An Interview with Charlotte Reagan, author of Just Juliet
Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external harddrive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?
My ‘first novel’ was kind of a science fiction fantasy I guess? I started writing it when I was about ten and to this day I’m really proud of the characters and backgrounds that came out of it! I’m actually still working on it, I can’t seem to leave it alone! (Interesting fact, if you work with a set of characters for eleven or so years, you end up with some serious development!) The overall plot needs some work – turns out my ten year old mind hadn’t quite perfected that – but one day I think I’ll finish it! (Or, at least, I hope so!)
Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?
I’m definitely not short on inspiration haha, but I don’t like to write more than one book at a time. I don’t know how people do that! It’s amazing, honestly, but not for me. I kind of have to stay in one head space to write. I feel like that’s the best way for me to really know my characters.
I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?
Luckily, I’m pretty versatile. I can write anywhere and on anything. I’ve jotted down paragraphs on napkins before! Most often, however, I write in bed with my laptop and my cat. But I really loved writing in coffee shops, parks, and bars back when I lived in the city.
Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?
I actually didn’t use beta-readers, and I was lucky enough that my agent picked an awesome editor for me! I have a really hard time letting people I actually know read my work, but once my mother finally convinced me, she was an amazing sounding board. Lot’s of her advice went into the final product.
I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?
Oh I love traditional books. Barnes and Noble’s is my absolute favorite place to be – books and coffee? Can a room smell any better than that! (I actually even have an ‘old books’ candle, that’s how obsessed I am). Ebooks are cool, and I appreciate their accessibility, but I will forever be a ‘real’ book type of girl.
I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and do you have a favourite author who sticks in your mind?
Picking favorite authors is weird to me because I never know if I like the author or the story. However, I will say that J.K Rowling probably wins all awards. I am a huge Potterhead and in fact hated reading before someone put Harry Potter in front of me. Then I couldn’t seem to get enough, and before long that passion turned into writing.
In middle school I read just about anything R. L Stine that I could get my hands on, which was quite a lot because our school library was well stalked. Then as a teenager I fell in love with vampire books and latched onto authors like Richelle Mead and Rachel Caine. Quite recently I’ve become a little obsessed with Nora Sakavic
I’m not sure if I have a favorite genre, but I probably read fantasy the most.
Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. What’s your opinion?
Social media is huge! I never realized what a big part of promoting it was until I was doing it! I manage my own profiles, and Facebook is probably my favorite platform. I have the largest number of followers there and I already knew how to work it! I spend so much time on it! I definitely don’t mind doing it, but man is it time consuming!
Answering interview questions can often take a long time! Tell me, are you ever tempted to recycle your answers from one to the next?
I get tempted if the questions are similar, if only because there’s only so many ways I can word the same answer! But I try my best to make each interview unique!