I stopped by Chat About Books with Kerry Parsons and answered a few questions about my writing process, naming characters, and other ramblings. Please check it out and subscribe to Chat About Books. If you’re an author or publisher who would like her to review a book or feature you on Chat About Books, I’ll leave all her links at the bottom of this post.
Today I am thrilled to welcome Christa Wojciechowski to my blog. Christa has very kindly sent me review copies of Sick and Sicker which I hope to get to ASAP. In the meantime she has very kindly taken part in my author Q&A.
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I’m a freelance digital marketer who lives in Panama. I came down here expecting to stay a couple years, but now it’s almost been a decade. I work for small businesses, indie authors, publishers, podcasters, and media sites. I’ve also written some literary fiction and have begun a series of Psychological Thriller novellas.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
My ideas usually come from random flashes of insight or questions that build in my mind. Sick, the psychological thriller line, is actually based on a nightmare I had last year.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Oh, most definitively. My characters are based on everyone I know, and each of them carries a micro aspect of my personality too. That’s one of the fun parts of writing. I can let out those restrained personalities and see what they would do if I didn’t constantly keep tied down.
How do you pick your character’s names?
I can get stuck on names. For my first attempt at writing a novel, I used a baby names book to choose something for my main character, Ona. You wouldn’t believe how many hours I spent scouring and comparing names.
I’ve decided to skip that part of the writing process lately because it was huge hold-up. Now I tag characters with the first name that comes into my head. For example, with John and Susan in the Sick series – those are pretty standard names that were originally supposed to be placeholders. But as the characters developed, I felt I couldn’t change them. They are John and Susan and that is that. The normal names actually worked out well because the novel is pointing out the extraordinary secrets hidden underneath seemingly normal couples.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I start off with a sliver of an idea and just go. I used to spend lots of time outlining beforehand. It was helpful, but the plans always changed. Now I fly by the seat of my pants. If I get stuck, I might quickly sketch out a few possible plot points. I don’t know if I’ll go back to a more structured style in the future, but for now, it’s purely made up on the spot. I feel like I harness more adrenaline in my writing, and I’m as eager to see what happens as hopefully my future readers will be.
Do you have a favourite author?
I have many, but my biggest writing hero is Dostoevsky. To me, he is the God of Literature. I go through infatuations with other writers on the side. Kafka was the previous obsession. Oscar Wilde before that. I’ve just read The Handmaid’s Tale and I think Margaret Atwood will be my next idol.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Oh, yes. As a kid, I was something of an outcast and spent lots of time reading. In elementary school, I was a fanatic for the Black Stallion series. I devoured every one of those books. Black Beauty was a favorite of mine too. In high school, I bought every book Anne Rice ever wrote. After graduation, I decided to explore the classics. That’s where I’ve been ever since.
When did you start to write?
I’ve always written, but the first piece I published is called The Wrong David, a literary fiction novelette. Then, I wrote my first full-length novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2012. I can’t believe it’s been almost four years! It’s supposed to have been published long ago. After that I wrote a second and third book to complete a full series with the working title The Sculptor of New Hope, all of which are still sitting in my ‘revisions pile.’ It’s about an emotionally disturbed artist and his heroin-addicted muse.
As for Sick, I made that into a series because I added a poll at the end of the first book and my readers voted for a sequel. I was so happy because I also became obsessed with the strangeness of the story. How sick could it get? What would happen to these people? So I’ve just kept going.
What are you working on right now?
Now I’m writing the third part of Sick. After that, I plan to publish The Sculptor of New Hope over the next few years.
When can we look forward to a new release?
How can readers keep in touch with you?
I love chatting with readers. I’m also available to fellow writers for any marketing or publishing advice. You can find me all over the place!
Many thanks to Christa for joining me on my blog
Watch this space for my reviews!
Hi, my name is Kerry Parsons.
I’m married and a Mum to two teenagers (and a Shih Tzu!)
Reading/Blogging is my favourite hobby. I do as much as I can in my spare time.
I love to spread the word when I’ve read a book I love!
If you’re an author or publisher who would like me to review a book, or would like to feature on my blog in any way, feel free to contact me….
I look forward to hearing from you
Both SICK and SICKER are FREE today 7/14