#Interview: RJ Blain's advice to authors: 'Run!' #WitchAndWolf #NewRelease
RJ Blain is the author of the "Witch and Wolf" Book series and less than a month ago she celebrated the release of the 'Winter Wolf' Book 2 of the series.
RJ Blain kindly accepted to give me an interview. Make sure you go through the end and read RJ's fun advices for debut authors.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
"This is an interesting question, as there were several phases of ‘being a writer’ for me. My first phase was when I considered myself a writer simply on the virtue of enjoying writing. A hobbyist. This started in my teens. I wasn’t serious, and I had no intentions of doing anything with my writing. I just enjoyed telling stories to myself either in my computer or on notebook paper.
The second stage was when I started considering myself a novelist. This began when I was 19 or 20. I wasn’t very good at it, but I did complete a novel by the time I was 21. I guess that, in a way, did make me a novelist.
At the same time, I did become a professional writer for hire. I started working with a few firms for writing content for websites, including instructive material, employee handbooks, and technical manuals. I also edited websites as well. I think my most notable victory as a professional non-fiction author was penning collection of five non-fiction titles ghostwritten for my clients.
It wasn’t until two to three years ago I began considering myself a professional author of fiction—which corresponded to publishing my very first novel."
What inspires you to write your books?
"I enjoy writing. While some parts of the process drive me up a wall, it’s the type of work I can sit down and do for eight hours and feel like I could keep doing for many more hours the same day—and often, I do just that.
Inspiration is a difficult subject. Each and every book has a different inspiration, but nothing really inspires me to want to write the books—I love writing for the sake of writing, though I guess that can classify as inspiration.
Even if I didn’t have a good idea or some glorious inspiration for a book, I’d still try to write a novel anyway. Sometimes inspiration can be found simply in the act of sitting down and writing."
Do you have a specific writing style?
"I think every writer has their own style, and I’m no different. Describing what my style is, however, baffles me a bit. What is my style? I really couldn’t tell you. I just write. My editor says I have one, but you know? I write. Whatever style ends up on the page is what ends up on the page.
I don’t go out of my way anymore trying to find any specific style. When I first started, I was soooo worried about having a style. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t learn for many years that it’s a fruitless endeavor. An author’s style is directly tied to their writing skill and how thy use words.
So, I expect my style will change and develop as I learn more and more about the writing craft. Genre, subgenre, and point of view also make a huge difference in style. My first person style is quite different from my third person style. Even the characters change my style, because the style of a book is directly tied to how those characters see the world.
Style is something I don’t put much thought into any more."
What is your writing routine?
"My kingdom for a set writing schedule—and sleep schedule. I wish I could say I have a writing routine. I really don’t. I try to make one, but I spend so much of my time writing that it blurs together. At the end of the day, my routine is ‘sit down and write’ and hope I don’t forget to do things like eat, drink, and sleep.
I have caused suffering to myself due to dehydration, going a day or two without eating anything, and sleeping in ‘creative’ schedules all because I get caught up in work and forget these things should be done.
At least my creative sleeping schedule curbs my insomnia. I waste a lot less time now that I don’t toss and turn for hours on end—I only go to sleep when I simply can’t function any longer.
Is this healthy? Probably not… but it works for me.
And my poor husband has started to adapt to my very strange schedule."
Favourite books and favourite authors?
"So many books, so many series, so little time.
I’m going to showcase a current beloved book (and set of trilogies.) Enter the Fitz novels by Robin Hobb.
She numbers among the few authors who can make me cry like I’ve lost my favorite kitten, puppy, bird, spouse, and entire novel collection all at the same time.
The latest novel, Fool’s Assassin, broke me on three different occasions. I honestly do not know if I can re-read this volume of the book any time soon. It hurt me that much.
While I have a certain amount of confidence Fitz will survive the events of The Fitz and the Fool, I fear for the precious Fool each and every turn of the page. I adore the Fool almost as much as I adore Fitz.
I suspect by the time the series comes to an end, I’ll be a broken ruin of a fan.
Other favorites include Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris and Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series (particularly the older ones).
I may earn myself a certain amount of grief for this, but on the other end of the spectrum is Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice. I know many people adore the series, but I just don’t get it. I don’t enjoy those books."
What challenges do you have to face as an author?
"Being honest, I winced a bit that this question. Winter Wolf, in particular, was one horrid chain of challenges. I had editorial scheduling issues. I had to replace two editors during the process (they were both partially completed when they had to cease work on it for real life, personal reasons.)
The book itself was difficult and challenging to write.
It ended up far longer than I anticipated, too, which didn’t help matters any. There were a lot of behind the scene challenges, including issues preparing it for release, formatting issues, and… ugh. Just ugh. That’s all I can say.
But I persevered. Each book has issues and challenges, but Winter Wolf has been the worst of them for me. I’m a little relieved I’m on an open schedule with flexible deadlines for the next four novels."
Do you have any advice for other writers?
"The sarcastic so-and-so in me wants to simply hiss, “Run!” Writing is hard and it’s often a thankless task. If you’re looking for stable income, you’re not going to find it as a debut author unless you win the writing lottery. But if you stick with it, good things can happen.
And that, I guess, is my piece of advice: Stick with it. Treat yourself and your book like you’re an honest professional. Hire editors. Hire those who can help you hone your skills and become a writer readers want to love.
If you give up, you’ll never get anyway.
(Run while you can.)"
The Hunted Wizard
When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.
The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.
Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.
Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.
But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…
Available at Amazon iTunes BN Kobo
About the Author:
RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.