Updated: Jul 4, 2020
Today we’re sitting down with author Thea Blair King, their social media links will be down at the end of the interview so if you want, you can check them out and they might be your next favourite author. Anyway, let’s get into the interview.
Tell me a little bit about your book. Let’s focus on your characters. Who are they? What are they doing in your novel?
My current WIP (and the one I’m most likely to pursue publishing for first) is called Some Stars Burn Brighter. It’s a queer contemporary adult romcom focused on a hate-to-love trope.
My characters are Kai: a half-Korean gay pop idol and Aaron: a French bisexual snob, who makes indie rock. They have to collaborate on a long-running project, but they keep clashing with each other because of their differing personalities and world-views. Of course, it’s a romance, so over the course of the story they fall in love, while also trying to deal with the fact that they can’t be out as a couple publicly, because of Kai’s image. There’s loads of angst, and humour, a diverse side cast and I’m obviously biased, but I think it’s super cute.
What and who inspired you to write this book?
I had various inspirations for this book. I tend to think of it as my love letter to fandom, as well perhaps a sort of vague queer retelling of Pride and Prejudice.
Another thing that inspired me was the song: 'Radio Friendly Pop Song' by Matt Fishel. That’s essentially Kai’s story. I just kept imagining the kind of person this song would apply to perfectly, and I came up with the concept for Kai.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I don’t have one, I suck at time management. I wish I was better at it, but currently my writing schedule is “when I have the time.” I’m only working part-time and attempting to graduate university, so have a lot of time and try to write every day (except around exams), but I want to get better time-management skills in the future.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if this is a writing quirk or not, but what I have found works for me when I’m, drafting is to write a sort of “zero draft” version of the scene, where I don’t focus on setting, details, voice, or almost anything besides pure dialog. Instead I just put down the scene in broad strokes. Then I go back and fill in the blanks. Sometimes 2, 3 or more times if necessary.
If you had to give one piece of advice to a newbie writer, what would it be?
Just keep writing. The more you write, the better you will be at it. But also, you should look into resources about prose and structure to improve and find a writing group that can support you and your project. You can even check out my blog! I give plenty of advice there.
Also, please, please please do your research about publishing and marketing before you decide to publish. I see a lot of new writers screwing up their book releases, and it makes me so sad, when it could’ve been avoided if they had just done the research.
When did you write your first book/story and how old were you?
I wrote my very first book when I was about ten. It was essentially a middle-grade story about this 13-year-old girl who goes to hunt ghosts with her friends. A part of me wants to revive it, but I don’t know how an MG book would fit with the rest of my ideas/brand. Aside from contemporary, I also write SFF, and I have a YA book in mind, but middle grade seems a bit too low.
Do you use any special writing software? If so, what is it, and what are a few of your favourite perks of it?
I do! It’s called Scrivener and it’s been a life-saver! It is a bit expensive ($49.99 unless you take it after completing NaNoWriMo or Camp Nano and use the discounts offered), but it’s a one-time payment for lifetime usage, not a subscription.
What I like about it, is that I can keep all my notes and old drafts about a project in one place and it doesn’t become unruly when the document becomes a bit longer like Pages/Word or Google Docs. It’s definitely worth the investment, I don’t think I can ever go back to free programs after using it.
Editors Note: The $50.00 price is for USD and at time of writing Scrivener costs around $75.00 AUD
Do you only write for books or do you have plans to possibly branch out into writing for other mediums?
I’ve also written a few short stories and poems, but I’m definitely not as good at them as I am at long-form fiction. I do want to improve though - at least with shorts. I don’t think I’ll ever be a poet.
What is your favourite part of the writing process?
My favorite part is coming up with a concept, building characters then exploring those characters and their dynamics on the page. I just find it so fun and rewarding.
Do you have any shout outs to any fellow writers or writing groups?
Absolutely! My first shoutout would have to be for Jenna Moreci’s Patreon group - it’s only $1 a month and totally worth it. And my second one would be for WriteHive2020 - tons of great resources and you have the chance to speak to real editors and agents.
Editors Note: The Patreon group is a minimum payment of $1.00 per month. Exclusive content is available at higher pay thresholds set out on Jenna Moreci’s Patreon site.
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Have a great day,