Hey hey hey! It is OCTOBER 1st and I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to some crisp weather, beautiful falling leaves, and our Author Spotlight interview with Carolyn Lander! Let’s get to it!
ELLE: Who’s your favorite Fantasy/PNR/Dystopian, etc. heroine? Why do you love her so much?
C.M.: Don’t judge me too harshly for saying Hermione Granger and not some warrior elf princess or something. The Harry Potter series was such a life-changing experience for me, not just because it was a wonderful, magic-filled world I could escape in, but because J.K. Rowling brought reading back into the mainstream. I was always the little girl with her nose in a book and I was made fun of mercilessly for it. I was “Little Miss Know It All” and “Teacher’s Pet.” (Yes, kids actually used that as an insult back in my day.) But once those books gained popularity and even the cool kids in school were reading? Well, suddenly I wasn’t such a freak. Suddenly the bookish nerd was the hero of the story! I saw myself in Hermione, as I’m sure many other girls did and so she’ll always have a special place in my heart. Even though she deserved much better than Ron Weasley. (Just sayin’.)
ELLE: I’d NEVER judge you for that! Hermione rocks! What does your typical writing day/schedule look like?
C: I take care of my son during the day, so I write during his nap and then not again until after he goes down to sleep for the night. That gives me roughly 3-4 hours/day that I can dedicate to writing/editing/art/social media and all the other lovely things that come with being an author.
ELLE: If you could have ONE magical power… what would you choose, and why?
C: I’d love to have the power to be in multiple places at once. One part of me writes while the other one plays with my son and both parts of me are completely conscious of every minute, so I never have to miss anything. There would be no limit to how many me’s there could be so I could also be at the store getting groceries and starting a fight with someone at a bar and then, also, sacrificing sinners at a blood altar. Y’know, totally normal stuff.
ELLE: What is your strangest habit? (Doesn’t have to be writing related)
C: I have to write things down. It’s literally the only way I can think or visualize. It frustrates my husband who’s a tech guru and can just do everything on a computer, but I operate on pen and paper. Every story starts as a scrap of paper with me. I also need to do this with grocery lists, budgets. Everything has to get written down on a piece of paper before I can remember or understand it or else it just completely erases from my mind instantly. Sorry trees!
ELLE: How many words-per-book (and words-per-day) do you aim to write? How long does it usually take you to complete a novel of that length?
C: I aim for 50,000 words, but haven’t reached that yet. I studied poetry in school so it goes against my nature to be verbose. Working on that. It takes roughly one month to do all the writing for a book since my time is so limited. I try to be in a constant state of editing one book while also writing another.
ELLE: What’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?
C: Atonement, but mostly because I could watch James McAvoy eating cereal for three hours and still find it entertaining.
ELLE: What’s the most effective marketing strategy you’ve tried? And how did you go about implementing it?
C: Word of mouth. I was shocked by how successful actually asking people to follow my page or buy my books has been. And then asking them to tell their friends about me.
ELLE: You may choose 3 fictional characters to be on your team in the zombie apocalypse…
Who are they?
C: Well, obviously Hermione Granger ‘cuz I need magic and lots of help. Then Gregor Clegane from Game of Thrones because, y’know, brute strength. And then…can James McAvoy be a fictional character? No? Then Marianne Dashwood from Sense & Sensibility. Gonna need to sacrifice someone to the zombies.
ELLE: What’s the best writing tip you’ve received, or would give to a fellow author?
C: Write. Even if the sentences are poorly constructed and the diction is off. Write even if the story is flat and you don’t know what’s going on. You’ll never figure it out if you don’t dive in. I kept telling myself that I wasn’t writing because I didn’t know how to write a novel and I spent decades trying to read books on “How To Write A Novel,” but here’s the secret: there isn’t one. You just have to get a bunch of words on a page. Once you have that you edit it into something, but you can’t do that until you write. So write a lot.
ELLE: In my series, The Essential Elements, the characters have the ability to control 1 of the 4 Classical Elements (Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind).
If you could control ONE… which would you choose, and why?
C: I want to say water ‘cuz I love me some mermaids, but it would probably be wind so I can fly everywhere.
ELLE: OMG mermaids! Seriously, next year for me = the year of the mermaid! Please tell us a bit about your latest release!
C: My first fantasy trilogy is set to come out in January 2019. A vengeful witch, a wrathful king, and his daughter, the princess, studying magic against his will. It’s going to be so much fun!
Thanks so much, C.M.!
For more on C.M. Lander, please visit her facebook author page!
Thank you all for reading yet another fun interview! I hope you enjoy getting these small glimpses into a writer’s life! (I’m a writer, myself, and I STILL enjoy seeing what other authors’ lives are like lol)
Until next time, wonderful readers…