November 28, 2018

#Interview with @FranWrites11

This week we have an interview with author Fran Laniado.  We hope that you check out their titles and have fun with getting to know them! 

Eimear is Faerie. She left the land of her birth, to find a place where she felt like she could belong. She finds herself in the World, a strange place, where she is the only magical being, and she begins to build a life for herself. But when she encounters Finn, supernaturally beautiful but thoughtless and selfish, she gets angry. In a fit of rage, she casts a spell on Finn. It’s a spell that she can’t undo, even when she discovers that she’s ruined Finn’s life. Finn is wealthy, arrogant, and cruel. He didn’t think twice about insulting Eimear, until it was too late. Now, exiled from the only home he’s ever known, he is forced to make his own way, for the first time ever. He does have support- if he wants it. Eimear, wants to assuage her guilt by helping him. In an isolated place, thrown together initially out of desperation and need, Eimear and Finn find a way to live together. That alliance eventually blossoms into friendship, and even love. But before they can have their happily ever after, Eimear must go on a perilous journey that will force her to confront everything that she ran away from when she left Faerie.

Where can readers follow you?

1.  What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in New York. I still live in New York but took a detour in New Jersey for a while in between. 
2.  Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? Yes. I also went through periods where I'd want to be something else, but a writer was the ambition that was constant.
3.  When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"? I've been a writer for years but I've only recently started to feel comfortable calling myself one! One you call yourself a writer people ask what you've written. I started to feel comfortable calling myself a writer once I was able to point to a book and say "this."
4.  Did it take a long time to get your first book published? Yes.  Well it took a long time to write and finish and get up the get the guts to share it, and revise... It took about four years beginning to end.
5.  Do you work another job as well as your writing work? Usually. For a while I was an elementary school teacher. It's exhausting work so writing sometimes took a back seat. But now I'm looking into a new path for a day job, so that I'll hopefully be able to have some more resources for writing. 
6.  What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say? My book is called Beautiful: A Tale of Beauties and Beasts. It's a YA fantasy fairy tale retelling. Eimear is a Faerie who comes to the World looking for a new life. She casts a spell she can't undo even when the consequences play out differently from her expectations. 
7.  Who is your publisher? or do you self-publish? I self published this. I never thoughts that was a path I'd take, but it made the most sense for me. I didn't want to wait several years from the time I finished it to the time a reader would be able to read it. 

8. How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it? It depends. As I said, Beautiful took about four years. But my follow up will probably be closer to two years from beginning to end. I started it while I was finishing Beautiful and preparing that for publication. 
9.  What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? Definitely more of the same genre. But I'd like to branch out in terms of genre. We'll see I suppose. 
10. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? I'm working on a new book now. It's not part of a series but its set in the same universe as Beautiful. Both can be read as stand alones though.  
11. What genre would you place your books into? YA fantasy. Fairy tale retelling. 
12. What made you decide to write that genre of book? I don't know if I ever actively decided. I've always loved fairy tales because they're subversive and powerful and a bit dangerous. They've gotten a reputation as children's stories but they're a lot more complicated than that.   
13.How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?
I've been writing for years. I don't know where I first got the inspiration. I've always loved books and stories and writing them seems like an extension of that. 
14. Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
I think of this as the "shopping question" because whenever I hear it I get an image of myself in a big store shopping for book ideas! That's not where they come from though! I don't think they come from anywhere really. I have a million book ideas in my head at any time. It's just a matter of what's easiest or most interesting at a given time.If I need inspiration often just googling "writing prompts" is helpful.
14. Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? I usually write on the floor with sitcoms on TV in the background. I don't know how I developed that routine but it works!
15. Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know? I send it out to beta readers at several points during the drafting process. You never know if something is coming off the way you want it to unless you have others look at it.
16.  How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books? The cover of Beautiful was designed by Adrijus at The title just made sense given the themes of the book. 
17. Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title? It was a working title as I was drafting and then it stuck. I put in the subtitle to indicate that it wasn't a traditional Beauty and the Beast story where the "Beauty" and the "Beast" are easy to identify. I think that in Beautiful, there's some shifting. Sometimes one character will be rather beastly and sometimes another will. Same with Beauty. 
18. How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? Well in Beautiful a lot of the folklore that I based the story on had Anglo-Irish-Scots origins, so I looked for names with similar roots. Often the name means something to do with the character, but not always. In my work in progress there are some characters inspired by Japanese folklore, so I took the same method of naming those characters. 
29. Are character names and place names decided after their creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
It depends. Sometimes, usually when a character is small and has a specific function in the story I'll decide on a name afterwards. Like in Beautiful I had a character who we don't even meet really. We just  hear about something they did later on. In a case like that I'll have to call them something so I come up with a name. But if it's a more important character who we spend a lot of time with or who has a significant impact on events, more thought goes into the name. 
19. Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along? Again that depends on the character and the book. Sometimes a character's defining trait is something I pick out in advance, but as I write the character other traits emerge. 
20. Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
In most areas of my life, I'm definitely a planner, but in writing I'm not. I'll start off with an idea, and some general thoughts about how I want to to go, but for the most part I just go with the flow. For me that's part of the fun!
21. How do you market/promote your books?
I'm still figuring that out. I have a website and a blog and social media accounts and sometimes I'll run a joint discount or a promotion with other authors. But I'm currently trying a lot of different things and seeing what works best. 

