Hello fellow Book worms and Page turners, Today post is an interview with a local fantasy fiction author, so local in fact she is from my very own city! I am talking of course about the lovely C.L Coffey, Author of “Angel In Training”.
I first came across Cheryl’s work while perusing the Tenfoot City magazine for events and the like, and what did I find, only that I ruddy missed her book signing by one day! However I was lucky enough to pick up a signed copy regardless, only down side is that I never got to meet her in person *sad face*. As for her work however? well I basically devoured “Angel in Training” over a weekend visit to Leeds! for further information watch this space there will be a review coming along shortly! I will leave it to yourselves to imagine if I liked it or not, but as I sent out an email, straight after my weekend visit to request an interview.. I think you already know that I really liked it!
I would like to take this opportunity before we start to again thank Cheryl for her time and effort in answering my quizzie questions! .. so with my usual waffling over let’s get on with the main event shall we!
Please introduce yourself to our readers, and tell us what you believe makes a good Storyteller?
Hello! I am C. L. Coffey, and I am the author of “Angel in Training”, a YA paranormal romance. “Angel in Training” is my first published novel, although I do have several stories (some completed, some on-going) published in the world of fan fiction.
I think ultimately, a good storyteller is someone who can pull you out of your own world and create such an attachment to a character, that you care about their relationships, actions and consequences. You want to know what’s going to happen with them that you find yourself thinking about the story when you’re not physically reading the book.
What was your main inspiration behind “Angel in Training” & do you have a clear idea of your plot & characters before you start writing or do they develop as you go?
The idea for “Angel in Training” actually came from a very long discussion with good friend about what it actually takes to get into heaven. From there, it was the character of Angel that took shape and plot followed. For this book, I sat and wrote. There was no plotting involved – though there was a lot of background reading. I wanted to look at all interpretations of angels in religion.
Everything after has been plotted – but most of that is in my head. I know where the five books are going, and key things that need to happen to have an impact in subsequent books.
How do you decide on characters names, is it from people you know or do you just fit them to their personality?
Where possible, I’ve not used names of people I know. (I also don’t like basing characters on people either – characters, like people, need flaws, and I wouldn’t want anyone to think I had decided that they were). Michael is a popular name, but I wanted the name of the archangel, so I had no choice. I also know a few Joshua’s, but his name was chosen for a specific reason (I wanted a name of someone who had previously been visited by an angel in the bible). Otherwise, it’s mainly the character’s personality. I tend to flick though baby name books until one fits.
Being a Reader and Writer of Fan-fiction myself I have to ask, have you had any difficulties making the transition from Fan-fiction to being a Published Author? in my experience “Fan Fiction” seems to have a lot of unwarranted stick, and it seems to switch a lot of other people off? I was wondering if you had experienced the same issue, and found a way to overcome it?
I love fan fiction and I although I can understand why it the stigma associated with it exists, I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think people realise how long it has been around for starters (the 60s saw the height of Star Trek fan fictions – so it’s not something new). Most of the issues I have seen have stemmed from the popularity of novels like the Fifty Shades books, and the Mortal Instruments series because some readers feel cheated over the fact that someone has made money from it (as well as the debate over the quality of the writing).
So far, I’ve not had any comments relating to it, but on the same vein, “Angel in Training” is not fan fiction. It’s also not sold as many copies as the other books! If someone was to comment on my fan fiction roots, I would respond the same way I always have:
Fan fiction has major benefits to a writer. You get instant feedback per chapter. It’s not always positive – even when you write a good story – and it’s not always constructive. Some critiques will help you improve your writing, find your voice, and strengthen your style. It pushes you to keep the continuity, and make sure what you’re writing is correct (even sci-fi has rules. You couldn’t suddenly decide that Ron loved spiders midway through a HP story when he’d hated them until then). The horrible comments (the flames), while nasty, will help you develop a backbone – no matter who you are, you will get these (you only have to go to the 1 star reviews on Amazon of your favourite books). If you’re starting out with the writing, it also helps you as you already have a world and characters created for you – the plot and the writing itself is what you can focus on.
If you’re writing fan fiction – keep doing it! If you’re thinking about it, you should definitely try it. If you think it’s beneath you, then that’s fine too – just take it like a genre you wouldn’t normally read and respect the fact that others not only enjoy reading it, but there are also talented people writing it.
If you where to write a novel in any other Genre, what would it be? or are you like me.. and there is no other genre to write for other than genre you write in (in my case attempt to write in)
For now it’s this. Angel in Training started off as one book. Then one became three, which became a series of five. Currently, I’ve got five books and two novellas planned, and a further two spin off series of five books each. That’s enough for me to be busy for a few years.
That being said, I do have the start of a dystopian novel I would like to look at one day in the future – even if it’s only long enough to say it’s not got a storyline strong enough to follow through with.
Since releasing your recent novel “Angel in Training” in May this year, are you planning on taking a break, or are you looking to move in a different direction, before cracking on with the sequel ?
A break? Not at all! Book two is with the editors now and will be released October 31st . I’ve started book three which I’m aiming to have out in June next year.
And Finally, what genres do you like to read and what are you reading at the moment?
I think it’s very important that writers read a lot of the same genre and target age group of the books they write, so the majority of what I read falls into that (and for me that is my favourite genre anyway). That being said, there’s nothing to say you shouldn’t read anything else!
My current reading list consists of Cinder by Merissa Meyer, Prodigy by Marie Lu, and The Homecoming Masquerade (book 1) by Spencer Baum
If you wish to find out more about Cheryl, you can follow her on Twitter, and have a look at her Official Website, all of which are listed below.
Until next time, read more books..