Letting us know that while working on a book, she starts with the ending and then works backwards, Ms McDonagh, who holds a BA Honours Degree in Drama and English Literature and a Diploma in Creative Writing, says once she puts pen to paper to begin writing a novel, she writes down the main characters first, then what they look like and what kind of personality they have. ‘I add other characters as I write. I do have a plotline into which I throw my characters, and then, I write how they react to the events that happen to them,’ she tells us, adding that this often means the storyline changes, depending on what her characters do. ‘I love writing like that as I have the freedom to change a story, yet I have the structure so that I can keep on track to a certain extent,’ she states.
Says Mr Elustondo, who has had the opportunity to travel to many countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, ‘I would say that in writing, as in anything else in life, nothing comes easy and requires perseverance, self-confidence, and believing in what you are doing. Learning from a set-back should be a powerful motivator to move forward and become successful. It requires a cool mind and self-searching to understand why sometimes things do not go as we expect and whether we truly believe in our goals. Keep writing and reading since this helps us hone our skills and discover new forms of expression.’
Author Annie Mick started writing in January of 2019 when the ideas and characters crafted in her imagination needed to find their way onto the page. In an exclusive interaction with The Literary Juggernaut, Ms Mick, who currently resides in the state of Colorado in the US, a place where the sunsets are colourful and the mountains make for a beautiful landscape, says when she starts working on a book, she always knows who her main characters will be and the initial plot, but as the plot unfolds, she happens to tweak it. ‘Or it ends up tweaking me!’ she exclaims.
Author Justin Monroe has always considered himself a writer. Even while struggling with dyslexia at Elementary School, the author, who, beyond a shadow of a doubt, proves to be a great source of inspiration, considered Creative Writing his favourite subject. ‘For my senior project at High School, I wrote my first full-length manuscript and did a research project on the publishing process. Back in 2002, the pathway to being published besides the self-publishing market was so difficult that I moved onto more practical career paths. However, throughout college and most of my life, I always found time to write, whether stories, blog posts or Dungeons and Dragons campaigns,’ he begins, speaking to The Literary Juggernaut in an exclusive interaction.
Having established herself as a professional writer, Ms Brett, who can also speak French albeit not very fluently, tells us that one of her works in progress deals with a young woman, a professional violinist, who was in a camp orchestra at Auschwitz. ‘She returns to Montreal in a borrowed body forty years later, meets Leonard Cohen in a café, and together they work to discover her mission. She is a folkloric character, an ibbur, a spirit who returns in corporeal form to do good in the world,’ she lets on.
Author Matthew P S Salinas first began writing in the fifth grade, which happened to be a time in his life when he adored reading stories of all kinds. This was also the time when he began dreaming of becoming an author one day. Speaking to The Literary Juggernaut in an exclusive interaction, the author and poet, who is currently working on releasing a sequel to his current work besides actively looking for a literary agent and traditional publisher to help him expand his audience and improve the quality of his work even more, says he primarily wrote poetry and was published in Visions Literary Magazine. ‘After that, I went on a hiatus for a while and eventually returned to my roots in poetry and my interest in horror fiction,’ the twenty-seven-year-old American author shares with us.
Going on to aver that writing is a career for him even if he does not make a living at it, Mr Link, who has studied Spanish, Japanese, and Brazilian Portuguese, tells us he thinks authors get too tied to the financial aspect of writing, and that’s not the bar he sets for his success. ‘I want to reach people so they’ll read my stories and enjoy them, not so I can quit my day job. That’s one of the reasons I love Kindle Unlimited. People can read me for free,’ he says.
Author Robert Stubblefield started writing around the age of ten. As a matter of fact, he began composing poems at the time as a way to cope with the loss of his grandmother. Speaking exclusively to The Literary Juggernaut, the twenty-eight-year-old American author and poet, who is currently residing in Maryland, the US, says poetry has always helped him express his feelings towards the world around him. Emphasising that he usually writes when he has the urge to pen down his thoughts and whenever he feels low, Mr Stubblefield, who holds a bachelor’s degree besides two master’s degrees, says he composes poetry so he may articulate the deepest of his thoughts in ways he cannot do when he happens to be speaking.
