Kindling Flames: Stolen Fire by Julie Wetzel
- When did you first realize you wanted to be an Author?
To be honest, I’m an author by accident. I never considered it an option for me. English was my worst subject in high school and college. I started crafting stories when my sister asked for reading material. And that was to save me from reading some of the strange fanfiction she enjoyed. Now, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong about fanfiction… but I didn’t want to read Harry Potter and Star Trek mash ups! I had a decent imagination, so I started writing her a story. But, even then, I didn’t consider myself a writer. It was just something to make my sister happy. It was only after several of her crewmates started emailing me to get sections they’d missed that I considered that I might be good at this. Then it wasn’t until I they asked where they could get the book that I ever considered publishing it. And that was a joke in itself. I never expect anyone in the publication world to think it was worth picking up. It wasn’t until I finished my third book before I even considered myself a writer. I’m still waiting to wake up and find this has all been one gigantic dream.
- What would you say is your interesting quirk that only happens when you are writing?
Quirk that happens when writing? I’m not sure. I drink a lot more coffee and get lost in the story.
- What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your books?
That I’m good with words. English wasn’t my best subject in school so it surprised me that I could string a bunch of words together and people would actually enjoy it.
- Where did you get ideas for your books?
This is a hard question to answer. Some of the ideas come from suggestions that others give me, some come from dreams, and some just come to me while I wander around idle at work. The Kindling Flames books came from a prompt from my sister. She wanted a vampire story where the vampire was fighting demons.
- Out of all the books you have written which is your favorite and why?
Oh, a really hard one. How do you choose? Each of the books that I have written have a special place in my heart. Gathering Tinder and Flying Sparks were the world building and what got me into writing, but Smoke Rising and Stolen Fire were so much fun to write. Then there is On the Accidental Wings of Dragons… DRAGONS! I love that book just for the subject matter. My favorite changes with my mood. At this instant, right now, I would have to say On the Accidental Wings of Dragons. Because, I’m working on the sequel to that and I’ve been holding those the closest. After I finish with that, I’ll go back to Kindling Flames and those will be my favorite again.
- What do you think makes a good story?
A story needs three things to be good—strong characters that are fully fleshed out, a good plotline, and the author has to enjoy the story as they are writing it. Two dimensional characters can kill a story even if the plot is good. A flat plotline will ruin great characters. And finally, when an author isn’t happy with their story, it shows in the writing and makes the read less pleasant. It’s like smiling when you talk to someone on the phone. Even though the other person can’t see your smile, they can hear it, and it can make a difference in the conversation. It can be the difference in a good read and a great read.
- Who are some of your favorite Authors?
I have a LOT of favorite authors. And the one that’s on the top depends on what mood I’m in. Light hearted and fun—Piers Anthony, Terry Pratchett, and Patricia Briggs. Good mood and thoughtful—Lois McMasters Bujold, Holly Kelly, and a lot of others (This is the place where I do most of my pleasure reading). Deep and thoughtful—Robert Heinlein, Edger Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman. I don’t read when I’m dark and brooding. Books don’t hold my attention at those times.
- If you could pick one actor to play a character in your book in the movie version, who would it be? Picture of the Actor
I would have to pick Maggie Grace for Vicky. She has right mix of look and attitude to pull her off convincingly.
- Who are some of the people that influenced your love of writing?
My mother. If she wasn’t there to bounce ideas off of, I don’t think I would be writing. My sister. She was the one that started me on stories. And last… anyone that ever handed me a book. If I hadn’t learned to enjoy reading, I wouldn’t enjoy crafting worlds to play in.
- What kind of TV shows do you like and do you find that as a Paranormal Writer that you gravitate toward True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Lost Girl and others that center around Preternatural or Supernatural Creatures?
Right now, my favorite TV shows about paranormal are Forever and The Librarians. Also like Eurika, Warehouse 13, and Doctor Who.
- How are your Supernaturals different from the traditional mythology?
In the Kindling Flames series, the vampire are your traditional vampires. Most of the time, they to stick to the traditional rules set in their lore, but they aren’t as ridged as many vampires you read about. In most vampire books, you get the feeling that the vampires feel they are superior to everyone. They act as if humans and other paranormal creatures are beneath them. That is not how Clara runs the council in Brenton. They are just normal people trying to live normal lives. They just happen to be vampires and have to follow the rules set by their condition. The exception to the rule is Darien. With his age and power, he’s learned to get over most of the things holding the other vampires back, but he’s not stuck up about it. He takes a rather laid back attitude to the whole vampire thing lives life as he thinks it should be lived.
- What is your view on the Paranormal “Craze” that’s going on, do you feel that it is a fad that people will look back on and laugh or a lasting interest that will birth classics to come?
If the paranormal thing is a craze, it’s a fad that has been dropping in and out of literature for a very long time. There are great examples of vampire and paranormal fictions dating back as far the Nineteenth century with The Vampyre (1819), The Feasts of Blood (1847), and Dracula (1872). I’m sure that there were many more that didn’t stand the test of time, but vampires and paranormal creatures have woven in and out of fiction and horror for a long time now. It wasn’t until recently that they made their way into romance. I’m sure, at some time in the future, they will fall back out of style. But they will come back. There’s just something about playing with danger that attracts people. And romancing the monsters is one surefire way to play with danger.
- What other genres do you write?
I’ve been testing my hand at science fiction. I did a short for an anthology coming out in June that is probably going to lead into a YA series on time travel. And I’m working on a comedy piece, but I can’t tell if those are going to be good until I have more of those stories out. I have written two contemporary romances but they are unpublished at this time. I’ve gotten good reactions to them, but I just haven’t found an outlet for them yet.
- If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring Author what would it be?
You are going to need very thick skin to get into writing. I did not realize this as I was going in. Putting a piece out for the world to see is hard. Even if that story has nothing in common with you, you’ve just put a piece of your soul out for people to see. They are going to pick at it. They will shred it and say mean things about it. And you can’t take their unkindness to heart. Do listen to criticism. That will help you gauge where your writing could use work, but don’t take it to heart so much that you don’t want to share anymore. At the end of the day, you are the only one you have to please.
- What would you like to say to friends and family of Authors (not just your own)?
Be understanding. We may make it look easy, but writing is very hard work. It taxes the mind. If your writer is busy with a manuscript, let them have their time. Constant interruptions break into the flow of the story. Sometimes it’s hard to get back into that groove. If it’s not life threatening, leave them alone for a while. If they get lost in their worlds too often, make arrangements so they know you will be in to get them after a few hours, but don’t bother them every few minutes. Life can wait while they create.
- Is there anything else you want to share with your readers?
Thank you. Everyone that has enjoyed my books. Without you, I would have no reason to write. Thank you for making all of this possible.
- A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.