Author Nicolas W King first started writing when he was thirteen years old. ‘And it was a bad X-Men fanfiction,’ laughs the writer, beginning his interaction with The Literary Juggernaut. Stating, nonetheless, that his first original story was a one-act play, which he gave to his theater teacher in high school, Nicholas, who works his day job in IT Support and tends to write at night, lets on with a smile, ‘She enjoyed it but could see I needed a lot more practice!’
A professional ballerina whose father is a classical philosopher, military historian, and writer and mother a teacher, dancer, and choreographer, Anne, we learn, also loves the high romanticism of Baroness Orczy and her Scarlet Pimpernel series. She tells us that ‘romances’ in the old-fashioned literary definition, the tales of nobility, loyalty, daring exploits, and the great love match between the hero and his wife make for stirring reading. ‘However, I plowed through them feverishly as a child; and I still re-read them today when the mood strikes,’ she lets on.
When asked if becoming an author was a conscious decision she made, Barbara, who is also a member of Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, says she was working as an actor, which gave her a lot of down time, and she needed an outlet to keep from worrying herself to death between jobs. ‘I have always loved reading, and I thought I would see if I could write a book. I mean, how hard could it be? It looks so easy! Well, it was not easy, but it kept me occupied. And I learned I prefer writing to acting, so I switched emphasis, which is good because as a woman of a certain age, my acting career was stalling out.’
Conceding that she writes when an idea or inspiration strikes, implying thus that she does not have a calendar per se, Cat, who considers herself an eternal learner, tells us that Bosco and the Bees is a work of love. ‘I have written, re-written, edited, teased, swapped and fused certain characters into each other. It’s been fun!’ she explains. ‘It started as a fun idea when my kids were younger and becoming avid readers. Bosco is a young fairy searching for his life’s path, something that speaks to his heart. It’s the kind of story I would have loved growing up,’ adds the writer, who admits working on the book has required a lot more discipline and dedication than ever before.
Author Ann Wuehler admits she has not been writing as much as she normally does. Speaking to The Literary Juggernaut in an exclusive interaction, the quinquagenarian, who is currently residing in Eastern Oregon, close to the Snake River and Hells Canyon, says she almost always sets herself on a schedule to break free of the general hopeless malaise coupled with impotent fury. ‘I try to start writing or doing something ‘writerly’, such as submissions, by nine every morning. I try to make it a habit,’ she begins, adding that she has lately been wanting to write, which she asserts is a good sign. ‘I have stayed up late into the night writing at times, of course. Or jumped into it nearly as soon as I woke up, eager to continue. It depends. On mood, on time, on if the project is due or just something for me,’ she explains.
When we ask Duane if there is anything he would like to tell budding writers who lose motivation if their works do not do well, he says that you never know what people will like or which of your works will strike a chord with someone. ‘Focus on the actual writing and on reading as much as you can. Keep learning and growing; never convince yourself that you’ve arrived and that everyone else needs to discover your greatness. Keep trying to improve your craft and find more readers. Network with other creatives and help promote their work so that you may learn from each other,’ he explains.
I have been writing since I was a child, and I won my first poetry competition when I was about eleven years old. I have never been particularly confident, however. As I grew older, I wrote less and kept whatever I wrote to myself. In 2012, while on maternity leave, I answered some adverts for content writers and quickly established a returning customer base. Rather than return to work, I decided to leave my full-time job. I, therefore, became self-employed and established my own writing company providing content writing services.
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.’