Wednesday, October 22, 2014

On Sequels and Juggling Chainsaws: Interview with Crystal Collier



Today we have Super Mom and Super Author Crystal Collier here to shed light on writing sequels and juggling chainsaws. Her latest release, SOULLESS, is available now!

Q and A with Crystal Collier:

1. SOULLESS is the sequel to MOONLESS. Had you written a sequel before? How did you prepare for the process of writing a sequel?

I have actually written a couple other sequels. Great practice. SOULLESS wrote itself for the first 50 pages, then I told it to stop and plotted out the rest. If you want a solid story that carries specific themes and character arcs, you do have to slow down the muse sometimes.

2. What were your main writing lessons learned from writing a sequel? Continuity of story arc? Character arc? Adding new plot elements? None of the above?

It was somewhere between character arc and plot arc. I had to push my characters harder and into more difficult moments/decisions than in book 1. I agonized with them. It hurt.

3. Which marketing tasks worked best for MOONLESS? Which did not? Are you trying anything new with SOULLESS?

Because we home school, I’m pretty much confined to digital marketing for now. In that vein, the blog tour worked great. Goodreads giveaways expanded exposure, and getting featured on a ton of review blogs brought in significant traffic. With Soulless I’m being slightly less aggressive, focused on spreading the campaign out. I’ll be trying a facebook party and a live reading via youtube. We’ll see how they go.

4. Now that you have two books out, how do you balance being a busy wife, mother, author, marketer, and juggler of chainsaws?

I eat cheese, of course.

There is no balance. Some days I tip one way, the next, another. My weekly calendar is plotted out with a balance of tasks, one major thing to be done each day with writing, marketing, chores, family events, and whatever else comes along. Sometimes the planning even works, but effort over time (even with disruption,) equals eventual accomplishment.

5. What is the most important writing advice you’ve ever received? Why did it resonate with you?

I don’t know that it was an exact piece of advice. It was more an encouragement to study my industry and know what’s out there, what’s selling, and what publishers were looking for (both in technique and plot). That included reading all the time—industry books and popular fiction. Mostly it was that light bulb moment when I realized I needed to treat this job like a profession, not a hobby.

6. What’s next for the wonderful Crystal Collier?

(You called me wonderful! Yippee!) A baby. A serial story (Bellezza). The third book in the Maiden of Time trilogy (Timeless). TONZ of cheese. Survival.

Survival is good! Crystal, thanks so much for hanging out with us here on the blog.

Friends, have you ever written a sequel? What's your favorite writing advice? There are prizes! Want to enter? a Rafflecopter giveaway

About SOULLESS...

The Soulless are coming... 

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power. 

And risk losing everything. 


Connect with Crystal:

Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Website

22 comments:

  1. A live reading - you're brave!
    I rely a lot of the virtual promotions as well.
    Congratulations, Crystal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agonized over it, even after it was done, but there was a good response to it, so I'd say maybe it was worth the stress.

      Delete
    2. Alex, I'm with you about a live reading. I was able to read well out loud to my children when they were small, but in front of other people? No thanks! I did do it at the local elementary school, but I'm not sure the spike in my blood pressure was worth it.

      Crystal, thanks so much for hanging out on the blog today! We're so excited about your new release <3

      Delete
  2. I've never written a sequel before, but sequels are interesting, especially when the book is so good that I don't want it to end. Then the sequel means that the story doesn't have to end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agreed. I LOVE it when I get to spend more time with characters I love.

      Delete
  3. A baby. I laughed. You're a very busy person, for sure. Marketing is the hardest part for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Busy people are the most productive, right? ;)

      Marketing can be a beast for sure. There's never a point at which you have to say, "That's enough. It's done." Therein lies the danger.

      Delete
  4. Great interview! I completely agree about slowing down to plot, despite what the muse says. Definitely helps make a story more cohesive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! Besides, then you get to enjoy the writing process longer, right?

      Delete
  5. I have written a sequel before, and planned two others out. Congrats, Crystal, and omg, a baby, too?!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fantastic interview. You nabbed the challenge of sequels right on the head. Cheers and cheese! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Says a sequel writing pro! Thanks for stopping in, Christine!

      Delete
  7. This was a great interview. And there was some cheese thrown in. ; )

    ReplyDelete
  8. I could have predicted her one answer to how she manages her busy life. Ask her how she looks so lovely or why she's always upbeat and smiling. Cheese. That's the answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheese makes the world go round, you know. ;)

      Delete
  9. Ah, cheese. The answer to just about everything. I'm going for extra cheesy nachos tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for sharing, Crystal and good luck with the sequel. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

    ReplyDelete
  11. Balance is hard. Cheese does help. Glad to hear that online marketing can go so well.

    ReplyDelete