April 5, 2012

interview with the author of 'children of the gods'

I'm pleased to welcome Monica Millard, author of Children of the Gods, to the blog, today, to talk about writing, inspiration and her plans for the future.

(Read my review of Children of the Gods here. Read an excerpt here.)

Change the Word: How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Monica Millard: Music always inspires images and sometimes whole scenes.  The original spark for Children of the Gods came while listening to a song from Deep Forest while waiting to pick my friend up from the airport.  The song brought to mind a barefooted woman in a long skirt dancing around a fire.  It felt like what she and the people around her were doing was forbidden, a rebellion of sorts.  I wanted to know more about it, and that’s really where I think writing comes from.  Asking yourself questions.  What would happen if?

CTW: What kind of planning do you do before writing your stories?
MM: I’m not the type of writer who does outlines or organizes my thoughts on paper.  I need to know how the story ends.  I have to have a destination in order to begin.  Usually I also have a general story arc in my head but discovering the details as I go is the best part of writing.  It’s the reason I love it so much.

CTW: What is the writing process like?
MM: Eek, this is one of those open ended questions that can totally be interpreted a bazillion different ways. (that’s my word of the month – bazillion)  I’m gonna hit it from two angles – For me – My Zune, preferably after a period of uninterrupted thinking/daydreaming such as morning commute, shower, run on the treadmill, then let all that inspiration spill out onto the page. Like I said above, writing a novel is like discovering a world no one else has ever seen before or learning.  My characters are always doing things I didn’t expect.  You ask yourself questions and writing is a way of working out the answers.

CTW: What is the best lesson you have learned in your writing career?
MM: That is a hard one that I had to think about for a bit.  The best lesson I’ve learned is to give yourself time to mull over any suggestions or criticism whether it seems constructive or hurtful.  Your initial reaction might be hurt or anger, but if you give yourself a little distance often you can pull some good out of any of it.  I consider this the best lesson because it applies to both writing and life. (My boyfriend should be grateful to that mean agent who said not so nice things about my first query letter and many of my critique buddies.)

What advice you can give to aspiring authors?
MM: The best piece of advice I can give aspiring authors is get a critique group, or at least one or two good critique buddies/beta readers.  This is a two-fold learning experience.  Getting feedback on your work is solid gold but what you learn from critiquing other people’s work is invaluable.

CTW: Who are your favorite authors?
MM: I’m the type of person who likes the new stuff.  New music, new movies, new books and my favorites are what I’m reading or have read recently.  That said C.S. Lewis helped foster my love of reading by giving voice and shape to fantasy creatures of my daydreams. Sometimes it’s still a rude awakening to find that the world isn’t anything like the ones Octavia Butler created.  Peirs Anthony caused me to sleep with my bedroom light on when nothing else could.  More recently, I will always be at the store waiting the day anything new is released by Patrick Ness.  Lucy Christopher’s Stolen is one I still think about.  Kathleen Duey is not only an amazing author but such a wonderful person.  Her YA novels Skin Hunger and Sacred Scars are amazing.  I can’t wait for the third of the trilogy.  I’ve learned A LOT from her.

CTW: What's next for you?
MM: I’m currently writing a Young Adult Shifter Romance named A Tail of Stars. But the next thing I’ll be publishing is the second novel I wrote.  The Fall is a paranormal romance about a girl who is trying to navigate the normal troubles of being a teen while dealing with the added issues that come from her parents taking in foster children, runaways and teens the system has failed.

CTW: Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you or your work?

MM: I hula hoop, ran my first triathlon last summer, have been in a place where the sun rose and set all within a 5 minute period, and I have webbed toes. On a serious note: Children of the Gods is light Science Fiction with an emphasis on the characters.  If you are looking for hard Sci-fi please keep in mind this is not that. Finally, I love hearing from readers, so drop me a line. 

Thanks for sharing these great tips, Monica. Have fun on the rest of your tour.

About the Author
Monica was born and raised in Alaska. She doesn’t own a dog sled team, but has worked in a place where there are buildings with caged exterior doors to keep employees from being eaten by polar bears.

She lives in Wasilla, Alaska with all her critters, some four legged and others that stand on two. She writes Science fiction, fantasy, and Paranormal for young adults.

Connect with Monica

Buy the Book

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Children-Gods-Chosen-Novel-ebook/dp/B006PZFWQ6/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1

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