Today I am interviewing a fellow author who is about to have her first novel released with Valor Publishing Group. The Key of Kilenya, by Andrea Pearson will soon be available in a store near you. The official launch date is July 6th, 2010. From the back cover of the book:
When two vicious wolves chase fourteen-year-old Jacob Clark through a gateway from our world into another, he has no idea they have been sent by the Lorkon—evil, immortal beings who know he has powers they desire to control.
The inhabitants of the new world beg for Jacob’s help in recovering a magical key that was stolen by the Lorkon and is somehow linked to him. If he helps them, he will be in great danger. But if he chooses not to help them, our entire world will be in peril. The Lorkon will stop at nothing to unleash the power of the key—and Jacob’s special abilities.
1. Tell us a little bit about your writing schedule. What works for you? What doesn’t?
I’m very lucky right now to have extra time. Lots of it. (And yet I still haven’t been able to get through a complete “to do” list in one day. There are just too many things to get done!) I’ve found I’m most productive if I write in the morning, and BEFORE opening up any internet browsers. I have to put my phone away, avoid people, sometimes lock myself in the office so as to not be bothered. I make sure I have sugarless gum and a bottle of water nearby, then I sit in my chair and write. If, after a couple of hours, I don’t complete my word-count goal, I take a break—usually go for a bike ride, chat with my family, go outside, watch an episode of House, or play the piano. Then I get back to writing. Timing myself helps—putting an hour on the clock and not letting myself get up to do anything until the hour is over.
What doesn’t work? Forcing myself to write—usually if I don’t want to, there’s a reason. Figuring out what it is can be a challenge sometimes, but not impossible. 🙂
2. Are you a writer who has to have music playing to write, or has to have quiet?
I definitely need music! But it has to be music I’m familiar with so as to prevent distractions. I keep my soundtracks, or classical music, playing on random. Sometimes soft music like Josh Groban, Enya, David Arkenstone, or Vienna Teng helps.
3. Who are your favorite authors? (besides me of course) What genres do you read the most?
My favorite authors besides you? Ha ha. 🙂 After I got over my Nancy Drew kick, I went straight to Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, and John Grisham. They say teenagers read books geared to adults, and adults read YA literature, and I’m an example of that, even now, since I always head to the YA section first. I don’t necessarily have any favorite authors, merely books I like. The Host (Stephenie Meyer), Percy Jackson (Rick Riordan), Fablehaven (Brandon Mull), Anthem (Ayn Rand), Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), Harry Potter (Herman Melville. Ha ha, kidding. Just checkin’ to see if anyone’s paying attention. :-)), and Elantris (Brandon Sanderson) are some of my favorites.
The genre I read most often? I’m not sure there is one. I like anything that is intense and “on the edge of your seat” etc., best, but I enjoy anything clean and well written.
4. What is your favorite Linux distro? Please tell us all why doing the following command is dangerous: rm -rf /
I LOVE the version of Linux I’m using now: Linux Mint. It has all the power, reliability, and security of Linux, but in an easy-to-use format. I’d recommend it to anyone—my mom even uses it. 🙂
And the only thing I’m going to say about rm -rf / is that if it ever happened to MY computer, I’d cry. Seriously. 🙂 My dad once told me you can’t break Linux. Several years ago, trusting this theory, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to practice a few “kill” commands (innocent person that I was). Needless to say, I almost deleted my menu (akin to “start” on Windows). I about died from panic when I realized what I’d nearly done. Thank goodness it wouldn’t have been permanent. I confronted my dad about his “unbreakable” theory, and he said, “I was referring to people who don’t know anything about computers. They wouldn’t be able to damage Linux. That doesn’t apply to you.” It was his fault for teaching me the “kill” commands. 🙂
5. You play an instrument, do you not? And you teach? Tell us about it.
I started out on the cello, then switched to the viola. I also play the piano, organ, and guitar. I teach orchestra (violin, viola, cello, and bass) to 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, and absolutely LOVE my job. I’ve got the world’s cutest, brightest, and most talented students. 🙂
6. I personally think that your talents in computers, music, writing, etc. are all very connected. Would you say that you are definitely more creative than analytical, or more balanced between the two?
I used to be VERY analytical. The math part of music fascinates me, and I’m always listening to a song, figuring out what time it’s in, and whether the musicians follow it or not. PDQ Bach is my favorite composer. 🙂 (aka Peter Schickele.) In writing: I’m very exact about using grammar (as far as I understand it) correctly, even in text messages, and I’m attracted to professional, clean-cut writing. I tend to be OCD (ask my editor about my weirdness when it comes to numbers :-)), and anything logical likes me. 🙂 On the other hand, music and writing really pull the creative side out of me, and I’ve come to rely on that a lot. I’m also an artist, and find satisfaction in that too. So, I’m much more balanced now.
7. Writing can be cathartic. It makes crazy people more sane. But it can take sane people and make them crazy. Why are you doing this again?
Oh, goodness, I don’t know! 🙂 Sometimes I’m more crazy than sane, and sometimes, when I feel like I’ve got my sanity back, I can’t help but wonder what I was thinking when I decided to be a writer. 🙂 Seriously, all though it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done (continues to be), it’s also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
8. Any advice for writers wanting to be a published author?
A poem comes to mind. I have no idea who wrote it, but my mom made us memorize it when we were kids:
Stick to your task ’til it sticks to you.
Beginners are many, enders are few.
Honor, power, place, and praise
Come in time to the one who stays.
Stick to your task ’til it sticks to you;
Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it too;
For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile
Will come life’s victories, after awhile.
That’s my advice. EVERYONE wants to be a published author. Everyone writes—you’ll quickly find this out. But most of them give up—if not now, later. I’m almost positive that a person who is dedicated enough to their writing will eventually get published. They will push themselves to learn and master the art, to understand why people give harsh critiques, to listen to those suggestions and keep or disregard them. They’ll figure out what people are reading, and will write masterpiece after masterpiece until someone finds them and pushes them into the public’s eye. If YOU are going to be that person, you can’t give up.
Thanks for interviewing me! If anyone would like to get a hold of me, here’s my info:
I want to thank Andrea for being a good sport and providing some entertainment here on my blog today. I also had fun answering some questions for her, over on her blog
If you would like to pre-order The Key of Kilenya at a discount, you can do so here: