Thursday, April 21, 2011

Aspiring Author Thursday: Introducing Candice Kennington

Today's interview is with the fabulous Candice Kennington. She is seriously hilarious and her blog posts are so funny. She was another one of the first blogs I ever started following. Check out her blog with amazing stick figure drawings here.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I always loved writing poetry and letters (yes, as in old-fashioned paper and pen letters). I actually remember in sixth grade, writing a poem that won a district-wide contest and thinking about writing a book of poetry. But somewhere along the way I must have lost sight of that goal. Then about three years ago I went to a Josh Groban concert and when I came home I couldn't sleep. The stories in his songs just left my head spinning. I got up, went into the office and started writing character sketches. It was funny because I looked through my notebook and realized there were lots of little random writings in it. It was like the writer inside me was trying to escape and I was completely oblivious. So then and there I decided to try writing a novel. Just to see if I could do it, and I haven't stopped since.

I LOVE Josh Groban! That is so awesome that he was part of your inspiration.

Do you have a writing schedule, or do you just sit down whenever you get a spare moment?

I should have a writing schedule...Sometimes I write in the morning after my husband leaves for work and my son is still asleep. Sometimes I write while my son is at school. Sometimes I write late at night when I can't sleep. Sometimes I don't write at all. I'm a pantser (the flying kind).

I'm a pantser as well. Converting to outlining though, little by little.

Could you tell us a little about yourself? Random facts? Hidden talents?

Let's see. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, I worked as a teacher for the Department of Corrections helping convicts get their GED. I speak Spanish and lived in rural Mexico for a semester in college. The town where I lived was at the base of an active Volcano which erupted twice while I was there, spewing ash all over the top of the houses. I laugh at my own jokes far more than anyone else does and I love to bug people. The term coined by my college roommate and still applied to me by family and friends quite regularly is "gnatty." Since Chantele likes weird words so much I'll write an official definition for her. Gnatty (adj): The quality of being like a gnat. Someone who is incessantly pesky. Gnatty, pretty much sums me up in one word.

Gnatty. So. Awesome.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you couldn't live without? (Besides your family and a laptop of course.)

Probably a surfboard. I don't actually know how to surf, but man, I would have a lot of time to learn. Or maybe I should pick something practical, like a knife or penicillin... Nah, I'll stick with the surfboard.

I've always wanted to learn to surf. Although I must get over my fear of sharks first...

What is one book you could read over and over and over?

I don't usually reread books, but I have reread a few of the Harry Potters. There is one other author, Georgette Heyer, who wrote regency romance in a Jane Austenish sort of way, and I do love to go back and read my favorite parts of those books.

I really like Georgette Heyer as well. So romantical. :)

What book are you dying to read this year?

I'm really looking forward to reading Carrie Harris's debut, Bad Taste in Boys. I've followed her blog for a few years and think she is so funny! I'm also playing on reading Scarlett Fever (the sequel to Maureen Johnson's Suite Scarlett) on my vacation in a couple of weeks. But most of all, I'm looking forward to reading Kasie West's current WiP, which she sends me two chapters at a time (talk about torture). Seriously, the unpublished authors are often the best! I would read my friend's stuff any day over the books at the store.

Unpublished authors ARE the best! :)

What genre do you write and why?

I've written both Adult and YA. My first book was a YA Contemporary Fantasy. My second book was an Adult Superhero Romantic Comedy. My current WiP is a YA SciFi Dystopian. YA is really where I enjoy writing the most. I like the pace of the stories.

Do you have any writing rituals? Music, silence, eating, etc.

My ritual tends to go something like this: Write a paragraph. Check my email. Write a line of dialogue. Play a game of Bejeweled Blitz. Write a dialogue tag. Check Twitter. Write a sentence. Browse my blog list. Comment on a blog. Check my email. Get a drink. Turn on music. Read through what I've written for the day (all 200 words). Change a period to a comma and an "and" to "an". Realize how hungry I am. Make myself a sandwich. Stare at the screen while eating. Get hypnotized by the blinking cursor. Fall into a trance (where the muse visits me). Become inspired. Write a paragraph... and the cycle continues to infinity.

Ha ha ha ha!! Love the play-by-play! You and Kasie and your Bejeweled Blitz! So funny.

Where do you come up with your ideas? Dreams, while driving, etc?

Besides the sandwich eating trance? I'm not really sure. Sometimes a song gets me thinking. My second book, Jaded, about the superheroes was the only idea that came from a dream. My first book was inspired by a place I visited in Hungary. My third book, I honestly have no clue.

You've been to Hungary? So awesome!

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Since I'm still firmly in the aspiring author category, I don't know that my advice holds any value, but I'll give it a shot. My advice would be to invest in other authors that are at the same point in the journey you are. Get to know them. Build each other up. It's really a joy to see my friends finding varying degrees of success along this path and to go through the process with them. I also know that without them I may never have finished my books. When one of us is down the others are there to build that person up. They are true friends and more than anyone else can understand what being a writer is really like.

Random Writing Question: If your current MC could have any supernatural power, what would they pick and why? (Unless they already have one!)

My current MC does not have super powers, but if she could choose one it would be the power of invisibility. She already tries to be invisible, which is hard since she's so brilliant!!

Thank you so much Candice! You are awesome! :)


Michelle Merrill said...

Gnatty. I'll totally have to use that one! And I haven't read anything by Georgette least I don't think I have. Now that I typed the name though it sounds so familiar. I'll have to go look her up though. Thanks for the recommendation.

It was fun to learn more about Candice.

Great interview Chantele :)

Renee Collins said...

Candice=Awesomeness x 10

Oh, and I know how to surf! Does that make me cool?? :)

Unknown said...

Chantele, I LOVE that you interview aspiring authors. Candice--you're well worth the interview.

Both of you are awesome.

Chris Phillips said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one w/o a schedule.

Maggie said...

Super funny interview. It was fun to get to know an aspiring author.

Candice said...

Thank you so much, Chantele for doing this! It was a lot of fun!

Jessie Oliveros said...

I love your writing schedule! Ha. And wait a mean, you wake up BEFORE your son?? Lucky.

Shallee said...

Thanks for a great interview. I always love these-- it's fun to get to know more about other writers.

Ruth Josse said...

You're writing ritual is amazingly similar to mine. Is it working as well for you as it is for me? Fun interview!

Chantele love the new look!

Kasie West said...

Candice is awesome! I know her in real life. Does that make me just a little awesome? :) And Candi, sorry, I'm having major angst with my WiP, but maybe you'll get some more soon.

J.R. Johansson said...

Great interview. I love that she'd try to be invisible, but her intelligence won't let her. Kind of like you sometimes. ;-)

I, too, would love to read Kasie's latest book... and yours... and Natalie's... and Renee's *sigh*.

So many books, so few people that will E-MAIL THEM TO ME! *grumble grumble* ;-)