Interview with Indie Author Charlie Daye

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I want to be a paid author. So do most of the people reading my blog I’m betting. So why not learn from the people who are already out there doing it? So I sent Charlie Daye a bunch of questions in the hopes of sucking all the awesome knowledge out of her Indie heart.

Charlie Daye began writing at the tender age of thirteen. With an obsession for romance, happy endings and the supernatural she delves into your greatest fantasies and worst nightmares. She will have you laughing, crying, falling in love and getting angry. She will always give you a HEA but getting there is the journey worth taking. Charlie Daye has authored several Paranormal Romance novels including The Hunter Series, Breeders and Request. Going where her muse takes her, Charlie has ventured out of the steamy romantic PNR with her new fantasy series Children of Kria.

KK: What is your process for coming up with novel ideas?

CD: Truthfully, I don’t really have a process. Most of the time, my idea come to me because of something I’ve seen or experienced. And every once in a while it will be because of something crazy a friend has done.

KK: How has your life and personal experiences influenced the creation of your novels?

CD: It’s influenced it greatly. About 50% of my characters are based on people I know and about 25% of the stories come from real life experiences.

KK: So you do base your characters on people in your life?

CD: Absolutely.

KK: How long did it take you to complete your first full length novel?

CD: 3 Months

KK: How many drafts do you typically create?

CD: Just one. I don’t see the need in duplicating my work repeatedly.

KK: When did you decide to become an author? Was there a big ‘Eureka’ moment or was it more of a subtle stumbling into it?

CD: *Laughs* It’s something that just kind of happened, I guess. I’ve been writing poetry and short stories since I was a kid but the idea for my first full length novel came when I was working in a cemetery. I thought it would be cool to write a story about a haunted house and so The House was born.

KK: What made you decide to go Indie?

CD: The thought of signing my rights away to a large corporation for any length of time is unnerving to me. My books are like my children, so it just made sense to keep then with me. Not only that but I’m obsessively picky about the books covers which you don’t really get a say in with most publishers. I think my cover artist secretly hates me! *Snickers*

KK: What part do you think social media (twitter, Facebook…) plays in marketing your books?

CD: I think FB and Twitter are great for getting the word out about my books but think it’s an even better option for my fans and readers to connect with me. It allows them to ask questions or simply converse back and forth with myself or other fans. And yes, I do respond personally to ever post and email I receive.

KK: What advice do you give to new authors starting out or older authors who want to go it alone and publish on Kindle, Nook and other independents?

CD: For the newbies… Keep it up. It’s hard work but if you have the drive it’ll pay off in the end. Just make sure you have honest beta readers and a great editor. For the older authors… you guys know how hard it was to get started and luckily have had some assistance in getting your name out there. As in indie, all that work is now on you so be prepared for tons of leg work.

KK: Where do you write? Do you have a designated area?

CD: I write in what I refer to as my dungeon. LOL. My office located in the basement of my house.

KK: What sustains you through a Fantasy series? Do you plan a story arc or do you wing it?

CD: I write on the fly. I wait for the story starts to bubble over then sit down and right until every last detail is on paper.

KK: What made you choose fantasy as your genre?

CD: Fantasy is actually new to me. Most of my fans are used to my PNR (Paranormal Romance) novels. But when I started writing my first Children of Kria novel, it took on a life of its own which took me from the PNR world right into the world of Fantasy. It’s been a little nerve wracking and am I bit terrified but it’s a new adventure I can’t wait to start.

KK: What is the new series about?

CD: Children of Kria was something I came up with while having a bad day. And since killing people in today’s society is highly frowned upon, I decided to create a world of immortal assassins that seek justice for those who would never get it on their own. Each story focuses on a different character in the world of Kriation and each character responds to a different kind of heart ache. Let’s take the first three books in the series, for example… Fury (Book 1) responds to the betrayal of a man to a woman, Raithe (Book 2) responds to rape, Vengeance (Book 3) responds to slavery and so on.

The stories will differ from character to character. In some instances you made read about how the assassins came to Kriation and in other instances you may read about a hunt they go after already being a Child o Kria and in some instances you’ll get both. The books are action packed thrill rides that are dark and deadly. They deal with issues that some may consider taboo or just downright disturbing.

This will be a new writing style for my current fans who are used to my paranormal romance novels. You will find no romance in these books since they are considered fantasy novels, however, I’ll still give your happily ever after.

KK: How do you approach writing? Do you set a time to write each day or do you write when the mood strikes? Wear funny hats? Play music?

