An Author Interview: Dragons and Heroes

Hello everyone, today I am sharing another interview, this time with a brilliant author. September’s explored the realm of fantasy beyond wonders, and today she shares with us the first half of a short story written for a contest. Please come and enjoy her interview and work!

Q. How do you get inspired to write your fantastic work? Is there a certain environment you work best in?
A. Inspiration is something that I personally find really hard to come by. It can take me an incredibly long time to find something to write about, but usually, I like listening to music or looking through artwork and pictures, or just reading. A lot of my ideas stem from quotes that I like. I love working in public places, like a library or coffee shop. It’s really hard for me to focus when people are talking to me, but I like having a white noise in the background (Also, coffee shop conversations are great for dialogue!)

Q. To whom do you owe thanks to for being supportive and motivational to you?
A. Definitely my parents, my friends, and of course, my online friends in forums. They always seem to be there for me, if I need character names or edits, or just opinions on anything.

Q. What written piece have you been most proud of? What qualities do you look for in your work to make it worthwhile and valuable?
A. My favorite of the pieces I’ve written was an Asian mythology piece, about a cursed dragon and a Japanese wind spirit. I wrote it for a contest, and I ended up absolutely loving it. A few qualities I look for in my work are usually grammar, which sounds tedious, but is actually helpful, and the way I phrase things. I like to look for “quotable” (pun not intended) lines in my writing, because I’m a huge fan of philosophically-worded writing.

Q. Have you ever turned down a piece of your writing? If so, do you go back to it with fresh ideas?
A. Yes, definitely! Usually after I finish something like a short story, I like to leave it there to “simmer” for a week or two, before I go back and edit. Sometimes, when I re-read, I get new ideas, and while I don’t like to completely re-write, I do add new parts.

Q. As a fairly young author, what advice would you give to another young writer who might be losing motivation for their age compared to others?
A. I would definitely tell them to keep writing! The most important part of anything, and I’m sure you’ve heard this dozens of times, is to keep practicing. The more you write, the better you’ll get at it.

Q. In your opinion, what are the fundamental keys to successful writing? How can someone improve and/or find these skills?
A. I think some of the most important parts of writing would be more technical things, like developing characters you can identify towards, staying away from cliches and stereotypes. A great way to improve/ find these skills is definitely to read lots of good books!

Q. Have you been published in any of your work? If so, what was it for and how did you express your success? If not, how do you work toward your goals of being a published author?
A. I’ve never been published, but I hope to be soon. I practice writing, I know, this sounds weird, but I write for magazine contest prompts even if I don’t plan on submitting. It’s a great way for me to develop ideas from prompts I definitely wouldn’t have thought of on my own.

Again, I have to thank September for sharing with us today! Here is the first part of her short story about a cursed dragon and a wind spirit. We might be receiving part two fairly shortly, so keep an eye out! Here’s part 1 of September’s story:

Part 1:

A worthy opponent. The mighty wind spirit Kaze floated in the air, facing the giant dragon she had been sent to kill. She twirled her twin katanas menacingly, but her soul cried at the thought of slaughtering such a beautiful beast. But one did not simply disturb the gods and go freely. She drew her focus in, and sharpened her mind to a point. The dragon was glorious, yes, but it had stolen something, and justice had to be dealt. It was the way of the gods. An eye for an eye. Clutched in the beast’s talons was the gods’ most treasured possession: an enormous pearl that could change one’s form— it could make a man a god, and could make a god a man. They had sent her, of course. It was always her. She turned her attention back to the dragon and charged, twisting in the air as it batted at her with its claws. Kaze wondered why she had agreed, then remembered that had been for the same reason as everything else. The same reason that she had agreed to become the gods’ protector. She soared through the air, and the dragon flew up after her. She grimaced. Who was hunting who now? But the sky was her realm; she ruled the winds, after all. Yet she was only a spirit, no matter how hard she tried to fit in; no matter how much she did for the gods, she was not a goddess. Not yet. The dragon wove through the clouds, then turned to her, and for a moment there was a terrible stillness. And what she heard changed everything.
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