Celebrating two years of blogging!
Let’s get started and celebrate with this Q&A, in which I answer your questions! I give a big thank you to everyone who participated. This blog wouldn’t be anything without you. You’ve each added so much to this blog and my journey as an author over these past years. Thank you!
Now, I must bravely answer these questions…!
1. When did you start writing?
I first started writing stories when I was six years old—childish silly things, lol. Yep, I was that kid who took things like dragons (which were usually seen as evil in other tales) and made them good and heroes. For some reason I always felt sorry for the monsters of books and movies, and wanted to rewrite them and make them into good monsters. XD I was a strange child.
2. On the off days (periods of writer’s block), what helps you to get back to writing again?
On off days, I need to read a good book to help me get back into the creative spirit and write. Sometimes I will also browse through artwork on Google or Pinterest to get my writer’s imagination flowing again!
3. What is your daily writing schedule?
My best time to work on my current WIP is late afternoon through evening. I sometimes skip TV or internet time at night to write/revise as well.
1. Which authors have influenced your writing the most?
Tolkien was my first, biggest influence. Through his Lord of the Rings series I discovered the fantasy genre and came to love it. His was more than just simple fantasy though—he had created an entire world filled with working languages, legends, and cultures, a world that you were convinced had to have once existed and you longed to go there. This inspired me to create my own detailed world for my stories, and my current WIP V.Chronicles is the result of that inspiration.
Robert Jordan and Brian Jacques were my next writing influences. The scope and scale of Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series is a great example of how to carry out a detailed plot through a long book series, and his POV writing was spot-on, whether it was the voice of a male or a female, he made every character believable.
Jacques’ Redwall series is filled with inspiring adventures and mysteries. Brian himself was a sailor, and he used his knowledge to bring to life seafaring stories such as Triss, The Legend of Martin the Warrior, and Castaway’s of the Flying Dutchman. Brian also added a charming sense of humor in every tale that I was fond of in my younger years.
2. Out of all the countries and other places you’ve yet to visit, which ones are highest on your list?
New Zealand! For the Hobbit village, and the mountainous and tropical regions I long to explore there!
Japan, for it’s unique culture and architecture, and for the cherry blossom season that I’d love to see!
Switzerland, because we barely drove through the beautiful countryside during our travels. I would love to explore what it has to offer!
Romania. There’s something alluring about it, and I like the travel photos I’ll see on the web. It sounds like an interesting and mysterious place to explore.
Somewhere tropical! Whether that be the Caribbean or Hawaii. I’ve yet to visit a real tropical environment, and long to stroll those white beaches, smell tropical flowers, and sight-see!
3. What were your favorite books when you were a child?
I have some old children’s books from my dad that he used to read as a kid, and I enjoyed them when I was a kid too. Let’s see if you know any of these!
Here Comes McBroom!
The Cookie Tree
Old Black Witch
The Knobby Boys to the Rescue
4. What is one hobby or activity that you want to try because you read about it in a book?
Haha, well, when teenage me read and saw the Fellowship of the Ring, and that cool elf Legolas with his bow and arrows, I had to give archery a try! I didn’t take official lessons, but I learned a few techniques and practiced them on my own. Oh yes, I felt cool with my fancy bow and non-dangerous arrows! Zipping away at targets in bales of hay!
Was I any good? Meh, I was fairly good, but sadly not good enough to become competition for Legolas.
5. What are your favorite flowers and/or plants, out of curiosity?
Favorite? Hm, that’s tough, since every plant and flower to me has its own rare beauty. I really like orchids, airplants, wild roses, and peonies have a wonderful fragrance. There’s something about wildflowers, too, that’s appealing: standing in a field littered with color is one of my favorite things.
Vines are also cool, the way they climb houses and other structures as if they’re for outer decor. And in the fall season they turn beautiful red-brown hues.
1. Which is your favorite poem ever. How about your favorite book?
My favorite poem is the very first poem I ever read, waaay back in 6th grade. It was in our school textbook, and I remember being so mesmerized by it that I memorized it during class so I could always have it with me. I learned what a poem was that day, and how it can transport ones emotions. It will always hold a special place in my heart for that.
“Your World” by Georgia Douglas, you can read it HERE.
Favorite book…? Um…my brain is overloading…too many amazing books…can’t pick just one…can’t…do…it……
2. Which country would you choose to live in, excluding your own?
Ooh, that’s a tough one! If I didn’t have to consider the language barrier, housing or anything else, I’d probably choose Austria. My family used to go on holiday trips there often, and I miss its unique sense of wonder and architecture, and the Alps Mountain Range.
But realistically speaking, I’d choose either England or Scotland. It’s easier when you speak the same language. And both of these countries have magnificent castles and old ruins to explore that calls to me! I need to revisit Edinburgh and Inverness. Yes, I could be very happy there. London too; I’ve made a few UK friends through this blog, and it’d be fun to visit them if I lived nearby!
3. Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser? (Anonymous also asked this question)
I’m both. A plotser, planster, panlotter, something like that. 🙂 I like to have a moderately detailed outline for a story before I begin writing. But I leave room for deviations and for my pantster-half to have fun with.
1. Do you have a personal “theme song,” or a song that really reminds you of yourself?
I don’t think anyone has ever asked me this before! Hmm, I’m not sure that I have a “theme song,” but there is one song I turn to whenever I need a boost of motivation, reminding me to keep on going even when I’m feeling down.
