R.L. Naquin Interview at Musings of an Independent Artist
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Dariel! Tough questions. I was a little worried you might mark me down for not using a number two pencil.
LOL! I knew you could handle them just by looking at your book J
1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What were some of your
first steps toward making your dream a reality?
When I was in fourth grade, the wonderful children's writer Zylpha Keatley Snyder visited our school and talked to our class, since she'd once been a teacher there. She sparkled like a magical angel from outer space, and I knew from that moment that I wanted to be a magical angel from outer space, too.
It took a long time for me to stop letting other things get in the way of what I wanted, but in the end, getting started really was simple. Sit down. Write a book. Finish the book. Edit the book. Submit the book. Not complicated, but it took a lot of self-flagellation every time I got distracted by LOLcats or Buffy marathons.
2. I know exactly what you mean about letting other things get in the way or your dreams. Tell us about your books. Genre, titles, any favorite characters? What can
we look forward to from you in the near future? WIP’s, upcoming releases
I write the urban fantasy Monster Haven series. The first one is Monster in My Closet, and the second, Pooka in My Pantry, comes out next week. Book three, Fairies in My Fireplace will be out in September, and three more will follow. I also have a free short story in the same world. It falls chronologically between Monster and Pooka. You can download it here: Ill-Conceived Magic.
I think everybody's favorite character so far has been Maurice, the closet monster. He bakes, he sings, he cleans toilets, and he's the best friend anyone could ever have.
3. Sounds like I’ll love Maurice. Is there a common thread in your books? How do your values show up in
your writing? What do you want readers to take from your writing?
I think the common thread through the series is the importance of friendship, and how family doesn't always refer to blood relatives, or even people in the same species.
I think my values show up in the fact that Zoey is an urban fantasy heroine who doesn't kick ass with her mad judo skills, sleep around, or get too snarky with people. She's kind. She helps people. As an empath, it's hard for her to hurt someone's feelings simply because those hurt feelings will bounce right back at her and cause her pain in return. Her growth comes from learning how to stand up for herself and not let people take advantage of her.
When people finish my books, I hope they walk away feeling a little lighter, a little more relaxed, as if they'd taken a short vacation. I'm not trying to change the world with my work. I'm just trying to amuse people for a short time.
4. I like that, too. I think we share the philosophy about reading as entertainment – a short vacation. Along those lines, what do you look for in a good book?
Escape. I read to go away for a while. A good book takes me somewhere else, shows me a good time, then brings me back home.
5. Yes, yes, and yes! Reading is an escaper for me, too. As far as reality goes, what are some things you know now about writing and being an author
that you wish someone had told you at the very beginning?
Writing is only part of the job. In fact, I spend far more time on editing, admin, promotion, and brainstorming than I do on writing. In April, I've got a clear calendar and I get to go back to writing for a while. I can't tell you how excited I am by that.
6. I can imagine. I’m gonna try that – clear some time to just write. What lifts your spirits when you’re discouraged?
Anything to do with Disney, whether it's a movie, YouTube videos of park walkthroughs, or kicking my husband's butt at Disney Trivial Pursuit.
The important thing, when I'm discouraged, is to walk away for a little while and settle my brain on something else. Discouragement and low spirits usually mean I'm trying too hard and need to hit refresh.
7. What tips can you offer towards building and maintaining a strong support
system as a writer?
My local writers group has been amazing. Find at least one other writer you can relate to in real life. Online is great, but in-person is better. Writers are often hermits. If I didn't have people dragging me out to work in a coffee shop from time to time, I'd probably never go outside, I'd lose my mind, and I'd never have a reason to put on pants.
LOL! So true. Thank you for talking with me and letting us get to know you a little better. I wish you much success, and let’s stay in touch J
For more info about R.L. and her books, click here.