Nina Soden – Author Interview Q&A
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Nina Soden, author of the SECTOR C Series. She is here to talk about The Hunted, book 2 in the SECTOR C Series coming out late October.
Hi Nina, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Well, I’m from Michigan originally but I currently live in Alabama. I’ve only been writing Fiction for about the last five years. I published my first book in 2012 and haven’t stopped since.
What were you like at school?
In high school I was on the drum line. That’s right I was in the marching band. I know a lot of people don’t admit that after they graduate, but I loved my time on the drumline. In college I was heavy into theatre and was doing production after production. I actually got my degree in Communications and Theatre Arts. However, I was also in the Army ROTC program and minored in Military Science. I know those two things don’t really seem like they go together, but both of them helped to give me the confidence and independence I know have.
Were you good at English?
I was. English was one of my stronger classes and one of my favorites. My teachers never read my papers and said, “Wow, I bet she’ll be a writer someday,” but that’s OK.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Honestly, I write because I enjoy it and because I want to show my kids that if you work hard you really can make your dreams come true. I imagine I’ll just keep doing it until I run out of story ideas.
Which writers inspire you?
There are way too many to list, but I will say that at the top of my list would have to be Stephen King. It was Stephen King’s books that really made me grow a love for reading back in high school and ultimately I think that love of reading is what made me enjoy writing so much.
So, what have you written and where can we buy or see them?
(*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
All of my books are available on Amazon and anywhere else books are sold online. They are available in eBook and paperback format
The Blood Angel Series (YA-NA)
- Awaken (book 1) http://amzn.com/0985885300
- Beginnings (book 2) http://amzn.com/0985885319
- Revenge (book 3) http://amzn.com/0985885327
The SECTOR C Series (YA-NA)
- The Chosen (book 1) http://amzn.com/B00VUK6SQY
- The Hunted (book 2) Coming late October
Short Story: End Game (1st story in the book Final Ships in the Neighborhood) http://amzn.com/0988578484
What are you working on now?
Right now I am getting ready to release The Hunted, so I have been in editing and working on cover design and formatting for that.
Can you share the book blurb with us?
In the future, most of the world is governed by a council of vampires and lycanthropes. Sector residents are offered the freedom to live as they desire provided they stay and abide by the laws handed down.
After being jolted awake by the blaring screech of the sector alarm, Zelina is dragged from her bed, gagged, and tied to a chair. Confronted with the brutal murder of one of her former classmates, she realizes that all eyes are on her as the primary suspect. Whether she was involved or not doesn’t matter.
In the eyes of most sector residents, and most Council Members, Zelina is already a pariah—feared for the powers she will certainly come to possess. For she is the first human known to have both vampire and lycanthrope blood flowing through her veins.
Zelina will find herself on a gripping adventure that will take her beyond the borders she’s known all her life in an attempt to save those she loves—and herself from becoming The Hunted.
What genre are your books?
Young Adult/New Adult Supernatural Fiction
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
For the lead character of A (aka Zelina) I envision Adelaide Kane
How much research do you do?
Since my books are all Fiction based in a society where vampires and lycanthropes exist not a whole lot of research is necessary. However, I do research the locations, type of technology I have, as well as theories on vampires, lycanthropes, etc. Although I think that a lot of how I write these mythical creatures is different than what has been written in the past.
Why do you write?
To get the voices in my head to stop talking to me. I’m kidding… a little. I write because I have stories to tell, because I love reading, and because I want to instill in my children a love for books.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I am a part-time writer. I would love for writing to be my full-time job but I do have to pay the bills. Plus, I’m a mommy, so family comes first in my life.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Because I work full-time I have to squeeze my writing in whenever I can. That usually means that I write early in the morning, before work, or on weekends when we aren’t having family time. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is what I can do right now. It is also the reason I am only publishing my 5th novel since 2012.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I typically write on a computer. However, there are times when I get a great idea but I’m not home. In those times I will pull out my iPad or iPhone and start typing in the notes section. Sometimes those random notes get turned into scenes in my books and other times they are deleted.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I don’t always outline my stories. I may start with a general idea, but typically I let the writing guide itself. I always find it fun to sit down to type because I may have an idea where the story is going and that two hours later I’ll discover that isn’t where the characters have taken me at all. I like to keep myself guessing just as much as the readers will when they read my books.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
I have often thought that the hardest part of writing is the editing, but that has gotten easier to handle over the years. Now I think the hardest part is the marketing. I am not good at self-promotion and often find that I haven’t done enough to market myself or my books. I’d love if someone would just handle all of that for me so I could just focus on the writing and creative stuff.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
There isn’t really a good answer for this question because it is different with each book. My very first book took almost two years from concept to publication. My last book The Chosen took a month to write the first draft and only 5 months from concept to completion. My latest book The Hunted that will be released in late October will have taken 7 months from concept to completion.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Of course. Any writer who tells you they never get writer’s block is lying. It happens to everyone.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I use a free write method. I’ll go online and search through images until I find one I like. After I have selected my image I’ll just start typing and see where the image takes me. It may have nothing to do with my current work in progress but it always gets my creativity flowing.
