Today, fellow North Carolina author Karen Tjebben popped by to talk about SCINTILLATE, her new release. Enjoy!
1. When did you start writing?
I began journaling in high school. Back then, I never imagined I would write a novel. Novel writing was for people like Stephen King and Anne Rice, people who could create worlds and characters in their heads and then put those worlds down on paper. I, on the other hand, wrote about my feelings and the significant events in my life. I stopped journaling when I realized I would be mortified if anyone ever read my thoughts. So now, with an insane lapse of judgment, I’ve poured my heart and soul into my novel and sent it out into the world. I guess I should have written “Handle with Care” across the cover, but that might distract potential buyers.
2. Are you a pantser or a planner?
Can I be both? I plan the big picture. I know where I’m headed and have certain “landmarks” or events that move the story along. But my day to day writing is more of the pantser style. I also try to allow many different influences to affect my writing and the development of my characters. For example, I love music and always listen to it as I exercise. Certain songs transport me to a setting or event within my story. I love the emotion and passion that music inspires within listeners and hope that as I write, my readers will feel the passion and emotion of my characters. Writing as a pantser allows me to change my characters and their situations with very little effort. I don’t have to rethink my entire outline. I try to “channel” my characters as I write and allow them to guide me through the story.
3. Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
While I was writing Scintillate I sketched a very basic outline on notebook paper. I transferred that outline to my computer as I developed the story. When I wrote Scintillate, I had an end goal and certain events in mind, but the “filler” came to me as I wrote on a day to day basis. I wrote the rough draft pretty quickly because I sat down and wrote until I met my daily word goal. Now that I’m trying to deal with writing the sequel, social media, and the promotion of Scintillate, I find that I have to meet my daily quota before I allow myself to work on my social media connections or promotional needs; otherwise, the internet can be a black hole that sucks away at my writing time and prevents me from meeting my daily writing goals.
4. Which authors have influenced your work?
I’ve always enjoyed fantasy. As a child, I loved reading C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. As I read Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Anne Rice, I grew to enjoy the thrill of horror. Their books have interesting characters, witty dialogue, multiple themes to contemplate, and a great mixture of creepiness disguised as fantasy or science fiction grounded in reality. But the author who gave me the courage to begin writing my first novel is Stephenie Meyer. When I read her short bio. on her website, I realized that an author doesn’t have to have an outstanding resume to have the courage to begin writing. An author is someone with a story to tell and the desire and determination to give those words life. She opened my eyes to the possibility of giving my own stories life.
5. What are your plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?
Scintillate is the first book in the Scintillate Series. I plan to release the second book, Symbiosis, in September, 2014. I may begin working on a novella written from Nick’s or Alex’s point of view when I finish Symbiosis. A story from one of their perspectives would offer insight into the dynamics and interpersonal relationships between the main characters.
6. Any tips for new writers?
I guess this is stating the obvious, but you must read and write daily. Reading exposes you to other authors’ styles, and reading from a variety of genres allows you to learn from different writing techniques and skill sets. Writing each day keeps the story you’re working on fresh in your head, motivates you to keep churning out more pages, and helps you develop your craft.
7. Any tips for old writers?
Please, share your wisdom with the new authors that cross your path. There is so much to learn and the process can be overwhelming for new authors. Try to think back to when you were just beginning and how great the advice of experts was. So I’ll say it again, share your expertise and support the newbies.
Scintillate Synopsis: Kate Archer is instantly drawn to Nick, the new boy at school. He’s handsome, smart, and interested in her – perhaps a little too interested according to Kate’s brother. And it’s a good thing Nick is interested, or Kate would have died the night of the football game. Sure, Nick rescued Kate, but he can’t stop the inevitable. Kate is changing; she just doesn’t know it. She can’t explain the visions and sensations affecting her body, but she can enjoy the pleasure of Nick’s kiss – that is, until she learns the real reason he is with her. Betrayed by her genetics, Kate begins a metamorphosis that forces her to confront an unseen reality and claim her true destiny.
Scintillate is available in at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Smashwords.