Actually, I was tagged many many months ago. But then my computer tried to commit suicide, so I just forgot about this until today when another friend tagged me in another questionnaire. I figured I better get this one done first before I work on that one, so here we are!
When did you first start writing?
Second grade. I had this stuffed dog puppet thing called Wrinkles, and I wrote a story for a school project about how his dad was McGruff the crime dog, his best friend was a giraffe, and they all went on this fabulous adventure somewhere. I also made comic books featuring him and his friends and tried to sell them door to door in my neighborhood.
Was being a writer something you always aspired to?
As a kid I wanted to be a large animal vet and a race horse jockey. Then a teacher, then a graphic designer.
It wasn’t until I was working at Blizzard as a customer service rep that my supervisor at the time sat me down and had a long talk with me about how I was never going to break into the art department there because I wasn’t drawing every day or trying to push myself like the new graduates who were being hired for those positions had been doing every day for the past four years. Which was a depressing conversation to have, because basically he was telling me that my dream would never come true. However, I realized that while I hadn’t been drawing or playing with photoshop on any sort of a regular basis since leavng college, I had been writing fanfic daily and I had a few fans. In addition to the fanfics I had been working on, I also had a number of original ideas, so I decided to start working on those and turning them into something publishable.
What genre do you write?
Mainly fantasy with a hint of romance.
Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress?
There are two.
The first is The Descendants, which is an idea that I began working on in high school after going to a school event at Medieval Times. I imagined, what would happen if three girls went back in time to that era by accident. Since then it’s grown into a four part series where the girls are actually descendants of an ancient race that knew how to harness the powers of the elements. One girl is sent back in time delibrately to find an artifact, and the others get pulled back with her by accident. In addition to visiting the Dark Ages, they also end up in Pompeii, and on the high seas during the Revolutionary war.
The second project is The Undying Ones. During the time of the Black Plague, a King was searching for a spell that would cast eternal life. He finds it – right as the plague finally invades his castle. The story takes place two hundred years later, and follows the story of Mattie, a peasant living in the castle, who discovers a dead body and learns that nothing is quite what it seems.
When did you start working on this project?
The Descendants began during my senior year of high school. The Undying Ones was based on a short story I wrote in 2005.
What was your first piece that you can remember writing?
Besides the story about Wrinkles the dog, there was a short story I wrote for my Senior English class.
What was it about?
A girl’s sister was kidnapped and she went on a quest to find her. Think Labyrinth, but sent entirely in a fantasy world.
What’s the best part about writing?
Creating new worlds inhabited by unusual creatures.
What’s the worst part about writing?
The writer’s block. Or when you come with an idea, but by the time you get a chance to write, it’s gone.
What’s the name of your favourite character and why?
Gwalchmei, he’s a hermit that shows up in book two of The Descendants. And I wish I could say why, but that might spoil things. Mattie from The Undying Ones is also a lot of fun. Just like nothing in the castle is what it seems, there’s also more to her than meets the eye.
How much time a day/week do you get to write?
I get to write for maybe an hour to two hours a night after my son falls asleep.
When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
Did you go to college for writing?
Nope. Though I did take a creative writing class for one semester.
What bothers you more: spelling errors; punctuation errors, or errors for grammar?
All of the above. I often find myself going back to correct mistakes when I should be just writing.
What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
Write the story you want to read.
What advice would you give to another writer?
See the question above!
What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?
Usually Lindsay Buroker’s site. She has a lot of great info about self publishing. Twitter and Pinterest are pretty good resources too.
Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
I sew – usually costumes for Renn Faires and other events, though I’ve also started branching out into quilting. I also crochet and sometimes I knit.
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
I actually haven’t read anything this year. I’ve just been so busy with everything else that reading has taken a back seat. However, I did get the Drums of Autumn for Christmas and I look forward to being able to start it soon.
What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year?
Star Wars The Force Awakens.
What is your favourite book or series of all time?
The Dragonriders of Pern is my all time favorite series and one that I often reread. Well, at least I did before I had a toddler.
Who is your favourite author?
Anne McCaffrey, though Gail Carriger comes in a close second.
What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
I plan to finish the first book of the Descendants. I also have a number of short stories and novellas I would like to publish under my pen name.
Where else can we find you online?
You can find me on Twitter and Instagram under @ceeleeolson
I’m supposed to tag other people to complete this questionnaire, but I think almost everyone I know has done it now. If you haven’t feel free to copy over the questions and fill them out yourself!