Sunday, October 23, 2016

An Author Comes Calling.

It's always a special occasion to have an author colleague stop by at the Country House for a chat and a drink.  

This time around, it's my pleasure to welcome Ceanmohrlass to my little cyberspace cottage on the lake.  She is a retired grandmother who has been writing novels for her family and friends for over 20 years. She is the family genealogist, and writing the family history has only increased the passion for writing. She resides in Texas, and is currently (and always) working on her next novel.  "Stephani's Light" is her newest literary offering. 

So, since we're all here to talk about books and writing, let's get right to some interesting conversation with Ceanmohrlass.

Has writing always been a part of your life? 
Absolutely, it has been a part of my life since I learned to write at 4 yrs old. Crude, but effective even back then.

What made you decide to publish on KDP?
I tried to submit Stephani’s Light to six different agents, and although I was surprised at the majority of the responses being very helpful and cordial, my book wasn’t what they were seeking at the time. I decided to continue the tradition of self-publishing instead of continuing to query agents.

Tell us about the inspirations for your books.
Most of the time, my inspiration is some very simple thing that just nags at me until I get a story outline created. I have scrapped thousands of stories well before a completed first draft, and have at least a dozen stories that are chomping at the bit to get their time in the spotlight.  Stephani’s Light was inspired by a late-night view of a lighthouse photo online, and a dream began that woke me in the wee hours of the morning.

How do you go about creating your characters?  Are they inspired by actual people?  Are they “composites“ assembled from many “bits and pieces” of personality?  Or are they purely products of your imagination?
The characters are a struggle for me still. Some of them are a conglomeration of me at a younger and far less intelligent age, who are fortunately written in a much better light. Others, well that is a trade secret. ;)

How do you deal with every author’s nemesis: writer’s block?
I will let you know when that happens. I hear it is a real downer. I have the opposite problem. The characters are beating down my door most of the time, taking control of my pencil, and shoving me out of the way!

Do you prefer first-drafting or editing existing work?  Why?
I vary. For something like NaNoWriMo, I just start that pencil scratching and don’t come up for air until my Frappe high subsides. I have to slap myself upside the head sometime after and yell, “What were you thinking here?”  Most of the time however I just write until I have gotten the scene from my head to paper, then the details start to call out to me to be fixed.  I have mild dyslexia (yeah, that’s fun for a writer) and I can read that paragraph 20 times and it still needs work after.

Is there a subject you would absolutely refuse to write about, even if doing so would assure you of fame and fortune on the scale of J.K. Rowling?
Yes. I will not write a scene that my grandchildren could not read if they are under 21. I just don’t have it in me to allow myself to do so. Money aside, I stick to my guns on this one, and the money isn’t worth being less in my grandbabies' eyes.

Are you a plotter or do you prefer to “wing it”?
I usually am a pantser, but lately, I have come to appreciate even a vague outline of sorts. (Wish the characters would respect those outlines, but sometimes...)

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? 
Gardening (horrible at it) and art, but reading is my main vice as the days become shorter.  (Note from Ponderson: I can totally relate to the lack of a green thumb.  I can lay claim to having killed a plastic plant!  It wasn't easy; but I did it!)

So tell us all about “Stephani’s Light,” your newly-launched book.

This is a contemporary fiction, and I consider it my tribute novel. This is the only one I have made available in paperback. My parents, younger son and his wife, my step-daughter, and my husband, and all my family and friends that encourage me are in my heart and a part of this book. The story of Macy, is one many of us can relate to. Macy has been content to trudge through each day but when her dreams begin to take over, things must change. I tried to make it light enough to not be depressing and readers to say, “Been there...” yet serious enough to show that actions have consequences in life. It is a journey of her sudden strength to take control of her destiny, and the havoc her rash decisions cause. I still tear up at the ending, but it does have that element of that happy ending that I try to incorporate in every novel I write.

Any final thoughts?
I have often been accused of being too perky, totally off the wall, and eccentric to the max! I wholeheartedly agree with this. I figure that I will someday become THAT granny on the porch, flowered dress, pearls, support hose, and a beer, in a big rocker on my screened-in front porch, antagonizing the young-uns when they pester me. :) I’ve survived cancer twice, and I understand the old third time’s a charm scenario, so I live for each day. No reason to waste a moment in life, whether I have 1 second or a trillion minutes left, I plan to enjoy them all.

Here's where you can check out the books written by this multi-genre fiction author:

I would like to thank Ceanmohrlass for stopping by on this beautiful autumn afternoon to share some of her thoughts on writing with us.  You can easily follow her on social media by clicking on these links:

My thanks to one and all for stopping by today.  I wish everyone a productive day and an inspiring autumn season.  Get out there and enjoy it! 

P.S: Don't forget to pet your Thesaurus today.