This week I interviewed Best-Selling Author Carissa Andrews. Not only does she tell us about her up-coming new book series, “The Windhaven Witch” series, but she shares advice for new and upcoming writers and authors as well.
What inspired you to start writing?
Originally, it was simply the love of reading. I would dabble with short stories and poetry when I was a kid. But when I was 14, I had a really vivid dream that felt more like a past life memory. For whatever reason, I had to write about. At the time, I was really into Fear Street novels by R.L. Stine, so I decided to write a story similar to that. It was the first time I wrote a novel. While that version will never see the light of day, the idea behind it was resurrected just this year.
But more recently, I began writing again in 2010, thanks to the nudging of my long-time best friend, Sherry. I had been struggling with trying to compete in the graphic design market space in our small town. She encouraged me to start writing again. At first, it started with a blog. Then, she gave me a story idea she always wanted to read. This was back in the day of Twilight, so having a strange romance was on her mind. She wanted a ghost story where the woman fell in love with a ghost. What ended up happening instead, was an entire new world downloaded into my brain and the Pendomus Chronicles was born. And no, there’s not a single ghost in that one. HA!
What comes first plot or characters?
For me, it’s a combo. I have some books that were solely developed based on the characters first. The Pendomus Chronicles and Oracle, namely. Their stories developed because I loved the characters and then I gave them a story to go with them. But others, like Awakening, Love is a Merciless God, and even my Windhaven Witches series were more plot driven. I knew what I wanted to share and cover and then I fit those characters around it.
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Some of them come to me on their own. I knew the first book in the Pendomus Chronicles would be Pendomus because it was an introduction to the world, and since Pendomus is the planet’s name, it just made sense. Polarities came about because my main characters were split up on the planet. And Revolutions has a few meanings. Oracle is pretty self-evident if you read the book. Diana Hawthorne is the world’s most powerful psychic, but there’s more to it than that. Other titles, like Love is a Merciless God came about by searching for quotes on the internet. For that one, I searched forbidden love sayings. The title was a bit long for my taste, but it worked. Then, later I realized the acronym for it is LIAMG – and Liam is one of the main characters. So, it totally worked. And the G even does, too… if you think about it. With the Windhaven Witches, I was working with NYT Bestselling Author Rebecca Hamilton and we knew we wanted to develop a series of books that went together and were easily distinguishable. So, we bounced ideas off each other to create a pattern – Secret Legacy, Soul Legacy, Haunted Legacy, and Cursed Legacy.
What advice would you give a new writer starting out?
Learn to love outlines. We all start out with the love of a story, and there’s nothing wrong with it. But outlines will keep you from getting stuck. Especially if you plan on doing this as a career. I started out as a pantser, but ultimately transformed into a hybrid plotter. I’ll develop my storyline, my overall arc, and get as much detail as I can, then I start writing and let the story dictate whether or not I was on the right track. Typically, big elements will stay in place, but it’s the smaller things – how a scene is laid out, who’s in it, etc. that might change.
Tell us about your new release coming out?
My newest release is Secret Legacy, Book 1 of the Windhaven Witches. It comes out on September 15th, 2020. But the remaining 3 books rapid release through the remainder of the year – each a month apart.
Remember when I said I wrote that book when I was 14? Well, Secret Legacy is the resurrection of it. I took the dream and the original concept for the story and mapped out four books to tell the whole tale. Even now, I can still remember the dream like it happened yesterday.
The series itself revolves around a supernatural academy, various supernatural witches and beings, and delves into the darker realms of death, rebirth, and resurrection. Go figure, right?
☆☆~~ 50% of Royalties Donated to the American Cancer Society! ~~☆☆
Nestled in the woods of Windhaven, Blackwood Manor waits to unleash a dark and deadly legacy…
When Autumn Blackwood shows up at Windhaven Academy for the Witching Stick Orientation, she hopes to find out what dormant powers she could possibly possess to have been accepted to the elite supernatural school. Instead, the academy is in chaos as everyone frantically hunts for two missing girls.
But as school begins with Autumn no closer to figuring out her powers, strange occurrences start to follow her everywhere. Even at home, Blackwood Manor keeps many secrets, and Autumn can’t escape its haunting past.
New friends urge her to learn more about her family’s history in order to unlock her powers and make sense of what’s happening at Blackwood Manor, but Autumn’s not so sure. Once an accident brings Autumn face-to-face with death, however, she realizes her gifts are tied to a legacy that can either save or doom them all…
Fans of Kelley Armstrong, Joe Hill, and Jennifer Armentrout will love The Windhaven Witches!
You have taken your writing experience to a new level, can you tell us a little about Author Revolution?
Absolutely! Through my company, Author Revolution, I teach budding authorpreneurs how to craft stories that resonate and how to get them out in the world with a rapid release indie publishing model. Author Revolution started officially in 2019, but I’ve been teaching indie authors how to write and publish their books since 2015 or so. My background in publishing is pretty extensive. I’ve worked in the front-end at multiple bookstores, I’ve worked for publishers, printers, marketing firms, and I have a degree in graphic design. There isn’t much I haven’t learned about the world of indie publishing at this point and I love taking that knowledge and sharing it with others. I have taught both online and in-person courses.
Author Revolution has a weekly podcast, 3 online courses currently available, and my flagship course, Rapid Release Roadmap is in the process of being built now.
You can learn more about Author Revolution by going over to: www.authorrevolution.org