Wow these author interviews are coming through thick and fast, but we do like them here on Blazing Minds and todays interview is with a good friend of mine L.J. Sealey.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always enjoyed reading but writing wasn’t something I really thought of doing until about 10 years ago. I had an idea that kept popping in to my head but I dismissed it for a long time. Eventually, when it wouldn’t stop nagging at me, I decided to write some things down. My little idea soon turned into a complete story and since then, I can’t seem to stop doing it.
Do you have a specific writing style?
At the moment I’m a newbie, so I haven’t written a great deal. But so far I’ve found writing in third person seems to come natural to me. That doesn’t mean to say that I’ll stick to the one style though. I would like to try my hand at writing in first person at some point.
How did you come up with the title?
The title for Awaken (Divine Hunter Book 1) just came to me half way through writing it and seemed to fit the storyline well. I came up with the name for the series, Divine Hunter, early on in the writing process. In fact, I think I was only working on my notes at that point.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I didn’t consciously write the book to convey a message. I would imagine that readers interpret books in many different ways so I’m sure mine will be no exception. If someone can take something away from my books, if they are influenced by them in anyway, then that would please me no end.
How much of the book is realistic?
It’s a fictional story so I guess only certain aspects of Awaken are realistic. It’s mainly set in a normal environment but has lots of supernatural elements so I guess it’s as realistic as it can be. I’ve tried to make my characters as real as they can be. I’d like my readers to relate to them in some way and I think I’ve achieved that.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I wouldn’t say so, not really. Thankfully I don’t experience Demons and Supernatural creatures in my own life, though it would be pretty cool if I did, I think! But I did name my main character Michael Warden after someone I know in my real life.
What books have most influenced your life most?
I suppose I’ve been influenced by many books that I’ve read. Dan Brown’s Da’vinci Code fascinated me when I first read it. It hasn’t really influenced my life but I would definitely say reading his books played a part in inspiring me to write. For some reason, I’ve always been drawn to horror, so the likes of Dean Koonts, James Herbert and Stephen King have heavily influenced my horror obsession.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I wouldn’t say mentor, but I absolutely love Jeaniene Frost. She is such a terrific writer. I love everything about her books and her characters. She has a great writing style and always has really strong dialogue between her characters. She’s definitely been a big influence for me.
What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading an ARC of book 5 in the Black Swan series by Victoria Danann called Gathering Storm. I was given the complete series by the author and I’ve loved every bit of it so I’m really enjoying book 5. Victoria is such a great writer. Her books are jam packed with romance, action and humour. The way she structures her stories is fascinating. I can never put the things down until I’ve read the very last page.
What are your current projects?
At the moment I’m finishing off the edits for my debut novel Awaken, book 1 of my new series Divine Hunter, which releases on 19th November. I’ve also started work on book 2 and am currently working on notes for another paranormal romance series but it’s in its very early stages at the moment.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have a lot of support from friends and people I’ve met through blogging. It’s been really great to have a network of friends on the internet who have supported me through my facebook page and on twitter and my website. I truly appreciate knowing that people are excited about my work and it really boosts your confidence.
Do you see writing as a career?
I truly hope so. I would love to make a career out of it but it’s not the most important thing to me. I do it because I really love it. I feel I’ve finally found what I am supposed to be doing, whether it be a hobby or a full time job. If I could make a career out of it, then that would just be the icing on the cake.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Well, seeing as I’m nearly done with my edits for my latest book I would have to say no. At least, not at the moment. I’m pretty happy with everything, so hopefully my readers will be too. Ask me that question again in a year or two and I may have a completely different answer.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It really was just a case of having an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone. As I said earlier, it wasn’t something I’d thought about before so I was surprised when I started to feel the urge to write my ideas down and play about with them.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Ooh, that’s a hard one. I don’t really want to give too much away so I’ll just give you a little sneak peek to share:
‘Instead of listening to her talk he studied her face noticing how smooth her skin was. Her large green eyes looked darker in the soft hue of the candle light. Then he realised what he was doing and snapped himself back to a reality he needed to make damn sure he clung on to.’
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Self doubt. Honestly, it’s easy to lose confidence in yourself. Especially when you get to a point in a project where nothing wants to come out. I’m sure every single writer experiences this at some point. Writers block. I deal with it by stepping away from my laptop, doing some house work, or by getting out of the house for a few hours. This usually does the trick.
Who designed the covers?
I designed the cover for Awaken myself. I’ve always loved design and I don’t need any excuses to play about in photoshop. I can spend whole days in there without realising it.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The very first page. I had my whole idea typed out, all of my notes in front of me and then I had to start my story. Looking at that blank page was like looking at a mountain I was about to climb. But I proved to myself that mountains are, in fact, possible to climb with the right equipment and plenty of coffee!
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That no matter how much you doubt yourself, you can do it. I started out thinking my story might be something my family would like to read, or even that it might only be something no one else ever sees. And now I have my first book due for release in November. It’s great to feel such an accomplishment and I’m so glad I decided to write that first little idea down.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
If it’s in your head, write it down. If you feel you want to be a writer and have an idea for a story, then it’s no good keeping it locked away. I wasn’t sure if I could do it but I did it anyway and I hope I’ll continue to do so for many many years to come.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A huge, huge thank you for all of your support. And I hope you all love Awaken as much as I do.
You can find out more about L.J. Sealey but visiting the following:
Awaken on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18133914-awaken