I Promise You Won't Learn A Thing From This Blog

The official blog for author Ashley Chappell. Check back every week for a few laughs at my expense or, if you know the love-hate process that is writing, commiseration.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Fat-Free, Low Cal Twitterview - The Transcript!

On June 29th I had the opportunity to do my first Twitter-based interview with my publisher, Center One Publishing (C1 Books). It was fast and furious all the way through and I credit Gevalia Coffee for my ability to some how keep up with all of the questions from C1 as well as from readers. I didn't have a chance to talk much about Tilt, the sequel to Alice Will that releases in October, but I can save that for the next adventure in the Twittersphere!

I think Twitter gets a bad rap sometimes as being too limiting and for forcing our beautiful language into a trash compactor of text slang, and I'll admit I've been a pretty big critic of it in the past. But for the purposes of this interview I was pleased that it forced me to trim the fat out of my responses and get to the point.

So please enjoy the transcript of the interview below and know that what you're seeing is as cut and dry as I'll possibly ever be; trimmed-down, scaled back, and without even the extra butter on the side. I won't say I left off the cheese, though... :-)

Welcome to today’s chat with Ashley Chappell author of Alice Will #c1books

Hello, everyone! I can't wait to chat with all of you :-)#c1books

Feel free to ask questions while we do, Ashley it's great to have you here! #c1books

Alright Ashley the question we all want to know, how much of your book did your cats write? #c1books

@Justin_Dine Ha! They would claim all of it since they were at least touching the laptop while I wrote #c1books

@Justin_Dine But I only give them credit for Prowler's happy ending ;-) #c1books

When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning? #c1books

@C1Books ? I try to fit the name to the character most of all #c1books

@C1Books The right name can help convey an image of strength, shyness, clumsiness, loveliness, etc. #c1books

I was curious if you tried to stay away from the romance aspect with your book Alice Will? By the way I loved it! #c1books @AshleyNChappell

@larabookvampire Thank you so much! Trotter's development influenced that decision for me. Her isolation was a big factor in her. #c1books

@larabookvampire But without spoilers, there might be an early hint of a love interest in the next book ;-) #c1books

Describe your writing style in ten words or less. #c1books

Hmmm... Darker fantasy with a dry dose of humor and satire #c1books

What’s the earliest memory you have of writing a story? #c1books

I was 5 when I wrote my first story “Super Car.” My father drew illustrations for it which I still treasure. #c1books

It didn't make it out of the playground, but I still felt like a real writer for it. Even at only 3 pages :-)

@AshleyChappell What inspired you to write the most? #c1books

@SkittyPandora Legitimizing my constant daydreaming? ;-) #c1books

@SkittyPandora Really, I think if I didn't write down where my imagination went I'd eventually explode. #c1books

@AshleyNChappell After your book was published, was there anything you would have wanted to change still? #c1books

@Lisa_Cray Oh yes! Mostly specific writing, not story elements. But I think all writers want constant 'do-overs' with their books. #c1books

What is your least favorite part of the writing process? #c1books

@C1Books Editing and more editing! Specifically making myself change a major element when I know it isn't working. #c1books

Who is your favorite author and is you writing style similar to theirs? #c1books

@RebekahMcClew Terry Pratchett. My writing isn't lyrical as his can be, but I tend to fall into a similar satirical voice. #c1books

@RebekahMcClew He's always my inspiration when I'm feeling blocked :-) #c1books

@AshleyChappell Do you have any advice for new,young authors? #c1books

@Bubblez44445 Never stop writing! You learn from each project you finish. Even criticisms that hurt sometimes offer good advice #c1books

As an Author, if you were stuck on an island, what would you want with you? No limit on items #c1books

@MasonLinden No limit? In that case, a laptop with an internet connection and Amazon Air Delivery :-) #c1books

@MasonLinden It would save the book-packing beforehand ;-) #c1books

Was becoming an author a goal of yours or an after effect? #c1books

@Lisa_Cray It's what I've wanted as long as I can remember. All of my dayjobs have essentially
supported this dream. #c1books

@AshleyNChappell Imagine your characters are on survivor. Who will they vote out of the book?#c1books

Probably Pratt(s). That would knock out 4 characters with one vote! #c1books

Not to mention Pratt(s) is/are something of a McGuyver ;-) #c1books

@Ashleynchappell Do you have a particular favorite character in Alice Will? I loved Prowler #c1books

@larabookvampire I was attached to Prowler, too! But my fiance swear's I'm Trotter to a 'T'. #c1books

Truthfully, I do envy Trotter's smiting finger at times... #c1books

@AshleyNChappell Scariest thing you have ever read/written #c1books

Easy! Steven King’s The Shining will always scare me no matter how many times I read it. It OOZES psychological terror. #c1books

@AshleyNChappell Name a topic that you refuse to write about. #c1books

@RebekahMcClew Two things - Like you, I won't write pornography. But I also won't write about my personal beliefs #c1books

My writing is not a platform, but I hope it will still challenge readers to think. #c1books

How long did it take to write Alice Will and did you find it frustrating at all? #c1books

