Writers’ Block, a TV Series and Kylie

I’ve been getting a lot of emails recently asking me questions about writing and my writing process. So, I thought I’d post an interview that originally appeared at Miss Literati (http://www.missliterati.com/ml/home), that answers a lot of those questions.

What’s the planning process like when writing a series? Did you outline what you want to happen in all of your books before writing them?

I call myself a panther because I write by the seat of my pants and I do not plan very well. Even in the synopsis of the series, I didn’t know what the main thrust of the whole thing would be. My plan was to end the first book with finding out what Kylie was. When I got writing it, I was into chapter 12 or 13 and I decided maybe the whole series should be about figuring out what Kylie is.

posterWhat did you find most challenging when writing this series?

Having just one point of view was difficult for me and taught me a lot. It was important that everyone had a story. And with all have these things going on, I really needed to get into [everyone’s] heads, but couldn’t leave Kylie’s point of view.

Writing and getting the story from one point of view taught me some tricks of the trade. Kylie had to be very aware of the people around her and be able to read them. She either knew their story and she knew there was a story.

What drew you to paranormal writing?

Well, I’ve always loved ghost stories! As a writer, we need all these different options. When you’re plotting a scene, they tell you to name ten things that can happen. Then they say not to take your first choice or second choice because a reader would expect that to happen. In the paranormal world, anything is possible! I’m drawn to the endless options of what can happen.

This was your first time writing a series. How does it differ from your other writing? 

No matter what, a book needs to have a beginning, middle and end and I feel like I’ve been able to feed that to my readers in each book with the mysteries of the ghost. After each ghost Kyle’s story continues. I totally get why readers are drawn to series now!

Is Kylie based off of yourself at all?

KylieAs soon as I got into the characters, it was magical to go back and be my 16-year-old self. I definitely plagiarized my life a little with Kylie. But she’s cooler than me. I was a misfit, a quiet wallflower. At 16 my parents got a divorce and my girlfriends took a ride on the wild side. I was stuck and analyzing everything. I’ve always been the type of person that analyzes things. I wanted to think things through.

All the characters have a little of me in them actually. I knew I wanted to have a character also be dyslexic, so I had that be Miranda.

We didn’t know you were dyslexic! What an accomplishment to overcome that and become a writer! Did you struggle a lot when getting started?

Being dyslexic, I suffer from leaving out words. I don’t see the little words like so, is, to. I have a couple people that read through my work and check for spelling errors like that. I will forever have my mistakes and never be able to write a perfect copy.

But dyslexia helped me realize things in life are tough and you don’t always get it right the first time. When I started writing, I didn’t expect to get it right. The rejections I got didn’t stop me. If a rejection came in, I’d still continue to work.

They also say that dyslexia makes you read people and pick up on things better. I think being more intuitive definitely made me a better writer.

That being said, I really didn’t start reading until I was in third grade. I didn’t start reading a lot until I was like 18 or 19. But for me, my love of writing is the same as my love of storytelling. I really am a storyteller more than a writer. Being raised in the south, I was told that if a lie made a story better it wasn’t a lie. So I’ve been telling fiction my entire life.

What’s your drafting process like? Do you have many drafts for each book you write?

writers-deskYa know, I don’t have a lot of drafts when I write and I don’t normally have a lot of revisions. I think this is because I write very linear. Something happens, and because that happens, this happens.
About how long does it take you to complete a book?

It varies on whether or not I have a whole lot of interference in my life, but normally a book takes me about two-and-a-half to three months to complete. I find myself finishing about three books a year.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

I was raised by my father who was a plumber and never in all my life do I ever recall my father waking up and saying, “I have plumber’s block, I can’t work.” There are days that I am much more fruitful and then there’s days when I decide to blog or focus on marketing a little instead.

I treat writing as a career. I can’t afford to buy into the fact that there is a muse helping me and if I don’t have that muse then I can’t write.

How is the transition from writing adult romance novels to YA paranormal novels?

The transition isn’t too hard because I am a character driven writer. I write from the character and once I find her, I see life through her eyes and see what her goals are. I torture my characters and give them problems and conflicts. I know what they don’t want to face and then I make them face it.

I don’t think my voice changes a whole lot when writing romance and YA. I think the characters and the age of the characters define what the thought process will be.

What’s one of your goals when writing?

One of the steps I really try to do is make all my characters human. I really want everyone to be able to relate to them. I want everyone to say, “I know someone just like that.” It was important for me to build these characters with human interaction and where people can relate.

Do you see the Shadow Falls series becoming a book-to-movie series?

Well, it has received a lot of interest and I do have a film agent. What he is looking at right now though, is a TV series. These kinds of deals are a long process so who knows what will happen. But it’s definitely something I’m open to!

Winners!

The winners of last week’s giveaway-a copy of Shadow Falls: The Beginning are Charlene and Shonnia. Congratulations! You have a week to claim your prize by sending you mailing address to cc@cchunterbooks.com.

Another Giveaway!

SFBeginningDidn’t win last week’s giveaway? Well, good news! I have two more copies of Shadow Falls: The Beginning to give away to two lucky people who leave a comment here. (Sorry, but I have to limit this giveaway to US residents.)

36 thoughts on “Writers’ Block, a TV Series and Kylie

  1. Great interview!!! I always love learning more about you and your amazing books! I didn’t know most of the things in this interview so it was nice learning about them!

