Nina Soden – Interview

Blood Angel Series Cover Poster

Today I sat down with Author Nina Soden, join us as we explore the writing process and learn some of her secrets!

1. What does your writing process look like?

A bit crazy! I work full-time so I write when I get a few spare minutes here and there. I may write every day for a week and then go a month without opening my manuscript. In an ideal world I would be able to open my laptop first thing in the morning and type for a few hours straight – I write the best early in the morning. However, I don’t live in that world. I live in a world where I work full-time and shuffle kids to and from school and every other extracurricular activity they can think of each day.

2. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I don’t stand on my head or anything like that, but I do have to clean before I can write. If I’m writing in my office I have to clean my desk first. If I’m writing in bed I have to make the bed first. Other than that, no strange habits.

It is funny you mention the shower though – I do some of my best brainstorming in the shower!

3. What book do you wish you could have written?

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I had to have read that book a hundred times as a little girl. I loved the idea of the fantasy land Alice finds after tumbling down the rabbit hole. As a child I didn’t understand the message or meaning of it all. I didn’t look at Alice’s adventures as a message about the trials and tribulations of growing up, I saw it as the adventure of a lifetime.

Now, as an adult, I can go back time and again and reread it, not only to enjoy the journey Alice takes through the eyes of a child, but to enjoy the adult and often dark humor that Louis Carroll was so good at.

4. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

That list is far too long to type up. However, if I had to name a few of the authors that have inspired me the most – not only to write but just my creative side – I would say; William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Dr. Seuss, Stephen King, Nora Roberts, John Grisham, C.S. Lewis, Stephenie Meyer, Anne Rice, Mary Higgins Clark, Amanda Hocking, and Laurell K. Hamilton. There are so many others but this is a good short list. They all inspire me in different ways and for different reasons.

5. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I have been asked this questions so many times, and I have to admit that it is probably the hardest question I get.
This is just off the top of my head…
Alee (Aleerah): Jennifer Stone, Bella Thorne, or Amanda Seyfried
Kyle: Josh Hutcherson, William Moseley, or Jake Abel
Damian: Daniel Radcliffe, Josh Hutcherson, or Dave Franco
Victoria: Lucy Hale, or Alyson Stoner
Loraline: As an actress it is hard not to write a part for myself into my books. Of course I would love to play Alee/Aleerah, but I am beyond the teen roles at this stage, and so I wrote Loraline in a way that I would love to play her.
Eric: Shia LaBeouf, Alex Pettyfer, or Max Thieriot

6. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Some of the names I use for characters are based on people in my life, others are just names I like the sound of. I don’t like having to many characters with names that start with the same letter so, if I find that I can’t think of an appropriate name I will turn to baby name books, or even the school roster at my kids’ school.

7. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

My children! I know you were expecting me to say something about one of my books, but honestly – I am a mom and a wife first. I love writing, but my family is my best accomplishment. Without them, their love and support, I would never have finished my first book let alone be getting ready to publish the third book in my series.

8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I honestly don’t know. I would love to say I will have 13+ books published by then, since I seem to be on a one book a year roll, but who really knows. I would love to have been picked up by a publishing house, but in all honesty I am just as happy as an indie-author. I have two beautiful children and in 10 years my oldest will be starting college and the youngest will be two years away from college. I hope that means my husband and I can take more vacations and enjoy the good life, but what it probably means is I will be trying even harder to sell my books so I can pay off college debt. Ten years is a long ways away and I just want to enjoy each day as they come and not think that far ahead.

9. Have you always liked to write?

I have always been creative—artistic—but that wasn’t always in the form of writing. I started writing poetry in high school, but long before that I was painting, sculpting, drawing, acting, and dancing. When I went to college I starting writing monologues and used them in auditions for theatre. After college I moved to Los Angeles and while trying to be an actress I began writing screen plays. Then, finally when I moved away from Los Angeles I published my first book of poems and shortly thereafter wrote my first novel.

10. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Don’t give up! If writing is something you love to do you just need to do it. Sit down at that computer, pull out your pen and paper, open your journal, or do whatever you enjoy most and just start writing. A book starts and ends with just one word, but it takes time to fill in the middle. Give yourself that time.

11. If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

If only I could write books for a living! I actually work full-time. Writing is just something I enjoy doing in what little spare time I can find.

12. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I do read my reviews – good and bad – but when I give advice I always tell people not to read their reviews. I know—‘Do what I say and not what I do!’ The reason I tell people not to read them is because often times reviews can be very harsh and it can discourage writers from doing what they love to do – WRITING! I believe that if you enjoy, it do it. You can’t please everyone, but as long as you are writing something you would want to read – then there will be someone else out there that wants to read it to.

Now let me explain why I don’t follow my own advice. I started out as an actress. I did theatre in college, got my degree in communications and theatre arts and then moved to Hollywood. I was starry-eyed and chasing a dream. I actually had some success and did a lot of commercial work and independent films, but then I feel in love and left California. My point is this – As an actress I had to learn to read my reviews, good and bad, and learn from them. Sure, the bad reviews still hurt but I don’t let them debilitate me to the point where I don’t believe in myself enough to write. Everyone gets bad reviews. Let me say that again, EVERYONE GETS BAD REVIEWS! Just because you get a bad review doesn’t mean the book wasn’t good – it just means that particular reader didn’t enjoy it. You can’t please everyone. It is a hard things to remember and an even harder thing to accept but once you do your world will be so much better.