@MasonLinden Alice was my pride and joy - I wrote it in only 4 months. It's the only book that's been more exhilarating than not #c1books

When you write do you concentrate more on just the story or does work count affect your writing? #c1books

@larabookvampire Word count does drive me a good bit for goals, but not overall length #c1books

@larabookvampire My characters let me know when it's time to wrap up. #c1books

@AshleyChappell Do you have any strange writing quirks? #c1books

@SkittyPandora Only 1 real quirk... Like Eric, I need quiet to write. But when I get stuck I talk it
through out loud to myself. #c1books

@SkittyPandora Which is probably why I can't write in public. They'd haul me off in a straight jacket! #c1books

@AshleyChappell Which character do you feel that you relate too the most? #c1books

@Bubblez44445 I have to give him credit, my fiance is right. I am totally Trotter! #c1books

@Bubblez44445 Working in the government can give you that toothache for illogicisms ;-) #c1books

@AshleyNChappell Your favorite monster/villain. #c1books

My favorite monster has always been the monster within ourselves #c1books

Most of my characters struggle with inner demons and darkness before they can grow/succeed. #c1books

@AshleyNChappell Is it hard for you to stop writing, or are you able to pick up where you left off without problems #c1books

Sometimes I struggle with balance. If it's been more than a week since I've been able to write I have a very hard time starting. #c1books

I find, though, that if I start out re-reading the previous chapters I can get the rhythm back. (Not to mention some editing!) #c1books

@AshleyNChappell What inspired you to create the character Trotter? #c1books

@Lisa_Cray Trotter was in part a response to the traditional good-looking, super-cool teen demi-god in this genre... #c1books

@Lisa_Cray I wanted to create a character that was everything else - awkward, uncomfortable in her powers, and lonely. #c1books

@ashleynchappell Do you ever get nervous when family and friends read your book? #c1books

@larabookvampire Every single time! Although family and friends tend to be more generous than a stranger :-) #c1books

@AshleyNChappell How do you work with an editor without the pride thing getting in the way? #c1books

It's not bad. The only time I feel irked is when I get edits that are actually incorrect. It happens to the best of us, though! #c1books

If you could ask yourself a question about writing Ashely what would it be? #c1books

@Justin_Dine Probably 'Why the heck didn't you try harder sooner?!?' Then I'd kick myself in the pants a bit for good measure :-) #c1books

Now if I could ask ANY author, I'd ask how they get through writer's block. #c1books

@AshleyChappell Who do you want to be reading your book, and who do you expect to be reading it? (Age groups ect.??). #c1books

@SkittyPandora I think teen girls are probably the likeliest readers, but I love hearing that middge grade readers pick it up, too #c1books

@SkittyPandora But most of the people that enjoy it also enjoyed The Golden Compass and other alternate universe concepts #c1books

So how do you get through 'writers block'? #c1books

@Justin_Dine Darn it, that was for them! Not me :-) #c1books

Come on you knew I was going to do that ;) #c1books

@Justin_Dine But usually I try wine (although, to be honest, it really doesn't help the writing, just the anger about not writing!) #c1books

How fast/slow do you write? Or do you try not to notice? #c1books

@Justin_Dine If I'm on a roll, I'll knock out 5K - 7K words in a session. But on slow days I'm happy for 500 in 8 hours. #c1books

@Justin_Dine Honestly, I celebrate ANY word count sometimes. #c1books

And what is your idea writing situation/setup? #c1books

@Justin_Dine I've planned this out entirely! It will be a hobbit hole in the woods with a recliner, 3 monitors and tea! #c1books

@AshleyNChappell And it wouldn't be the same without the cats nearby. #c1books

I would love to have a third monitor, wife won't let me! #c1books

If I let him Justin would have 8 monitors, they just keep adding up! #c1books

On scale of 1 to 10 how real are your characters to you Ashley? #c1books

@Justin_Dine Whole-hearted 10. I live with these guys, and don't think I'm kidding when I say they argue with me. #c1books

If you could have dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would it be? #c1books

@C1Books Sir Terry Pratchett! Although I'd probably waste most of it by squealing, repeating 'OMG', and ultimately fainting. #c1books

I squealed enough when I got a signed book of his without even actually meeting him... #c1books

Would you live in your world if it was possible? And no I don't mean the type of live in your world that results in the white coat #c1books

@Justin_Dine Definitely on the first part! On the 2nd, what makes you think I don't? They let me out for the interview :-) #c1books

But if I had to choose between Aevum, the Wedge, or Realm, I think I'd have to choose The Wedge for ambience #c1books

@AshleyNChappell Do you outline? #c1books

@C1Books I do. Then I write, scrap that outline, make another, write more, scrap that outline, make another... #c1books

Do you ever find yourself acting out a scene from your book before you can write it? #c1books

@Justin_Dine Not actually acting out, but when I talk it through I'm usually talking as my characters. Not even on purpose. #c1books

It's a little past 4:30 EST, Thank you so much Ashley Chappell for joining the twitter chat, it was great having you here #c1books

@C1Books Thanks so much for having me! It's been a fun discussion :-) #c1books