We’ve reached the final installment of my five-part practice interview. I have to say, it has been revealing to me, as well. I learned to express my ideas a bit better, and I have talking points I can take with me on future author interviews. I have more personal clarity about the Cryptid Series, which I can turn to while I write subsequent books in the series.
And I can explain better and more about why I write and what I write.
To recap: I found a treasure trove of author interview questions, compiled by Elisabeth Barette. She collected quite a few, so I sorted the questions into five days’ worth of interview-related online journals.
The (Practice) Interview
What kind(s) of writing do you do?
I write fiction novels, and sometimes I blog. I acknowledge this limits my writing. I have opportunities to write short stories, flash fiction, travel articles, and book reviews. I am embarrassed to say that I don’t, for I am worried what I present will be terrible. Then, I remember that I risked being terrible at novel-writing yet published anyway. Each of the aforementioned opportunities is one more adventure into the world of writing and is a risk worth taking–just like the risk to publish was worth taking.
So, I plan this year to add to my writing repertoire short stories, flash fiction, travel articles, and book reviews. I have no idea when I will find the time between writing novels, but that’s just one more challenge of choosing a writing career.
What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?
I scoured the internet; I read fables and myths and literature; I read and took notes on non-fiction science articles and books; and I drew from my own personal life experience and the personal life experiences of people who I know and who I’ve known.
Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book? If so, discuss them.
I have no idea what this question means.
How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
Mostly, I woke up every morning between the day I was born and today.
The biggest change to my writing life was publishing that first Dome Trilogy novel: Beneath a Sunless Sky. I thought it was perfect when I set it up to be published. I had not yet found my writing voice, so I wrote in a manner I believed was right for its genre. I made a lot of mistakes, being my own editor, layout designer, and proofreader. Then came marketing, and I fell off the map. Even today, I err and learn from those mistakes.
Maybe that’s why I’m where I am today. I learned, and I keep on learning.
For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?
The Cryptid Series explores the theme of integration of the supernatural into the natural world. A science-based belief that the natural world must be aggressively studied is juxtaposed with a faith-based belief that the natural world must be aggressively limited. Everything beyond those limits must be preserved or exterminated, depending on which side one’s beliefs fall.
I think individuals should apply the scientific method to the strange. Differentiate between fact and truthiness and accept an answer may not be forthcoming. Logical fallacies must be recognized and revealed; one cannot use similes to prove that something is just because it sounds logical. Facts encourage inquisitiveness and intellectual evolution; truths shut down inquisitiveness and intellectual evolution. Don’t make up a story to fill that knowledge gap. Well, unless you write fiction.
How do you find or make time to write?
I have to find or make time to do other things! I default to writing most of the time. I write daily. Sometimes, I write for an hour or two. Sometimes, I write from when I wake to the wee hours of the next morning. Yes, I take care of my responsibilities. I just am like a kid doing chores, waiting for the moment when I am finally free to play outside.
What projects are you working on at the present?
My current work-in-progress is the Cryptid Series. Its first book, ‘Til Undeath Do Us Part, is available for pre-order right now and will be released on April 1, 2015. I’m taking a break right now from writing before I pick up its second book, His Brother’s Keeper. When it is available for pre-order, I will take another writing break. Then, I will prepare to write the third book in the Cryptid Series, with a scheduled release in 2016.
My goal is to have the first four installments of the Cryptid Series on readers’ ebooks by December 2016. This is an aggressive plan; it generally takes years for me to prepare a book from a stable redraft to publication. However, the novel drafts for the second through fourth Cryptid Series books have been written. I have a detailed draft for the second book prepared and frameworks for the third and fourth books prepared.
Am I worried about being on such a tight writing schedule? Yes. However, I will give my best to each novel. If this means that release dates are pushed back a few months, then I push them back.
Books by Jessica “Jess” Alter (@):
The Dome Trilogy (Dystopian Earth Future Science Fiction)
- Nightmare Specters (2012)
- Solaray Dawn (2014)
Available in print and ebook formats.
The Cryptid Series (Paranormal Science Fiction/Fantasy)
- ‘Til Undeath Do Us Part (Release Date: April 1, 2015)
Available in ebook formats.
More novels in the Cryptid Series are on the way, all of which I hope will delight readers.