CD: I write when the mood strikes me. I find if I try and write when I’m not in the mood, the story turns out horrible and I have to delete everything I wrote. So, for me, it makes sense to wait.

Check out a sample from Charlie Daye’s new series Children of Kria:

 Whatever was left of my heart had just been destroyed. It was bad enough knowing he married that horrid woman but it was something else entirely when I had to listen to them make out over the phone. The pain in my chest became so intense that I couldn’t breathe. I sat up and reached for my shot glass and the bottle of vodka that was currently sitting on my nightstand. I looked at the glass briefly before tossing it aside and drinking straight from the bottle. I just wanted the pain to stop. I wanted my life to go back to the way it was before I got involved with Gyan. I sobbed. Who was I kidding? I wanted Gyan back. I wanted him so much that the thought of living another day without him had me pulling my pocket knife out of my drawer and bringing it with me to bed. I began to mindlessly slide the blade across my arm. With every slice, the pain of my broken heart began to lessen. I sliced until I couldn’t lift my arm to hold the knife anymore. I slumped over on my bed and stared blankly at the puddle of blood that saturated my floor. A tear rolled down my cheek as the pain in my chest once again reared its ugly head. I closed my eyes and pleaded to the darkness, “Please make the pain go away.” As the darkness began to close in and the pain began to fade, a bright light began to take shape. It was iridescent in color and seemed to twist and turn until a very distinct shape took form. It was a woman with bright red hair and a white gown that flowed around her body like mist. Here eyes were the color of the raging sea during a storm. She lifted me up and cradled me in her arms like a baby. It was the most comforting feeling in the world. I smiled weakly, “Are you an angel?” She smiled and brushed a piece of my long dark hair away from my face, “No child. I am Kria.” Synop: I am a seeker of vengeance; A mender of broken hearts. I respond to the siren call of loneliness and despair. I was once a human woman; Very much like you; Until my heart was destroyed by the man I loved. My only purpose now is to avenge those that have been betrayed. I am Fury… And hell has nothing on me. Tag: Welcome to Kriation, where the brokenhearted come to seek the justice society can never give them.

Author Pic

If you’d like to get in contact with Charlie Daye, check her out on Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads and on her website.

Creative Procrastination?

You would think this outline is the manuscript by how slowly it is coming together. Tonight I managed to get chapters 5-7 down. I think that this is a cause for jubilation. But it almost didn’t happen.

I wrote out chapter 5 and got stuck by the need to procrastinate. But! I decided to procrastinate by writing a short story. Yep. So does it really count as procrastination if I was in fact writing and being creative? Well yes. Mostly because I was avoiding writing by doing other writing. But it did get me started on a nice science fiction story. Once I finish and polish it, I’ll submit it. If/when it gets accepted, it will build my street cred, right? Then when I go to the BBC with my novel, I will be a recently published author. See how I BS this? See how even now I could be outlining more chapters and resort to blogging to avoid it?

I fear organization. I fear it. But only creatively.

I have some interviews with other writers coming up. I’m excited to suck the writing knowledge from their marrow and make it my own. Mwaha ha ha ha. So there’s that to look forward to. Okay, enough… gotta get the outline done. The dang book is only 13-14 chapters and I’m at 7, the halfway mark.

Outlines Are Boring!

I just got rejected… from a job interview. My story is still sitting in the received bin over at Analog, no worries there. But the job thing was a bummer. I like to eat food when I’m writing. But it’s going to be okay because I have started outlining my Doctor Who novel. 

The ideas all came flooding out of me one night when I was bored. I scribbled in red ink all over my sketchbook. There are diagrams and one sentence ideas plus some ridiculous sketches and things that will definitely be used against me when my boyfriend tries to have me committed (oh yeah, that’s happening in my future.) Two hours later, I had triumphantly crafted my five sentence back of the book blurb to show friends. I sent it out to 3 of my friends. 2 were very excited and said they would be honored to read my sample chapters (whenever I got them written, that is.) I asked the third one if he would read it and he said, “I don’t know.” 2 outta 3 ain’t bad.

After that I stalled out for two days. I had some subplots to think about. I wasn’t writing anything but I was busily inventing the planet and the aliens and the ideas and the themes. I just kept rejecting the subplots as too obvious. But after a while I just said, “Let that develop as you write or we’re never going to get anywhere!!!!” My sudden outburst startled my guinea pigs and knocked the crippled one over. (I am so sorry, Screwball.) And subplots were had by all! Plus bananas were also had by all.

