If you’re a fantasy fan and haven’t read Cinda’s books you should definitely give them a read!
On to the interview!
1. You’ve written two fairly hefty sized series, did you have them plotted out completely before hand or did you kind of just go with the flow?
Oh, no. I’m a plunger or a pantser, not a plotter. I usually have some mileposts along the way when I begin, but for me the process of writing is creative, and unexpected things happen. When you write the way I do, it requires a lot of revision at the end.
2. What are your favorite kind of characters to write and why? (Villains, heroes, anti heroes, regular joes?)
I have a special affinity for antagonists. I distinguish between antagonists and villains. Even villains are the heroes of their own stories. An antagonist is someone whose desires are in conflict with those of the protagonist. Writers should spend as much time on their contrary characters as they do with their heroes. I want to write people who are real on the page. And real people are always mixtures of good and bad.
3. What is your process like? Do you outline? Listen to music? Snack? Have a special ritual or spot?
See above. No I don’t outline. I do often listen to music, especially if I’m writing in a place where there are conversations around me that I need to drown out. My favorite place to write is somewhere with a view of the water.
4. What kind of books did you read when you were younger?
Everything. Once I became a fluent reader, I read everything I could get my hands on. When I was a teen, there wasn’t much in the way of literature designed specifically for teens. So I pretty much went directly from children’s books to adult books.
5. How do you think those books hold up against the books being published today?
Some hold up well, others not so much. Some kinds of stories will always resonate with readers. I think many of today’s books are more honest, more focused on character and story and less on some sort of “lesson.”
6. Have there been any attempts to turn your books into movies or TV series? How would you feel if one actually happened?
We’ve had some contacts over the years. It’s gotten to the point that I no longer get excited when it happens. The more I know about making movies, the more surprised I am that any movies actually get made.
That said, I think it would be cool if my books were made into movies. But it almost seems like the more you love a book, the less likely you are to love the movie. So be careful what you wish for.
7. How organized are you while you’re writing? Do you keep notes?
I write my novels in Scrivener these days, which has some wonderful tools for keeping track of things. It’s easy to put notes in the margin relating to things that you want to go back to. I also have Tables of characters, terminology, places, and so on so I can keep track.
8. What is your next project?
I’m working on four more books set in the world of the Seven Realms. The new series is called The Shattered Realms. The first book, Flamecaster, is set for spring, 2016.
9. Is there anything else you want to talk about?
Advice for aspiring writers: The best way to improve as a writer is to write. Everything else is a side issue. The best way to succeed as a writer is to write the best book possible.
Find Cinda at cindachima.com, or @cindachima on Twitter
Cinda Williams Chima has donated a copy of the first book in her Heir Chronicles series, The Warrior Heir. Head over to the OAAA giveaway to enter.