Lookie here: I’m being interviewed over on the blog of Jeno Marz, a writer from Latvia and author of the Falaha’s Jounery trilogy. I’ve known Jeno for a couple of years now, and I have to say, this was one of the more interesting blog interviews I’ve ever done.
Over the weekend I conducted an interview–a rather strange one, at that. But then, I like strange. I hope you like reading this as much as I liked doing it.
(Location: New Oxford, University, Hyades Star Cluster. 2 June, a little more than 20 Minutes Into the Future.)
Greetings, young and eager minds of New Oxford and Miskatonic Universities. Welcome to another addition of Author’s Profile—or as I like to called it, “Audrey’s Excuse For Eating Up Web Time.” As you can see I’ve brought along the noted historian and local stuffy peer, the Duchess Scoth, the Lady Cytheria . . . That special personal I call “Sweetie”. Say hello, Sweetie.
*Glares at Audrey* Hello, everyone. To my students out there, please do ignore Audrey’s excessive rambling this day: I’m afraid she’s had a tad too much coffee.
It’s only too much if you start vomiting and get the shakes, my dear.
I believe you had both—
*Snorts* Well, then, lets move on. Today we have a special treat. We’re speaking with a new authors who’s sort of . . . It’s a bit confusing, but if you’ve been paying attention in class you’ll know what I mean. So, joining us now on the hyperwire, we have—
*Whispering* Did you clear this with—you know.
*Audrey speaking out of the corner of her mouth* On’tday alktay aboutway ethay imetay aveltray, neh?
*Cytheria sits back in her chair, shaking her head*
(Audrey) If you will please welcome, coming to us live from her home, the one, the lovely, Cassidy Frazee.
(Cassidy) Thank you, Audrey, for that warm welcome. Did you say “Miskatonic University”?
(Audrey) I think you mis-heard me.
(Ca) Ah. Okay, then . . . Thank you for having me, then.
(A) Yo have a new novel out, Her Demonic Majesty. It came out, what? A couple of weeks ago?
(Ca) Yeah, times flies, you know? Feels like yesterday.
(A) *Turns to Cytheria* If she only knew . . .
(Cytheria) *Ignores Audrey* Congratulation, Cassidy. It’s my understanding your endeavor to publish this novel has taken some time.
(Ca) Yes, that’s true. I’ve been working on this novel for a year and a half.
(A) Tell us what you’ve done during that time, if you would.
(Ca) As anyone who’s followed my blog since 2011—
(A) You remember, Sweetie? People write and then post their scribblings on the . . . “Internet”? *winking* Yeah?
(Cy) Oh, of course. Silly me. *Nervous laugh* Go on, Cassidy.
(Ca) Sure. I’ve been blogging since the middle of 2011, and it was in November of that year that I decided—well, was sort of talked into—writing something during NaNoWriMo—
(A) The National Novel Writing Month?
(Ca) Yes, that. I’d been asked to do it the year before, but bailed because—well, a lot of things, really. Mostly personal things, like just not being able to write due to depression.
(Cy) Audrey can certainly empathize with you there.
(Ca) Oh? You get that, too?
(A) *Mumbling* More times than I care to like. Tell us about the experience.
(Ca) It’s all about getting it written and edited. I wrote the first draft in twenty-five days, then edited it three times before handing it off to another person so they could give it a good cleaning. Even after that I found a few typos and cleaned them up—
(Cy) Not uncommon for any published work.
(Ca) So I’ve been told. Then it was setting up account, getting covers made, getting everything formatted . . . When you’re self publishing, there’s a lot of work involved in getting your story in a shape that makes it worth putting it out there for others to read.
(A) I know. I’ve been through my copy of your novel a couple of times, and you did a great job with the layout. Very professional.
(Ca) Thank you for buying it.
(A) *Sets hard copy down* Yes, buying it . . . Tell me, how do you go about promoting a novel?
(Ca) That, too, is an interesting process. You have people put out good word of mouth for the book. You set up a writer’s page and trying to get the message out to as many people as possible. You ask people to give you reviews and to spread the word. You listen when you have a mistake and fix things as quickly as possible. It’s a huge amount of hustle, and it wears you out.
(A) You write in a few genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, erotica. How do you classify Her Demonic Majesty? It seems like it should be fantasy, but it’s . . . not.
(Ca) I like to call it my science fiction fantasy with touches of steampunk. I think this particular novel covers so many bases that it’s nearly impossible to pin to one genre. I want to write stories; I don’t want to think I have to write any particular kind of stories.
(A) You were always critical of genres, and it seems—
(Ca) *Confused* “Were”?
(Cy) Audrey tends to have problems with her tenses— *Glances to Audrey and smiles* Isn’t that right, my love?
(Ca) *Muttering* Wibbly wobbly . . . After reading the novel I wondered if there will be any sequels. Any chance?
(Ca) *Smiling* One never knows. Lets just say that I know what happens to the characters in the story for a few years past the events in the novel, so maybe their will be other books. I’ve got so many stories I want to do—
(A) Science fiction? Fantasy? Erotic Japanese Tentacle Romances?
