Hello Carissa thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.
First, I must say after reading the synopsis of Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds I am intrigued. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating this book?
I would say the most surprising thing about creating this book was the way the premise actually came to me. I had the idea for Awakening spring to mind in the early months of 2017, but the main plot (what my angels would need to accomplish) was actually much older. I don’t want to give anything away, but when you get to the main objective the angels are meant to “fix” – just know that idea sprang from a 20-something question I had about time travel and how that could play out in historical events.
Do you like creating science fiction books? What was the first science fiction book that grabbed your soul?
Honestly, I struggled in the past with sci-fi books. I have always been more of a fantasy or paranormal reader. I also like a lot of archaeology and mythical stuff mixed into my books. I think the reason I struggled with sci-fi books is because it’s been such a male dominated genre and the writing style has never worked for me. The closest thing that has is Joss Whedon’s Firefly – which of course, is a show and not a movie. However, I find that I DO love sci-fi and genre-bending sci-fi shows and movies, so my style of writing in sci-fi is a bit more cinematic. At least in my mind.
What was the most difficult thing about writing Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds?
I have grown up in a very conservative area of Minnesota. While I, myself, tend to be far more liberal, I am also acutely aware of the way things can be misconstrued. However, as someone who loves turning things on their heads and asking questions others may be leery to ask, I knew I had to write this novel in a way that answers the question – what if Jesus never existed?
In that, though, I had a fine line to tread. I wanted it to be feasible and remarkable, regardless of what religious affiliation you align with. I would like to say that I’ve done that successfully, because readers of all religious and spiritual affiliations have emailed me to say how surprised and awed they were by the weaving of this tale. (You have no idea how much of a relief that’s been! HA!)
What did you edit out of the book?
Originally, I thought I would deliver more straight forward ideas on which angel was which. But as I was going, I found it wasn’t necessary to say which one they were. Some of them are obvious, but other’s not so much. However, they all had their original archetype.
You are a freelance writer, indie author coach, the President of Lakes Area Writer Alliance, and the owner of your own business. When do you find the time to write?
I’ve found that when you want something bad enough, you make the time. Because I write a lot as part of my day-to-day routine, finding time really means treating my novels like any other project. I carve out time and make sure I hit my daily word-count goals. (Well, as close as humanly possible, anyway.) Most often, when I’m in novel writing mode, it means writing in them for the first hour or two of the day because my brain is fresh and I’m able to hammer it out pretty quickly. However, I have been known to play catch-up at the end of the day when necessary.
What’s one thing you could tell an aspiring author?
Don’t wait too long or get hung up on the process. As the President of a local writing alliance, I see it time and time again – people think they need to be an expert in writing or the topic they’re trying to write about before making a move. They spend years trying to perfect their work when really, you have to go through the entire life-cycle of writing and publishing a couple of times before it really sinks in and you get into your groove.
Which Authors have inspired you over the years, and what is it that drew you to them?
I love authors who twist the knife on stereotypical beliefs. My all-time favorite is obviously Joss Whedon (even though his writing is more for TV and movies). But I also love Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, Charlaine Harris, JK Rowling, and so many more. I have loved books since I was very young, so narrowing them down to the ones that would stand out most is so hard!
Is there anything you would like to add before we call it a day?
As I head into 2020, I’d love to mention that next year is pretty monumental for me. I’m in the process of making a run at the NYT Bestseller List with a brand-new series “The Windhaven Witches.” So if you like Awakening and would like to see what else I’m up to, I would be thrilled if you head over to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks to get a copy while the series is in preorder.
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