I love doing interview with authors because learning more about their process and how they got started inspires me! Yesterday I reviewed Cecilee's book and tomorrow you can look for her guest post!!
I have always been a writer. Even when I was a child, I always had characters in my head that I wanted to write a story about. So when I wasn’t ready, I was always typing away on my computer. As long as my new computers had Ami Pro installed, I was a happy camper! However, I kept going with writing because of my third grade teacher who told me that I should be a writer. So that is why I continue to write!
As for what inspired me to begin writing this story, it was playing these characters in a game called The Sims 3. If you have never played that game before, I want you to imagine a virtual dollhouse. You make up families, populate a virtual town, and sit back and watch what happens.
I had made up a random family consisting of Shannon (née Tyler), her sisters, and her father, Christian Tyler. I decided to focus on Shannon because she was turning into the more interesting character of all her sisters. When Shannon became a young adult, she traveled to France in my game using one of the game’s many expansion packs. She met a local named Francis, they fell in love, and I brought him back to my town. They married and had Elodie and Heloise!
As Elodie and Heloise grew up in my game, I began making up a stories for them and playing them out in the game. After telling my husband all about my stories, he suggested that I novelize them. About 95% of what happens in this story happened in my game. The other 5% was condensing story lines or tweaking things.
(I've played the Sims 3 myself, way more than I should! I go through phases where I can't stop playing and then I don't even think about playing. That's to cool she wrote a book from her characters!)
Which one of your characters do you feel is most like yourself?
In Elodie and Heloise, the character of Heloise was more like who I was in high school. Very introverted. Smart. Few close friends. Very insecure. Speaks French. :-) Other than having musical abilities, I am not at all like Elodie. Elodie was the distillation of every popular girl I knew in school and I was nowhere near that crowd!
Your characters are so talented! They speak French, cook, and play guitar. Are these all things you knew how to do already or did you have to research them?
These are things that I already knew how to do, so not much research required! I did need to look up how to make ossobucco, since I only know about it by name and have never made it. But all the other dishes that Heloise and her dad make in the story, like ratatouille, blanquette de veau, and croque monsieur, I already knew how to make all of those. I knew some basic cooking before I began living on my own, but most of what I know of cooking, especially French cooking, is all from watching TV shows and reading books.
And oui, je parle français! I began taking French classes when I was fourteen and have been learning it ever since. I am obsessed with pretty much anything French! And while I’m not a native French speaker, I can get by very well in an all French environment. :-)
And for playing guitar, I have always been very musical as well as a member of the school band and school choir. I did play guitar for a few years before I decided I preferred playing piano. When I want to get away from the computer for a while, I like to go upstairs and play some music to unwind for a while. Just like Elodie does. :-)
Do you have any plans for another book?
Oh yes! In fact, I am in the final stages of editing the first book in a historical fiction trilogy set in Wash Woods, Virginia, a little-known ghost town located in a remote area of False Cape State Park here in the Hampton Roads area. I plan to release that later this year as soon as I have outlined most of the second book.
I am also going to publish in one volume an English translation of a 19th century French novel. The novel had only been translated into English once and it frankly wasn’t very good. So I took it upon myself to translate this novel into English for a more modern translation. The book is called Dominique by the French painter Eugène Fromentin. That will be released later this year as well! :D
What was the hardest part of the publishing process?
I think honestly it was all the formatting that I had to do on my book before putting it up on Amazon Kindle! The writing part was easy! But the formatting took some work. All the italicizing of the French passages and other little words like that. Fortunately, my husband helped me with that.
Why did you decided to become an indie author?
I decided to go indie so that I could keep all the money for my sales and all my rights instead of having it go through a publisher before it trickles down to me. It is easier than ever to publish your own work and I wanted to be a part of that! :D