“U Can Do It” by Domino (I couldn’t find a quality video on youtube). Yes, it’s Jpop, but some of the lyrics are English, and it’s really upbeat! (And it was featured as an ending song in Naruto, so I love it. 😀 )
2. Do you think you’ll stick to fantasy as a genre, or do you plan on writing across genres?
I’m actually already writing across genres. Madnes Solver is a steampunk/fantasy mix, and V.Chronicles is a hybrid sci-fi/fantasy. It feels too confining for me to stick purely to one genre, so I tend to mix and mash things like a mad scientist, Mwuahaha!—okay, not exactly that mad, but you know what I mean. 😉
3. How has blogging influenced your writing habits or writer’s voice, or has it influenced it at all?
I’d say blogging has helped encourage my writing habits, because it provides that extra boost of motivation you need on some days. I think it’s also improved my writer’s voice, giving me the courage to say, “Hey, I write books!” to the world and not be so shy or introverted about it.
4. If you had to be any established superhero for a day, who would you be and what would you do?
I would be the Foodinator! Curing food allergies across the globe, and transporting food to those in need at the same time! Which means I’ll have to have wings—I’ve always wanted wings! 😀
For those who don’t know, I’m gluten and dairy intolerant, so curing all people (and myself) of food maladies would be awesome. 🙂 And while I’m at it, why not fix the problems of famine and starvation too? The Foodinator can do it all!
5. Other than publishing books, what is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next five years?
Other than publishing books, I don’t make plans too far ahead. My dream is to be a full-time author, but I’ll see where God leads me. I do know that I’d like to travel to all the places I mentioned in Sara’s question; so maybe, if I make enough money selling books, I could accomplish that! (Hey, I’m dreaming big here, okay? 😉 ).
I would also like to get into more healthy activities, such as swimming and martial arts!
1. Do you listen to music (instrumental or lyrical) when you write?
Sometimes I do. I’ve found it very helpful to get into the mood of certain story scenes and characters. I choose instrumental for the most part, because lyrics distract me too much to write.
2. Marvel or DC?🙂
3. Do you have a favorite author(s)?
I don’t think I can choose just one! My three old favorites are those I discussed earlier. But my more recent favorite authors are Marissa Meyer, Ryan Graudin, Terry Pratchett, and Brandon Sanderson. 🙂
4. What age did you start getting into writing?
Does scribbling misspelled words and sentences that don’t make sense count? If so, then I first started writing around 6 years old. Yes, I was that child who came up with the craziest most impossible stories, and being a poor reader and speller didn’t hinder me one bit! XD Thankfully I’ve grown and learned a lot since then, lol, but I do still have a knack for out-of-the-norm stories. 😉
5. Have you ever cried writing?
I have, which is rare for me! But it was a very heartfelt scene, part of a backstory novella I plan to publish soon after V.Chronicles’ 1st book. It takes a lot for a book to make me cry, but that particular scene just…I couldn’t consider myself human if I didn’t cry during that scene! *sniffle*
Victoria GH asks:
1. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
Since I already gave a list of places in an earlier question, I’ll consider if time-travel is a possibility in this question too.
Hmm, I would travel back to the time of the great Library of Alexandria, so I could get my hands on all of the books and treasures said to have been there! Imagine what mysteries could be solved in some of those pages?
(Typical writer wanting to go back in time to visit a library 😛 ).
1. What motivates you to keep writing? 🙂
The love of stories, the sense of wonder and adventure within, and making the impossible seem possible! The desire to create stories has always been inside me, and it pushes me to write more and more. I get excited about designing new characters and building a new world each time I begin a new series. I suppose it’s all of this that keeps me motivated.
2. I’m intrigued by your mention of martial arts goals in your bio – what is it you’d like to achieve?
I used to take Kuk-Sul-Won, an obscure form of martial arts when I was young. I miss the exercise and health benefits, so I’d like to join a class again. I think this time though I’ll go with something like Tai Chi, which is easier on your body while still helping to develop muscular strength (I’m weak as a leaf these days, haha; writing doesn’t give you muscles).
3. How did you get started writing?
When I was a child, my mother used to tell me stories before going to bed. And so, mimicking her, I began making up my own. When I was old enough to read books, an even bigger world of stories was opened up to me, and I devoured book after book! As an only kid who moved from place to place, I often escaped into the world of books, and I think it’s this love of reading and discovering new places that sparked my desire to write stories of my own. Books were always there, and characters were like friends, even when my family would move and my life would change.
4. Do you listen to music while writing?
As I said in a previous question, I do when I need to get into the mood of a certain scene. Here is one of the songs from my WIP V.Chronicles’ playlist—it depicts the more lighthearted, mysterious scenes of the book. 🙂 (I haven’t played this song’s video game yet, but I just love the ost!)
5. How do you plan your time so you can write more?
I’m actually still figuring this out! Time management is not something I’m good at. I try to plan so that I have at least two and a half hours to write/revise each day. I also try not to let blogging cut into that time frame, so I’ll catch up on posts and comments during TV time (which has helped save a lot of time!). Weekends are good for catching up on writing/revising too: I’ll spend three to four hours Saturday and Sunday afternoons on my WIP.
Well, this has been fun! Thank you so much for reading, and a big THANK YOU to each of you who asked questions for this interview! You’ve brightened this blog with your wonderful support. ❤
Coming soon: More Madnes Solver, and August’s summary post, and…we’ll see what else!