This week’s guest post is an interview with the lovely I. L. Cruz, author of A Smuggler’s Path. Enjoy!
Q01 – When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
I was reading nursery rhymes to my then two-year-old daughter and my mind wandered (like it does when you’re reading the same stories to a kid over and over again) and I thought about all those fairy tale re-tellings that had become so popular.
And then I wondered why no one tried figuring out how to do the same with nursery rhymes.
That was the seed. Then I started scribbling an idea and continued while searching for a new job.
Then one day, while on vacation with my husband out of the blue I said, I think I want to write full time and he was so supportive (which shouldn’t have surprised me) that I took the plunge. That was seven years ago.
Q02 – Are there any authors who inspire you?
Right now, Elizabeth Hunter is high on my list. She’s an indie writer who has managed to make her writing a full-time profession.
Her books are fun and fresh as is her website. I also loved her advice for marketing—write more books because readers are more willing to take a chance on an unknown author if they know they’re not some fly-by-night.
Q03 – Did you get a lot of support when you told people you wanted to be a writer?
I wasn’t expecting it, but I did. My mother said it was about time after buying me so many journals and blank books for me as a kid.
She and my husband encouraged me to make the leap to indie publishing and my friends have been a huge help, too.
Q04 – Tell us a bit about what you are currently working on?
This will sound crazy, but I have a five-year plan for my writing. I have so many outlines for projects that I needed a way to get to as many as possible.
So, I’m working on the second novella in a paranormal romance series (The Cemetery Circle) about a woman who leaves the States for Scotland and discovers she’s been volunteered for a group that protects ghosts.
At the same time, I’m finishing another round of rewrites on the second book in my epic fantasy series (The Enchanted Path series) called A Noble’s Path.
It follows the path of a woman who is a smuggler of illegal magic, who has to contend with hiding her own magical powers, which would make her a target for other smuggler’s looking for the perfect score and the royal family, who would label her a war criminal.
Q05 – How do you stay motivated to write?
Honestly, I have to motivate myself not to write because if I don’t stop I’ll never make time for rewrites, marketing, and silly things like feeding my family.
Q06 – Do you plan your stories or just leap into the writing?
Both. Some stories come to me fully-formed. Other stories only come as a loose concept that emerges by making a seriously structured plan.
Q07 – Do you have a writing routine, if so tell us about it?
I only write on the weekdays when my daughter’s at school, which gives me more of a set routine. In the mornings I write new material first followed by any rewrites I need to do.
That gets me to about midday and then I work on short things like blog posts or other marketing ideas. Mondays are dedicated to my blog.
Q08 – What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
The last round of rewrites are torture. I never know if it’s really the last round. After that, it has to be marketing. It’s just like rewrites—have I done enough, too much, too little?
Q09 – What are your thoughts on Self Publishing vs Traditional Publishing?
I was concerned that no one would take me seriously if I published my own work.
Then I realized that while I do want family and friends to be proud of me (and I somehow equated that with a publishing deal with one of the big houses), they already were because I did something that most people talk about, but few really follow through with.
I’m proud of all I’ve learned and all I’ve done on my own.
Q10 – What is the best piece of advice you could give to new writers?
Professional editing is a must—so are beta readers and writer’s circles. But in the end, it’s your story and you know what you want to accomplish with it.
Learn to trust yourself and weed out what’s constructive and what’s subjective. That way, you avoid having a finished product that reads like a patchwork quilt.
Q11 – Are there any authors you would love to meet in person?
Most of them are dead sadly. Jane Austen, Samuel Clemence (Mark Twain), and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I think they would be great conversationalists.
Other authors, I feel as though I already know through their writing.
Q12 – Tells us why you love writing
This will sound cheesy and simplistic but writing makes me feel good. Writing a hard-fought passage and knowing I nailed it is the best win ever.
Sending work to my editor and getting a comment in the margins (that are covered in red) and in one tiny corner it says, I like this line, is a thrill. Writing gives me a sense of accomplishment that is all my own.
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About I. L. Cruz
I.L. Cruz decided to make writing her full-time career during the economic downturn in 2008.
Since then she’s used her BA in International Relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue.
When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much sci-fi and reads until her eyes cross.
She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.
The Cemetery Circle
The term holds no meaning for 30-year-old Cia, who thought a free vacation to Scotland would be the perfect escape from her troubles—not knowing it would commit her to a lifelong promise made centuries before her time.
The Cemetery Circle is a paranormal romance that begs the question—who would volunteer to live next to a graveyard?
The answer is—no one.
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Big thanks to I. L Cruz for being today’s guest. I hope you enjoyed her interview. Please take the time to check her links and if you have any questions for her, drop them in the comments below.