Author Interviews

* you can find the original interviews and much more on my 'everything writing' blog (http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com), including author spotlights, guest posts, book reviews, flash fiction or poetry - new items posted 6am UK time Monday to Saturday and writing exercises at 6pm very weekday.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Author interview with Blaize Nolynne (revisited)


Back in March 2013, I interviewed author Blaize Nolynne for my interview-only WordPress blog. I hope you enjoy it...
Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, scriptwriters, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with children’s author and novelist Blaize Nolynne. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Blaize. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
BlaizeBlaize: I am from Maine, USA.  I was born and raised there.  I love the country!  I have always had a knack for writing stories and poetry when I was a child and through my school years.  When I graduated High School I decided to major in children’s literature as a children’s author.  After I wrote a couple books I decided to try my hand at adult based books.  I decided to write ‘District One Stand By: The Captain’s Case’ which I self published.  Later it was accepted by a publishing company and the title changed to ‘Firefighter Down, District One’.  All together though I have five books out and one on the way.
Morgen: What genre do you generally write?
Blaize: I love to write fiction books.  I write a little bit of everything, however I have trouble writing nonfiction.
Morgen: Me too. The only non-fiction I write is about writing. :) What have you had published to-date? Do you write under a pseudonym?
Blaize: Yes I have several pennames.  I have a couple for children and teen books, but Blaize is the only one so far that is published for adult readers.
Morgen: Have you self-published? If so, what lead to you going your own way?
Blaize: I did self publish in the beginning.  I wasn’t getting anywhere with the publishing companies and the ones that didn’t reject me wanted me to pay or I disagreed with the contract.
Morgen: Are your books available as eBooks? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Blaize: At the moment the book is in hardcopy.  I am working on getting it in ebook form.  I was very involved in the process of my book all the way down to the cover.  I read books both ways.
Morgen: Do you have a favorite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Blaize: For the favorite book it would be book three out of the series, the one I am working on right now.  My favorite character would be Catisha, Jimmy and Angel.  I would love to play Catisha, but I am unsure about the others.  I would love to see John Travolta play Billy, who is one of the leading characters.
Morgen: Which author(s) would you compare your writing to?
Blaize: I am not exactly sure.  It is like all my favorite authors in a mixing pot would make up my book.
Morgen: Did you have any say in the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
Blaize: Yes, I had say in both.  They are both very important to me.  I actually get to design the covers, which is really nice.
Morgen: I do mine too. It’s great fun. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Blaize: I am working on the third book in the series at the moment.  I love writing this book!
Morgen: Do you write every day?
Blaize: I manage to write a good deal every single day.
Morgen: You’re very fortunate. Most writers don’t. Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Blaize: I just run with an idea.
Morgen: Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Blaize: I begin with their looks.  When I get their looks down, then I begin with attitude, their likes, dislikes and the end I name them.
Morgen: When you’ve got to know them better. Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Blaize: I feel with time my writing is more fully formed then when I first began, but it is nowhere near as it will be.  I have many more things to master about writing and editing.
Morgen: Like many things in life, it’s all about practice. Do you have to do much research?
Blaize: I do a LOT of research for these books.  Fire trucks, fire stations, equipment, procedures, you name it I have researched it for these books.
Morgen: What point of view do you find most to your liking?
Blaize: I love first person because I get to be able to think what my main character would do, think and say.
Morgen: Do you write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Blaize: I write everything except non-fiction.  I try to stay away from that.  Most of the short stories and poetry never made it to the publisher yet.
Morgen: Yet… Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Blaize: More likely the short stories and also poetry.  I usually do it to unwind my brain enough to continue working on a long chapter book.
Morgen: You mentioned some rejections earlier – how do you deal with them?
Blaize: I have had plenty of rejection and I deal with it in a bizarre way and most people laugh when they see this in my house.  I have a huge picture frame with every single letter that I have ever got that was a rejection letter.  It is my inspiration to keep going forward.  I look at it everyday and tell myself I can do it and that the rejection letters are just part of the job of being an author.
Morgen: Sadly so. Do you enter competitions?
Blaize: I have not yet entered any.  I am hoping to!
Morgen: Perhaps with your shorter pieces for the NLG flash fiction competition I’m Head Judge of? :) Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Blaize: I do not have an agent.  I think a driven author is their own success.
Morgen: How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Blaize: I do a LOT of my own marketing.  My publishing company also does some too, but from Facebook, blogs, blog tours, interviews, I have been doing those on my own and trying to set them up.  I believe if you want people to know who you are, you have to get out there and tell them!
Morgen: You do indeed, which is part of the reason why we’re here. What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life?
Blaize: My favorite part of my writing life would be able to live so many different lives then just a single life as most people live.  I get to dream things up that make your heart flutter or your stomach drop out.  I feel as if a world is being born when I begin to type.
My least favorite part of writing?  I don’t honestly know what that would be.  Ask me in a couple years, I might have an answer!
Morgen: If there isn’t a least favourite, let’s hope it stays that way. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Blaize: Follow your heart and never give up!  If you have that drive that this is your dream then go for it, but do it whole-heartedly, don’t expect someone to do it for you!
Morgen: <laughs> If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or hide the takeaway containers)?
