain behaviors can make having friends difficult, and I want other children to be able to understand that sometimes they just have to be patient with people who are different.

If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?

Don’t be cocky! I used to think I was cooler than the rain and hotter than the sun. The truth is, we never stop improving as writers, and that’s a lesson I’ve had to learn over time. You can always be better.

Have you ever had difficulty coming up with an idea for your story?

Oh, many times. I’m what’s known as a ‘pantser’ in the writing community, meaning that I write by the seat of my pants. Since I don’t tend to plan out much of my story before hand, I sometimes write myself into a corner, then have to back track my way out of it.

As a writer what would your spirit animal be?

A fox, hands down. I have something of a fox obsession. I’ve got a fox bag for my computer, a fox case for my phone, pictures of foxes hanging in my house. I love them. I feel close to them because they’re cunning and mischievous, but they’re never outright cruel. They like to point out the humor in the world, even if
people don’t appreciate it sometimes.

What Hogwarts house would the main character of your book be sorted into?

Ned would definitely be a Ravenclaw. Though it wasn’t my intention, each of the characters would probably fit into different houses. Laura would be Hufflepuff (like myself), Rocky would be Gryffindor (he’s braver than he lets on), and Ashley would be Slytherin.

What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your character?

Oh man, great question. The truth is, I have a very deep respect for Ed and Lorraine Warren. They’re the greatest “ghost busters” in the world, but they’re also wonderful people. People don’t often know this, but over the course of their career, they never charged people money. Anything they made came from paintings and books. While Ed passed away, Lorraine still is alive, and though I’ve never met her, she seems very kind and sweet from interviews that I’ve seen.

While you were editing your book what were some thoughts that were going through your mind?

“Man, hiring an editor is expensive. Hopefully no one will notice if I self-edit.” I was wrong. People noticed XD

Do you google yourself?

Haha! Every now and then. The problem is my last name is very common, especially in the writing world, so googling myself doesn’t tend to do me very good. I still try every now and then though, just out of curiosity.

What word would sum up your book.

Empathy. There isn’t enough of it in this world, and I hope my book can help to provide a little bit more.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Very much so. I actually wrote a blog about writer’s block once. The APA actually has a mental diagnosis listed called Blank Page Syndrome, which occurs when your brain is too active to produce creative ideas.

What is your writing process like?

Very casual. Most of the time it involves me laying in bed with my laptop in my PJs. Truth be told, writing at a desk just wouldn’t be the same to me.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Read over your own work repeatedly. Every time you read one of your own works in the past, you’ll catch mistakes that you’ve made. Things like poor phrasing, confusing word choice, etc. It’s okay to admit your mistakes, but it’s a lot easier to correct them in the future if you find them. Plus, someone else could point it out and wouldn’t that be embarrassing?
But even more importantly: keep writing. Even if you can’t think of anything. Even if it’s bad. Just keep writing. As a wise man once said, “Writing will soon become less of a chore and more of an addiction sated.” He may or may not have been me.

How much research do you do for your books?

Loads of it! But, it can actually be a lot of fun. One of the projects I’ve been working on involves pirates, so I recently had to learn the inner workings of a pirate ship. Very cool. The research I did for Warren High though was surprisingly morbid. Who knew that someone would know how long it takes for an elephant to burn in a school locker? Weird right?

When did you decide the you wanted to become a writer?

I’d say about my second year of College. Before that it was really just something I enjoyed doing.

When did you first start writing?

In Junior High. I used to carry around a small notebook where I’d work on my story. Unfortunately, someone stole it and I haven’t seen it since. I can tell you though, the story was pretty awful.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

Primarily, my laptop. Though, I’ve had to make do in ways before. Once during a hurricane my apartment’s power was down for two weeks. I’d plug my phone into my car charger and write on that. Not the best two weeks of my career.

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

Staying focused. There’s a joke that being a writer is 60% Facebook, 30% Youtube, and 10% actually writing.

What is the easiest part of writing that you consider?

That’s pretty tough to answer. For me, the easiest part of writing is getting started. I’ve got dozens of manuscripts that only go a few chapters in before I scrapped them to work on something else. I know a lot of other people struggle
with that though.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It can take me anywhere from as short as a month to as long as a year. And that’s before going through the nightmare that is editing.

