Crystal and I met years ago on a website called www.textnovel.com. The website was set up for new and indie authors to post their novels and get feed back. It also hosts an annual contest for a contract. As soon as I read the first chapter of Supernova on Textnovel, I was hooked and knew I’d love Crystal. We hooked up on facebook and have been fast friends ever since. We both just happened to sign contracts with Astraea Press this year, and Crystal bestowed the pleasure of critquing her work on me.
As you probably know I suffer from ADD, in a bad way. A book has to really grab my attention for me to finish it. If you see a five star review on a book from me, then the book earned it. I give Supernova those fives stars. I was attached and could relate to the characters right away, even though the premise of the novel is fantasy. I hope you enjoy my interview with her and please check her out on FB, Astraea Press and Twitter. Her book will be released in August 2011, so keep an eye out and buy this one!
When did you start writing and what inspired you to write?
Crystal: Well, I’ve loved to write since I was a little girl. I still have some of my stories from back in the day. My first big one that I was proud of was about farm animals. LOL I
think it was in 5th grade I decided I wanted to write screenplays. I went through that phase
for a few years, wrote a few, and even tried to get an agent in the 7th grade, but of course nothing came of it. LOL
My first year of high school, I joined the drama club and instantly fell in love with acting. Writing was put on the backburner, but it was still present. After I graduated I tried to pursue my dream of acting, but it didn’t work out too much. ;- ) I tried writing
a screen play again and submitted to probably five million places. I kept getting told I was “too wordy” for screenplays. After failing at that for a while, I developed the dreaded writer’s block for years. It wasn’t until after I read the Twilight books did I feel the need to write again.
So, I give credit to Stephenie Meyer for writing four fabulous books, which I’m in love with, for getting me back out there AND to all the people who said my screenplays were too wordy. I guess books were the ticket all along! ;- )
You have very unique names in Supernova. Where do you come up with
your names for characters? Do their names influence their personalities?
Crystal: Yeah, I totally love my names in the book. Evania was almost going to be called Layla, because I love the name. Then I decided, if I was really going to dedicate my time to writing it, I couldn’t just pick random names. I wanted them to mean something. So where does one go to find out the meaning of a name? A baby name website of course! :- ) I picked http://www.baby-names-and-stuff.com/. It helped out tremendously! With most of the characters, I looked up meanings, not names first. With Evania, I looked up fighter and when I saw it, I instantly fell in love. Desmond’s name was fate actually. I don’t know why, but in the back of my mind, I always knew Desmond would be named Desmond. When I looked it up on the site, it didn’t really give me a meaning, but it originated from Ireland. I kept looking until I found out it meant “gracious defender”. Pretty perfect. :- ) That’s how I did all the names in the book, except for a few. The only two personalities I would say are influenced by their names are Alec and Gedeon. I have more detailed descriptions of all of the names on my website.
Is Supernova Part of a series?
Crystal: It absolutely is. :- ) I call it The Supernova Saga. There are four books in the series, which have been completed and are in the editing phase. All four took me exactly a year to write.
Was Supernova your first novel?
Crystal: Yep, it was, but my first writing expedition, no. That’d be my screenplays, collecting dust upstairs. ;- )
Was any of the story drawn from real life experiences?
Crystal: I wish I had a Desmond in my life! LOL No, it’s truly all fiction. It’s
funny though, my mom was going to read Supernova, got to the third page, found
out Evania had a drug problem, and then called me. “Do you have something you want to tell me, Crystal?” LOL I said, “It’s not a biography, Mom.”
I totally understand, my dad call me Jess after my first heroin for weeks. Do you plan to write books other than Supernova and it’s sequels?
Crystal: Yes, absolutely! I started a book called Black Dawn back in January. It’s another Urban Fantasy Romance. Also, there’s one called Without Hesitation I started a few years
back. I bounced around writing it, so right now it makes no sense, but I’m sure I’ll get back to it one day. I have lots of ideas for other books too, plus I want to make one of my screenplays, Because of You, into book form as well.
How did you find your publisher and what made you choose them?
Crystal: My good friend, fellow author, and writing Mama, Monique O’Connor James suggested them. Love ya, lady! She had gotten signed with Astraea Press and I found out through Facebook. I messaged her to tell her congrats and we got to talking. I told her about this other publisher I was waiting to hear back from and she told me about Astraea so I figured why not. :- ) I submitted, then a few days later, Monique said I should email Stephanie Taylor, the Editor in Chief of Astraea, and tell her to hold off on my submission because she was going to help me with editing Supernova and whatnot. We got to work on that, then I received an email from Stephanie a few days later saying she had told her reader to wait on my book, but the reader must not have gotten the message because she read it and loved it! :- ) She attached the contract with the good news. I got the email at work, cried happy tears, then had to man up and get my work done. ;- )
Any crazy quirks in your writing process?
Cyrstal: LOL Oh, yes. I can write anywhere, and I mean anywhere. I have a spare room with a desk and all that, but I rarely use it. I wrote most of Supernova from my bed, but
I’ve also written in every room in my house, at my mom’s, sister’s, friend’s, airplanes, airports, laundry mat, and of course, in the bathroom. LOL I’ve written some pretty profound stuff sitting on the toilet. I also have to have something on while I write. I can’t write in the dead silence. Usually I have the fan on or television turned down low. And I have to be doing something else as well. I’ll have Facebook open, and check that randomly between sentences. I’ll be like, “Okay, you two kick each other’s butts for a moment, while I comment on this status.” LOL True story. Also, whenever I knew I had a big, emotional scene coming up, I’d talk it out to myself in my car. I’d pretend I was Evania or whoever and literally go through the emotions, crying, yelling, and all that fun stuff. LOL When I did it at home, my cat stared at me like I was insane. With everything she had to put up with for the year I wrote the books, the last one will be dedicated to her. :- )
If you could have dinner with one of your characters who would it be
Crystal: Desmond, hands down. He is one hot hunk of man. Plus he can cook and I
can’t so I’d request some home cooking. ;- ) And with all his travels, I’m sure he has plenty of stories to tell.
What kind of music do you listen to while writing?
Crystal: I don’t listen to music while I’m writing, but I have a crap ton of
songs that inspired Supernova. I like the hard, new rock kind of stuff. Some
of my favorite bands are Shinedown, Skillet, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days
Grace, and Red.
Hope you enjoyed the interview. Check out the blurb below and a contact info for Crystal.
“I will show you the possible in a world of impossible.”
Everyone is born for a purpose, and for Evania Laylen, that vocation is
about to make itself known. Guilt ridden
after the death of her parents, Evania sinks into a deep depression and serious
drug addiction. Giving up, she’s ready
to say goodbye until the enigmatic Desmond Kane enters and shows her the life
she was born to live. Thrust into a
secret, action-packed world of good versus evil, Evania becomes faced with a
choice: Embrace the new, meaningful life where epic love begins, or follow
through with the morbid plan of being with her parents again.
The first story I ever wrote was about farm animals. . . I was eight. With no real training in the writing area, I’m a work in progress, learning as I go, and am just fine with it.
:- ) I live in Southeastern Ohio with my old lady cat, Princess. Until I strike it big, I’m a restaurant manager, who can’t cook at home, and is obsessed with Arizona Green Tea, string cheese, and the color orange. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve changed what I want to be when I “grow up”, but for the first time in my life, I know what I want, and I won’t give up until I get it.
Contact Crystal at:
facebook fanpage – http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Supernova-Saga/180936018622508