(Cy) I’ve heard writers say that it’s not unusual for segments of their personality to make it into their stories. Did that happen with you here, with this novel?
(Ca) Let me answer that second part first . . . With this novel I wouldn’t say much of my personality entered the novel say for some of the more geekish parts of Jeannette’s personality. I drew on my own experiences as a reader and a gamer to get an idea about the sort of things she might enjoy and do.
Beyond that, I don’t put too much of myself in my stories. Though there are a few stories, as yet unpublished, where more of “me” shines through than in other stories.
(Cy) You seem to write a great number of female characters. Any particular reason?
(Ca) I like writing women; it’s difficult to get them right, I think. I hope I’m doing a good job at presenting characters who can handle anything thrown at them, who don’t need to go running to the nearest guy screaming, “Please save me!”
And if they do work with men—as one of my characters has done in two stories—they work with them as equals. They know what they’re doing; they’re not afraid to speak their mind and follow up with their own lines of inquiry. And the men they work with aren’t threatened by a woman who knows as much, or more, than they.
(A) Sort of like Cytheria and me.
(Ca) That would be true if you were both like a couple of characters I developed. It’s strange, you know: Cytheria, you have the same name as—
(A) Fascinating! So, a couple of human interest question. First: boxers or briefs?
(Ca) Um . . . Boy shorts.
(Cy) Audrey loves bikini bottoms. Never took her for that sort of girl.
(A) Silence, Sweetie. Fly or drive?
(Ca) Depends on the distance. I’ll fly to other parts of the world, but if it’s less than a thousand miles, I’ll drive.
(Cy) What’s the furthest you’ve flown?
(Ca) Around the world: Chicago to Minneapolis to Amsterdam to Hong Kong to Tokyo to Minneapolis to Chicago. Not all at once, mind you: it took about eight weeks. But Chicago to Hong Kong is probably the longest continuous trip with layovers of a few hours.
(A) Favorite writer?
(Ca) Too many to list. I love to read.
(A) Favorite movie?
(Ca) It’s impossible to have a favorite. Maybe twenty, thirty favorites. But one? No. For the record, quite a few from the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s.
(A) If you could be a tree, what would you be?
(Ca) Um . . . Kristian Stewart?
(A) Cheap shot!
(Ca) Who wants to be a tree?
(A) Poison Ivy?
(Ca) Point taken.
(Cy) Would you prefer to live in the past or the future?
(Ca) There’s something to say about growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, though if I had to go through that again, I’d rather do it with a few things changed . . . If I had a choice, I’d pick the future—maybe two or three hundred years from now. Nothing’s happening these days, and I’m bored. I’d like to see what’s coming down the time line.
(A) Some interesting things, let me tell you.
(Ca) And you know this how?
(A) *Long pause* That was the drugs talking . . .
(Cy) Pay no attention to her, Cassidy.
(Ca) Thank you—Duchess? Like in the song?
(Cy) No, a duchess is what I am.
(Ca) Do you know Albert? He’s a born loser.
(A) *Now glaring at Cassidy* On that note . . . I’d like to thank Cassidy for appearing today. It’s been a lot of fun speaking with you.
(Cy) I agree. Thank you for agreeing to speak with us.
(Ca) Thank you both for having me.
(A) Oh, and August, 2015: if you’re smart you’ll cancel your trip to Boston.
(Ca) I’m sorry—what?
(A) *Mumbling* See who’s the loser now! *Turning to the virtual audience* That’s it for today! Join us next week when we interview Cleopatra and find out if she was bi, or just really horny. Bye!
Are you looking for Her Demonic Majesty? Look here!
See you next time!
Today starts the moment when I get serious about Her Demonic Majesty. I want to get as much of Part Two finished this weekend, so by this time next week I can say everything’s ready for the various meat grinders, and all I have to do is write the various dedications, upload, and watch the money roll in.
About that last part . . .
Yesterday I was speaking with a friend, as I am want to do, and they asked me what I was doing to promote myself. I mean, I have a novel coming out, I have access to Facebook and Twitter, so how am I getting the news out to my fans that I’ll have a novel published in a couple of weeks?
Good, legitimate questions. I didn’t have an answer. I should because I’ve been here before: I have two published stories, and I’ve sort of done the promotion thing by visiting other blogs and giving an interview or two. I know the game.
I just don’t play it well.
The writing part is easy; you sit, you think, you type, you edit. There you have it: a story. It might be shit, but it’s you’re story, and you own it. What happens after you get the stuff up, though? That’s the hard part. It’ hard because I haven’t actually had to get into that part that much.
My friend started giving me hints of things to do, things to try. I listened, I took to heart. And I’ve started the wheels rolling . . .
First off, I revamped my author’s page. It looks nice and bright, with the new covers up, and there I’ll start sending out information about the project of the novel, and when it’ll see the light of publishing day. I have my Twitter, and I should get to revamping it as well: change the background picture, get the names changed to protect the innocent, so forth and so on.
