#Interview with @AuthorCAGray author of Uncanny Valley Series
@lovingthebook #lovingthebook #giveaway
Name / Pen name & little about yourself:
My name is Lauren Baden, but I write as C.A. Gray. By day, I practice naturopathic medicine, podcast, and write medical non-fictionunder my maiden name (Dr. Lauren Deville). I live in Tucson, AZ with my husband Frank, and together we maintain an occasionally contentious film review blog.I’m kind of the queen of multitasking—so in my spare time, I create whatever meals or crafts I’ve found most recently on Pinterest, drink lots of coffee (Aeropress btw) and occasional wine (reds—and I save the corks for craft projects), work out (while listening to audiobooks), and study the Bible—about half of the podcasts on Christian Natural Health are scripture meditations.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school… although back then all my main characters were cats (go figure). I’ve got about 12 shelves’ worth of journals throughout my life, and have always felt that words are incredibly powerful. I minored in Creative Writing in college. I guess I always knew I’d end up writing eventually.
What genre are your books? and what made you write in that genre?
YA Fantasy/Sci fi. I write YA because I still think of myself as just out of college… and also because I don’t like to write a lot of gratuitous sex, language, etc which is considered typical of older adult fiction these days.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
As mentioned before — I’ve been writing since elementary school. I think my first full-length novel was probably 6th grade? No idea where it is now.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
The germ of the idea comes from other stories I love, always. The rest comes from very intentional brainstorming sessions, usually over a period of days or weeks… they definitely don’t fall into my head complete.
How long does it typically take you to write a book?
I brainstorm a world and a general gist of the story, and then I outline the story in broad strokes. Next I outline the nitty gritty, down to what happens in each chapter. Then I write from the outline, in roughly 20 page chunks, editing as I go. I send each set of 20 to my primary editor (my mom, whose maiden name I borrowed as my pen name) and make whatever edits she recommends as I go. Then when I finish the story, I reread the whole thing and edit it to the best of my ability before shipping it off to her and to my other editors! From start to finish, it takes anywhere from six months to a year, though it’s more like three months to finish the first draft (except that I’m editing as I go, so if I subbed that part out it would probably be three months.)
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
This will be the ninth fiction book (that’s published anyway). I think my favorite is Impossible, the third book from the first trilogy. I just re-listened to that when it became an audiobook, and it’s such a spiritual allegory. I found it really uplifting.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
Most difficult are those days when I have to make myself write, but I’m really distracted by something else. It’s super hard to focus, and I don’t feel like I’m writing anything worth saying, but I do it anyway. I overcome it by just plodding through, going through the motions. Sometimes it’s just a discipline.
Have you done any collaborations with other writers?
I did a box set called Magic and Shadows with other authors, and it included The Liberty Box. But I haven’t worked on any joint projects yet.
What do you think of reviews?
They’re critical to sales! That’s how people make decisions about what they are willing to buy and invest their time in. I wish it were easier to convince people to leave them for books they enjoy!