What is your author name? Or do you use a penname instead?
Jae: I intend to go by my actual name, Jae Dansie. I guess I never personally understood the purpose of pennames. I’ll own up to what I wrote and I’m proud of it.
What is the title of the book you’re currently writing?
Jae: It’s called SHADE.
What is the genre of your book?
Jae: YA Epic Fantasy.
What inspires you to write?
Jae: It probably sounds cliché, but everything. Something will inspire a story that just needs to come out and writing is the way I get it out.
I’m a big fan of a certain quote by Ray Bradbury: “If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape.”
I really do believe we can gain inspiration by stuffing ourselves full of life and story in all its many forms.
Self-publish or traditional publishing, and why?
Jae: For me right now the path is traditional publishing. I think self-publishing is awesome and it’s worked out well for a ton of authors, but I’m looking for the experience an agent brings to the table. Plus I feel like an agent can be an extremely honest, but helpful critic of my work. I’m looking to bring readers the best story possible and I’m not afraid of being challenged to take my writing to the next level.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Jae: Know that a first, second, third draft may not be even close to scratching the surface of a good story. I recently had a blogger friend post about 80% actually being 50%—that when you think you’re 80% done you’re more likely only 50% finished. (Read her post here: http://lpalmerchronicles.com/2013/04/10/80-is-the-new-50/)
If you’re serious about having the best story possible, it’s going to take more revisions than you care to think about right now. The best way to move things along is to get feedback. But you’ve got to keep your skin thick, because sometimes it’s really going to hurt.
I actually wrote a whole series on both writing a novel and editing a novel on my blog. The editing series I wrote amidst major revisions on SHADE and it’s everything I learned from that experience. I’m sure there will be more to add in the future as I continue to grow as a writer. (The editing series: http://litandscribbles.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/how-to-edit-your-novel-a-series/)
Worry about creating a great story first and getting it published much later. It will take a lot longer than you think and that’s okay. The great story comes first.