Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Q&A With My Readers

I thought it would be fun to do a little Q&A with my readers, and I asked that you send in any questions you might have. I hope that you enjoy reading over the answers I have for you!

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
 I loved writing from a very young age, and even before I could write I loved to tell stories that I had made up. My mom wrote a series of children's books, and I'm sure that was an influence on me as a child. It wasn't until I was in high school that I considered it as a profession, though. It was around that time that I came up with the idea for "The Threshold Child" and I began to work on my writing in earnest.

Did you always plan for "The Threshold Child" to be a trilogy?
I always liked the idea of doing a trilogy with the story, but I wasn't sure that it would actually happen. After I finished writing "The Threshold Child" I went through the traditional method of trying to get it published (sending out letters and sample chapters to literary agents and publishing companies), with no success. I got discouraged and figured that it would never be worth the time to write any more of the series. It wasn't until I published with Amazon and got such a positive response that I decided to continue with the story.

What was the inspiration for the concepts in this book?
When I first began writing "The Threshold Child" it was primarily a story about a young woman who was trying to decide what she believed, which was something I was going through at the time. I worked on the book off and over over the course of nearly a decade, and it slowly evolved into what it is today.

Did it come from any religious aspects in your life?
 This probably isn't a surprise to those who have read my books, but I'm a very religious person. My beliefs color every aspect of my life, and so it is natural that it affects my writing as well. There have been comments on some of the book reviews that my writing is too preachy, but I'd rather write a story that I feel does some good to those who read it as opposed to pretending that my writing and my personal beliefs are separate from each other.

Is Adesina based on yourself? How much would you say you are like her?
 I think that she started out a lot like me, but now we are both very different. The only things that remain from her original personality when I first began writing are her desire to find her place in the world and her longing for family. The former was definitely something I felt when I began writing, and the latter (fortunately) is something I've never had to suffer through.

What would you want your Blood Weapon to be?
 Swords are always awesome, but I don't think I'm aggressive enough for a weapon like that. I think mine would probably be a bow.

Who is your favorite character from the series?
 Ravi. First of all, I've always wanted a giant cat companion (which is why there is one in the books). Second, he is wise and calm and funny and understanding. Who wouldn't want someone like that around? Third, he sings. I love music.

How did you come up with the magic system for your books? 
The original idea came from the fact that I wanted my magic users to draw their power from the world around them. So I started thinking of natural forces that could be manipulated to one's advantage. For example, the manipulation of light can create illusions and the alteration of gravity makes it so one can fly. As I wrote the magic became a bit more complex, but that's the basis of the system.

I like the idea of a dava. Do you believe in soul mates?
 In general, no. I believe that a successful relationship requires work and sacrifice and selfless concern for each other. With those things, almost any two people can be happy together (even if it's hard).

Is there anything you regret now that it's done?
 There are things in the story I would probably alter if I were writing them again, but I don't think I would go back now and do it. I can tell that my writing in "The Threshold Child" is not as skilled as my writing in "The Labyrinth of Destiny," but that is just what comes with experience.

If your books were made into a movie, who would you want to play Adesina? 
I often think about this when I'm watching movies or tv shows. It's a fun game that goes on in my head. My list of possibilities changes all the time, but my current favorite is Bonnie Wright. She's a good age for the role, and I think she'd do a good job. Past favorites have been Stephanie Leonidas, Kate McGrath, and Karen Gillan, but all of them are now too old for the part.

Why did you leave the ending as open as you did?
 I like leaving the future of the story to the imagination of the readers. That's part of what I love about reading books. When the author tries too hard to control what goes on beyond the written story, I get a little grumpy. I want to decide what happens! So, I tried to extend that to my readers.

What is your writing process?
 I usually see a scene in my head, like something out of a movie. That tends to spark the idea for a book. From there I decide what came before the scene and what happens after. Once I get a fairly good idea of what the story is about, then I begin writing. Sometimes I do an outline, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I write in order, sometimes I skip ahead to write something that I find exciting. I tend to let my mood direct my process, which means that sometimes I don't get much written in a week's time. This is a problem when I'm on a deadline. Haha!

What are some of your favorite books?
 One of my very favorite books is "Howl's Moving Castle" by Diana Wynn Jones. It's so witty and creative and visual. I always recommend that book when people ask me for suggestions. I also love "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis, "Little Women" by Louisa Alcott, "Beauty" by Robin McKinley, and "The Little Prince" by Antione de Saint-Exupery. Those are just a few, but I'm trying to be restrained. Otherwise, I'd name several dozen other books that I love.

What do you have planned for your next project?
 I'm working on a story about a boy (soon to be a man) who is given a magical partisan. He then has to learn to use it and to become the warrior that he feels he needs to be. It's a fun project for me because it's different from what I've written before. The partisan is sentient, and rather stubborn and surly. I'm having a good time writing about the struggles of the boy as he tries to master the willful weapon. I hope to have it finished by next summer, but we'll see if my children cooperate.