Writing Wins and Woes: Three Interviews: One Post

Sorry to bombard you but there are three new interviews for Twice Upon a Time. I think much can be learned from listening to the stories of other authors. Enjoy!

CONTRARY to the title of this anthology, working with such a talented cast of writers is an opportunity that usually comes once in a lifetime. From best-selling to greenhorn, independent or traditionally-published, the authors in this anthology span all ranges in addition to spanning the globe—from England to Australia and all over the United States. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know each and every one of them, and they have become a part of my extended family. I’ve even caught a glimpse of a secret side of them that only another writer…editor…is privy to witness through their words.

Through this series of posts, I plan on introducing you to my new family through a mini-interview of each. You may not get a chance to see their secret side, but you’ll get a sneak-peek into their minds, their passions and inspirations, and what made them the writers they are today.

..The Mini Interview..

1. At what age did you start writing?

I started writing at about age five. My first short story was about a white sports car with black velvet seats.

2. Which book introduced you to Speculative Fiction?

I would have to say there were two books that introduced me to Speculative Fiction: The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. These two books changed my world.

3. Do you have an all-time favorite book? What about it makes it your favorite?

I have a wide range of favourite books that I read. If I had to choose one, it would be Tamora Pierce‘s world of Tortall, especially her Song of the Lioness Quartet.  Alanna: The First Adventure is the first book in that series. I love the threads of magic, life, and love that are woven throughout the series; I loved the characters, too, whom we get to see grow and develop.

4. Which author and/or book inspired you to start writing?

C.S. Lewis, Michael Ende, and Tamora Pierce. I loved these authors’ worlds, and I wanted to create worlds just like them, filled with so much life and soul.

5. What would you say is the most important lesson all writers should learn?

Never give up! Writing is a hard business with constant rejection. Develop a hard skin, suck it up, and learn from it. Choose your Beta Readers with care, as you will want the truth and not fluff.

6. Of the entire publishing process, which would you say is the most difficult aspect to endure?

The waiting. That is the hardest part for me. All you can do is try not to stress and keep writing.

7. If applicable, did you have a favorite character (to write) from your story? If so, what sets them apart from the others?

I loved writing Sigrun. She rose from being a scared little girl to the formidable woman who eventually gets justice.

8. On what projects are you currently working?

I have a full-length fantasy manuscript, Stones of Power, which has been picked up by Satalyte Publishing. I also have a few other short stories submitted to various magazines and collections.

Read Tarran’s story, All That Glitters, in your very own copy of Twice Upon A Time today!

..About the Author..

TARRAN JONES works at Collins Booksellers Edwardstown. She lives in Adelaide, Australia with her partner and young daughter. Tarran has been in the book industry selling other people’s books for over 10 years and thought it was about time she started thinking about her own. She has finished her first novel, Stones of Power, and is now writing the second. Tarran has previously written articles, reviews, and blog posts for her bookstore’s blog and has written a great many short stories and one unpublished novella. She has had three short stories published online and was a finalist in the Australian Literature Review short story competition for one of her works. She loves writing all kinds of speculative fiction and thinks that it fires up the imagination. Gardening is one of Tarran’s passions and when she isn’t writing she can be found out in the vegetable garden talking to the plants.

..Connect with the Author..

CONTRARY to the title of this anthology, working with such a talented cast of writers is an opportunity that usually comes once in a lifetime. From best-selling to greenhorn, independent or traditionally-published, the authors in this anthology span all ranges in addition to spanning the globe—from England to Australia and all over the United States. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know each and every one of them, and they have become a part of my extended family. I’ve even caught a glimpse of a secret side of them that only another writer…editor…is privy to witness through their words.

Through this series of posts, I plan on introducing you to my new family through a mini-interview of each. You may not get a chance to see their secret side, but you’ll get a sneak-peek into their minds, their passions and inspirations, and what made them the writers they are today.

..The Mini Interview..

1. At what age did you start writing?

Really young, although I can’t quite pinpoint the age. I remember enjoying the act of writing since early elementary school. It has always been a hobby, but I finally decided to get serious about it a few years ago.

2. Which book introduced you to Speculative Fiction?

I’m certain there were others before this, but the My Teacher is an Alien series by Bruce Coville had a huge impact on me. It was written for kids, but had some terrifying horror elements and ended up tackling some huge philosophical questions. That series of books really stuck with me. It also ensured that whenever the school book fair came around, I’d be there to find my next favorite story.

3. Do you have an all-time favorite book? What about it makes it your favorite?

That shifts from year to year. Right now its a toss up between The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig and Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes.

4. Which author and/or book inspired you to start writing?

This is a weird one—Lewis Grizzard. He was a humor columnist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution back when I was kid. Some pretty severe heart problems eventually caught up with him, taking his life at the age of 47.

