Author Spotlight with Rosalie Skinnerby Davidson Haworth on 02/28/12
Author Spotlight gives the public insightful interviews on amazing new and old writers a like. Read and share our interviews and support these writers who give the people an outlet to enter a new world through books. This week we interview fantasy writer, author of the fascinating series "Chronicles of Caleath."
How long have you been a published writer and when did you first begin to write?
Writing became an obsession around twenty years ago when my regional library ran out of books in my reading genres. In 2004 my first attempt at publishing began and ended. The POD publisher went out of business soon after they released my book. I wasn't my novel that sent him into liquidation. Since then my books have been published again, by popular demand, through POD and now as ebooks through Museitup Publishing.
What is your favorite genre to write about?
My favorite genre to write about is Science fiction/Fantasy. The scope is endless and the creation of new worlds, crafting new rules, and developing characters are my idea of fun.
Where did you grow up as a child and where do you find yourself going in the future?
Born and raised in Australia, with no intentions of ever leaving… although travel is in the cards. Can't beat living near the coast, temperate climate, whale watching, swimming, and the ocean in all her moods for company. Love it.
What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer?
Interesting question. Not sure I have kept track of the less constructive comments. If we did that as writers we might put down our pens. Where would that leave our readers? As long as criticism is constructive it shouldn't be demeaning. Learning is part of the process.
Do you think book signings are a waste of time in this day in age of technology?
Book signings a waste of time? Not sure, I know readers still enjoy having signed copies of print books in their collection. The point of signing ebooks evades me, but readers enjoy taking signed book cards. With eight in the collection, created for the Chronicles of Caleath, they seem popular. So, signing books and merchandise is still popular and not a waste of time, in my opinion.
How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
After uncurling from the fetal ball weeping in the corner do you mean? LOL. They come with the territory, but they always hurt. My advice is to re-read the good ones and keep faith in those who enjoy reading your stories. When your readers have paid for you to publish and publishers have requested your books, you can’t allow the comment of one reviewer to stifle your creative spirit. Sometimes envy, ignorance, or reading the wrong genre can influence a review. Doesn't make for a good day, but tomorrow will be better. If you work hard to keep improving your writing, listen to your critique group, editors, and take advice from writing workshops, the hope is bad reviews will be few and far between.
How do you create names for your characters and do you use people you know in your life to formulate a character?
Great question. There are a few great resources on line for finding names for characters. One of my favorite tricks is using the credits on world movies. Taking a few names from an exotic source, you know, hopefully, they are names, not offensive terms, you can apply them to a certain race and keep a feeling of nationality. A couple of different movies from different language/culture/backgrounds can supply a vast resource for names of characters, creatures, or countries. Easily pronounced and spelt names also rate highly in my resource lists. When working on a new manuscript I keep these lists handy.
Do you ever use your writing as a weapon? For example you become angry for what someone has done to you and you create a scathing tale.
Never crossed my mind, though now you mention it... hehe what a great way to release frustration and stress.
What is the most complicated subject matter to write about?
Any subject takes its share of research. Fantasy and science fiction has opened my eyes to many unusual topics. Writing with a sense of authenticity, even in a created world takes a great deal of care. Keeping characters personalities complete, believable, and recognizable is probably the most difficult or complicated subject matter.
What is the most important attribute for a writer to remain sane?
Sane? Who said anything about remaining sane? Hmm. Being able to step away from the story is important, though often difficult. Not giving in to the obsessive compulsion to remain in the fantasy you have created is probably the most important attribute for a writer’s sanity, in my experience.
Give us your top writers who influence you in your work?
Over many years of reading, most authors add a little experience or style to my creativity. Those who have been strongest influences though would be…Douglas Adams, Stephen Donaldson, Barbara Hambly, Janny Wurtz, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Andre Norton, J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey. I enjoy reading in different genres too…and recommend Bernard Cornwall, Michael Connelly, Harlan Coban and Matthew Reilly.
What is your next project?
Recently editing has become a new step in my writing career. My latest work in progress has slowed while I am learning to balance this new endeavor with my own writing. My latest WIP is the second book in a new science fiction/ fantasy series following on from the Chronicles of Caleath.
You can learn more about Rosalie on her website www.rosalieskinner.com