What inspired you to write Eden's Root?
Honestly it is a weird thing. I haven't done much creative writing besides poetry and even that was back in college. So I am not certain. I know that my battle (and I am getting tired of characterizing it that way but I can't think of another) with ovarian cancer played a major role. I know that my research and subsequent beliefs regarding food played a major role. And I have been a science fiction fan since I was a kid. Somehow it all came together. I sat down and started thinking of this young girl, Fi and what would happen if she had to face the impossible. I sat down and I wrote three scenes as they played themselves in my mind. Fi and her companions began to introduce themselves to me and I found that I was hooked...on my own story.
How did you get into writing?
I always read and read and read when I was a kid. I ripped through books like they were food and I loved science fiction, young adult, and great stories of all kinds. My faves included Madeleine L'Engle, Kipling, Tolkein, and Asimov, a foursome that would make rather auspicious company in that special heaven where you get to talk to your favorite author for hours...
Do you have any must-haves while writing?
I feel like you have to let go and lose yourself in the story the same way that you do when you read. Love your characters, even your villains, and let yourself live in their world. I also tend to listen to music to help myself to tune out the world and get lost. Another option is to go for a run on the treadmill. When I run, I tend to disappear into my own mind and now I find stories and scenes playing for me while I run. Once I finish a run I sometimes sit and write for an hour to get it all out, even if I am still a sweaty mess.
When you’re not writing what do you enjoy doing?
I love being outdoors but tennis is my real obsession besides writing. I play and I watch and since my husband shares this love, we spend a lot of time thinking, talking, and playing tennis. It's one of the draws of living in Florida...there is a ton of tennis all the time.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
That is a tough one because I am not professionally published yet and I may never be or never try to be. We'll see. I chose the self-publishing route because I wanted to get my story out there and I didn't know anything about how to get representation or a publisher. I have learned a lot more about it now and it's interesting. It seems like there is a real shift going on in the publishing world. Self-published or indie (small publishing houses) work is on the rise and while I recognize that professional publishers will clean up your work and supposedly help you to make it more commercial, some folks are doing ok on their own. A lucky handful are making millions...
There is no guarantee that you'll make money writing no matter what route you take, so I'd say that what I've taken away from this experience is write first and figure out what to do with your writing second. If you feel compelled to write, it will come out of you. Once you've written something you can share it with others and get the feedback and responses you need. You may go the pro route and send out query letters to agents, you may go the self-publishing route like I did. Either way, if you enjoy the writing, that is the important part.
Who is your favourite author and what is it that you love about their work?
Just one author huh? Wow, that is tough. If I have to pick just one I think the one who influenced me most both to read and now eventually to write, is Madeleine L'Engle. I read A Wrinkle in Time when I was in fourth grade and it absolutely changed me. I was always a voracious reader, even then, but I'd never read anything that spoke to me individually with the force that her work did and still does. I think that I've read A Ring of Endless Light about a billion times. Her stories bring together a mix of adolescent confusion, well-researched science-fiction, and social and religious themes and questions and blends them into something which is at once magical and yet utterly believable at the same time.
Thanks a bunch Rachel, be on the lookout for my review of Eden's Root on Thursday. in the mean time you can check out any of these links: