Cidney Swanson is an absolute sweetheart! This interview has been in the works for a while, and I was so excited she was willing to be my very first interviewed author for my blog! I hope you guys get to know her, and that you will check out her books! (Trust me, you don't want to miss out on these!)
Cidney has written Rippler, and it's sequal, Chameleon.
Check them out here:
(click on the pictures to go to books on Amazon)
10 Questions with Cidney!
1. When did you start writing?
I started writing as soon as I could hold the pencil steady to form the letters and knew how to write the words. About age seven.
2. Where did the inspiration for the Rippler come from?
From an image that popped into my head. In my mind, I saw a girl sitting by the Merced River, totally at peace, and then she vanished. I could tell she didn’t know she’d vanished, and I wanted to know: what happened? Why didn’t she notice she just turned invisible??
3. After the Rippler series, what can we expect from you?
I’m working on a sci-fi piece and a piece about poetry and death and love.
4. In a brief synopsis, what is a day in the life of Cidney Swanson?
My DH wakes me up with a cup of tea and I stumble to the computer. I am not a morning person. Then, while my editorial brain is still fast asleep, I start writing new material. I’ll write for a couple of hours, pausing for breakfast somewhere, and then take a break for lunch, errands, helping kids with homework, feeding the cats, snuggling the cats, etc.
Sometime in the afternoon I attack the massive pile up of email, tweets, and FB posts. If it is a blogging day, I might write a post. If I am in edits as well as writing new material, I’ll sit down with a very sharp Ticonderoga black-wrap 2HB pencil and change things. A lot of things! Then I might take a walk before dinner if it isn’t raining too hard. (Oregon. It’s always raining.) Then comes dinner, possibly an hour spent watching my DD’s ballet class because it makes me relax to watch. Then either reading, a movie with DH (at home) or more writing. I crawl in bed with a book every night, and fall asleep so I can do it all the next day.
5. What author(s) do you look up to?
Jane Austen for her wicked wit. George Eliot for her insight into the earnest anguish of youth. Maggie Stiefvater for her ability to evoke mood. Nova Ren Suma for breathtaking sentences. Sara Zarr for speaking the truth. Markus Zusak for being made of awesome in all things writerly. Stephen Lawhead and Daniel Silva for understanding story arc so brilliantly. Tolkien for world-building and delectable, heart-wrenching writing. I could go on, but Tolkien’s a good one to stop at.
6. Briefly, What was the process of publishing your first book like?
I queried it around the trad pubs and got multiple requests for full manuscript reads and then multiple rejections with invites to send something new. I re-worked it with some major help from a best-selling author and started a micro-press to self-publish the series because I believed it could sell. I still 100% believe in the trad pub route, but it just wasn’t the right one for this series.
7. Did you always dream of being an author?
Absolutely. I’ve always found words intoxicating. My earliest memory of a word is the word “two.” I was about to turn two and I remember walking around saying the letters “t-w-o” and loving the feeling of the letters in my mouth. Loving that they meant something important to adults.
8. Who would you say was your biggest supporter through the process of writing and publishing your first book?
My sister. She’s also my harshest critic, so it works well!
9. How long does it typically take you to write an entire book?
A first draft takes me 2-4 months, but the rewrites, edits, and polishing can add 3-12 months. Or more.
10. Any advice for someone who is looking to become an author?
Read widely. Read classics and bestsellers. Read heavily in your favorite genre—the one you want to write in. And put your butt in the chair every day to write. You must read, read, read, and then you must write, write, write. Allow yourself to write really bad stuff for first drafts (ie, turn off your inner editor). Then set it aside for a couple of weeks while you work on something else. Go back to your first draft and look at it again. Where does it sparkle? Where does it (gasp!) make you think someone you admire wrote it? And where does it need work? Polish, re-work, fix, change. If you like classes, take writing classes. Or go to conferences. If you learn best from books, read Stephen King and Anne Lamott’s books on writing. Never stop learning. Never give up.
I absolutely love her answers!
Find Cidney all of these places:
We are also hosting a giveaway for the Mid-Winter's Eve Blog Hop on Dec. 27th, so make sure to check that out when the time comes!