To celebrate the release of Emblazed, Connie L. Smith has taken some time out of her busy day to answer a few questions for us, but first check out some info on this new book of hers! If you haven't read Essenced, book one, yet, you can get it now for free on Amazon!
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal)
Date Published: February 24, 2014
After all the preparations, Nicholai’s warriors stand on the threshold of warfare, the demons entering the realm in battalions and the world unknowingly depending on the army’s success to continue intact. But the battle is only the beginning of deadly struggles, and the soldiers will soon realize how little they know, how many things are at stake, and how much they have to lose.
Love, hate, hope, despair, anguish, joy… The journey is a gauntlet of emotion and combat, threatening their resolve as much as their lives.
Will their training and ties be enough, or will the complications and the forthcoming evil forever cripple the world’s last hope of survival?
How long have you been writing?
--- I started writing songs actually when I was still in elementary school, but they were admittedly highly plagiarized. I was a kid, you know??? I did pretty well when it came to writing short stories and things in school, but mostly my non-school writing consisted of lyrics. There were some poems and a few short stories before I actually attempted to write novels, which I’ve been doing (or trying to do, early on) for the last… year and a half, maybe? A little over? It’s been a process I guess, changing over the years!
What inspired you to write Essenced?
--- I have a habit of reading books or watching movies (or TV shows), and having kind of a mental fanfiction going on in my head. I frequently interject characters into the storylines. Those characters might come from other sources, but sometimes they’re just mine. AJ was one of those characters, and a story sort of happened around her. Then it kept chasing me and nagging me until I decided to write it down.
When you first started writing Essenced, did you plan for it to be a series?
--- I did, yeah. I knew how book one would begin and end, and how the series as a whole would, more or less, end. The rest of it tended to be kind of learning as I went on occasion. Note: I’m not yet finished with book three :)
Was it more challenging to write the sequel?
--- Yes and no. Like I said, I knew how Essenced (book one) would begin and end. I even knew basically what the first five chapters would consist of. Book two was really unclear in spots. Even while writing it, things were still developing in my head, and there seemed to be more tension from that. Also, there’s pressure when it comes to a sequel. I want it to line up and push things along. I might actually be more nervous about parts of this book than I was with Essenced’s release. But, at the end of the day, having people waiting to read the story, having already liked the first piece of it, does give me a bit more confidence, and I definitely learned things over the last few months to make this a better project at first publish. Here’s hoping readers aren’t disappointed :)
What's a little something you can tell us about Emblazed?
--- I kind of see the entire trilogy in chunks. Essenced was getting to know characters, their preparations, and laying the groundwork. I feel like each book after will push the series farther and farther on a lot of levels – physical, emotional, mental. Things will get more intense as the story progresses. At least that’s my intention. Oh! And there’s a second romance in the story – not just AJ and Julius!
Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
--- I’d love to name a character and give you some incredibly awesome reasons for it, but the truth is I’m probably a combination of Bree and Greg – a short hermit :)
If your real life as a teenager was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main
character, be like?
--- *sigh* Ever heard of a curve-breaker? Valedictorian, 4.0, and way too quiet for her own good.
What book have you read too many times to count?
--- I don’t really read many books from cover to cover more than once. I’ll read parts here and there, but when I read a whole fiction book, it’s usually one that’s new for me.
What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
--- Ironically, some of the best advice I ever got about writing was from my brother.
“You’re not gonna write a perfect book.” I can be a perfectionist, but at a certain point I just have to let it go and hope that it does well. My BFFF (author Catherine Peace) has been trying to instill this into my head as well :)
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
--- I’ve had to do some research for world oddities, especially for book 3 of the series, so I’ve seen some crazy things that have happened around the globe. If I would’ve known this question would come up, I would’ve gladly done some link saving. Seriously. Weird stuff happens.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
--- Read, obviously. I’m pretty good at floral arrangements. Baking. I’m exciting, right?
Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all
--- Little things can come up when I write. For instance, Ray-Ray is obsessed with Wheel of Fortune, which definitely reminded me of one of my friends. A couple of the things that I’m thinking of that really reflect a conversation or event ended up being deleted, but they show up from time to time. Sadly though, I still don’t have fairy wings, and there’s no hot guy suddenly appearing in my life :)
To learn more about Connie L. Smith and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.