Saturday, August 8, 2015

Stephanie O' Brien Interview

First off, tell us a little bit about you, Stephanie... 

I’m a genre-hopping fan and creator of fiction, who spends more time with my head in fictional worlds than is entirely good for my schedule and navigational skills. (Oh, I was supposed to turn left there? Shoot, I was busy writing a novel in my head.) My favorites tend to be sci-fi stories, but I also love fantasy, and if something is really good, genre is no object.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider them? 
I’ve written in multiple genres. “My Fugitive” and “Voice of a Silent Fugitive” are wartime psychological suspense novels, starring a mute, wounded warrior and a young civilian girl who are trying to keep each other alive in enemy territory. “Heroic Lies” is a superhero sci-fi novel which takes the classic hero-villain-reporter trio and puts a dark new spin on it, and “Catigrl Roommate” is a comedy novel.

When did you start writing? 
About as early as I knew how. I finished my first full-length novel when I was 12, and wrote a short book and a few half-finished projects before then.

Why do you write? 
Because I enjoy it. I like creating and exploring worlds and characters, and evoking emotions, that reflect and yet differ from the ones we encounter in everyday life.

What would be your choice for a superpower? 
The ability to magically create any object I wanted, with no negative side effects to myself or the universe. This would pretty much enable me to replicate any other superpower.

Who is your favorite author? 
That’s a tough one, but I’m going to say Karen Hancock.

What are you reading now? 
 “The Wizard’s First Rule”.

Who is your favorite character to write? 
I think so far Zorei from “Heroic Lies” has been my favorite. He’s one of those rare gems who practically writes himself, but I enjoyed writing Alexandra, too. They play off each other so well.

Do you have a writing process? 
 First, I write a quick outline. As much of each scene as pops into my head at the time. This lets me see an outline of the whole story, and rearrange parts of it if need be to ensure that it flows well and that all the events are in order. Then I go through the whole book and flesh it out. If a new scene pops into my head, or I get a burst of inspiration to write a scene later in the book, I write it down and then go back to where I left off.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? 
For one thing, don’t wait to write “candy bar scenes” until you get to that part of the book. If you’ve got a scene that you’re REALLY looking forward to writing, and it’s vivid and wonderful in your mind, write it down NOW. There have been several times when I’ve had an amazing scene write itself in my head, but I waited for months to actually type it out, and by the time it did, the sparkle was gone. It was three times as hard to write, and the result was half as good.

Another piece of advice is, don’t be afraid to make your characters really unusual or unique. Give them quirks, even if the characters and quirks are minor. How many times have you seen a minor character become an internet sensation, just because people loved the one little oddity that they displayed?

A third is to remember that bestselling authors are just that: best SELLING authors, not best WRITING authors. I really hated this piece of advice when I got it, but it’s true: if you don’t sell many books, it isn’t necessarily because you’re a bad writer; it’s because you aren’t marketing and selling your book effectively. So if you plan to self-publish, or even if you want to catch a publisher’s attention, you need to learn how to get people interested.

What inspired you to pursue writing? 
As noted earlier, I enjoy it. Despite my above advice, I’ll admit that I probably don’t spend nearly enough time marketing my books, because most of my marketing efforts are focused on my other business. And yet, I keep writing, because I like it.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing? 
“Farscape” is my current favorite. “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”, “Firefly”, “Serenity”, and “Star Trek” are also high on my list.

What are your current projects? 
I’m currently working on a comedy novel for cat lovers, called “Catgirl Roommate”. It’s about a poor college student who accepted an offer of free rent in exchange for taking care of his “special needs” roommate. Unfortunately for him, his new roommate is a catgirl. She’s the size of a human, but with all the bad habits of a cat, so I’m sure the cat owners reading this can imagine the crap he has to put up with.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers? 
Would it be cliche and obvious of me to say “check out my books”? Haha. (PS. Go check out her books here! ~ GFV) Just as importantly, for all the fans and writers who are reading this: have fun with it, fearlessly. If you have a story to write, go and write it, just the way you want to – not the way that you think will sell best, or the way you think other people want you to write it. And if you have a story or franchise you totally adore, geek out about it. Get into communities of people who share your passion, and be honest about your obsession. After all, fiction helps us to connect with each other, and with parts of ourselves that don’t have enough room to stretch their legs in day-to-day life, so why not love it?

Quick Fire:
Cats or dogs? Cats, even if their bad behaviour inspired me to write a book.
Coffee or tea? Tea.
Favorite food? Chocolate.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Chocolate, of course. :)
What are 3 things you never leave home without? My purse, the clothes on my back, and my cell phone.
Laptop or desktop? Laptop.
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with? Masashi Kishimoto, Wayne Pygram, and Mary Morrissey.
TV or Movies? TV. I like how it has more time to develop the characters, world and plot.

Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE to borrow any of my books for FREE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

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