Friday, July 23, 2021

Interview With Author Ceara Comeau

 Hello again- today's treat is a chat with up-and-coming author Ceara Comeau. 

Let's find out more about her and her work, including The King's Redemption.

Q. So how did this novel come to be? Was it envisioned from the start as a bigger canvas, or did it expand organically out of an idea? Please tell us a bit about the origin. 

A. This is the second book of a trilogy I have been writing. When I wrote the first book, I had every intention of keeping it a single book, but when I realized I left it on a cliffhanger…well, I couldn’t leave it like that. I knew there was more to the characters that I was writing.

Q. Did you start with the germ of an idea and start writing to see where it went, or did you map a good deal out in your head (or even outline) before crafting? 

A. Book 2 of the trilogy was mapped out rather thoroughly, although there were some areas where I wanted to see where the characters would take me. 

Q. What do you feel is the main theme(s)?  Why do you feel this is important, and what would you want a reader to take away from reading this book? 

A. “The King’s Redemption” is just that—redemption. This theme is carried throughout the book in both the first and second half as there’s more than one character looking to be redeemed. There’s also a sense of unity in this book, especially the first half. I wanted the reader to take away from this book the idea that not only do opposites attract, but sometimes we need to work with people in our lives who are very different from us.

Q. What makes a good book or engaging story? 

A book that makes you want to know more about the world it’s describing. As a reader, I get really into the books I pick up to the point that I want to know every detail—even the mundane. I think these minute details are what makes the story come alive.

Q. Are there writers with similar themes to yours? Who are your influences (can be writers, or even artists, musicians, or others) and what is it about their work that attracts you? 

A. I’d like to compare my writing to that of J.K. Rowling, Orson Scott Card…a mixture of the two. But in recent years I’ve heard readers compare my writing to that of Robert Jordan’s, “Wheel of Time” series. 

Right off the bat, I have two very wonderful influences in my life. The first being my best friend from college, Stephanie. She is another writer who not only encourages me with everything I write, but she taught me new techniques. Any time I’m in a writing rut, I always go to her first. The second influence would be my cover designer, Matt Crafton. I met him at a Comic Con where he was displaying his artwork right next to me. I immediately knew we’d be not only friends, but great art partners. He takes his work to a whole new level and makes sure that every detail is perfect. I’m at that point in our partnership where I give him a vague idea and he knows EXACTLY what to do. Watching him make the covers on streaming really amps up my creative side.

Q. Is storytelling mostly entertainment, or does it serve other functions? Do you have particular goals other than telling a good story? 

A. My main goal with story telling is to get people out of the chaos of the world around them. Even if it’s for an hour or two (depending on how long it takes for them to read my books), I want them to experience a universe of magic that they’ve never encountered before.

Q. Any other goals you've set for yourself, professionally or personally? 

A. I’d like to try and get into screenplay writing. That’s something I’ve been working on with a film friend of mine. Recently, I’ve been taking my old stories and fleshing them out into screenplays. As of this interview, we are on the second draft of edits. I’m hoping the stories will turn into a series that leads up to my first sci-fi/fantasy book, “Memories of Chronosalis”.

Q. Some writers write fast and claim not to rewrite much. Do you do this, or painstakingly revise? When you send the book off to the publisher, are you happy with it, or just tired of it? 

A. I revise probably more than I write the actual book. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my writing to the point that I probably annoy my beta readers. In the back of my mind, when I send it off to be printed. I have to divorce myself from the mentality that, “Oh, but I could have re-written this!” This phrase is something that both my husband and beta readers are VERY familiar with. At the end of the day, I am fairly happy with the book when it’s finished, but I as a perfectionist, I always know I can do better and strive for that in the next book.

Q. Do you have good editors, and if so, how do they help you? Do they look for particular things? Do you have different people for different editing levels? 

A. I go through a group of beta readers before I send anything to my editor. They look for plot holes, character issues, and some of the big technical things that I overlook. Usually this can take up to a month (maybe more) of revisions. Then, I send it to my editor who will give me another set of fixes, but she explains her reasonings very well and I keep her suggestions on a list so I know for future books.

Q. If a writer came to you for advice, how would you help? 

A. I’d say that although it’s important to always be writing, don’t forget to give yourself a break. If you burn yourself out, it’s VERY difficult to get back into the groove of writing. Make sure to balance your writing life out with another hobby. It could be similar to writing or it could have nothing to do with it. But make sure you find a way to return to the writing world. It’s all about a “happy balance.”

Q. Stories can be told by using a different medium. Can you see your book as a film, audio, etc.? How would that alter the telling? 

A. I can see my books definitely being turned into a film at some point in the future. Writing screenplays of my older stories, I’ve seen that there are some things that can be put into film and other things that can’t. I think it does alter the story, but I feel that if I were to write my own screenplays for these films, that I’d have a say in how much it is altered.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Lowell Art Market

After a long drought, we finally had a live bookselling event! 

We were at the Lowell Art Market on Saturday the 17th, along with fellow SIPA members Sara Marks, Laura Fedolfi, and Kameryn James. That's the Society for Independent Publishers and Authors, and we're happy to be live again, and able to meet the public. 

Great day- the rain held off, and we had a steady stream of book buyers- so great to meet and make new fans! Sales were brisk, and we had a great time. 

We set up at Gage Park in Lowell, in the Robinson School Parking Lot. There was lots of other stuff to see and do, with over 40 vendors!

Hope to do more of these in the future!