Here today is Sarah M. Cradit. By happenstance, I met Sarah after an internet search about family trees for characters led me to The House of Crimson and Clover. She’s always been so kind to offer advice above the ins and outs of indie publishing, which as most of you know, is invaluable information. Yesterday, Sarah released Beyond Midnight: Asunder, Book 3.5 in her series. We’re glad to have her insight.
1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page) My name is Sarah M. Cradit, and I’m the author of the Southern Gothic Paranormal saga/series, The House of Crimson & Clover. You can find me here:
Official Website: http://www.sarahmcradit.com
Google +: google.com/+SarahMCradit
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sarah-M.-Cradit/e/B005SY05BM
2. How do you choose names for your characters? Interesting question. Names are a very visceral thing for me, and as soon as I have a character outlined, I know them well enough to pick a name that fits. I utilize a lot of baby name sites, as well as searching out the meanings of names. For my Empyrean race, for example, I looked up a lot of Old Norse names. Sometimes I will take the name “as is,” and other times I will create my own. Quillan, for example (Oz’s cousin who has a brief cameo in Eventide, and has his own book coming up next year), was a spin off the name Quinlan. I think the most important thing to me is that every name is carefully chosen, whether it be a main character or simply someone who appears once or twice.
3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real? Wait… they’re not real?? I suppose they’re about as real to me as anything in my life that has weight and importance. While I’m careful not to ever model a character after me, each of them is given a small piece of me, which helps bring them to reality. So yes, I suppose I do talk about them as if they were real 🙂
4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind? I’m a fickle writer, and my desired writing environment changes both by mood and project. I’ve had projects where I need complete silence… others where I couldn’t write without the music in the background. I often “fixate” on a certain kind of music for each project. For example, while writing Bound I listened almost exclusively to Band of Horses and Iron & Wine. For Midnight Dynasty, it was a lot of Bastille. For Asunder, Mumford & Sons. And as I am working through Empire of Shadows, I have switched gears towards a lot of trance and house techno.
5. How long have you been writing? Since I was 7. I always had a colorful imagination, but once I learned to connect that imagination to the page, it was all over.
6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer. I think I’ve always known I was meant to be a writer, but I never saw it as a feasible reality. Growing up, it was only the select elite who could write for a living, and I was realistic enough to plan for a different career while writing on the side. Flash forward to now, and I am happily balancing two careers I’ve worked hard at.
7. Do you have a muse? Not one specifically, but I have a small group of close friends who get to hear my ideas before anyone else… and as I talk to them about these ideas, it inspires me to write.
8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading) For me, it is simply writing. Writing always and often. There are other influences that help (reading, of course), but nothing works as well as continuing to write and hone my craft.
9. Writing quirks or superstitions? I’m very obsessive about the order and way I edit. It’s a sickness.
10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress. I’m working on Book 4 in the series, Empire of Shadows. It’s looking to be a lengthy, ambitious work, but I’ve never been more excited to work on a project. For non-series readers almost anything I say will be spoilery so I will say this: it involves mythologies both new and old, and a story that spans from New Orleans to Ireland to Norway.
11. What book are you reading now? I’m working through the second book in Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy.
12. What genre do you write in? What about POV? I write Southern Gothic Paranormal, and every single one of my books is told from multiple PoVs.
13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines? I have a monstrous database on Evernote (that is backed up both to my local laptop and my backup server) of characters, bios, mythologies, stories, abilities, and so forth. I use this to document anything and everything that might be relevant for the series. I didn’t use to like outlines (my creative process can be erratic and somewhat unfocused in the beginning), but as my series has progressed in length and complexity, outlines become more necessary. So I try to fill in what I *do* know, and then as I write, more ideas come to me, and the outline blossoms.
14. Do you know how your stories will end? Sometimes. Other times I only figure it out as the story moves forward.
15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment? All of my books attempt to speak to the human condition. Nothing, or no one, in this world is entirely black or white. Our thoughts, feelings, and motivations are never that neat.
16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing? I don’t snack a lot while writing, but depending on the time of day I will often either have coffee or wine 😉
17. Tell us about your other passions. Travel and culture would be at the very top of that list. I also, of course, love to read.
18. What’s something interesting about you? I speak some Elvish 😉
19. Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published. This is from Beyond Midnight: Asunder, Tristan’s PoV:
Tristan didn’t notice his elbow knock the old man’s drink off the bar because he’d been too busy pouring out the sordid details of his life history. He did not stop to think—not after the first drink, nor the tenth—that the man might not be interested in the drunken, incoherent, slurry of words and sentences Tristan haphazardly slung together in one long, sloppy narrative. “Cursed,” he spat, again, repeating himself with conviction. “Did I mention we’re all cursed?”
20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers? Thank you for allowing me to share my world with you!
Thanks you, Sarah for being featured here with us today. Good luck with Asunder.
Thanks for the awesome interview!