Author T C Weber is a morning person, and he begins his day with what he loves doing most: writing. In an exclusive email interaction with The Literary Juggernaut, Mr Weber, who is a member of Poets & Writers and the Maryland Writers Association, says when working on a novel, his goal is to write one scene each day, schedule permitting. ‘I ensure that I write something every morning, even if it’s just random thoughts or a few paragraphs. Long scenes may take several days,’ explains the author, who also knows to speak Spanish besides a bit of Russian and Japanese.
The author, who can speak a bit of Spanish and Welsh besides swearing in Punjabi, thanks to his Indian friends at school, also stresses while accepting the reality might be hard, if one does accept, then it will take the sting off the inevitable rejections and negative reviews that all authors get. ‘With rejections, try to be level-headed when they land. First consider whether they are sincere, or whether they are just a form rejection with little thought or substance behind them. If they are sincere, then study them carefully, take on board the comments and try to learn,’ he explains, adding, ‘This is especially important if those rejections go into specific detail about what did and didn’t work. Try and see this as honest advice from top people within the industry, which, in any other scenario, you would probably be paying good money for.’
Besides, Mr Frankel shares with us that being an English coach and editor, he has to make time for other essential activities as well. While he usually writes at night for a few hours and takes breaks every fifty minutes or so, we learn that during the day too, he gets interesting ideas, which he more often than not jots down immediately. ‘During the day, however, I teach ESL (English as a Second Language) besides editing other writers’ works. Then, I do my own thing, which is writing. When I want to relax, I listen to music, read, or try to sleep. Most writers are sleep deprived at one point or another, and sleep is imperative to being creative.’
Talking about ‘The Mayor’s Daughter’, which was self-published last November, Emma CrowE says it is a YA LGBTQ+ Contemporary Fiction novel. ‘It follows the lives of seventeen-year-olds Chloe Carp and Ash Martin, and the story alternates between the two POVs,’ states the author, who dwells in Wenatchee, a city in north-central Washington.
A former politician who has written op-eds for several large publications in the United States of America, the fourty-year-old, who is currently residing in the Rocky Mountain Area, the US, tells Stavyah Vatsarah, the roving editor at the Literary Express, in her response email that she worked full time until she got laid off in 2019. In the email, she writes about everything under the Sun – her published works, her hobbies, her family… Quite interestingly, she goes on to state that her first erotica entitled ‘Becoming Monsters’ has zero profanity because she is not too fond of using profane words. ‘If you can’t find something good to read, write it,’ she states.
Speaking about her published novella entitled ‘The Unbreakable Thread’ published last year on Amazon, Google Books, and Notion Press, Nissha says it is a romantic fiction in the new adult genre. ‘It is based on a Japanese legend. It deals with two souls who are destined to meet each other,’ she shares with us, clearly not willing to divulge more details.
The morning writer, whose list of favourite authors changes all the time, has had her short stories featured in the award-winning anthologies Elmwood Stories to Die For and Mayhem in Memphis as well. ‘My stories also appear in Low Down Dirty Vote VII, Stories Through the Ages: Baby Boomers Plus 2019,’ she says. We also learn that the online literary journal Backchannels published one of her stories in the spring and another story won second place in the online Short Storyland 2019 competition.
While becoming an author was not something the author had thought of in her childhood, she stresses that because she always possessed a vivid imagination, she could not but put pen to paper. ‘As many ideas constantly swim around my head, it is only natural for me to feel the only way to eliminate the thoughts is to write them down,’ she tells us.
While Mr Mana tries to keep a schedule, writing from 10 AM to 5 PM, with a short break for lunch and several pauses, he concedes that many unexpected events tend to shatter his schedule. ‘But that’s life I guess,’ he states. ‘Also, I sometimes just sit at the keyboard and write for the fun of it – without a deadline or a target market, or a contract. Especially when the going gets rough, and it happens, writing is a good way to clear the mind and stop worrying about those things you can’t control anyway,’ he adds.
She wrote the Christian superhero series entitled ‘Science, Meet God’ while being crippled for four years after having undergone knee surgery at the age of twenty four. ‘I was on the verge of paralysis before a doctor finally figured that slipping disks had severed my spinal cord in half. I had spinal surgery in 2014. The healing process was slow and painful, and I would like to thank Cliff for being the best nurse a girl could ever hope for,’ she shares with us.