Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Interview with Gretchen S.B. Author of the Hollownton Series

Gretchen, author of the supernatural suspense Hollownton series,  is a Seattleite that loves her home. She has a day job as a Program Coordinator a local university. She loves to read, write and create characters. As well as knit and binge watch Netflix. She is also on a sporadic book blog and internet radio show with some of her college friends. She currently lives with her husband and their mischievous Rotti mix, who always seems to find something new she shouldn't be chewing on.

Gretchen loves to hear from her readers. So feel free to drop by!

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision? 
 A friend of mine independently published his book almost a year before I published mine and he kind of spent a good part of that year convincing me to publish my first book. So that is what boosted me into the realm of being an author versus a writer. And it's not as much a right decision or wrong decision as it's the only decision that would get me close to what makes me happy. I love writing and creating worlds and sharing stories with people and the only way to really do that is by writing them down and so by becoming an author and sharing them with the world I get to do that on the scale I always wanted to so there's no way for it to be a wrong decision for me. So I guess yes, it was the right decision to publish my book in the first place and then every time I publish one after that it's just affirming that it was the right decision.
A day in the life of the author?
 Since I do have a day job my day to day schedule varies a lot. I consider Sundays to be my writing days where I get all of my author stuff and writing done. So on those days I get up at 8, usually, because that's the first day of my husband's work week and that's what he gets up. I then will putter around the house getting laundry ready or doing the dishes and making coffee. I then settle down in front of my computer and do any background work I need to do for authoring whether that be setting up marketing or answering emails or checking Facebook. That usually eats up the first one to three hours of my day on Sundays. Then I spend the rest of the day writing is much as I can. Some days I'll only get between 3000 and 5000 words done because my attention span is just not there or in a block. Other days I will just keep writing until 7:30 when I stop to get dinner ready since my husband gets home around 8:30 and we have dinner together. And that tends to be the end of my writer day. I usually aim to get a minimum of 8000 words done and I am happy if I get more than 15,000 words done. But since that is my main writing day of the week I really push myself to get those words done because weeknights and Saturdays are very hit or miss on whether I'll be able to sit in front of the computer and write.
Describe your writing style.
I like to only have a vague idea what's going to happen in a book. I like to just fly by the seat of my pants when I write and just keep going until I hit a roadblock. So my initial style of writing is the pantser and then once I hit that initial roadblock, if it seems like I'm not going to get over it I will then paragraph plan the rest of the chapters for that book. I do a minimum of one paragraph and as much as a page and a half of notes for what happens in each of the chapters following. Then I will go back and fill that in. I can't do that from the get-go because then I feel like I've already written the book and my creative mind won't go back and fill things in at any kind of fast pace.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
 My writing process starts with a little bit of world building at the beginning of writing a series. There is either an idea I want to run with or a scenario that I think would be interesting and the world blooms from there. I don't go into great detail but I want to know the general world rules and how things operate. I will then have a very loose idea what the first book should be about whether that be the couple that's in the book or the homicide that's in that book and I then just pants my way through the story as far as I can get before I hit a block. That tends to be at the one-third to halfway point. Once I get to that I will walk away for a day or two and if I still can't figure out what should come next I will then outline the rest of the novel chapter by chapter. And each of the following chapters will have between a big paragraph to a page of notes on what should happen in that chapter. Even if those notes or just a scene that should happen, or a feeling, or one of the events that needs to happen. Just some sort of notes that when I read them I have something to spring off from. I try not to write how the book is going to end simply because if it's not written down then my creative mind will still want to finish it.
What makes a good story?
In my mind what makes a good story is characters that you can identify with first. If you start that book and the character is annoying to you or you hate the decisions they're making you're not going to want to follow the journey of the book with them. After that I would say you need a complete world. If there something about the world that doesn't make sense or the conflict doesn't make sense people are not going to want to follow to find out what happens because they'll just not see the point. But I think first and foremost you have to have a relatable character. That is definitely the most important thing to making a good story.
Advice you would give new authors?
Have multiple stories ready and in good condition before you publish. If you're writing a series from what I am seeing with other authors and reading on different boards in the groups you want to have at least three books in your series done before you publish the first one. So I recommend doing that. I would also recommend not doing what I did and that is publishing a book one from multiple series one right after another and then going back and doing the book twos. I did that and I find it much harder to get the book done because you're switching between worlds which I originally thought would be easier but it's turning out to be the opposite now that I'm getting farther along in each series. It also makes it harder to retain readership unless you are pumping out novels very quickly
What are you currently reading?
I am between books at the moment but the book that I most recently read was The Tower which is book 9 in the Ghost Trapper series by JL Brian. I stumbled upon this series when I was looking for books for my Kindle. I downloaded the first one because it was free and it sounded interesting. I fell so in love with the characters that I have been buying them within a few weeks of whenever the author can pump them out.

Hollownton Homicide
Anthony Hollownton Series Book 1
by Gretchen S.B.
Genre: Supernatural Suspense
322 pages

There more to the world than he has ever known…

When homicide detective Anthony Hollownton is called to the scene of his latest murder case he quickly becomes aware that something isn't quite right.

It isn't the gruesomeness of the scene.

It isn't the symbols written on the wall.
It isn't the image carved into the victim's back.
It is something else, something he can't quite put his finger on, something he doesn't understand. 
Then his partner disappears, leaving Tony alone as the world begins to unravel. As the body count rises Tony must scramble to adapt to this new supernatural world. A supernatural world that wants nothing to do with him and will shut him out at all costs. Until the killer's attention turns to Tony. Now he must work within the supernatural community's rules if he is going to come out of this case alive.

**On sale for $0.99 from Jan 13th-18th!!**

Hollownton Outsiders
Anthony Hollownton Series Book 2
Life was finally getting back to normal…almost

Two months ago homicide detective Anthony Hollownton was forcibly thrown into the supernatural world. A world that has been eerily silent ever since. 

His partner is back but will never be the same. Talking about seeing things Tony knows are real. 

At least it is the Fourth of July and patrolling the festivities should be a cake walk.
A mutilated body is stumbled upon and now it is all Tony can do not to jump to supernatural conclusions. Is his jarring previous case making him paranoid or is there more to this murder than meets the eye?

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