My wonderful friend and author Melka Stansah is back on this blog, this time with an author interview. Enjoy!
1 – Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I began to realise I wanted to be a writer when I was in primary school around grade 2 or 3. I and my best friend spent time after school in the school library. My love for reading then turned into a love for writing.
I started to imagine if I could write a story, what it would be. I borrowed an old typewriter from my Dad which at the end he gave to me as a gift and started typing my stories. Since then, I always knew that I want to be a writer.
2 – What inspires your writing?
Anything. Music mostly because I love music. It’s always that enchanting melody or inspiring lyrics that prompts me the question ‘what if’ that later develops into ideas for writing. Movies are another thing. Also, travel.
3 – How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on what the book is about, the materials and amount of research to put into. I sometimes come up with an idea for a book but during the brainstorming process, it does not develop further because of lacking in theme, further researches required and so on.
Then I have to put the idea aside until I can return with more materials, means the delay in writing the book. For my trilogy series, it took me a year for each book.
4 – What is the toughest criticism you’ve received as a writer?
So far, I haven’t received the criticism I fear the most (and I truly hope I will never receive one haha…).
That is the criticism that my story is boring and unoriginal. My main goal as a writer is to create something unique, get people excited and entertained with my stories.
While I indeed know I have so many things to learn as a writer so if the criticism is about my writing techniques, characters developments, levels of details, etc, even though it’s sometimes tough to take but I am grateful for all those feedback.
5 – What is the title (or working title) of your current manuscript and can you tell us a little bit about it? (this can be your book already out or one you are now working on)
The sequel of my young adult fantasy series is at the end of the editing process and will be out sometime in February or March. The series is ‘The Raven Trilogy’, the first book is ‘The First Journey’ and the upcoming sequel is titled ‘The Lantern Valley’.
I am currently also planning a new standalone novel which is still in the brainstorming process.
6 – What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
To start writing the first paragraph 😊
And editing. I’m totally not a big fan of editing.
7 – What is your process for writing? (eg linear, by scenes, by random chapters, do you plan/are you a pantser etc)
I would say I’m a bit of both planner and pantser. I usually start with brainstorming ideas which is listing down all the themes and materials I want in the book. This also comes with characterization where I create and develop the characters. Then I move on to plotting the storyline.
Up to this stage, I’m a planner.
When it comes to the actual writing, I become more like a pantser. I often end up with alternative plot or ending while I’m writing and I usually go along with it if I think that will make the result better.
I plan but it is always possible I would go far from the original plan including to rewrite some chapters if necessary.
8 – How do you make time to write?
I always make time during weekends to write because that’s the only time I have. Unless there is a specific writing project, I would make time after work for one or two hours to write.
9 – Would you ever want to see your book as a movie?
Yes, definitely 😊
10 – How do you market yourself and your brand?
I don’t have any specific platforms to do so.
Social media is one thing. But from my personal experiences so far and knowing myself as a non-technology savvy type of person, I feel the best way to market myself and my brand is to write as much as I can and put my writing into any writing competitions, open submissions and getting connected with writing/reading communities.
11 – Tell us something you do to get the creativity flowing
Reading, listening to music, keeping myself updated with films, TV series, art projects and travelling.
12 – What advice would you give to new writers?
My favourite quote of all time.
It is the quote for artists, but I think it also applies to us as writers. We are all creative-minded alike. 😊
“A true artist should not try to be number one, but to be unique.” (Robert Lepage)
The Raven Trilogy: The First Journey
Raven has lived as an outcast his entire life. When secrets are revealed to him, his world is turned upside down. No mother, no father, he now stands alone.
His quest for revenge leads him on a path beyond his wildest dream.
Filled with self-discovery, love and heartache – this book will be sure to make you laugh and cry. Will Raven find the answer he is looking for?
Check out Melka’s earlier guest post – Why do I write?
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Big thanks to the lovely Melka for giving up her time to contribute to this blog.
Please check out her links and leave any questions or comments for Melka, on this blog.
I’ll be back on Friday, see you then!