  2. Awesome interview! I hope shadow falls becomes a Tv series because that would be perfect! A lot of people have made dream casts and I’ve picked out a few people that I think would fit, but do you have a list of actors that you think would fit your characters perfectly? I can’t wait to see what happens! Oh and I have another question! Are you ever going to write some more things from Lucas and Derek’s point of view? I can’t wait for Unspoken and Miranda’s novella to come out! Have a great week!

  3. I would love the shadow falls series to become a tv series and I can wait to read unspoken and also I can’t wait to fine out when’s Miranda novella comes out

    • I love the shadow falls series because of those book I started loveing reading too and I was think the other day of maybe starting a book because I also love writing and I hope shadow falls gets a tv show

      • Sure thing …c.c I love your books and your are my favorite Author and I would love to meet you someday… your books inspired me to love reading I am obses with books your books you are the reason I star reading better because I found a book that was so good and wonderful and also I can kinda relate to…..c.c you are the best !!!

  4. It’s great when you post these interviews because it really inspires me and helps me figure out writing. I didn’t know you were dyslexic and I respect you so much more now just knowing what you probably had to overcome to even start writing. It makes me so happy to hear Shadow Falls might be a TV series! I can’t wait!

  5. I loved the interview and I would love to see your Shadow Falls series become either a movie or tv show. I would like to see who they would cast for each character and how the storyline would relate to the books!!

  6. I love reading your interviews. It makes me feel like I get to understand a little bit more about the characters because I’m hearing from the person behind the personalities. And I cannot believe that Shadow Falls might become a TV series!! I am so excited and I’ve been dreaming about this for forever. I really really hope it will happen! Thank you

  7. Amazing interview! This has helped me realize what it truly takes to be an author. I want to write screenplays but I feel like everything you talk about helps me in the long run so thank you!

  8. I have writer’s block right now. I’m not sure how to continue with my story, if I should stick with my main character or jump POVs. I’ll figure it out soon, though. 🙂

  9. It’s a great interview. Very informative and inspiring. I love hearing the process of what different writers go through on their writing, series and just being honest with their readers. I can’t wait for it to be a tv series. It would be awesome to see Kylie, Lucas, Della, Miranda and all the others come to life even more. I love these books!

  10. That was great! I really am happy you’re an author. I’m hoping you come to the DC area on you signing tour. I would love to meet you. I’m amazed at the answers to the interview! It’s amazing! Everything in a writer drives them, right?

  11. I am so happy to hear that Shadow Falls might be a tv series! I just hope that they don’t change the characters overly much. I am so happy I can’t even express it!!

  12. I think it’s great that Shadow Falls became a series. I know I wouldn’t have been satisfied with just one book. There are too many things to explore and so many loved characters that you just don’t want to let go.

  13. First of all, I love your series! The characters really are believable. I know a Della in my life, and a few people who make up a Kylie. The plot is also wonderful, suspensful, exciting….I found myself gasping, almost crying, and unable to stop.

    Anyway, I write also. I am in awe that you write so quickly, with so few drafts, and without any blocks. I have so many times that I get writers’ block. I usually turn to drawing or reading at those times. I think you are an amazing author, and this series is fabulous, especially since it is your first one.

  14. Yeah I love to read and write but I always have spelling errors and mistakes people make fun but I push on and use all my emotions and feelings to make my story better (although as you said it will never be perfect) I push on and help others on the way!

  15. This was pretty interesting, esecially the part about lies. ‘If a lie made a story better, it wasn’t a lie.’ I’ll keep that in mind! ;D
    And I’m from Germany, so I don’t participate in the giveaway.

  16. I loved the interview. You have inspired me to try my best at what I love to do art. I love to draw and I know I can be better than what I am now. I have drawn the falls from the books. I would love to send you a picture of it or it. I have also been inspired to write more. Learning that you are dyslexic from the authors notes in the back of your book helped me feel like I wasn’t the only one who has trouble with it. I think it would be awesome to have a tv show for shadow falls. I can’t wait for the unspoken and Miranda’s books to come out. You are an amazing author and I hope to meet you some day. 🙂

  17. I loved the interview. You have inspired me to try my best at what I love to do art. I love to draw and I know I can be better than what I am now. I have drawn the falls from the books. I would love to send you a picture of it or it. I have also been inspired to write more. Learning that you are dyslexic from the authors notes in the back of your book helped me feel like I wasn’t the only one who has trouble with it. I think it would be awesome to have a tv show for shadow falls. I can’t wait for the unspoken and Miranda’s books to come out. You are an amazing author and I hope to meet you some day.

  18. I fell in love with the shadow falls series read every book than read both books in the shadow falls after dark can’t wait for the third. I love to see that this is della story n her life how she came to be at shadow falls I also love how you still hve some of the characters from the first seires

  19. Great interview!! I would love one of your books as well!! What a great author and to have overcome some of your difficulties is huge! Great job!

  20. Your interviews really help my pre-writer dreams, so thank you for that! I would love for the books to turn into a TV Show. Hah, maybe I’d even get to play my favourite charcater… 😉 You’re a true inspiration, and you’ve helped lighten my mood, so thank you for that! I hope you have a nice day, and I cannot wait to read Miranda’s novella! I can definitely relate to characters in Shadow Falls.

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