Welcome to the three hundred and seventy-fifth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with sci-fi and fantasy paranormal author Caron Rider. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Caron. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Caron: I have always been a hard worker. Up until last year I worked 3 jobs. I taught high school history during the day, taught high school students at night, and taught online classes to high school students. Then my dad began having health issues, leading me to quit and move to Missouri to help him out. So I was used to being extremely busy and suddenly I wasn’t doing much of anything except keeping house (remodelled the bathroom, put down a new floor in the kitchen / dining area, and painted all throughout), a little yard work (built a greenhouse and a hen house), raising 2 kids, 2 cats, 4 dogs, 6 guineas, and my father. What can I say? I was bored. So amidst all that, I wrote my first novel.
Morgen: Wow. A bit of a contrast between sitting writing and being so active. What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Caron: Well, my book has been classed as young adult but really any age can read it. I did write it with the thought that teenagers would read it, so it’s clean. I am most familiar with sci-fi and fantasy so that’s probably what I’ll stick to. Although Silver Knight has been called paranormal as well.
Morgen: All popular genres and really I think anyone can read a family-friendly book, and many do. What have you had published to-date? Do you write under a pseudonym?
Caron: Silver Knight is published under my name, Caron Rider. That’s it for published so far, but the second book in The Silver Series is Silver Demon and it will be out in June 2012.
Morgen: Oh great, not long then. How exciting. Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Caron: I really didn’t consider sending it to any of the big publishers because I figured I would be rejected. If they come knocking, I’d naturally consider it, but with the Internet and technology, it’s so easy to just do it yourself, that I just decided to go for it. So I haven’t had any rejections so far. And (fingers crossed) so far everyone that’s given me any feedback, has enjoyed it.
Morgen: Authors have been ‘found’ that way and a lot of authors are going it alone. Having done so yourself, presumably you don’t have an agent, do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Caron: I don’t have an agent so I certainly hope they’re not vital to an author’s success.
Morgen: Is your book available as an eBook? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Caron: Yes, it’s available as a paperback and an ebook. I created everything with regard to my book (I naturally had input and suggestions). I read both ebooks and paperbacks and hardbacks. I love books in any form they come in.
Morgen: Me too, although it’s time I struggle with. How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Caron: It’s a full time job! I am just amazed at how much “social networking” is necessary to get your name out there. I’m finally getting the hang of it but it’s taken several months.
Morgen: Isn’t it. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Caron: Currently I am putting the finishing touches on Silver Demon, which picks right up where Silver Knight left off.
Morgen: Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Caron: Yes, in some form or fashion, I write every day and occasionally have a block. I just call my brother and bounce some ideas around and that usually clears it all up. Then I’m off and running again.
Morgen: A useful brother. Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Caron: I do a ton of editing. I don’t think my writing will ever be so “fully-formed” that it doesn’t need editing. Some of my most creative moments come during the editing process believe it or not and then I have to re-edit!
Morgen: I think even the top authors aren’t fully-formed. Having input from someone else isn’t just about punctuation and grammar. My editor comes up with some wonderful suggestions. Do you have to do much research?
Caron: Yes, but fortunately I really love history. My story involves different time periods and I like to pull in famous names or incidents and put my own spin on them. One fan called them “twistories”.
Morgen: I love that. Patent / copyright it quickly! Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Caron: Fear is the gun for which your mind provides the bullets.
Morgen: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks?
Caron: Well, of course, I love to read! But I also cook, crochet, and garden. Sorry, no party tricks.
Morgen: That’s OK. Raising 2 kids, 2 cats, 4 dogs, 6 guineas, and a father is no mean feat. Where can we find out about you and your work?
Morgen: Thank you, Caron. All the best with book two.
In the 1990s Caron Rider began teaching adults to use computer software, hardware, and networking. After several years, her clients became younger and younger until she found herself tutoring high school dropouts to pass the GED. She found working with at-risk teenagers so rewarding that she changed her undergraduate major to Education. Upon graduating from the University of South Alabama with a B.S., she began teaching high school history and continues to teach history classes online. She currently lives in rural Missouri with her two kids, two dogs, two cats, and father.
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