January 14, 2008 at 2:51 pm 3 comments

This week’s author is the lovely Clover Autrey, another Wild Rose Press author. Without further ado….

When did you start writing?

I’ve always written something or the other, poems or short stories, and if I wasn’t actually writing I was storytelling in my head which transferred into play as my Barbies went through harrowing adventures.

What was the defining moment that made you sit down and start writing a book?

When my first child was still in diapers, I dreamed about these characters walking along a narrow ledge within a dark cave with dark water below. I couldn’t get that scenario out of my head so I sat down and began writing a novel around that scene. And I was hooked on the novel writing process ever since. I love the head time of writing where you go through scenarios in your mind and think about how each different character will handle the situation and will it actually be plausible and realistic.

What made you take yourself and your writing seriously?

I was serious from the beginning. I’ve always thought being a writer was the most magical career anyone could ever have.
What have you learned about writing that shocked you the most?
How difficult it is to actually get your work in front of people and make yours stand out.

What sub-genre(s) did you gravitate to when you first started? Is it the same as now and why do you think it’s changed or stayed the same?

I like stories that center around characters that have to face challenges and grow because of it. For that reason I adore fantasies because the main character always overcomes and discovers something defining about him/herself. Toss in a bit of romance in there and I’m a happy reader. That hasn’t changed since I was a teenager. I love fantasies as much as ever.

What advice have you gotten that you live by?
Keep learning and keep improving.

What advice would you give a newbie (if it’s not the same as above)?

Work on grammar. I say that probably because that is what I had to improve in my own writing, painstakingly so, so it is what stands out to me most in other’s writing. A great imagination and storytelling ability can only take you so far. If you don’t have good grammar skills, that wonderful story isn’t going to fly.

What’s your writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

I plot a loose storyline (which always changes), then I do a character arc for each of the main characters – what are their motivations, conflicts, past, what do they need to change, how does that clash with other characters’ motivations, what will be their darkest moment to resolve in the story – then I start writing. I write it all out in long hand, pad and paper, away from my computer. I do my first round of editing as I type it all into the computer.
I’ve been writing that way since I began, mostly out of necessity because my toddlers wouldn’t let me sit at the computer without climbing up into my lap and pounding away at the keyboard, but they rarely tried to pull my pen away from the paper. Now that I don’t have toddlers anymore, I still like writing it in longhand. I’ve changed how I do chapter breaks though. I used to write chapter by chapter, now I just insert a # at scene breaks and keep going. After I’m completely finished, I go back and decide where to break a chapter. That way it’s easier for me to see where a more climatic break would be to get the reader to go on to the next chapter rather than at the end of a scene so the reader can think, well this is a good place to stop for now. I don’t want that. I want to keep them up reading all night.

What keeps you writing?

The pure love of it. I know that sounds corny, but it is so enjoyable for me to create these characters and put them in jeopardy and see how they can handle themselves.

Do you have a support system? Did you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?

I started with the Sci-fi and Fantasy Online Writers Workshop where my grammar took a beating, but I was determined to become the best writer I could so I toughened my hide and let them rip away. Then I found the Paranormal Romance Writers and Readers list and gained invaluable insights on where to submit and how to promote, which led me to The Wild Rose Press, where I feel I really belong. I love it over there.

Define success for yourself?

Finally getting published, of course. I’m not one of those over night successes. I’ve been working at this for years, okay, almost two decades, constantly improving, getting rejected, and just having to buckle up and keep going. I know I should answer with a more gracious statement about how just finishing each manuscript is a success, and it is. But to finally have my book out there and perfect strangers are reading it and enjoying it . . . that’s an amazing feeling.

What’s your comfort reads?

That’s easy. Louis L’Amour, Andre Norton, and Nora Roberts. Which may explain why I write outdoors men type heroes in fantasy settings with a lot of romance.

Who are you reading right now?

Tanya Huff and Mercedes Lackey.

What book(s) that makes you want to write better (or stop writing because you¢ll never be that good)?

Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s First Rule and Karin Lowachee’s Warchild. They both write characters that you can’t stop thinking about.

Plug away… Upon Eagle’s Light is out now in ebook [from The Wild Rose Press] and will be in print this March. I can’t wait. And my civil war Time Travel called The Sweetheart Tree is coming soon.

Thanks, Melissa.

Clover Autrey’s info:
Upon Eagle’s Light released into the wild October 12, 2007 from http://www.thewildrosepress.com

When Hydeia’s eagle chooses a mate for her, why does it have to be a male who wants nothing to do with Eaglekins?

webpage http://www.eaglekinseyrie.com
myspace http://www.myspace.com/cloverautrey


Entry filed under: Write Questions.


3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Miss Mae  |  January 16, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Great interview, Clover. It’s really nice to learn more of you…:)

    Miss Mae
    “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady”
    from The Wild Rose Press

  • 2. Clover  |  January 17, 2008 at 6:26 am

    Thanks, Mae. And thank you Mel for having me on your blog. Great thought-provoking questions.

  • 3. Mel  |  January 17, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    You’re welcome.

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