I bought some books that were filled with his back issue columns, many of which were written before I was even born. I didn’t get all the pop culture references sometimes, but his words still moved me, mostly to laughter, and sometimes even to tears.

I remember telling my mom how reading his work made him feel like he was alive again. Even though Mr. Grizzard wasn’t around anymore, his work and his thoughts were still able to grab hold of me better than most people could if they were speaking in the same room.

I wasn’t sure at that point if I had the talent to to write (and I’m still pretty shaky on that one to this day), but I thought it would be pretty cool to have that type of impact, to create written words that lived on and touched people’s lives longer after your voice would no longer be heard in the living realm.

…or maybe I just had a narcissistic wish to always be remembered or something.

5. What would you say is the most important lesson all writers should learn?

It’s a process.

I know, I know, it’s a cliche piece of advice, but its one I still keep having to remind myself about.

Even the best writers in the world don’t just wake up one day cranking out bestsellers. They write (and READ) on a daily basis, honing their craft and evolving as artists.

We obviously can’t all be Stephen King or Chuck Wendig or J.K. Rowling, but we can constantly improve our ability to tell stories and speak to readers. That journey alone is worth putting pen to page (or fingers to keyboard).

6. Of the entire publishing process, which would you say is the most difficult aspect to endure?

The stream of rejections that comes vomiting out of your inbox. When that letter comes, it doesn’t matter that your favorite authors also experienced the dreaded ‘we’re sorry, but’ qualifiers to their precious creations. In that moment, it sucks like nothing else.

7. If applicable, did you have a favorite character (to write) from your story? If so, what sets them apart from the others?

My favorite character to write still hasn’t found a home yet, but she’s just getting started 🙂

8. On what projects are you currently working?

I’m currently in the final draft/edits of my first novel, Snipe Hunt. It’s a bit like Lovecraft meets The Goonies (I think).

Read Nick’s story, The Wolf’s Gambit, in your very own copy of Twice Upon A Time today!

..About the Author..

NICK NAFPLIOTIS is a music teacher and writer from Charleston, South Carolina. During the day, he instructs students from the ages of 11-14 on how to play band instruments. At night, he writes about weird crime, bizarre history, pop culture, and humorous classroom experiences on his blog, Rambling Beach Cat. He is also a television, novel, and comic book reviewer for Adventures in Poor Taste.

..Connect with the Author..

!–Start Copy–>

CONTRARY to the title of this anthology, working with such a talented cast of writers is an opportunity that usually comes once in a lifetime. From best-selling to greenhorn, independent or traditionally-published, the authors in this anthology span all ranges in addition to spanning the globe—from England to Australia and all over the United States. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know each and every one of them, and they have become a part of my extended family. I’ve even caught a glimpse of a secret side of them that only another writer…editor…is privy to witness through their words.

Through this series of posts, I plan on introducing you to my new family through a mini-interview of each. You may not get a chance to see their secret side, but you’ll get a sneak-peek into their minds, their passions and inspirations, and what made them the writers they are today.

..The Mini Interview..

1. At what age did you start writing?

Thirteen.

2. Which book introduced you to Speculative Fiction?

Although I learned a lot from my mother (who was psychic), once I read Seth Speaks, a whole new world opened up, like parallel universes. I couldn’t wait to write about it.

3. Do you have an all-time favorite book? What about it makes it your favorite?

My favorite is the War of the Roses trilogy by R. Garcia y Robertson, which begins with Knight Errant. It’s about time travel, and I love stories like that.

4. Which author and/or book inspired you to start writing?

A variery of authors inspired me. Hard to choose just one.

5. What would you say is the most important lesson all writers should learn?

Believe in yourself and never lose sight of what you want.

6. Of the entire publishing process, which would you say is the most difficult aspect to endure?

Time or lack thereof. There’s a lot that goes into publishing a book. A lot that has nothing to do with writing.

7. If applicable, did you have a favorite character (to write) from your story? If so, what sets them apart from the others?

In another novel I wrote, titled Again, my favorite character is Eryn, a woman who dreams of a past life and is bold enough to recognize and break the destructive pattern that has continued into her current life. Very empowering.

8. On what projects are you currently working?

I’m working on the sequel to—as well as finalizing the screenplay of—Souled, a YA paranormal. I have several books and screenplays I’m anxious to get down on paper.

Read Diana’s story, A Prophecy Untamed, in your very own copy of Twice Upon A Time today!

..About the Author..

DIANA MURDOCK, from a very young age, has always dabbled with stories and poems and shared them only with family and friends. It wasn’t until she had a very powerful and dream, a dream that became her first novel, that she took her writing seriously. With many stories now lining up, waiting to be written, Diana is committed to penning each and every one. To add more variety, she’s adapted the first in her trilogy into a screenplay and is a partner in an independent film production company. A single mother of two boys, she’ll take on the world, one story at a time.

..Connect with the Author..

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