Blog Tour – Author Interview and Giveaway: Breakwater by Catherine Jones Payne

Posted June 1, 2017 by Lisa Mandina in giveaway / 0 Comments

Book info:

Author:  Catherine Jones Payne
Genre:  YA  Fantasy/Mermaids
Release Date:  May 30th, 2017
Publisher:  Fathom Ink Press

Summary from Goodreads:


A red tide is rising. As the daughter of one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors, seventeen-year-old Jade has great responsibilities. When her fiancé murders a naiad, plunging the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar, tensions surge between the mer and the naiads. Jade learns too late that the choices she makes ripple further than she'd ever imagined. And as she fights against the tide of anger in a city that lives for scandal, she discovers danger lurking in every canal, imperiling her family and shattering the ocean's fragile peace. Can the city's divisions be mended before the upwelling of hate rips apart everything Jade loves?

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1.  What does your writing process look like?  Do you know the whole story when you start?  Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)?  If you plan it out, how do you do that?  Outline, note cards, post-it notes, etc.?

I definitely have a set process. I can’t finish a novel if I don’t outline it first, and I can’t outline on my computer. I usually start with a rough chapter-by-chapter outline of just two or three sentences per chapter in a ratty, spiral-bound notebook. Then, as I’m drafting, I do an event-by-event sketch of each of my scenes before I write them—I like to do my sketches the day before I draft them if possible. It’s a strategy that got me from struggling to write 500 words in a day to turning out thousands of words in a day—recently I had my first 10,000-word day.

2.  How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
Lots of time staring at the notebook page! Some people say they find a hundred story ideas every time they leave the house, but my brain doesn’t work that way. When I need to start on a new story idea, I pull out my notebook and start writing ideas until something usable presents itself. The notebook page always looks like a lot of scribbles when I’m brainstorming—I end up crossing out more than half of what I start with—but it jogs my creative juices so that I can come up with the next idea. With novels, I tend to start with my setting and then find the plot and characters in that setting.

3.  How long have you been writing?
 Oh, forever! In one of my earliest memories, I perched a tiara atop my head, pulled up one of those rolling computer chairs to my parents’ old DOS computer, opened up whatever ancient word processor it used, and tapped out a story about Persian princesses kidnapped by Irish slave traders. My imagination was a bit stronger than my grasp of history, geography, or reality, apparently! 😉 I think I was about six at the time and already saying that I wanted to be a writer. I finished my first novel at age twelve—that one will never see the light of day!

4.  What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Figure out your process, and finish the book. Most aspiring writers never reach the stage where they shop the book to an agent or start the indie publishing process because they just don’t finish. Sometimes it’s because they’re using an inefficient writing process that doesn’t work for them; sometimes it’s because the rest of their life takes up all their time and creative energy; sometimes it’s because they’re always chasing new ideas and can never discipline themselves to finish a story. I’m sure there are a lot of other reasons, too, and some of them are perfectly legitimate. There’s no shame in finishing or not finishing a novel—your life can take many paths, and that’s okay. But if you really want this more than anything, you have to finish your first draft. If you discipline yourself to write 300 words/day, you’ll finish your first draft in a year. Finish the book.

5.  Favorites: 

Books/authors/genres: I read a lot of speculative fiction, especially fantasy. In the last year or so, I’ve really enjoyed Marissa Mayer’s Cinder, Tosca Lee’s The Progeny, Carrie Anne Noble’s The Mermaid’s Sister, and S.D. Grimm’s Scarlet Moon.

Movies/TV Shows: Oh, this is hard! Lord of the Rings definitely belongs on the list. My favorite TV show of all time is Parks and Rec. I also adore Firefly, and I loved the first few seasons of Castle, before it jumped the shark.

Music: I’m still obsessed with Hamilton, not gonna lie. I’m not sure I’ll ever not be obsessed with it.

Food/writing snack: Coffee is my favorite food group.

Social Media Site: Facebook. Definitely Facebook.  

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