She can turn the world on with a smile... She can take a nothing day - well, you get the picture. Who am I talking about? Well Cia of course (though Radiant Renee Stevens gives her a close run for the money). So what better way to enjoy a Tuesday than with an interview WITH Cia, GIVEN by Renee? Double the trouble and double the fun! Enjoy!
Interviewer: Renee Stevens
First off, Congrats on getting Pricolici published, that must be exciting! Now, onto the questions
How does it feel to know that people are paying to read what you write?
Awesome. I was leery of submitting to a publisher, so I picked a new e-publisher. RFP gave me a chance and I rolled with it. It's been an incredible amount of work getting my ebook out in the public eye though, way more than I ever thought as a reader. I am amazed at anyone who can do this for a living!
It must have been exciting when you first heard that the publisher had accepted Pricolici. What was your first thought/reaction on getting that acceptance letter?
Holy freaking shit. LOL!
Then ... this is going to be a LOT of work. I had to completely re-write the story and add over twice the content I started with yet keep the integrity of the story intact.
What did your husband think when you told him you were being published?
He told me congrats but he was pretty laid back about the whole thing. Now that it has proven successful he's a lot more enthusiastic and keeps asking me why the sequel isn't done yet.
So, there’s going to be a sequel?
Oh yes. I've been outlining the sequel and doing an absolute ton of research for it. Pricolici has many elements of actual Dacian mythology, with a few special Cia twists, of course. I am a stickler for having any 'real' details be as accurate as I can possibly make them, so I don't just depend on the internet; I go to my local library for other resource sources too.
Stelian lived through ancient times and I plan to take the sequel to parts unknown, so I am trying to be extremely thorough. Elements of his past are once again going to be influencing Tucker's future, so it's not enough to know about current Romania, I have to research historical locations and events too. I anticipate the actual writing taking less time than the research!
You do a lot on GA as well as have a fairly busy life, how do you find time to write?
I don't write nearly as much as I should, actually. If I buckled down and did an hour a day, like I want to, I could get probably twice as much done. Usually I do a writing burst once or twice a week for several hours in the afternoon or evening. I put my earplugs in if the kids are home and then zone out. If I can get in the groove, it's easy. If not ... well, I'm stubborn enough to push through.
Out of all of your characters, who would you say that you relate to the most and why?
Oh that's hard. I've put bits and pieces of me into a lot of my characters. The one I identify the most with emotionally is probably Wes from 'With Open Arms'. I was in a car accident and it took over a year to be able to walk again. I wasn't hurt as badly as Wes but I put a lot of my fear, pain, and anger into him, as well as the love and gratitude I felt when my 'partner' stood by me through it all.
My photography is something I began to focus on again as an alternative to several of my hobbies I had a hard time doing for a few years. His love of photography, his artistic outlet as well as liveliehood, is a direct relation to that love I rediscovered. His story is a work of fiction; it's not exactly my experience, but it was definitely hard to write. It also reminded me a lot of how grateful I am to be whole again though.
What would you say to newer authors who are trying to get noticed?
Writing is an evolutionary process. I'm always checking out articles, writing books, editing tutorials, etc ... to improve my writing. A story can only be as great as you can write it. A creative and enthralling plot won't draw in readers if your dialogue is stilted or you have no idea how to work a story arc.
Then you have to put yourself out there. There are untold amounts of stories available for readers. No matter what avenue you use, you need to promote yourself. On
I interact with readers through reviews, forum comments, the Writer/Editor community forums, even chat! For my ebook I've found several websites and yahoo groups that allow me to promote my story with excerpts, plus I blog.
My blog has been an invaluable resource to gain readers for my free and e-published stories as well. I've created a network with a lot of fellow blogging authors that write material similar to mine and we help each other out. You just have to be willing to put in the time and effort. Writing is hard, promoting yourself can be even harder!
How do you feel your writing has improved since first posting on GA?
By leaps and bounds! Seriously, my first story was BAD. Not the story concept itself, which I am still quite proud of thinking up and writing from start to finish, but my technical knowledge was seriously lacking. I didn't have any clue how to punctuate dialogue, avoid head hopping, or how best to show and not tell... etc.
Whenever I offer new authors advice and tips, I do it with that early writer I was in mind. I try to think of all the things I didn't know and then offer the tips I wish I'd had offered to me back then. It took a ton of research and a lot of trial and error to get to the point where I was even remotely ready to submit any of my writing for publishing. Then I had Pricolici worked over by actual publishers.
Boy was that an eye opener. There is always, always, something new to learn each day. Authors should strive for at least 30 minutes every month just looking up information on how to write, imo.
What is something that most people probably don’t know about you that you’d like to share?
LOL. Does anyone think I hold anything back? Seriously, I hear way more often that I overshare and need to stop telling everyone every little thing that comes to my mind. I'm pretty much an open book.
You are very Pro-Beta reader, can you tell us why?
Personally? I looooove getting sneak peeks at my favorite stories. I try to help new authors as much as I can, but I will admit to getting in with a lot of my favorite authors just so I didn't have to wait to read their updates, lol.
That self-serving aspect aside, there is nothing like a second, or third, or even fourth pair of eyes on your story. When you write, you see your story the way it is to you, but that doesn't mean readers will see it the same way. It's great to get that outside viewpoint before the story/chapter is released to the public.
Beyond catching mistakes, betas are great to discuss a story. If you get stuck, or are at a crossroads, or just need someone to bounce ideas off or to motivate you, a beta can be there. I love talking over my stories to get ideas. Being able to give authors my opinion on where their stories could go satisfies the pushy reader in me. Betas are a creative and technical godsend, imo.
Is there anything you’d like to say that wasn’t covered in the previous questions?
My email/pm box is always open. I love to hear from readers and/or fellow authors. I can never have too many online friends, and I love talking about reading and writing. I probably read several hundred thousand words each week too, so I'm always looking for good recommendations for stories to read too!