Sunday, March 27, 2011

Featured Author Spotlight Interview - C.C. Cole

About the Author
C. C. Cole is a writer from rural Mississippi. Schooled in medicine and martial arts; she
especially likes hapkido.  She and her husband live a surburban life in close proximity to her brother and mother. The main antagonist, Zermon, from her gastar series, is modeled loosely after her older brother, in fact. This bit of sub-conscience transference has become somewhat of a family joke and her brother generally refuses to read her work in progress as he says he prefers not to unduly influence events in the book.

C.C. loves greyhounds and adopted two of the beautiful animals in their senior years that, sadly, passed away last year. They are both dearly missed and C.C. may decide to adopt again someday. She is passionate about domestic violence awareness and current world events. 
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Laurie: Today, I am pleased to talk with author C.C. Cole. Thank you so much for the opportunity to learn more about you and your books.  Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

C.C.:  If I were to say a single person, that would be my sister who died as a result of a domestic violence incident. Writing became a creative outlet for me and has helped me cope with that loss.

Laurie: I am so very sorry for your loss, C.C., but it is good that you have been able to channel the intense emotions into your writing, I think.

You are currently writing a four-book dark fantasy series and I understand the first two books in that series are available. What can you tell us about the first book?

C.C.:  “Act of Redemption” was released in 2009; a dark fantasy, medieval novella about the city of Gastar in ruins followed by centuries of war and just a few human inhabitants left.  Zermon, a demon lord, arrives to destroy the remaining people and to make the city part of his territory in hell.  A trio of brave fighters from the past wars arrives to help the people fight off the demonic attacks.  Shevata, a sixteen-year-old girl is introduced in the prologue and later in the story.  She was an enslaved child of war and is a trained assassin who carried out a mission to rescue captured living people from the underworld.  Later, she killed an evil high priest without a death order, so her soul is removed and she is cursed.  Because of her underworld venture, she is well known to Zermon.  The story sums up good vs. evil as the people come together and Shevata is introduced as a fierce and respected adversary.

Laurie:  Tell us about Shevata, your main character, and how did you create her?

C.C.:   I wanted to craft a dark, strong, complex female heroine, using the ‘anti-hero’ idea with character flaws. I wanted to get away from the ‘damsel in distress’ and ‘kid gets tough’ stereotypes. 

Who is your favorite character from “Act of Redemption”?

C.C.:  My favorite character in “Act of Redemption” is Zermon, the main antagonist.  His personality is based on my older brother’s and it’s now a family joke.

Laurie:  Is C.C. Cole a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

C.C.:  C.C.Cole is my pen name, which is the initials of my original name and Cole is my maiden name.

Laurie:  Who are your books published with?

C.C.:  “Act of Redemption” was published by AuthorHouse.  “Children of Discord” was published by CreateSpace.  I like self-publishing; the freedom, the control, and the networking make it rewarding for me.  I did try the traditional approach, got instant ‘nos’ from all query letters about six times, and read a couple of those books on “How to get published.”  For genre fiction, self-publishing suits me fine, although I’ve been shut out of some groups because of the ‘self-published’ taint.  I learned long ago, from other Indie authors, to not let that bother me.

Laurie:  How do you describe your writing style?

C.C.:  My style is fast-paced, dialogue-driven, and almost constant action.  Some reviewers say I write ‘awkward’ or ‘choppy’ because I break scenes during chapters, and sometimes keep the same scene when the chapter changes.  The reviews that don’t like it think I don’t know better; but most readers like it because it holds their interest.

Laurie:  Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.

C.C.:  A very intelligent young lady wrote me a several page, single-spaced critique of “Act of Redemption.”  It was almost as long as the book, and she picked up points I had not thought of.

Laurie:  That is so cool! She must have been very impressed to have taken the time to do that.
If you were given free tickets to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

C.C.:  I’d love to go to Paris.  A lot of people say that, and I agree with them.  It’s a beautiful city.

Laurie:  To where else do you dream of traveling?

C.C.:   would love to see the ancient city of Petra because the construction of the city fascinates me, and that’s it’s withstood so many years.

Laurie:  Does travel play in the writing of your books?

C.C.:  Not physical travel; Shevata’s (the main character) journey is written as time travel, but her actual journey is the road she takes within herself to become part of humanity.

Laurie:  What can you tell us about your latest release?

C.C.:  “Children of Discord” is the second of the four-novella series.  At the end of “Act of Redemption,” Shevata travels back to the underworld to find Goldeon, a treacherous boy who helped Zermon invade Gastar and for the murder of the mate of her mentor, the dragon Harathgus.  She gets forced back into the city of Gastar by unlikely allies.  Now, amongst the people two centuries later, they have grown and prospered with no knowledge of the dangerous children of the past.  As Goldeon hides in the city, seeking to destroy the leadership with a secret army, Shevata relentlessly hunts him amongst the people.  Their secret war places the people of Gastar in danger, and Shevata begins to reflect on her past actions and takes steps to re-join humanity at the story’s end.

Laurie:  For you, what is the hardest part of writing a book?

C.C.:  The hardest part is sending that last draft to the editor for the final read before publishing.  It’s like taking a leap of faith.  I feel like I’m closing my eyes and stepping off a cliff.

Laurie:  Where do you research for your books?

C.C.:  tend to watch historical documentaries for research; I’m a visual person so seeing something gives me a picture in my mind to write about.

Laurie:  Do you listen to music while writing?

C.C.:  No, I usually have a movie or historical documentary on.

Laurie:  What plans or ideas do you have for the book after you finish the Gastar series?

C.C.:  After “Gastar,” I’d like to write a non-fictional book about a wartime veteran I know.

Laurie:  What do you do to unwind and relax?

C.C.:  I sit on my deck with my husband with an appletini.

Laurie:  Would you say you are an introvert or an extravert?

C.C.:  I’m an introvert because I keep a small circle and tend to march to the beat of my own drum.

Laurie:  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

C.C.:   I’d say the “Gastar” series is just fast-paced entertainment, meant to be fun.  The books won’t change your religion, make you lose weight, or make you stop smoking. It’s action/adventure and hopefully, not boring.

Laurie:  Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

C.C.:  I say “write, write, write and don’t let anyone get in your way.  One bad review should not stop you from writing.

Laurie:  Where can your fans find you? Do you have a Website or Blog?

C.C.:  I shut down my first blog because I didn’t like the background, and recently started a new one: http://www.shevata-cccole.blogspot.com.  My website is http://www.gastarseries.com/, but it isn’t updated for “Children of Discord” yet.  I recommend comments to just go to the blog.

Laurie:  Thanks so much for taking time out to chat with us and sharing so many of your thoughts and ideas.  I am looking forward to reading “Act of Redemption” and I have to tell you that I watched the trailer for it about 3 times.  I really liked it! 

C.C.:  Thank you, Laurie!

I have added the trailers for both books in the following post

1 comment:

N. R. Williams said...

I'm so sorry about your sister, CC.

Your story sounds outstanding. Thank you, Laurie for interviewing, CC. A good job by both of you.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.