Please welcome Roxanne Smolen to The Clog Blog, Wecome Roxanne!
Hi, Tina. Thank you for inviting me to your blog.
How long have you been writing?
Like most writers, I’ve been writing since before I could spell correctly. I didn’t take it seriously, however, until later in life. I’d been losing my eyesight for a few years and, as a result, lost my job in 2000. I decided that was the perfect opportunity to follow my secret desire to write a book. I’ve since written a dozen novels and hope to write dozens more.
What books have most influenced your life?
The Harry Potter series. I loved the story, of course—but what really struck me was how many rules it broke. Rowling used big words. She wrote big books. She stood firm against the naysayers—and in the end, her payoff was huge. Quite the eye-opener.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?
Once upon a time, I was writing a novel. It was a good story, and I was happy with it. Then I fell ill. For weeks, I couldn’t think much less write. When I went back to work, my characters had become strangers, and my storyline was lost. That’s when I learned to do detailed character sketches and outlines of my books. Many computer programs can help with this. My favorite is Scrivener www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php which organizes plot and research in one place. As for my writing environment, I prefer to write in total silence, but silence is hard to come by in my household. My solution is to get up at 5:30 each morning before the rest of the world knows I’m there.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up, never surrender. Writing is a difficult and solitary profession fraught with disappointments. You’ll be rejected by literary agents, ignored by publishers, and devastated by uncomplimentary reviews. But then, in the midst of despair, you’ll find that crystalline moment when the words flow from your fingers and you’ll know what you were meant to be. You’ll know it’s worth it.
You write Science Fiction, can you tell us what drew you to the genre?
I’ve always been fascinated by the limitlessness of space. I grew up with Sputnik and the moon landing, Star Trek and Twilight Zone. As a child, I read voraciously. I started out with comic books like Amazing Tales, then moved on to books by the masters like Asimov and Heinlein. It’s no wonder my head was always in the stars.
You write “The Colonial Scouts Adventure” series. How did you come up with the idea for this series?
Black holes terrify me. To confront my fear, I decided to write a book about them. But instead of focusing on their massive destructive power, I devised a way of using them as doorways to the far reaches of the universe. My Colonial Scouts use collapsed black holes to step from planet to planet. Their rousing adventures stretch the imagination.
To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?
Mindbender was a difficult write because it was so emotional. It’s the story of a telepathic woman and her daughter who flee the Camps on Earth to find freedom in the moons of Jupiter. It came about when my granddaughter asked why stepmothers on Disney were always so mean. I immediately created Taralyn, a loving mother obsessed with keeping her adopted daughter safe. When she thought she lost the child forever, it broke my heart.
What is on tap for the rest of 2013, any new projects, or public appearances?
I’m just starting the third book of my paranormal romance series, The Amazing Wolf Boy, about a bumbling nerd who becomes a werewolf. That will keep me pretty busy. But I plan to attend the Autumn Market at the Broward Lighthouse of the Blind here in South Florida on October 11th and 12th.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
My website www.roxannesmolen.com has the latest news. I also frequent:
Linked In www.linkedin.com/in/roxannesmolen
And YouTube www.youtube.com/user/moonRoxinc
My blog is at www.moonrox.wordpress.com
And you can catch my book reviews at www.goodreads.com/author/show/1157902.roxanne_smolen
Thanks so much for the interview Roxanne. Please join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Roxanne’s latest book, “The Amazing Wolf Boy”