One of the things writers could do for NaNo was post excerpts from their stories, and that’s another thing that’s coming. Every day I can pull out a few hundred words from each chapter, and maybe get people interested in wanting to read the whole thing once they get their taste. Not to mention, if there’s an error, someone can point it out.
I will do an interview, and it’s going to be done a little differently than some interviews, in that . . . wait, why tell you now? Just wait until next week. Then you’ll see.
There will be the obligatory giveaway of books. Haven’t decided on how I’m going to do that yet, but I will. And with two covers from which to choose, winners can decide which cover they like better. Now if I could only get a third cover, I could have a trifecta!
What I want the most–besides sales–is to have fun. I’ve done the blog hops; I’ve done the interview; I’ve sort of done everything short of putting begging people to buy my stories. I want to do thing differently this time. I want people to find and enjoy, and help build the base. And if they buy this, then they’ll maybe buy the stories I wrote under that other name, too.
It’s the time to shine–
Lets burn bright.
Today I’ve opened the Interview Lounge, and today I have author Allison Bruning hanging with me today. I’ve a few questions for her, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation.
When did you begin writing?
I started writing when I was in Kindergarten. I was so excited when I wrote my first story that I showed it to my grandmother. She saw the potential I had and encouraged me throughout my schooling to create books then read them to her.
What was the first story you wrote?
I can’t recall. I started writing poetry, moved into prose then into short stories. By the time I was in High School I was writing screenplays. In college, I went back to poetry and short stories. I began my first novel six years ago.
When did you first think, “Whoa, I’m really a writer”? Or have you not yet had that epiphany?
I’m staring to realize the talent I have. I’ve had people tell me that I am but it has been hard to believe it myself because I am too hard on myself. Recently, since I began Graduate School, I have had the epiphany that I am a writer. Not only a writer but one that can straddle the fine line between the entertainment business and literary sides.
Why did you start blogging?
Tell me something interesting about your blog that you’ve never made public before.
My first few posts are all over the place because I never quite understood what blogging was all about. It wasn’t until I hired Tasha Turner and she explained it to me that I was able to comprehend what blogging was supposed to do.
Tell us about your current project.
I am currently in the process of writing a short ghost story that takes place outside of Fort Davis, Texas. It’s loosely based on a local legend from the area.
Who is your favorite character in (name of your current story here), and why is that?
I just love Doctor Alexander James McGillpatrick Turner of Calico. He was so fun to write. Although he’s a secondary character he is a very complex man with inner demons of his past that he has to work out.
Where is your favorite place to write?
My dining room. I have a nice round table in a small room with a window. I love to look out the window periodically when I write.
Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character, and if so, whom?
If I could I would marry Little Owl from Calico in a heart beat.
What is the best story you’ve ever read?
The inheritance cycle – all of the books
I’m in the middle of the Hunger Games. Usually I don’t read 1st person stories but these are really sticking to me.
What is the worst story you’ve ever read?
War of the Worlds by HG Wells
When your story gets made into a movie, (1) who do you want to play the main character? (2) Who do you think will actually play that part?
I would love to see Taylor Swift as Calico
And Michael Spears as Little Owl.
What story do you really want to write, and why?
I have so many! Where can I begin? I like to write the untold stories from history, especially ones that have strong female leads.
What does your muse look like?
Depends on the story I am writing on. She tends to change form based on the time period. I’m really attracted to the Grecian era and Native Americans.
What is your favorite word?
I tend to write really a lot, really I do.
Lastly, if you could, for one day, live anywhere as anyone, where and whom would that be?
I would want to be Pocahontas. She was such a strong woman and she showed the Europeans that not all native people are bad.
About Allison Bruning:
The Executive Director of the Kentucky Young Writers Connection, a non-profit agency of writers who promote young authors throughout the state of Kentucky. Allison originally hails from Marion, Ohio. Her father, Roland Irving Bruning, was the son of German immigrants who came to the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Her mother’s family had been in the United States since the 17th century. Allison is a member of the Peter Foree Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution. Her linage traces to Private Reuben Messenger of Connecticut. Her educational background includes a BA in Theater Arts with a minor in Anthropology and a Texas Elementary Teaching certificate. Both acquired at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Allison received National Honor Society memberships in both Theater Arts and Communication. Allison was also honored her sophomore year with admission into the All American Scholars register. She holds graduate hours in Cultural Anthropology and Education. In 2007 she was named Who’s Who Among America’s Educators. She is also the recipient of the Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards.
Allison lives with her husband in Kentucky. Calico is book one from the series, Children of the Shawnee. She is currently working on the sequel, Rose. She is also working on another series, The Secret Heritage, which traces the life of her great great grandmother at the turn of the 20th century in Ohio. Allison’s interest includes Ohio Valley history, anthropology, travel, culture, history, camping, hiking, backpacking, spending time with her family and genealogy. Her genres include historical fiction, paranormal, romance, and suspense.
You can reach her at:
Today I’m getting the quick and dirty interview over at Doug Simpson’s blog. If you have a few minutes, pop on over and enjoy my wit and somewhat-wisdom.
Hola! Cathy Brockman has me up for a guest interview on her blog, and her Muses are working me over. Come take a peek!