Sunday, 5 February 2012

Interview: Charlotte Blackwell

Charlotte Blackwell is the author of the YA Paranormal-romance book series THE EMBRACE SERIES. And also the Embrace series companion book THE BOOK OF SHADOWS. Before she became a stay at home mom and author, Charlotte worked in a special care nursery for ill and pre-term babies. You can visit her site here or follow her on Twitter @charblackwell.

Read on for the interview!

Me: Tell us about yourself. 
Charlotte: I have been a stay at home mom since 2006. my husband and I have three children ranging in age from 5-13. My oldest is home school while the other two attend public school. My days are usually filled with driving everyone places, but I love my life and am so lucky to be at home with my kids.

Me: You've always had a passion for writing but, as you put it, it was 'on the back burner' during your younger years. Did you still write snippets from time to time? 
Charlotte: Well I always loved writing, it was never stories. I have written my feelings down as a type of self therapy since I was very young. Still to this day I will write letters to people or myself if something has me down. I have never shared these letters with anyone and once written I destroy them to release my emotional attachment to the situation.I never enjoyed reading until a few years ago and that is when I decided to try writing my own story. I just never stopped. I have always wondered how I was going to make my mark on the world. Would it be as the mother of the next great hockey player or pop star or of an amazing doctor that cures cancer. Writing allowed me to find my self and how I will leave my own mark and contribute to society.

Me: You have a strong passion for paranormal and dark fantasy but have you ever tried to write another genre? If yes, what was it like for you?
Charlotte: I have always been interested in the paranormal. Vampires, witches, ghosts and so on. It would be so neat to have a whole different species of mankind walking around with us. I also believe in ghosts and have some pretty interesting real life experiences about them. It's all like an alternate universe to me, a way to escape reality. I have tried to write other genres. I started a contemporary romance that has been put on hold because of the popularity of the Embrace Series and requests for more books in that series. I think once I finish book 4 I will finish my romance story. Do the line I also have plans to try a sci-fi.
I feel writing out of your comfort zone can be the best learning experience for an author and also gives me more respect for those that do write differently than me.

Me: Out of the three books already published in the Embrace series which was hardest to write and why?
Charlotte: Book 2 Forbidden Embrace was difficult. the first book was easy, very basic and standard paranormal romance. It is similar to a lot of other books like it that are out. I started book 2 right after and about half way though got stuck. I knew where the story was going, but didn't know how to get there. So I went on to write book 3 which was also easy, it is where I saw the story going right from the start and where I needed to be.After it was complete I had to come back and fill in all the gaps in book 2. I think I pulled it off.

Me: What gave you inspiration for the series?
Charlotte: My daughter, she can be shy and a little hard on herself. She has some pretty big dreams and by me writing and getting published shows her that if you work hard anything is possible. I wanted to write a story about a girl that is a little withdrawn and insecure but comes out of her shell and realizes all the good in her life and that dreams can come true. I guess it's my way of showing her (or anyone) this with out lecturing her. The characters face some pretty big challenges some metaphoric others obvious, but my point is that no matter what life throws at you, you are still in control of your own future and destiny. Let's hope my daughter and readers can see that.

Me: Do you enjoy writing the Embrace series?
Charlotte: I do, sometimes I even get surprised. I really love my characters. Each character resembles someone of importance to me and ever date in the story is important. Sophia and I share the same birthday exactly 100 apart. The witches are born on the sixth of the month, so are my children. I can go on and on about hidden little meanings and such in the books that only those that have known me well for years could pick out. It's like my own mental scrap book. This important events will forever be written somewhere and thats pretty cool to think about.

Me: How do you make time for writing? 
Charlotte: I tend to write very...very late into the night after the kids are all asleep. I normal function on about 3 hours of sleep. I have a great family that is also understanding. If I am on a roll or really feeling the need to write they all help out, my husband and my kids support me fully.

Me: Any advice for fellow writers?
Charlotte: I'm sure they have heard it a billion times, but write and keep writing. Also read as much as you can. As a writer you have to have a thick skin because you will get rejected. Then when you finally do get published you will get bad reviews and sometimes they are down right mean. You just have to learn from everything and do better the next time. Most of all you have to believe in yourself, because if you don't no matter how well you write you will get nowhere. Positivity is the key not only to writing but to life.

Quick fire questions:

Me: Fork or Spoon?
Charlotte: Fork
Me: Dinner or Dessert?
Charlotte: Dinner
Me: Summer or winter?
Charlotte: Summer
Me: Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? 
Charlotte: Harry Potter (although I have never read or fully watched either of these.)
Me: Fast food or a home-cooked meal? 
Charlotte: Home cooked by some one else.

You can find The Embrace Series on Amazon, B & N and Goodreads.

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