My last thought on reviews – this is for all you readers out there – authors put their hearts and souls into their books, especially indie-authors. We don’t have the backing of a publishing house to help us, which means every second we are writing we are giving up paid work time, time with our families, etc. Everything we are and everything we have goes into our writing. So, if you read a book and don’t enjoy it at all, please try to refrain from the nasty, hurtful reviews. I was always taught, ‘if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all’ the same should be true for reviews. There is no need to give a poor review to a book you didn’t enjoy – that only discourages readers who might actually really like the book if given the opportunity. However, if you just can’t stop yourself from writing that poor review, please try to find something nice to say to soften the blow for that writer who can’t help but taking every work to heart.

13. What is your best marketing tip?

Well, I’m really still pretty new to the whole ‘marketing myself as a writer’ world, but I guess just get out there and do as much as you can. I work full-time and I’m a mom of two very active kids, so I have very little time to write let alone market myself. My solution is doing things like hosting a blog, updating Facebook, posting to Twitter and Google+, and of course getting involved in online blog tours. This month I did my very first month long blog tour – by the end of the month I will have done either an author interview, character interview, press release, information post, or guest author post on 18 different sites. It has been fun and exciting and crazy busy keeping up with everything, but I’m reaching more readers than I could have ever done with my blog alone. If you want to check out all of the stops along my way you can go to http://wp.me/p1Ft9W-hq

14. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

The editing! I believe in the process, I understand it, I even like what it does for my writing – BUT IT IS HARD! You work so hard and so long on a manuscript and then within one or two weeks of an editor having it they have completely red-lined it and torn it inside out. That first initial shock when you open up your manuscript and see all the markings all over it is heartbreaking. I always give myself one day to grieve and that I sit myself down and start working again. In the end I’m always happier with the finished product.

15. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I’m not really sure – I guess anything that doesn’t fall within the world of “fiction”. I have story ideas for a historical fiction novel, a children’s series, a dystopian society, and even a drama. I love reading just about anything and therefore my mind tends to make up stories in just about any area.

16. Do you have a favorite conference to attend? What is it?

I actually haven’t done any conferences or book signings yet. I’m new to the whole “marketing myself as a writer” world. I’m just learning like everyone else.

17. Is there a certain type of scene that is harder for you to write than others are? Love? Action? Racy?

I have a hard time with the racy stuff. Not because I’m uncomfortable writing it, but because I’m writing for the Young Adult genre. There have been times that I have had to stop myself, reread what I had written, and then delete and start over because the content was to intense or to detailed for the audience I was trying to reach. Who knows, maybe in my next book I won’t have to sensor myself as much.

18. Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

I published a book of poetry back in 2010 called Private Words Unspoken. Other than that Awaken, the first book in the Blood Angel Series, was my first novel. Then came Beginnings a year later, and Revenge will be out later this month.

19. What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I actually have a few projects on my plate right now. I’m working on a children’s series, still in the realm of witches, vampires, etc., but something I can share with my kids at the age they are now.

I am also working on a new series. I’m not yet sure if this one will be YA or Adult. I guess we will find out more as I continue to write.

Lastly, I have been asked, by a number of my test readers, to continue the Blood Angel series after the third book. So, I have decided – not to continue the series – to do a spin off series about Phoebe, one of the supporting characters. In the third book, Revenge, we watch as she discovers some pretty cool new powers. I’m going to run with those.

20. Where can readers learn more about your books and you as an author?

I invite everyone to “subscribe”, “Follow”, and “like” me on all of the social media sites.

Blog:

http://www.ninasoden.wordpress.com

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/BloodAngelSeries

Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/Nina_Soden

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/author/ninasoden

Awaken (book 1):

http://amzn.com/B008Q8ZPE4 | http://wp.me/P1Ft9W-4K

Beginnings (book 2):

http://amzn.com/B00D3G7RWM | http://wp.me/P1Ft9W-

Revenge (book 3):

http://www.amazon.com/Revenge-A-Blood-Angel-Novel-ebook/dp/B00MUT6XQY

6Nina’s Author Bio:

Nina has always been creative, be it art, theatre, film – anything but singing…she stresses that that is something you don’t want to hear! She earned my bachelor’s degree in Communication and Theatre Arts with a minor in Military Science from Eastern Michigan University where she spent most of her time either on stage, rappelling down buildings, or working one of three jobs. After college she moved to Los Angeles like so many other starry eyed actors in pursuit of fame and fortune in tinsel-town. While there, she worked to pay the bills but her love was always acting. She was able to achieve some level of success, mostly in commercials and independent films, but she considers those experiences as some of the best in her life.
After some major life changes, she self-published her first book entitled PRIVATE WORDS UNSPOKEN, a compilation of poetry. Since then, her literary interest have grown and she would like to think her storytelling ability has improved. She has done everything from office administration, to business development, to being the Director of a private preschool. She has jumped out of a C130 aircraft, fired a M16 machine gun, and given birth – TWICE! But she always returns to her art.
Though she’ll forever be a Michigan girl at heart, she now lives in the South where she is married with two wonderful children. If she isn’t working on her latest story you can find her lounging with a good book, playing with her kids, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to Starbucks coffee.
To learn more about Nina Soden and her books you can check out her blog, or follow her on one or all of the various internet/social media sites.
Blog:
http://www.ninasoden.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BloodAngelSeries
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/Nina_Soden

Thank you for joining us today, and please check out the links to Nina’s work! Buy your copy today!

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