BLAIR WRIGHT INTERVIEW
Today I’m pleased
to share an interview with Blair Wright. One of the youngest writers I’ve had
the pleasure of knowingJ
Blurb from Amazon.com
Dennis O'Connor is bound by the many laws of science and humanity. Clever, but friendless, young Dennis is very unhappily living in the middle of nowhere, Dunhurst, Georgia, having moved from the big city of New York. One day on the way home from school, Dennis receives a chain and amulet in the shape of an odd-looking sun from a complete stranger. Soon after, Dennis wakes up in the kingdom of Darmatia. At the beginning of each century, the four amulets of the four Elvin Kingdoms materialize in random places throughout the world, and the former Santa Claus' must find the amulets and the predetermined owners. When Dennis accepts the amulet, he set in motion a series of events that catapult him from the life of a 13-year-old freshman to the new and slightly incompetent Santa Claus of Darmatia. Now, he must learn the ways of the Elves by the time of his First Flight, and with the possibility of a great war between the Elves looming around the corner, Dennis might end up wishing he was back in the "middle of nowhere Dunhurst, Georgia."
What inspired you to become a writer??
I found myself asking the question “wouldn’t it be cool if…” a lot when I first started reading. So, I started taking some of the characters from their stories and gave them new ones. Eventually I started to feel constrained and started making my own stories and characters.
What character(s) of your book(s) do you most relate to??
Definitely the main character, Dennis O’Connor, mostly because his personality is completely based on my own and 2 close friends whose personalities are similar to mine. It made writing the book easier because all I’d have to ask myself, “What would Calvin, Nick, or I do right now,” whenever I got stuck.
A lot of the younger people, children, teenagers, could probably relate to him too because he feels like he doesn’t have any control of his life. If your parents want to move, then you move. If your parents want you to play a sport (especially when you are younger) you’ll probably end up doing it. He’s thrown from one reality to another and expected by the adults, and because of his situation, everybody else in the book to adapt (the sooner, the better).
How do you visualize your stories? By dreams? Inner monologue with your characters, dreams, etc.?
I did a lot of daydreaming during school.
What is your writing ritual? Music?? Silence? Meditation?
I have to listen to really loud music to tune out distractions.
What inspired you to write The Sword in the Sun?
It’s kind of a funny story. It was the week before Christmas and I was in 4th grade. My friend, Calvin was telling me how he was excited for Santa Claus to come and I decided to burst his bubble and tell him Santa isn’t real. My teacher, Ms. Jonap heard me (from the very back of the room) and rushed to the front.
“SANTA IS REAL!”
Her face was SO serious, and she said it with the same amount of honesty that would be reserved for a sentence like, “My name is Amy Jonap and I’m your 4th grade teacher.” I believed her, however the whole “delivering over a billion present” thing still seemed completely impossible to me. So I spent the rest of that year trying to figure out what the Santa Claus actually does, and I came to the conclusion that the Santa Claus delivers magic, in a sense.
My fifth grade teacher, Ms. Robinson had everyone in class write 1 to 5 page short stories about Christmas that we were going to read in front of the class. I ended up reading this 19 page short story, titled ‘Kid Santa’ to my class. It was about the son of Santa Claus’ first time delivering magic. The people in my class seemed to REALLY like it (which was surprising, because at the point, other than Calvin, I didn’t really have any friends).
Somehow, 25 or so people liking it made me decide that it should be a full length novel, and so from 5th grade to my junior year of high school ‘Kid Santa’ started to grow and grow (except about the middle of 8th grade, when I got frustrated and deleted everything and started over) and the rest is almost history.
If you could be a book genre, which one would you choose and why??
A math textbook, because I’m pretty boring! I’m hoping to change that next year when I start college.
What knowledge do you want to share with aspiring authors like myself??
Haha! I’m still trying to figure it out myself, to be honest! Um, I suppose it’d be the generic “see it through till the end” advice. Try your best to add a little bit every day, don’t worry about whether or not it’s good or bad, you can edit later. I just try not to get too frustrated with myself half the time!
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring and why??
I would bring a dog/cat so that I’d have someone to talk to and/or eat (I’m a pescetarian, but desperate times call for desperate measures!). I’d bring ‘Slumdog Millionare’ on DVD and my laptop so that I can watch it. The last 2 things I’d bring would be two vegetarian burritos from Chipotle.
What other books do you have to write or be written in the horizon??
There are some things that got edited out of the first edition of ‘The Sword in the Sun’ that I want to go back and add in. I also want the 2nd edition to have another round of edits, there are some copyediting errors in there that I’m not happy about. I’ve also started working on the sequel to ‘The Sword in the Sun.’
If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead? Who would it be and why??
Steven Spielberg, he is my hero (for too many reasons to list).
If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why??
Anywhere but the future, I watched a really early interview of J.K. Rowling and she was saying how she was excited about the U.S. release of the first Harry Potter book. I spent the entire interview, whispering/thinking/shouting/saying “if only she knew!!”. Imagine whispering/thinking/shouting/saying “if only they knew” literally every minute of every day once you got back to the present!
How do you write your books?? By the seat of your pants? Or is it plotted out in advance??
For ‘The Sword in the Sun’ I’d spend the school day thinking about what I’d think would be cool and then when I got home I’d type out the things I spent the day thinking about. For the sequel I made a plot organizer web, so that there would be a couple more twists. It also makes the writing go by a little faster.
Here is a twist...5 words or less, what comes to your mind first??
Pizza. Toilet. Skittles. Sudan. Oath.
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