Please welcome SJ Himes to The Blogger Girls!
Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing and what made you start writing?
I have been writing for most of my life, but doing so on a professional basis for the last three years. I love to read, I adore books and storytellers and I can get lost in a fictional world so easily. I made no conscious decision to start writing; I just did, needing a way to expense the daydreams and fantasies that lived in my head. Looking back at my younger years, I was living proof of my favorite saying for authors: Write what you want to read. I started writing and then publishing because I was at the point in my life when my day job was killing my soul, making me a bitter person, and my dreams were nothing but dust. So, I made the choice to try. I took that leap, and I have not regretted it since.
What book of yours would you recommend a new-to-you-reader to start with?
Depends on what the person in question likes. For urban fantasy, The Necromancer’s Dance. Angel is the main character, with a sharp wit and a big heart scarred by tragedy. Vampire, fae, demons, and the supernatural world living side by side with humanity. A werewolf with a smartphone, etc.
For someone fond of shifters, I would suggest my Wolfkin Saga, starting with Wolves of Black Pine. It is aptly named; the books are long, complicated, with ensemble casts supporting the main characters. It remains one of the hardest series I have ever written.
For sweeping, fantasy romance, I would suggest this new book, The Solstice Prince. It is entirely epic fantasy with a main Love Story. I have an mpreg series, Bred For Love, written as my nom de plume of Revella Hawthorne. That too has princes, and it set in an alternate reality of Earth, slightly futuristic.
What makes you want to write in the genres you write in?
Easiest question I’ve ever gotten! Simple: I write what I want to read. I write what I love. I don’t write to market or to the expectations of others. My books are solely for myself, and when I know they’re ready, I set them out into the wider world for other people to love them too. I am a huge scifi, fantasy, and paranormal reader, and very few books I read are contemporary. I write and read to escape this world we live in, so writing stories in this world is harder for me. The less grounded in reality a book is, the easier it is to write.
How many half-finished books do you currently have? Or do you prefer to finish one before you start another?
I actually write in a system I call clusters. What is a writing cluster, you may ask?
A writing cluster is a collection of WIPs (Work in Progress, aka manuscripts, titles, etc) that I work on, with no discernible preference or priority. I have learned in the last year, while working through RL and personal issues, that putting pressure on myself makes me shut down. I stop writing. No pressure means more words down on paper.
So, I write in clusters. Between 2-5 titles that I consistently (or not) work on every day or week. To avoid burnout, I’ll jump between titles and add a bit there, here, some little bits or whole word dumps.
Whichever WIP is getting closer to being done is usually the book I focus in on the most and stick with until it is done. Then I switch to the remaining WIPs in the cluster, and repeat the process until another book is done. And so forth. It has been a success so far and saw me finish and release two books in six months.
I have a To Write List a mile long. Working on them a handful at a time may be slower, but each book is seeing steady progress, and once a cluster book is done, I add in a title from the To Write List. To answer your question, I have right now 4 books in the cluster that are all hovering between just started to nearly done, and a list of To Write Books at about 27 titles.
And some fun questions! What would you consider your spirit animal to be?
Two answers to this one. A dragon and a red fox. The dragon to represent my love of the fantastical and my fondness for factual knowledge. The red fox because of its shyness, the quiet way it moves through life, but also for its absolutely frightening ability to go from shy woodland creature to dangerous, formidable hunter with seamless ease. Foxes have evolved in the ultimate survivalist.
Boxers, briefs or boxer-briefs….for your characters!
Most of them either go commando, or wear boxer-briefs. I say only about 25% of them wear any underwear at all.
What was the last thing you googled?
This one is making me laugh. The last thing I googled was “Wow Addon for Rare Hunter Pets NPCscan overlay.” Continue reading