Any tips on how to go through a dreaded writer’s block?

There are two kinds of writers block. One is from a lack of inspiration. If you feel sluggish and you just can’t think of anything, it means you need to take a break. Watch some TV, listen to some music, don’t think about writing for a little bit. The other is the afformentioned Blank Page Syndrome. When your mind is super busy with ideas and you can’t seem to get it straight, I’ve found stream of conscious writing is the answer. Basically, open up a blank page and just start typing. Whatever it is that comes into your head, even if it’s just random thoughts like ‘I wonder if mice are just tiny rats’ or whatever. Do that for a good five minutes, and your brain will sort itself out.

How did you decide to pick out your book cover?

My cover was designed by a young lady that I met online on the website Furaffinity.com. She lives in Germany, and she had just the right style I was looking for. Her user name is Ukibenji, and she’s very kind.

Do you think the cover plays an important part of the buying processes?

Very much so. Despite what we often tell people, we usually judge books by the cover. If it’s not impressive enough to catch someone’s eye, they won’t pick it up to look inside.

How do you market your books?

I’ll admit, I don’t do it as much as I should. Typically, I spread it by going to local conventions and such.

Why did you choose said route?

I’ve always found that it’e easier to sell my book if I can see people in person.

What is your favorite quote of your book?

Oh, that’s definitely the conversation between Ned and Laura about the word ‘freak’. Freak is old German for a brave warrior. Laura is worried people will see her as a freak. So when she asks him, he says “You’re the bravest warrior I know.”
How can your readers discover more about you and your work? I have a facebook page called J. C. Roberts. I can also be contected via email at JCRobertsFanmail@gmail.com. I love getting mail from my readers. 🙂

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

Traditional publishing is fading away. Thanks to companies like Amazon, books are available on demand anywhere. Even Barnes & Noble is considering going fully digital. As much as I enjoy having a physical book in my hands, self-publishing is going to be the future.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

The second book in the series has been released. I actually was able to get a proper editor for this one. The book is called Warren High: Flames of Obsession. Thank you so much for your interview.


Interview with Sandra Lopez: 

Sandra Lopez

What is your writing kryptonite?

A: Not being able to finish a whole chapter/scene. I leave a lot half done.

What made you want to write this book?

A: So many people and experiences were the inspiration behind Single Chicas. I just thought they were too funny not to share.

If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?

A: Life doesn’t always turn out the way you think. Sometimes it may surprise you.

Have you ever had difficulty coming up with an idea for your story?

A: Plenty of times. That’s when I step away from the story and take a break from it.

As a writer what would your spirit animal be?

A: A dog, like Dante in the movie, Coco.

While you were editing your book what were some thoughts that were going through your mind?

A: I just wonder what improvements my editor can come up with.

Do you google yourself?

A: Guilty

What word would sum up your book.

A: Hilarious!

Do you believe in writer’s block?

A: Guilty

What is your writing process like?

A: I sit with a pen and notebook and just start writing. Sometimes I have to re-read what I’ve got since, as mentioned, I tend to leave a lot half-done. But, hey, slow and steady wins the race.

What advice do you have for other writers?

A: Two things you need to do to be a writer: Read and Write.

When did you decide that you wanted to become a writer?

A: It wasn’t something that I decided. It was just something that happened. It all started with my first YA novel right after high school. I would work on it while taking a full college course load.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

A: I write with pen and paper.

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

A: Finding the time and energy to write. It’s like exercise—you know you have to do it, but sometimes you just don’t feel like it.

What is the easiest part of writing that you consider?

A: The freewriting. Not worrying about spelling, grammar, or even if what you’re writing makes any sense. I love the freedom to be as messy as I want.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

A: My first full-length novel took me about a year while I was going to college. I remember starting Single Chicas back in 2013 because that was right before I went on a study abroad to Italy, and, of course, I didn’t get back to it right away. I worked on it in intervals throughout the years and finally got it published in 2016.

Any tips on how to go through a dreaded writer’s block?

A: Like Rachel told Ross on Friends, “Maybe we should just take a break.”

How did you decide to pick out your book cover?

A: I wanted something that reflected how fun these chicas were.

Do you think the cover plays an important part of the buying processes?

