Hi guys! Time for another terrific interview with a debut author. Today, I am interviewing Cole Gibson. I first heard about Cole on the QT forum. I followed her blog and found her humor and honesty so refreshing. As time went on, we found ourselves traveling in the same circles. I watched as she got an agent, revised her book and now…SOLD IT!
When I asked her if I could interview her, she seemed almost surprised – another quality I just love about her. Humility.
CF: How long have you been writing? Why did you start?
CG: I know it sounds cliché’, but I’ve written my entire life. I recently found a box stuffed with some of my earliest writings: a self-illustrated mermaid picture book, Ghostbusters (the cartoon) fan fiction, and an epic tale of romance and betrayal entitled LOVE’S the WORD penned by a twelve-year-old yours truly.
I stopped writing fiction during high school when I was struggling with dyslexia and a not-so-nice step-dad who was fond of telling me how stupid I was. The step-dad was gone shortly after my high school graduation but rebuilding my self-esteem took many years. When I was in college I joined a band. After writing hundreds of songs I finally had the confidence to try my hand at fiction again. However, it wouldn’t be until I was in my mid-twenties that I would finish my first book.
(side note – HA! mid-twenties…I didn’t finish my first book until I hit the big 4-0)
CF: Tell me about your writing process. Are you a “pantser” or do you outline? Edit forever? Paint a picture of your process for us.
CG: I’ll write out a short outline – usually a paragraph – but I won’t go into great detail so I don’t find myself locked into an idea that isn’t working. I can also write a book in about a month. Revising, however, is a slow painful process for me. I have been known to agonize over a sentence for (literally) hours.
CF: What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
CG: For me, it’s that doubt from my past that rises up from time-to-time. The voice that whispers, “You’re stupid. You’re writing sucks. Nobody is going to like this. Why are you wasting your time?” Luckily, I’m surrounded by such wonderful and supportive people that it’s getting easier and easier to crush that voice.
CF: Where do you find your inspiration?
CG: When I was a teenager and life was, at times, truly horrible, I found I could always hide inside my books and comic books. I guess in a way, my inspiration is the high school me and others in similar situations. I want to give my readers a way to escape from whatever stress and pressure is in their life.
CF: What inspired KATANA?
Okay, so does anyone else remember the movie SIDEKICKS with Jonathan Brandis and Chuck Norris? Well, that was totally me in school. I was a nerd – I know, hard to believe, right? LOL. Maybe it was my love of comic books and super heroes, but I would find myself drifting away in Algebra, imagining my school under ninja siege, and, I alone, the chosen one, would have to defend my terrified classmates. Sometimes I still have that fantasy, only now I’m on the phone with a customer service rep and can use my ninja powers to reach through the phone and…well, I’ll keep this post PG.
CF: Are any of the characters like you?
CG: Rileigh, my MC in KATANA, is a mix of who I am (she has my snarkiness, shoe obsession, and yes, I was co-captain of my high school pom squad) and who I want to be (confident, brave, and she can kick serious ninja butt).
CF: What can you share about any future projects?
CG: First up is the sequel to KATANA. After that, let’s just say I’m revisiting an obsession of mine that began when I was nine year-old. Hee.
CF: Most bizarre random fact about you – something you doubt we know about you?
CG: I am obsessed with James Marsters. He touched my hand at Dragon Con last year and I nearly died. *swoon* He has really soft skin btw. Okay, now I’m sounding creepy – moving on…
Also, I know everything there is to know about the X-Men’s Jean Grey. I hear they’re bringing her back from the dead and you better believe my thirty year-old self will be subscribing to comics again.
CF: One piece of advice for up-and-coming writers
CG: It took me two novels, two years, and hundreds of rejections before I landed my agent, Chris Richman. From there, it took over a year and several revisions before we sold KATANA. The road to publishing can be a long one. It’s easy to get frustrated when some people land their agents/get book deals in such a short time. Don’t compare yourself to them! Everyone’s journey is different. If you find yourself getting down because you feel like you are getting left behind – unplug! Take some time away from the internet to recharge, write, and remember why you’re on this crazy path.
(Side note – AMAZING WORDS to live by! Trust me! I know!!!)
CF: Anything else you want to share?
CG: My youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NjszcnCZPM
Cole is a friend writer, and a fab person. I am so glad she stopped by for a visit!!!
Do you have any questions for Cole? I’m sure I could persuade her to come by and answer them…