Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Indie Author Interview: C.J. Sullivan


Interview with C.J. Sullivan - Author of the Urban Fantasy Wings of the Divided.

C.J. Sullivan is a native Texan who appreciates both the quiet simplicity of the state's countryside and the exciting color of its major cities.

When she's not lost in the world of her angels, she reads every genre of literature, watches and re-watches cult classic movies, and obsessively de-clutters and redecorates her house.

Interview with C.J. Sullivan

Indie Author Interview w/ C.J. Sullivan
Author C.J. Sullivan
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
C.J. Sullivan: Professionally, I have an English degree, and I served as editor-in-chief for The Wichitan, my university newspaper. During college, I won some little awards for news and editorial writing, as short story writing. Over the last few years, I have toyed around with writing in different genres under different pseudonyms to find out what kind of stories I like writing the most. (Some people immediately know what genre they want to write, but I read lots of genres, so it's a little harder for me!) Example: I've gotten a few short stories published under the name "C.J. Sully" and a novel published under the name "Jillian Kidd." Those publications were with small presses. But now, I'm sticking with C.J. Sullivan, which is short for my name, Carrie Jill Sullivan, and I'm using that to indie publish my angel trilogy and all future writings.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
I read many genres, so I have many influences! Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King are some of my favorites. The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro are some amazing works that stick out in my mind. Ann Rule is a great True Crime writer, and I can always turn to Dave Barry to make me laugh! I also find that film, art, and music influence me creatively as a writer almost as much or more than books.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to pursue being a published writer when I was about 17. I'd always toyed with it and wrote little tales for myself, family, friends, and school since about first grade. But my junior year of high school, I decided I was brave enough to think about sharing my writing with the rest of the world.

"... I usually let the manuscript sit for a few weeks."

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?

I do a lot of preparation before I start writing. I brainstorm, work on character development, etc. But when I'm in the process of actually writing a novel, I usually write one chapter a day, every other day. On my "off days," I go back and re-read and edit the chapter I wrote the day before. When the first draft is finished, I usually let the manuscript sit for a few weeks. After that, I go over it again and edit, and then I give the book to a select few people to read and give me their honest critiques.

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
I think it's all easy, really. I enjoy the brainstorming, the writing, the editing, getting the feedback from critiques. It's all fun and comes naturally to me. I love it every aspect of it.

C.J., please tell us a little about your novel 'Wings of the Divided'.
Wings of the Divided is a contemporary fantasy about angels. It has a whole slew of characters in it with their own personal struggles and secrets, but the central story revolves around Laphelle, an angel of darkness, whose life changes when he hears the sound of the violin while he's on Earth.

Wings of the Divided (C.J. Sullivan)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
This was actually the first book I've ever written. Right before I graduated from high school (back in 2002), I decided I wanted to write a full-length novel, but I didn't know what it should be about. I literally woke up in the middle of the night one night with the inspiration to write a story about angels.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
My target audience is older, mature teenagers and adults. There's a little something in this book for a variety of different readers. It's one of those books that's hard to peg in just one genre. In it, there's action and adventure, drama, mystery, horror, fantasy, mythology, and even a tiny dash of romance. You can buy it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

How would you describe the success of your book so far
The book is so newly published that it's hard to tell yet! But the handful of reviews I've received so far have been very kind and encouraging!

How long did it take it to write the book?
Since it was my first book, and I was so young when I wrote that very first draft (I even hand-wrote the first draft, if you can believe that), it took the longest out of all of the things I've written. Including one major rewrite and a number of revisions, the book took somewhere between two and three years with some gaps in between to completely finish.

Please, tell us where you self-published the book.
I used Amazon's KDP program and Barnes & Noble's PubIt program.

"...make sure you know someone or can hire someone who can format it professionally."

How smooth went the self-publishing process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing a book?
I think overall it went really smoothly. Just make sure you know someone or can hire someone who can format it professionally.

Did you hire an editor and/or Cover Designer for your book?
I didn't hire an editor, but I did hire a cover designer. Susan Kimes was great to work with.

Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
If you're just in it for the money and fame, then I don't have a lot of advice. That's not the root reason why I'm doing it (not to say it wouldn't be a nice side effect if it happens someday). But seriously, if you're in it because you are an artist at heart and you have stories inside of you that you want to tell, I would say, just remember at all times why you write. It's easy to lose sight of it when you start to get competitive, spend every waking moment on social media, don't sell a million copies right away, etc. I write stories because I enjoy it. If that's you, too, then don't ever lose sight of that. There are so, so, so many authors, independent and traditional, publishing today that it's easy to give up and think you will never get noticed. But if you love what you do, and it's fun, and you're proud of your work, you are already a success.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
Yes, getting the sequel to Wings of the Divided ready to go probably sometime in January!

"...I really like being able to have control..."

Are you planning to move forward as an Indie author or are you looking forward to have one of your next books to be traditionally published?
I have been traditionally published through small presses and online magazines, and I still may write and submit more short stories to traditional publishers. But with novels, I really like being able to have control over the marketing, getting to choose a cover artist I like, being able to see what my sales numbers are at any given moment, and especially getting to set the price on my books.

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I have to say, I resisted the whole ebook thing for a long time. But now, I think ebooks are just going to get more and more the norm until paper books finally become novelty items. I think in 10 years, we may have a few bookstores left, but they'll probably be used bookstores, for the most part.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
I do have a day job. I work with animals at a pet resort. Now there's a place for inspiration!

"I enjoy getting to know people!"

How can readers connect with you?
Please feel free to connect! I enjoy getting to know people![see Links below]

Thank you very much for the Interview, C.J.



About the Book Wings of the Divided

Wings of the Divided (C.J. Sullivan)
Click to Read an Excerpt

Fallen angel Laphelle has been sent on a mission to modern-day Earth, along with two of his comrades, to start fresh chaos behind the scenes. But everything changes when he hears the sound of the violin one fateful night. The heavenly music stirs thoughts of his life before the Fall, a time he does not consciously remember.

Confused and intrigued, he begins to spiral out of control when he discovers he can actually play the violin with stunning talent.

This unknown skill, along with the surprising relationship he develops with the violin’s owner, pushes him to question his role in the war of good and evil.

An emotional, character-driven adventure, at times humorous and fun, and at others dark and horrific, Wings of the Divided is the first book in an epic trilogy that explores the sacred bond of friendship, the universal power of music, and the question of redemption.

"If you want a book with a pinch of supernatural, a dash of good vs. evil and the meaning of friendship, this is definitely a book for you to read! I HIGHLY recommend it!" - Reader Review





Links to the Author and the Book

Link to the Author's Website

Connect with the Author via Twitter: @CJSullivan53

Connect with the Author via Facebook: CJ-Sullivan

Link to the eBook Wings of the Divided on B&N for Nook

Wings of the Divided on Amazon with Excerpt - Promotion Price: 99cents


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