A: Absolutely! I know when I’m browsing through all the ebook newsletters I’ve subscribed to, the first thing I notice is the cover.

How do you market your books?

A: Still working on it, I think. I mean, I’ve gotten many favorable reviews from both men and women of all ages, which indicates that my book is suited for all audiences, but I’m still trying to narrow it down.

What is your favorite quote of your book?

Perfection is a Barbie doll, and, unless you’re looking for a guy with a fake smile, a hard head, and no genitalia, then you’re better off NOT being perfect―Single Chicas

How can your readers discover more about you and your work?

Connect with Sandra Lopez:

Newsletter: https://sandra-lopez.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ed375ca4e841d58a1b8e75f03&id=f21290eb2e

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sandra-Lopez/173657042664609

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1656820.Sandra_C_Lopez

Blog: http://sandrasbookclub.blogspot.com/

http://www.sandra-lopez.com

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

A: Well, with the dwindle of paperbacks and bookstores, I see publishing going more digital (like everything else, I guess.)


Interview with Joan Carney:

Joan Carney

What made you want to write this book?

My inspiration for writing Fated Memories was the genealogy research I’d done on my father’s family in Pennsylvania. We kids had never known the rich history of our family until I started digging through Ancestry.com. When I discovered that my great grandfather had fought in the American Civil War, my imagination went wild and I started imagining what it would have been like to live during those times and how I would react if thrown back there from the present.

Have you ever had trouble coming up with an idea for your story?

Some people can weave a story around almost anything. But inspirations don’t come as easily to me. I have to mull it over in my mind for a while, let it sit there and simmer while I imagine the characters involved. After it all starts to gel, I hash it out with friends and family to get their feedback. By then I’m fully immersed and can run with it.

How much research do you do for your books?

A lot. I feel that each story should have a unique home to give it life. In “Fated Memories,” the characters went from New York to Pennsylvania and Virginia in two different eras. “Remember” is a Christmas story and takes place in the cold and snow of Minneapolis. My latest and soon-to-be released book, “By the Numbers,” takes place in Boston. In preparation for writing, I read up on the geography, landmarks, pertinent history, and culture of each location. Seeing them in their familiar surroundings gives me a better sense of my characters and their backgrounds.

When did you first start writing?

Fated Memories was my first attempt at writing. I’d always been a dreamer and had stories running through my mind all the time, but they were for my own amusement and I never wrote them down. As my genealogy research progressed and the characters came to life in my head, I’d found my muse and knew I had to write it all down—even if I was the only one who would ever read it. Thankfully, I wasn’t.

How did you decide to pick out your book cover?

After I’d made the scary decision to go ahead and publish what I’d written, I knew the cover had to be appropriate to the story. I began scouring websites of graphic artists until I found one whose work was similar to what I imagined. Ivan Zanchetta was a dream to work with. He designed a cover specifically for me, at a reasonable price, that matched the theme and elements of Fated Memories. I’ve gotten many compliments on the cover, but the kudos really belong to him.

Do you think the cover plays an important part of the buying processes?

We’ve become a visual society, bombarded by ads and commercials aimed at swaying our opinions and loosening our purse strings. In the literary world, there’s a lot of competition for the reading public’s spending dollars. And, while you really can’t judge a book’s value by its cover, the image it projects needs to grab the consumer’s attention quickly and suffiently to explore the inside. Then, hopefully, he’ll be blown away by the writer’s style and prose and buy the book.

What is your favorite quote of the book?

This question is not as easy as it sounds. There are so many aspects to this book—love, loss, war, triumph over fear, coming of age and a touch of comedy. Each side of the story has its shining moments. If I had to pick one of my favorites, I’d say it’s the comedy of errors Maggie and Kitty go through while breaking into Grandma’s old house to find some important papers. Although she’s adept at martial arts, Kitty’s a bit of a klutz. They literally stumble across the hidden closet that hasn’t been opened in many years.
“So much stuff crowded the tiny space that, as Kitty bumped into a hat tree, she knocked it over and spooked a nest of rats. The rats went scurrying across the floor, making her wobble on her feet again, and her Maglite fly out of her hand. Kitty screamed, Maggie screamed, they even heard the rats scream. Kitty’s eyes bulged wide, and she breathed so hard the cup of her dust mask got sucked up against her lips.”

 

 

 

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