Today I’m welcoming S.M. Reine to my blog for an insighful interview. She is author of the Descent Series and the Seasons of the Moon series.
Did you always want to be a writer? If so, what medium did you start with? Poetry, Short Stories, Novellas, Novels??
I’ve been passionate about writing my entire life. I’ve always been most interested in novels, although my “books” when I was a child were really more like short stories. I wrote my first full-length novel (over 100,000 words, or 400 pages) when I was in sixth grade. It wasn’t any good. But I’ve been writing books ever since. :)
What was the inspiration for your book series, The Descent Series
The Descent Series evolved from a variety of sources. It’s kind of the spiritual lovechild of Joss Whedon TV shows (like Buffy and Angel), The Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike, and Anita Blake. I had this idea about an exorcist character when I was a teenager, and after a few years of fermenting, it turned into Elise and The Descent Series as it is now.
Who are your top 5 favorite authors??
Edgar Allan Poe, Tamora Pierce, Jacqueline Carey, HP Lovecraft, and Stephen King.
What is your favorite genre to read and why?
I love strange, unique contemporary fantasy--like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. But I have a very big soft spot for urban fantasy in general.
Do you prefer to be indie published, self-published, or traditional published?? Why?
Self-publishing is exhausting, but it really appeals to my control freak side. Ideally, I think it would be nice to have a hybrid career: some books traditionally published, and some published independently.
Did you ever experience a major life changing event that impacted your writing?
It probably sounds cheesy, but the birth of my son really gave me a kick in the pants. Watching his explosive growth from tiny newborn to pudgy baby and lanky toddler gave me a whole new appreciation for how valuable and precious time is. So after wanting to be a professional writer for years, it was the entrance of my son into my life that made me finally take charge and get it done. The first book I published, Six Moon Summer, was started when my baby was just two weeks old. (If that book is kind of nonsensical, it’s because of the delirious new parent hormones. Sorry, readers!)
If you could be any book genre, which one would you choose and why?
I would be memoir. It’s pleasantly boring, but you only write memoirs about the interesting lives of successful people. ;) Failing that, I would love to be high fantasy adventure.
Name a song(s) that define(s) you as a writer.
Coconut by Fever Ray. Go look it up. It’s a really weird song! But the tone really captures my bizarro head space while I write.
If the world was on the edge of extinction, how would you survive??
I would do everything my husband says, because I am hopelessly incompetent where such things are concerned, and I know he would take care of me.
What advice would you give to other aspiring writers like myself??
Focus on the writing. There is so much other stuff surrounding publishing: agents and publishers, if you’re going the traditional route; marketing and social media once you’re published; lots of other flotsam. It’s distracting and time-consuming. The easiest thing to control is the quality of your writing, and the frequency with which you finish projects. It also happens to be the most fun. So when in doubt, write more books!
What other projects do you have on the horizon??
I have a few things brewing. Most of my focus in the first half of 2013 is going to be wrapping up the main arc of The Descent Series (which has three more books). I’m also publishing a serial novel in the Seasons of the Moon series. The latter half of 2013 will be a new series--I’m thinking paranormal mysteries. I’m really excited about it.
Tell us about 5 books that changed your life in some way??
1. The whole Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. It was my introduction to high fantasy (yes, before Lord of the Rings!). The depth of his world building, the huge cast, and the epic story lines shaped the way I write in a significant way.
2. The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike. Just the first six books. I don’t like the new ones. The heroine is awesome, his writing style was so lean and mean, and I love how he didn’t back away from the tough ending.
3. It’s a short story, but The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. My mom used to read that one to me as a bedtime story (which should probably say a lot about me). It gave me an obsession with the dark and strange.
4. The Handmaiden’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. I read it for the first time in sixth grade, and it was my introduction to feminist theory, as well as what later would become an extremely popular genre among teens: dystopian fiction.
5. Peter Pan. It becomes more meaningful as I grow older. The Peter Pan character as a psychopomp, and the way it addresses the concept of aging--it’s very profound.
If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why??
I would go a few hundred years into the future. I’m so curious about what’s to come.
And a fun one, what would you do if there was a zombie apocalypse?
My husband’s grandparents live a few miles from us at the top of an isolated hill. They have a basement full of canned Spam and shotguns. It would be easy to pick off zombies as they staggered up the road, and we could live on that nasty salted meat for at least a few months.
Feel free to add any social media links you have and anything else you felt I should have added to this interview.
I can be found on Facebook at http://facebook.com/authorsmreine. :)
Thanks for joining me and being a part of my blog!
Thank you for inviting me!