Blaize: The three people I would invite would be Ray Bradbury, Robert Kiyosaki and a fallen firefighter.  I think that would be an interesting conversation in which I could learn several things from.
I would definitely cook! I love cooking!
Morgen: If you had to choose a single day from your past to re-live over and over, what day would it be and why?
Blaize: June 22, 2011 would be the day I would love to relive forever.  It was the day that my better half asked me to date him.
Morgen: Ahh… Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Blaize: There are too many words and phrases I favor!  I love one that is in Italian ‘ L'amore domina senza regole’ translated it means ‘Love rules without rules’.
‘Man can not live on bread and water alone, he must have stories to feed the soul’.  (this one came from a book which I can not remember the title of)
“If one goes, we all go” a firefighter phrase.
Morgen: I Googled your second quote but didn’t get very far which surprised me. The first half is apparently from the bible but the second part didn’t come up anything specific. Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Blaize: I am not.  I do however help a lot of new authors, but at the moment I am not involved in anything major.
Morgen: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
Blaize: I love to cook, be outdoors.  I love playing with my animals.  (I have two Dalmatian/chocolate lab mixes and bunnies.  I also love to draw and paint.
Morgen: Are there any writing-related websites and / or books that you find useful?
Blaize: Authors.com  www.authors.com which is also a forum, but you can get a LOT of information off from it.
  • Writers Market www.writersmarket.com which also carries book with publishing houses or magazines depending on which you want and if it is adult or children’s.
  • New Pages www.newpages.com this site has Indie publishing houses, magazines, and bookstores
  • Ebook CrossRoads is another great site that has listings of ebook publishers, marketing tips
  • http://www.ebookcrossroads.com
Morgen: Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Blaize: I spend way too much time online!  I am connected to the following!
Morgen: What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Blaize: The future holds what a writer can imagine it to be!  I heard a phrase once that states ‘Man can not live on bread and water alone, he must have stories to feed the soul’.  I am unaware of which book it came from, but I am sure it came from a book.  I however believe this.  People need stories to keep them alive inside and keep them imagining.
Morgen: They do. We do. :) Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Blaize: www.facebook.com/blaizenolynnefan, Twitter BlaizeNolynne. You can also find information on my blog at https://plus.google.com/u/0/115230980798347376294My writing is also on www.amazon.com www.barensandnoble.com www.booksamillion.com and most bookstores can get it for people.
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Blaize: Yes, I would like to thank you for having me!  It is an honor to be able to have an interview by you!
Morgen: :*) You’re very welcome, Blaize. I’m delighted you could join me. Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Blaize: What is it like to live in the UK and be a writer?  I have never traveled there.
Morgen: You don’t have to go far to see greenery but it doesn’t rain as much as people think (except 2012!). Like most countries we have our cutbacks which has increased the likes of pound shops, and chainstores, and some towns have become quite bland but you only have to look above shop level to see the beautiful architecture and history is a big part of the UK… shame it was one of my worst subjects at school. :) Thank you, Blaize.
I then invited Blaize to include an extract of her writing…
Life isn't promised. When the tones go off you never know who needs you the most or even worst, who will you set your own life down for. My father was a captain who set his life down for me in a fire. Now it is my duty to find out how that fire started and who started it. The guy that killed my father didn't just kill him in a normal way, he him with his worst nightmare. My father wasn't killed by a gang shooting or an accident, he was killed in the most painful way this person knew how to kill my father. He unleashed the animal on him and myself. I am not talking about an animal like a wild or domestic animal, I am talking about the elemental animal, the one known as fire. Fire is a living breathing thing that destroys and hates. By day and trade my father was a mechanic, but by blood he was a firefighter. He may not have been the president, but he was my hero. I was proud to say my hero wore bunker pants. I always wanted to catch the guy that killed my father...
And a synopsis from Blaize’s latest book ‘District One Stand By: On the Bleeding Edge of Change’…
As Catisha has moved on from her father’s case to getting back to a normal life, a call changes that.  Rick Johnson her old fire chief calls to ask if she has watched the news.  At the same time in the background she sees her old firehouse has blown up.  Who would do this?  Who would want firefighters dead?  Her boyfriend thought she was going to retire from being a fire investigator, but it seems even her personal life was shaken up with this phone call.  She owes it to her former crew to figure out what happened.
***
Born and raised in Maine, Blaize Nolynne loves to write about firefighters.  She blames this on the fact she was around them growing up since her father was a firefighter for fifteen years.  Most days she can be found with her two Dalmatian / chocolate lab puppies and her rabbits that seem to keep her life full of entertainment.
ffdown coverGraduated from the Children’s Institute of Literature in June 2009, that following December she had printed her first picture book under a penname.  She then began writing a teen book and the following year had also put that to print.  From there she decided to try her hand in adult fiction and ‘District One: The Captain’s Case’ was formed and printed as Self Published.  She then got a contract with a publishing house and ended up changing the name due to the fact it had been printed to ‘Firefighter Down, District One’, the beginning of a firefighter series.  Excepted on her birthday from Publish America, she decided to begin on the sequel ‘District One: On the Bleeding Edge of Change’ which will be coming out in December.  At the moment she is working on the third book in the series, in which she enjoys and state is her favorite so far.
***
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on the mixed blog but everything else (see Opportunities on the main blog) is free.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have this blog, http://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com, on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
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