Thursday, 2 February 2012

Words with... Cege Smith


Thanks to Cege Smith for this interview... enjoy!

What is your day job or are you lucky enough to write for a living?

I work in sales and client services for the ‘day job’. It requires about 30-40% travel, so I am a road warrior by default. The great thing about that is that it allows me to do my writing at a time when I have to be away from my family already so I don’t feel guilty about taking that time for me.

What books have you written so far?

I have 1 published novel, Edge of Shadows, and 1 novella, The Soul Garden, published so far, but I have written 2 other novels as well. I am pretty focused on the paranormal genre in general and eventually will have covered all the major character types (ghosts, vampires, zombies, angels, witches) across my work. 

What works in progress do you have?

I have 2 different works in progress right now. I’m finalising the manuscript for Angeline’s Betrayal now, which I will be launching right before Valentine’s Day, and then I have also started on my next novel, Purgatory.

How long did it take you to write your book/s?

That’s a great question. I can write a first draft of a novel in about 40 hours, but editing takes at least that much time again. When you factor in ‘life’ with the writing, it probably takes me about 2 months to create a book that I feel comfortable releasing.

Do you write linear, or jump back and forth? Do you plan or write by the seat of your pants?

I am a total ‘by the seat of my pants’ kind of writer. Now I won’t say that I’ve never done some brainstorming and tried to sketch my plot out, but inevitably my characters end up doing what they want – not what I think they want – and so I just turn them loose.

Why do you write?

Writing is a very natural way for me to communicate. Since I was little, I have always been praised for my ability to craft cohesive thoughts using words, so I don’t know how NOT to write.

How long have you been writing?

I made the transition from being a reader to being a reader/writer when I was 12 years old. My very first novel attempt at that time was about two sisters who were left alone for the weekend and found out that their house was actually haunted.

Where and when do you write? Do you have set times?

I usually end up writing later in the evening (between 9pm-12am). If I am fortunate enough to be able to write during the day, there is a high degree of likelihood that I’m sitting on an airplane.

Which character from your books do you like most/are most like?

I naturally gravitate towards strong female protagonists, and I’d like to think that Ellie (from Edge of Shadows) and Angeline (from the upcoming Angeline’s Betrayal) both have some elements of me in them – good and bad!

What/who inspired you to write and still inspires you?

By far, the person/book that jumpstarted my writing was reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It was a 12-week, self-paced course and she teaches about healing and nurturing your creative spirit, and becoming the kind of artist you always wanted to be. It was because of this course that I began a daily writing practice of writing 3 longhand journal pages every day (she calls it the morning pages) and doing this catapulted my writing forward in an unreal way.

What do you think is the ideal recipe for a good novel or story?

It has to be a topic that interests you and characters that you can be passionate about because you will be spending a lot of time with them. If you don’t feel that spark for the story that’s going to keep you moving forward, you will end up frustrated.

Fave things: animal? food? drink? film? colour? band? song?

Miniature long-hair dachshunds, sushi, wine, Gone With the Wind, red, the composer Maurice Ravel, Invincible by Pat Benatar

You’re walking in the forest and you bump into an alien librarian from Mars. He wants five book recommendations from you…

Recent favourites:
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Who is your favourite character from any book and why?

Roland from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Roland was such a great character because of the singular obsession he had that drove him forward in his quest, and how fundamentally flawed he became because of it. Over the course of the books, you really felt like you got to know him and, honestly, I wept at the end – partially because of the way it ended, but also because I had reached the end of the journey with him.
 
Are you published or self-published? What is your experience?

I am self-published. So far it’s really early in my journey, but there is something quite heady about being in total control of your destiny. For me that’s a great thing, but it also puts an enormous amount of pressure on my shoulders alone. I think the rewards will outweigh the risks long-term.

How do you find the marketing experience? Any advice for other writers?

Be friendly and helpful, but don’t over-commit. Don’t forget who you are and why you started doing this to begin with.

Do you have a blog? What do you blog about?

I do have a blog (www.cegesmith.com) that I’ve been using primarily for my own book reviews at the moment. But I plan to morph that into a place where my fans can visit and have fun learning more about different paranormal elements that you hear about, but don’t really dig into (for example, ‘the witching hour’, which I use in Edge of Shadows). I consider myself a lifelong learner, so I thought that would be a way to connect readers with different elements of my stories and potentially also give me new material for future projects.

What question do you wish I’d asked and, of course, what is the answer?

Favourite drink to help the writing process? 12oz, skim, no-foam latte or a glass of white wine (depends on the time of day!).

Links:
Edge of Shadows:

Website:
 
Goodreads profile:  
 
 
 
 
 
 

6 comments:

  1. Very nice interview. I met Cege a couple of months ago when she reviewed my book. I enjoyed learning more about her.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Greta! I echo Vickie's sentiments below. :)

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  2. Thanks for visiting Greta! I can safely say that Greta's books are lovely too - I've read both :)

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  3. Love this interview. Not only is it informative about Cege Smith, her writing, and the writing process, but it so captures the satisfaction a writer gets through the creative process. It's like writing is an extension of us and vice versa, a reciprocal creative loop, going from the plane of inspiration to the writer to the reader, back to the writer.

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  4. Love this interview. Not only is it informative about Cege Smith, her writing, and the writing process, but it so captures the satisfaction a writer gets through the creative process. It's like writing is an extension of us and vice versa, a reciprocal creative loop, going from the plane of inspiration to the writer to the reader, back to the writer.

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  5. Thanks for commenting, Carl. Glad you enjoyed reading :)

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Thanks for commenting - have a kitty cool day! :)