Now it was time for the outline. Boy oh boy did I avoid that for a few days. I cleaned a bit. Played with guinea pigs. Did a job interview. Did a follow up job interview. Went drinking, hoping I was celebrating getting the job. Went shopping and got jeans with a gift card. went to another party…and so on. A few days passed and I got to today. Yep: Rejection Day. In an email. Bummer. I frantically applied to a bunch of jobs and panting, decided what the hell? I started the Outline

So far it is a flimsy thing, filled with only 2 and a half chapters. But it is BEGUN! There’s no turning back now. Only problem is: Oh my God, is it boring to write an outline! I know some people thrive on all this structure but I may as well be an anarchist for how much I abhor organizing a novel. But I researched some templates and I will plug away until this thing is done. Because then I get to write 3 chapters. That will be fun. I can already hear the Doctor’s voice in my head telling me what jokes to add and little bits of scientific data about the planet I’m on… Frankly he’s driving me nuts.

Destiny!

I am a huge Doctor Who fan. I’ve grown up with the show. It is a big part of my personality, it is so ingrained. Just ask anyone who has tried to perpetuate an injustice near me. I will stand up and try to fight it… I’ve lost a job over it and quit a few more because of it. So it is only natural that I aspire to write Doctor Who Novels.

No, I do not want to put myself in the books. No, I do not want to live out some ‘it should have eneded this way’ fantasies. Yes, I do want to write a solid piece of awesome science fiction. To that end-that’s terrible. Whos says, ‘to that end?’ No one.- I have started working on my novel.

I went to the BBC and read the guidelines: (http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/books/guidelines.shtml) It was enlightening and hilarious. I really enjoyed reading it. The guidelines were basically, ‘No idiots, please.’ I think if all submission guidelines were written like the Doctor Who guidelines, Twilight may have been averted.

Then I made a page of themes and plots. I did those in red ink because it was more dramatic and I had lost all my other pens… Out of all the ideas, I chose 2 and smushed them together. I then secured my test audience (two of them anyway, waiting on the third.) Tomorrow: Subplots.

Oh, I also had another article accepted on textbroker… But my story at Analog is still marked as recieved. Will it never switch to read? Stay tuned for more writing fun as it happens…

Slowly plugging away…

Published! Finally figured out textbroker. Managed to pick and accept an article. Wrote it (on organic chia seeds, no less) and submitted it. It was a bit annoying because the rules are so specific. Certain number of words, then keywords and then it gets angry if there are too many of the keyword… Can you tell I am a huge lover of rules? Anyhow I did follow all those lovely little instructions and Bob’s your uncle they accepted it.

I was paid $4.50. But here’s the thing: no idea who the client is or was or where my article went or if my name is even attached to it. Funny thing textbroker. But yay! I am a published author again. Even submitted a second article on Uncle Grandpa. (People who are not on drugs: Uncle Grandpa is a cartoon that I imagine will eventually make everyone insane.) 

Now it is time to start looking at my nanowrime novel and work it into something useable… Since I am still listed as ‘recieved’ on Analog it may also be time to write another short story and try Asimov. I love a good sci-fi. Plus I owe one of my oldest and best(est! Hee hee) of friends a Christmas story. Yes! So much writing to do.

And with that I am off to find out what a ‘jammy dodger’ is… thanks a lot Doctor Who… 

The End of The Red Mirror…

I wrote a story a zillion years ago called, “The Red Mirror.” I have mentioned it before… but anyway I wrote it when I was a kid and it is so heavily 80’s influenced that I love it. So I have been rewriting it for the last couple of months. Now it’s done! Woo! The story is now completely typed up into a neat little file on my computer. So now what?

The best plan is to let it rest for 2 weeks. I need to distance myself from the piece and then start the exhaustive task of updating it into something that might work for now. While transcribing it I found several things that only work pre-cellphone age. Also I needed to make my teens a little edgier. My teens were so…clean. So there’s that. Also my heroine doesn’t kill anyone. I have to fix that in the rewrite. Heroine’s need to kill the big bad. That’s storytelling page one. Also she needs to just do and be more. She’s not the only one thought, most of my characters need more personality. The grains of truth are there, they just need to be nurtured and expanded into real people.

Also I need the plot to be expanded. Need to add at least one subplot. The story is also only 25,000 words. I need at least 80,000 for most of the publishers I want to send it to so there is that too. It makes me wonder if I should self publish as a novella if I can’t get the word count to where it needs to be. But those are Future Me’s problems. Present Day Me is too busy celebrating that she took a story that was in ALL CAPS printed on Dot Matrix printer story and managed to get that sucker typed up and into a modern machine without tossing the whole project in the bin. Yay me! Celebrating the little victories of being a writer!

Tonight is a good night to be a writer.