Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Interview with author M. Lathan!!!

Yesterday I gave my review of Hidden by M. Lathan. She was generous enough to agree to an interview for this blog! I wanted to ask her questions about her writing process. As a wannabe author myself I found her answers very inspiring!! 

First, here's a bit about M. Lathan. (Bio taken from her website

M. Lathan lives in San Antonio with her husband and mini-schnauzer. She enjoys writing and has a B.S. in Psych and a Masters in Counseling. Her passion is a blend of her two interests – creating new worlds and stocking them with crazy people. She enjoys reading anything with interesting characters and writing in front of a window while asking rhetorical questions … like her idol Carrie Bradshaw.

Have you always loved writing? When did you start to write novels?

Yes, I have always loved writing. I remember writing a really bad TV script when I was seven. My mother pretended to love it. I was just that kind of kid, the kind that sits and reads then tries to create different worlds on their own. I wrote my first full-length novel in college. It was the first, very raw, draft of book one of the Hidden Series. School took my attention away, but I picked the idea up in graduate school and still haven't been able to leave that world.

How did you come up with the idea for Hidden?

I was sitting in Bio lab, bored out of my mind, and I opened my laptop. For some reason, I opened a blank page and just started typing about a girl who didn’t want to be in class. Then I thought … hummmm … why doesn't she want to be in class? I brainstormed possibilities, picked the one that made my jaw drop, then the idea just blossomed from there. I also have always wanted to have magic, and I found it fascinating to write about a girl who had special powers but hated it. It is the exact opposite of how I would react to that.

What is your writing process?

My writing process starts with an outline. I sketch out the first scene, then the last. Then I try to plot a middle, then the stuff in between. This almost always leads to me starting over, but for some reason, I can't get started without this method. So when that fails, I try to plot out “Acts” then the events that take place at the end of each act. Usually I’m ready to write at this point, and I flesh out an entire book, going from act to act, until I'm finished.
Then comes the hard part. I email the book to myself so I can read it on my phone or other devices. Then I scrap the parts that don't work (I am ruthless with the delete button). I try to delete boring or repetitive scenes, add better ones, delete those, add some more. Then comes the really hard part, getting into the nitty-gritty editing of awful writing and typos.
After that, it is not unlikely that I will want to start over from the beginning. At that point, I put the book down, read something I love just for fun, then I get back to editing.

What made you decided to become an indie author?

I've been writing secretly on my computer for years and my husband asked me if I ever planned to do anything with my work one day. After doing my research on the publishing world, I decided that I’d rather live in my fictional world, write about it for fun, and if someone happens to come across it on amazon and love it too, then that’s wonderful. I haven't ruled it out forever, but for now, I love being an indie author. I put out the story that I want, when I want, and how I want. I also make my own covers because I’m a sucker for learning new things. Some days I play with cover ideas for book three more than actually finishing it.

Any new writing projects?

I'm currently working on book three of the Hidden Series, Shattered. It’s been my absolute favorite to write so far. I also do character building exercises that sometimes lead me to tangents like writing as Sophia, Paul, or Emma. I never plan to publish them, but I do plan to post my writing exercises on my website for fun when I take a break from book three and cover design.

Pretty awesome huh? So not only is her book amazing but turns out she is too! Don't forget-her book is free right now on amazon! 

Also, I'm always looking for new reads! If you have a fiction novel (especially science fiction or fantasy!) you'd like me to review on my blog, feel free to contact me and we can see if it's a match! :)