For a change of pace today, I’m going to do an interview with another Manitoba author.
Casia Schreyer is an author from rural Manitoba. She is married with two children and has been focusing on her family and her writing.
So Casia, what genres and authors do you enjoy reading?
I’ll read anything, really. I prefer fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, I guess but I also like suspense, intrigue, thriller, bizzaro, mystery, general fiction, and even the occasional romance. More than anything right now I read children’s books with my kids.
As to authors, where to start? We just lost Terry Prachet, he was one of my favourites. Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Anne Bishop, Laurel K Hamilton, Orson Scott Card, HJ Bradley, Ashlyn Forge … I don’t think I’m even scratching the surface!
With so many interests, what genres do you write in? What age groups are your books for?
Again I prefer fantasy and science fiction. I don’t think I’d be very good at horror though. I’ve also written YA contemporary. Mostly I write for 16+, some are targeted at the YA audience but not all.
So tell us a little about your most recent release. Where did you get your inspiration?
My most recent release was ReImagined which is a collection of poetry and stories from before my debut novel. When it comes to a collection inspiration comes from everywhere. So far it’s getting good reviews with a poet I know saying the poems are very good, and a reluctant reader I know saying he can’t put it down.
And what are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on Rose in the Dark, a fantasy romance. It’s good, clean, romance for young adult readers and anyone who isn’t interested in a lot of sexual content in their books. Not that I have a problem with that, it’s just fit with this story.
Rose in the Dark is the first of five books in the Rose Garden series.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you outline or just write wherever the story takes you? What does your work space look like? Do you have any habits or quirks when you are writing?
Ha, okay, let’s start with the easy questions. My writing space looks like the rest of my house, a mess! With two kids I tend to write wherever and whenever I can. I sit outside while they’re playing or I work at the kitchen table, or sometimes even in my office. I do a lot of my first drafts by hand so that I can spend more time being around my kids while I work. I guess that counts as a habit too, right? My quirk is rewarding myself with chocolate, but only in the spring when I can get chocolate eggs really cheap, or at Christmas time when I can get those foil wrapped chocolate balls.
My creative process is complicated but it’s based around the outline. I always outline but my outline is a living, breathing thing. I add to it, cross things out, change dates, move scenes around, anything to accommodate the growth of the characters and the story. I guess my outline is more like a record of ideas and a way to keep them straight. I’ll be adding to my outline right up until the end of the writing process. And then I use the outline to help with the story coherency part of the editing process.
What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a novel?
Endings. Scene endings, the end of the book, endings are hardest for me by far. I can write a snazzy opening line or scene, but where to cut the chapter or scene off? That’s a lot harder.
What about the easiest? What parts of the writing process just feel natural for you?
I love world building and developing characters. I have tons of material that will never make it into any book because it’s just me getting to know my world or my characters.
Now, your debut novel is making some waves. Can you tell us about it?
Nothing Everything Nothing is about a sixteen year old girl who is striving to be popular but ends up in a very toxic situation. I was inspired by my cousin’s struggles and I wanted to write a book that she could relate to, one in which the main character hit rock bottom, made the choice to attempt suicide, and lived. More than that I wanted the book to have a happy ending.
I am selling Nothing Everything Nothing in support of Kids Help Phone which is a youth crisis hotline. They have a 24/7 call line and a chat option on their website. They deal with abuse, mental health questions and concerns, bullying, cyber issues, and suicide ideation. They’re a great cause and I’m proud to support them.
Thank-you Casia, for taking the time to talk to us.
If you’re interested in knowing more about Casia’s support of Kids Help Phone and how you can help you can see her blog here: www.casiaschreyer.wordpress.com
Nothing Everything Nothing and ReImagined are available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, B&N, and Smashwords. You can find a full listing of links here: https://casiaschreyer.wordpress.com/book-list/