Interview With a Writer

Hello, world!
For those of you who are participating in NaNoWriMo this year, good luck as you begin your journey! Writing can feel like a lonely pursuit when you sit alone at your computer, but there’s a whole community of people who are feeling the same loneliness, which means that you are experiencing something collectively. So you’re not alone after all, are you?
On the subject of writing and NaNoWriMo, today I have an interview with a fellow writer to share with you. This writer is someone I’m personally very close to – my cousin Carynn Bohley. She’s done NaNoWriMo every year for as long as I can remember, and has some great words of encouragement and insight about our craft. Enjoy.
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Why do you enjoy writing?

When I write, I can leave my worries behind and enter worlds that only I am a part of. I can be other people- and see these worlds through their eyes. I can go on adventures and have experiences without getting up from my computer. I can sit with my little sister and sip coffee while battling dragons. I enjoy writing because it gives me the power to control the world- and other worlds. It makes me feel strong.

What are some of your favorite genres to work in, and what are some genres you’d never want to work in?

I’ve been trying a lot of new genres recently, but I typically write fantasy and scifi. I don’t think that I would enjoy nonfiction, even though I love research. It doesn’t seem creative enough for me. I definitely couldn’t write an instruction manual!

How old were you when you started writing seriously?

Writing seriously? Hm. I started trying to write chapter books instead of short stories in fifth grade, but looking back on them it definitely wasn’t ‘serious writing.’ It’s hard for me to say because only I’m only proud of my present writing. My voice as a writer has evolved a lot in the past few years, so I suppose that I started writing ‘seriously’ two or three years ago when I realized that writing isn’t a hobby- it’s a way of life.


How many books are you currently working on and what are they about? Ha. My very long list of writing projects. At the moment I’m working on seven books, assuming I didn’t leave any out. My ‘top priority’ book is my finished novel, ‘Nevada Confidential.’ It’s in the final editing stages, and I’ve just started to send it to my beta readers- most of whom are friends in a writing club I attend on Thursdays at my local library. Nevada confidential is a science fiction about a sixteen-year-old girl named Brinley, who’s of Mexican descent. She accompanies her brother Simon (a freelance multimedia journalist) on a hike in Nevada to film a survival series. A mistake leads the two of them to a top secret military base, where Brinley must pose as a scientist’s assistant until she can find a way for she and Simon to escape. I’m also working on book two, which is called ‘Corazon.’ Leaving the sci-fi genre, I’m writing two fantasy books. One is intended for middle schoolers, and it’s called ‘The Feline Network.’ It’s about an underground city where cats from all over the world meet to discuss problems in the feline world and political affairs. There’s also a bit of feline romance involved… The second fantasy book is a YA called ‘Demonica.’ The main character, Demonica, is a nineteen-year-old vampire born to vampire parents. As she was never bitten and she chose to be good, she has a soul- and can therefore see her reflection. Her parents want her to be what they are- monsters. She runs away, taking her little sister Annie with her. She raises Annie, hoping that they can blend in with humans. Everything is going well. They have an apartment, they have friends, Demonica (now just Monica) has a job… but Annie’s parents want her back. And they’ll do anything to get her.

‘To the Rebels’ is a historical fiction that takes place over the course of the Revolutionary War. The main character, Verity Harper Grey, is a strong loyalist who lives in a family of rebels. She wants to make a change. She wants to put the idea of the revolution from people’s minds. 

She sends a letter to her local printing press with the male pen name ‘Jeremy Grey,’ the name of her deceased older brother. The letter is addressed ‘To the Rebels,’ and she speaks out against the war and for the connection with Britain.

My kids’ book, ‘Ranger,’ is intended for second-fourth graders. It’s about a boy named Jack Louis Beckett III, a naughty eight-year-old growing up in the 80’s. His father, a forest ranger in the Adirondacks, has planted a love for the outdoors in his son. The two of them are finishing up a hike in early fall when they come upon an Australian shepherd puppy that looks like it’s been outside for a while. No collar, and dirt-matted fur. Until they can find the owner, Jack brings the dog home- naming him Ranger.

Lastly, I’m working on a thriller. It doesn’t have a title yet, but I do have a plot outline. The main character is a sarcastic eleventh grader named Liam. He has a twin sister named Zoe, his parents, and a silver stallion named Justice. Liam sees a strange looking woman across the street from his house, with white hair and black eyes. He’s haunted by the thought of her, even though he doesn’t know why. He starts having nightmares, and his aunt goes into a coma after a serious car accident. She begins sputtering strange messages, like ‘don’t go inside the house!’ before plunging back into unconsciousness.

Where is your favorite place to write and why?

My favorite place to write is in my dining room at our computer. It’s pretty public (I’m usually surrounded by my four younger siblings), but for some reason, other noises help my concentration. It’s like it’s easier for me to focus when there are distractions that force me to.

What’s your favorite character or story that you’ve written so far?

My favorite character that I’ve written is in my finished book ‘Nevada Confidential.’ His name is ‘Elijah Hawkes,’ a selfless nineteen-year-old who takes on a dangerous, undesirable career to keep his younger sister alive. She has coronary artery disease and needs to see specialists from all over the country. Insurance might cover medical bills, but not the cost of traveling. He’d do anything for her.

How do you find inspiration to continue your stories when you’re facing writers’ block or lack of motivation?

I haven’t had writers’ block since I’ve begun to have more than one ongoing projects, because I can rotate when I feel a little bit stuck during one story. I’ve also found that watching certain movies helps because I think ‘if I actually finish some of these projects, maybe they’ll be turned into movies someday.’ Even the weather can affect my inspiration. What’s better than a rainy day for traveling to distant universes and sipping tea with my cat curled up in my lap?

What’s a project you’ve given up on and why?
I’ve given up on SO many projects. I guess that a big one was a book I tried to write many times called ‘Waiting in the Window.’ I finally stopped trying because after a few years I realized how inaccurate the idea for the book was. It was about a girl who wishes to be a dog on her birthday and wakes up as a stray puppy. An older dog named Greg teaches her how to be a dog, and they stay together for a few weeks before Greg is hit by a car. The girl is devastated, but suddenly she realizes that she’s sitting in front of her birthday cake staring at the candles, which have not been blown out. She wishes to see Greg again, but nothing happens. She grows up, never marries, and one day she’s sitting in her room knitting as a seventy-year-old when in the window Greg appears. She realizes that she’s a puppy again, and the two of them fly away to heaven. Yep, pretty cringy. But hey, I was ten when I wrote it.
What’s the first book that you ever finished and when did you finish it?

The first book I ever finished was called ‘Jessie’s Genie.’ I believe I finished it in 2012. It wasn’t very long… probably 24 pages. But I was very proud of it.

If you could have any of your stories turned into a movie or TV show, which would you pick and who would you cast?

I think that Demonica could be a good tv show. I’d want Demonica to be played by Alisha Newton, who plays my favorite character, Georgie, in the Canadian tv series ‘Heartland.’ I don’t really know of any toddler actresses, so I’m not sure who would play Annie. Those are the two main characters.

 

These are questions that any writer can ask themselves, regardless of genre or how long they’ve been writing for. Understanding where you are as a writer can help you to plan where you’re going. My takeaway from this was that writers will be constantly improving, and as we improve, we will become better at bringing our visions to life in words.

Good luck to everyone in your writing pursuits!

-H.G. <3

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