22.  What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby? I read a lot. And of course I write. I also do yoga and sometimes for unwinding the best thing is to watch something dumb on TV and just turn off your brain!
23.   Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
To a limited extent. I've never written a character entirely based on someone I knew and just changed the name, but I've written a character and based their response to things on what I've seen from other people in my life. 
24. Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Not really. I mean I think a writer's values, what he or she considers important, always come through in the book. I think that's true of my work.  But I don't think I've ever explicitly put in a moral or a hidden message. I might say "I'd like the reader to think about this"  but not "I want the reader to take this specific message." 

25. Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback? In my own reading I
 have a strong preference for physical books. I find them more comfortable. I prefer paperbacks because they're the easiest to carry around, but I'm not averse to hard covers. I'll read ebooks occasionally but usually only when that is the only format available. 

26. What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback) I'm currently reading The Essex Serpent by Sara Perry as a hardcover. And yes, I'm enjoying it.
27. Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books? I hope not! I'm not averse to ebooks for others, but I love printed books as objects. I love being in a room full of them. Ebooks just aren't the same. 
28. Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative, writing? I think they're encouraged but they're often not given material or assignments that they can get excited about.Even when they are excited they're often not given a chance to explore. As a teacher I've seen kids get very excited about reading and/or writing and it would break my heart to have to redirect their focus because it wasn't what the curriculum and the school wanted them to be doing. 
29. Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life? I've always been a big reader, in school and out of it. And I've always written to different extents.
30. Did you have a favorite author as a child? Many! I loved Beverley Cleary and Judy Blume. I also loved older authors like Louisa May Alcott and Frances Hodgsdon Burnett and LM Montgomery. 
31.Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it? Again I can't pick just one!  I loved fairy tales, so any fairy tale collection would apply. In terms of novels I loved LM Montgomery's Anne books (still do!) and Little Women. Both books about writers incidentally!

32. Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be? I've been asked that before but I don't think I have enough distance to answer yet. I think I need more time and space. 
33. What do you think about book trailers? I've seen some great ones and some very "blah" ones. I think some books lend themselves to trailers more easily than others.
34. What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? Read a lot. Write a lot. Don't worry if it's good. You can fix up a bad piece of writing later on, but you need some point to start from. 

Strange Questions to have some fun! 

Which do you prefer? . . . . .

Paperback/Hardback or E-book? I prefer physical books. I'll read ebooks on occasion but I'm definitely an old fashioned girl!
Read a book once/Reread books more than once? I have a while list of books that I want to reread but there are so may new books that keep coming out!
Books or Movies? Umm... Books if I HAD to choose but I love movies too.
Action, Drama, Mystery, Romance? Drama I suppose. And mystery. But not exclusively. I can enjoy all of the above. 
Library or New books from a bookstore? Either/or. Preferably both!
Morning or Evening? Evening. I'm a night owl!
Early Nights or Late Nights? Sometimes I like an early night but my mind is very active in the evening, so it can be hard.
Coffee or Tea? Tea. Love iced tea in the summer, hot tea in the winter. 
Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? Winter. I love being indoors under a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book, when the wind is howling and the snow is falling outside. 
Favorite Book Snack? Anything chocolate

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