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about the other book/books in the Series?
The Hunted is book 2 in the SECTOR C Series.
The Chosen (book 1):
Set in a futuristic dystopian where society is governed by a council of vampires and lycanthropes, selection students are sheltered and raised in a deceptively utopian world. Strict rules are imposed to control population growth, education, and even personal interactions with other members of the Sector, all in the name of safety.
When ‘A’ comes of age, she like all youth throughout Sector C and her selection classmates aren’t sent out into the world to find jobs, make money and lead happy carefree lives. They are forced to endure the rigorous physical and mental testing of Selection Week before choosing their destiny or being forced into a fate far worse. Those that make it out alive are announced as sector residence, given a position within the society, and allotted all the privileges of their chosen “culture.” However, when your only choices are vampirism, lycanthropy, breeder, blood donor, or banishment to the Wastelands, what choice do you really have?
Suspenseful, intense, passionate, and awash in paranormal delights, Sector C captures the enchantment and mysteries of the supernatural world and the power of friendship.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I love them all. I enjoy the feel of a paperback in my hands, the way the pages bend and the spin creases. However, I also love having a library in my phone so that if I’m standing in a line or waiting in the lobby at the doctor’s office I can open any number of book selections.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
My books actually go through a really long editing process. I have beta readers that go through each book for general grammar issues, story line holes, context issues, etc. Then, I have a professional editor that does three rounds of intensive editing. After all of that with rewrites along the way I have two more beta reader reviews/edits. However, what I have learned through the last five books is that all the editing in the world can’t catch everything. There are still errors but if the story is good people don’t really care. I fix the issues as I am made aware of them but I just hope for the best and that readers will understand that I am only human and some errors may slip through the cracks.
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
I found my editor, Ula Manzo, on Elance.com. It actually took me a while to pick one and I made sure I read and reviewed lots of sample edits from a large pool of editors. When I started working with her I knew she was the right one. She has edited all five of my books now, and although errors still slip through the crack I do believe the expense is worth it. She not only edits she also makes sure to ask questions and point out holes in the story line. Her notes inspire me to expand on my story and really do help me to build a great novel. I think that a good editor will do that for you and you’ll know when you’ve found the right fit.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I do believe the cover plays an important part in the buying process. A book needs to catch the eye of the reader before they will even consider the book, unless the author is already well known. I won’t not read a book if I don’t like the cover, but I will read a book just because of the cover. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.
How are you publishing this book and why?
(*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
I’m an indie author and I publish my eBooks through Booktango.com and my paperbacks through createspace.com. I love the freedom that being an indie author gives me. I have 100% say as to the final product that I publish from text to cover design to prices. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t accept an offer from a publisher, but it does mean that I would want to retain some of those rights.
How do you market your books?
I participate in online book tours, in-person author events, I have a blog www.ninasoden.wordpress.com where I write about my books and other writing topics, I have a quarterly newsletter (sign up here: http://wordpress.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=5edc63329adfa8cf731167490&id=9c4ce62e2a), and I have a Facebook page along with twitter.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
You’re never going to please every reader, so I take the bad reviews with a grain of salt and I celebrate the good reviews.
Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?
In terms of indie published books I would have to say the problem is marketing. There are so many amazing authors out there, but if you don’t know about them you can’t buy their books. I support new authors and tend to buy a lot of eBooks written by indie authors. Why should I hope for people to support me as an indie author if I’m not giving back and supporting other indie authors?
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I don’t, but that doesn’t stop me from doing giveaways. I do giveaways because every time you get your book into the hands of someone new, you have gained more awareness of what you’re doing. Then you just hope that word of mouth will help your reader base grow.
Did you format your own book?
I actually do format my own books. I love that aspect of the process, because to me it is another form of creativity. I like deciding how the interior of my book is going to look. I actually designed the book covers, as well, for the SECTOR C Series books.
In what formats is your book available?
All of my books are available in eBook and paperback.
What is your favorite quote?
I think my favorite quote changes as often as the seasons. I keep a journal of quotes and write them down as I hear them. However, right now my favorite is one by Ernest Hemingway, “Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try.”
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Dream big and never stop reaching for the stars.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Living: Stephen King because he was the author and director of many of my childhood nightmares and I love him for it. Not only did he help me to develop my love of reading but he also inspires to me write.
Dead: Audrey Hepburn because she has always been an inspiration to me, both with her amazing acting career as well as with her philanthropic work.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Never give up. If you really want to be an author then keep writing, everything you can come up with. You may write down a lot of crap but eventually you’ll find the diamond in the rough.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/ninasoden
Awaken (book 1 ~ the Blood Angel Series): http://amzn.com/B008Q8ZPE4
Beginnings (book 2 ~ the Blood Angel Series): http://amzn.com/B00D3G7RWM
Revenge (book 3 ~ the Blood Angel Series): http://amzn.com/B00MUT6XQY
SECTOR C ~ The Chosen (book 1 ~ SECTOR C): http://amzn.com/0985885335
SECTOR C ~ The Hunted (book 2 ~ SECTOR C):
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.