Thursday, November 1, 2012

INTERVIEW: Mireille Chester

Somewhere among my travels along the internet, I stumbled across Mirelle Chester and her work. I grabbed Crossover and even have a copy of Tyler's Story (that I will be reviewing as soon as I can), but it was actually her Angered Seasons series that I first tried. It's such a fun little series! I have reviewed books 1 and 2, with 3 on my ever increasing TBR list! Read on for some insight into her writing and other works. Loads of fun, this one is :-)

What got you started in writing?
I think it was mostly my love of getting lost in books. I’m a big fan of reading a story and forgetting where I am. Writing is the same but in a way, better. I get to make up where I want to go. It’s fantastic.

What inspires your stories?
So many things! Sometimes I have dreams and I wake up thinking, wow! That needs to be a story. Sometimes it’s just the idea of a character. I can picture him or her and it’s usually in a scene of sorts and I just know I have to see how it came to be. Other times it’s a conversation.

I’m not usually one for zombie stories, but I love your Angered Seasons series. How did you weave such a story and why release them as short novellas?
Angered Seasons is a good example of where ideas come from, actually. I was chatting with fellow author M.R. Merrick one day. We’re Canadian neighbors and we were talking about the weather. All of a sudden, I thought wouldn’t it be awesome if Mother Nature was an actual person and she was pissed at humans for destroying her planet and THAT was why the weather was all messed up… Deciding on having the evil sprites involved, well, that’s probably my undying love of epic fantasy. It’s my favorite genre and no matter how hard I try to write other stuff, my imagination always manages to slip something magical in the story.

The reason I decided to write it as a series of short stories was just to experiment. I’ve seen other authors do it and I thought I’d see what it was all about. Where it was fun to keep releasing books every month or two, I found that I’d lose my momentum while writing. I’d finish a volume and sort of peeter out. I definitely like writing full novels better.

Any plans on how long the series will be?
The series is four volumes long. The last one comes out October 31. This four volume set will strictly be ebooks. I am going to be releasing a complete version in ebook and paperback after Christmas and that one will have a surprise extra in it.

All of your stories have been set in a fantasy setting, except Angered Seasons. Is that because the story simply told itself that way, or did you want to try something different? Which are you more comfortable with, or are you loving both?
I’m loving both. I love to read all types of books. It doesn’t matter what it is, I’ll read it. Epic fantasy is definitely my favorite though and that’s probably why most of my stories are set in different worlds. As for Angered Seasons, having it set in my home town was just kind of a joke. It was fun to destroy it. :D

Do you have any plans for other genres? What can we look forward to?
Well, I have a new Middle Grade series coming out around Christmas time. It is a fantasy about a girl who goes to sleep and wakes up in the world of the book she was reading.

My Nanowrimo novel this year is the second book in the YA series Tales of Quelondain. So, it’s a fantasy with shifters and magic.

I also have the last two books in the Chael’s Luck series to write, also fantasy, and a new adult trilogy set in Quelondain.

Starting in January, though, I am going to get going on a post-apocalyptic story. No magic, no creatures… none of my usual. I’m pretty excited for that one. It’s already all outlined, which is rare for me. I’m usually a spontaneous kind of writer.

Your short stories, are they integral to your series, or can they be read as standalones or skipped between novels?
They are stand alones for the most part. The Status Shorts are just based on Facebook statuses. You know, those ones where you pick eight friends from your friends list and plop them into the status. The Quelondain Shorts are all stories based in Quelondain. You can read them before, after, during, it doesn’t really matter. They’re little stories that sort of fill in the blanks but don’t give away anything from the novels.

What made you release your short stories for free?
I think it’s a good way to get people to check out my work. I’m not even close to a well-known name and a lot of people are leery about starting a new author. If it’s free, they’re more likely to pick it up. I put Crossover (the first novel in The Chosen One Trilogy) for free for the same reasons. It’ been a good move I think.

Why go the indie publishing route? How are you received in the reading community at large as an indie author?
What’s funny is that I was first a traditionally published author. The Chosen One Trilogy is published by Baico Publishing. I’m on a three year contract with them. They’ve been great and I’ve learned a lot from them, but as I became more knowledgeable about the publishing world, it just made more sense to go indie. Every book written after the trilogy is self-pubbed. Because Baico is a small press, I took care of finding editors, covers, did the marketing, and had to publish my own ebooks… If I’m going to do all the work, I want my name on the published by part of the book. Lol Who knows. Maybe one day I’ll take one of my stories and see if a big publisher wants it. At this time, I’ve very happy with being my own boss and doing absolutely everything myself. Only time will tell.

Who’s your favorite author and how have they influenced your writing?
There are so many I have a hard time picking just one, so I’ll name a few. Diana Gabaldon: She was my eye opener that an author can throw multiple genres together. Her Outlander series is listed under Historical, Romance, Fantasy, Drama… it’s amazing.

JRR Tolkien: He’s the king of Epic Fantasy.

Stephen King: I always remember this scene where someone gets hit in the head and he describes how the brains are showing. His descriptions are phenomenal.

Michel Faber: He’s so great. He never ends a story how you want him to. I have a story I know I’ll end that way, I’m just not brave enough to do it yet. Lol

The list just goes on and on. :D

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write. Write what you love, write everything that pops into your head. Do NOT listen to those who tell you it’s a stupid idea, that you’ll never make it. If that’s your dream, then do it. Get used to being criticized. (trust me, everyone’s a critic). Edit. Edit. Edit. Find other authors on facebook and twitter. Ask questions if you’re not sure about something. Enjoy yourself. Have fun. Being an author is the BEST job in the world. :D

Anything else you’d like to share? Maybe some fun facts about yourself?
Facts about me…

I’m a loner. I’m happy being home by myself with my three kids. I’m kind of like a single mom; my hubby is a truck driver so he’s gone, well, always.

I talk to myself. A lot.

I have a bad habit of being in the middle of a conversation with someone and just zoning out to think about the story I’m working on. The people who know me are used to it. Other people tend to think I’m rude. I really try not to do it.

I love winter, minus forties celcius and all. I’ll take winter over summer any day. I’m addicted to McDonalds. I could eat it every day.

Right now, I’m living my dream. Life is fantastic. If you have a dream, chase it. It’s not easy. God knows I’m years away from achieving what I want, but it is worth it.

Thanks for having me on here, Buffy!

I'm a wife, mother, and author. I love to get lost in my own little world and tend to do it more often than some people might consider normal... but that's ok. This is my little place where I can talk about books I like, the ones I've written and the ones I'm working on. I tend to write little stories about some of the things that happen to me (these usually involve my children, or as I like to call them, my mini spawns of satan). If you feel like a good chuckle, a cry, or a sigh, then come along and join us. :D

Find me here.

Angered Seasons Vol 1 Available Now!

Those nice days when the snow is melting but it should be freezing out… we’re seeing more and more of them. Everyone laughs and says it will come back to bite us in the ass later. All those freak storms, tornadoes, and earthquakes happening at odd times of the year or in parts of the world they’ve never occurred before… well, you’ve all heard the comments about global warming and how these are Mother Nature’s way of telling us we’re destroying the planet. Plagues, pandemics, natural disasters; all of these a warning from Her that none of us seem to take seriously. What we didn’t know was that She had a breaking point. And nothing could have prepared human kind for what she had in store for us…

Gabby and Lane have been friends for the past twenty seven years and have been through thick and thin together. Can they survive what seems to be the end of the world as they know it?

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