NiFtY Author Seven N. Blue – Reprise!

Today we have with us Seven N. Blue, author of young adult fantasy The Lunatics. I met Seven through the (now disbanded) Sacramento Writers Group when we were the lone young adult fantasy writers, hashing out our first drafts and craving feedback to improve our writing. See how far Seven has come with that manuscript!

BH: What inspired you to write The Lunatics?

SNB: In four words: Defiance and a Boy.

BH: What are some of the things readers like most about The Lunatics?
SNB: Besides Christian Lunatic you mean ūüôā I think the one thing that comes up over and over again (and I know this is cliche but it’s what I keep getting), “I could not put the book down until the very end!” I think it’s because it’s sort of episodic in nature…like Alice in Wonderland, but a bit more connected. It’s¬†definitely¬†a ride.

BH: Which of the characters is most like you?

SNB: I think there’s a lot of Josephine in me…but then again…I think there’s a little bit of Josephine in all of us…doll!

BH: What are the benefits you experienced with self-publishing? What were the disadvantages? 

SNB: Advantages: I get to call the shots on story, title, marketing…etc. The disadvantages…I get to call the shots on story, title, marketing…etc. Well, you get the picture! But all in all…I love being an Indie Author.

BH: Any forthcoming sequels for The Lunatics?

SNB: Yes! I recently came up with the whole outline for the sequel of The Lunatics…but don’t plan to dive into it until later this year – as I am in the midst of my next project.

BH: A new project? Can you give us any details?  

SNB: I am currently revising a completed first draft. It’s a young adult novel…but not fantasy…in fact…it’s as real as it gets. Sort of Girl Interrupted meets Crank…but you know…funnier ūüôā

BH: What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received as a writer?

SNB: Butt. In. Chair. (just sit down and write)!

BH: Thanks for coming back for a second visit, Seven!
To find out more about Seven and to get your very own paperback or digital copy of The Lunatics, visit Seven’s website here!

First NiFtY Author Interview: Seven N. Blue

For my very first NiFtY (Not Famous…Yet!) Author Interview, I give you Seven N. Blue. I met Seven through the Sacramento Writer’s Group and we clicked immediately. Not only are we both highly intelligent, creative writer mamas, but we have written our young adult fantasy manuscripts in tandem. Seven has incredibly fascinating ideas as well as the ability to construct convincing and endearing characters. Without further introduction, here…she…is!

BH: Where do you get most of your ideas and inspiration?

SB: From music, music videos, and artwork. Sometimes video games. ¬†I don’t really play them, but there are some gorgeous video games out there (Still Life, Silent Hill) those are two of my favorite¬†aesthetically¬†speaking – I played Silent Hill just to watch the scenery. And music. ¬†I love music of almost any era. I consider music a time machine and a doorway to the imaginary world I spend a lot of time at.

BH: Do you have a set writing schedule, or are you more of a “when the mood hits” kind of girl?

SB: Must have a writing schedule. I have a toddler!

BH: Can you compare Myla, the main character in The Innocents, to anyone you know in real life?

SB: There is a little of me in Myla, but then again, there is a little of me in almost every character I write. I had an interesting teen life. I did things that, well, most teens would not.  Like getting married at 16, for example.

BH: Wow, 16! I never knew that about you. Are you willing to share anything about that?

SB: Yeah, it lasted 11 months! I was divorced  living on my own by the time I was seventeen.

BH: Can you share any details about your current WIP (work in progress)?

SB: Oohhh! That is top secret! At least right now!

BH: (Well, without spilling anything to the audience, I will whisper: I know a little bit about it, and trust me, it’s gonna be great.)

What does your writing workspace look like?

SB: This is funny. ¬†Right now I am sort of “in the hallway” of life. ¬†In “between places”. ¬†My Red Dell Laptop on a very cluttered desk (the desk is not mine, but the laptop is!).

BH: You’ve just finished a young adult (YA) novel, and your WIP is a YA novel. Any plans to write for other age groups?

SB: I don’t know. ¬†It’s hard to say. I feel like I will always be seventeen inside. Maybe I can do early twenties, like in five years…when I emotionally grow up!

BH: What is your favorite YA novel of all time?

SB: I am going to have to say two authors here, because they both blew me away. ¬†Definitely¬†The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. That book was amazing. ¬†Not just the story line but how incredible Collins was at juxtaposing the feelings in her characters. ¬†For example, the main character really liked her partner…a lot…he saved her life…but she had to kill him. I also love love love Holly Black and her bad girl protagonists. ¬†Valiant is one of my favorite books ever because of her¬†unforgettable¬†characters like Sketchy Dave and Lollipop and a plot where injecting fairy dust can make mortals perform magic – think of the¬†possibilities¬†for story with that plot!

BH: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

SB: When I was six and my father raved about a short story I wrote. ¬†I won every writing contest in elementary and junior high (I still have the trophies! Well, they’re in storage now while I am in the “hallway” of life).

BH: Are you currently seeking an agent’s representation? What are you looking for in an agent?

SB: I am looking for agent representation.  I just want a good agent who will do what they say, and I hope we both can have a lot of fun, be productive, and achieve our dreams together.

BH: What is the best advice anyone has given you with regards to your writing?

SB: Grow a thick skin, believe in your dreams and keep on writing. ¬†Don’t wait for inspiration, sit your butt in the chair and believe in the process of writing. It will develop, the ideas will come and they will amaze you.

BH: You’ve always struck me as a very positive, upbeat person when it comes to your writing. I think all aspiring novelists can use a bit of the positive in their lives–any tips on how to keep the hope alive, even when the query rejections try to smother it?

SB: This is funny, I am there right now.  I think I have received about thirty rejections so far, along with some great feedback from the ABNA reviewers (The Innocents made it to the top 5% Quarterfinals for 2010) to alleviate the pain.  I also have a partial out right now and I am waiting for feedback.  My advice would be to realize that it is a power greater than yourself who is writing through you, and you must keep going.  You will be tested to see how badly you want it, and you must persevere.  It is all part of the process Рgrowing a thick skin through rejection letters is what prepares us for when we are published and half the folks love us while the other half hates us.  I think rejections are all part of the process of becoming a professional published writer.  We all have to go through it and we should welcome them with open arms because all they is that we are that much closer to our dream agent, and our book deal.

BH: What is your experience like, balancing writing and motherhood?

SB: Wow.  Yeah, not easy.  I have a writing schedule I abide by.  I write no matter what during the allotted time.  When I am supposed to be spending time with my son, then I spend time with him wholeheartedly and not worry about my writing because I know I have a schedule.  A schedule is the only way I can function!

There you have them: wise words from my pal and critique “pardner” Seven. She might not be famous…YET, but with her talent and dedication, it won’t be long. Special thanks to Seven for being my very first interviewee!

On Seven’s website you can read everything from book reviews, to advice on writing, to musings about family and motherhood. And today, as an added bonus, she has interviewed me as well!