Ask The Author! – The Starstruck Series, Bridget Spackman and Casey Smith.

starstruck cover author q&a

 

Hello lovelies! We have another first for Bookishbearx. This week I’ve had the lovely pleasure of interviewing authors Bridget Spackman and Casey Smith about their upcoming book that is due out this Friday! We talked about their inspirations for the book, what we can expect and also gave their advice for aspiring authors! To find out more read ahead as they tell us about their first book in what sounds like it will be an amazing series!

 

 

 

1 – Where did the idea for the book come from? What can readers expect from it?

B – A lot of elements of the book were inspired by various other books and TV shows, we’ve always enjoyed anything with a hint of the supernatural in. We started with this idea for a group of friends having powers, and then got into the how and why they got that way. 

C – Initially our story was set around the parents, and the storm that gave them the powers. But the two of us were always running off to see our favourite bands, and wanted to bring the two things together. A specific singer, a specific song, and a specific gig flipped the story one day and I don’t think we’ve ever looked back. 

B- In terms of what the reader can expect…there are definitely dark themes that run through the series. Then there’s obviously the supernatural element, but in an urban everyday life setting. 

C –  And lots of teen drama! When you get a bunch of teens together, give half of them magic powers and hype up the hormones you just know there’s going to be trouble.

2 – What authors inspired you the most?

B – This may come across as a relatively predictable answer, but J K Rowling, obviously. The Harry Potter books, as well as being the first thing we had in common, inspired the start of our writing career together, with Harry Potter fan-fiction.

C – We’re in agreement that Stephanie Meyer was also a pretty big influence. Despite the fact she’s slandered for trash writing and being anti-feminist, she made millions of people fall in love with her characters. 

B – You being one of them.

3 – Did you ever experience writers block while writing? How did you overcome it?

B –  Oh, we do! I think every writer does. For me I listen to music, step back and play the scene out in my head. That usually sparks something.

C – I think one of the things that helps before we’ve even started is that all our chapters are planned down to the last detail. We know the dialogue, the actions, everything. My biggest struggle is then taking that and turning it into a chapter. And I try to overcome it by…writing. Even if I only manage 100 words, which I delete constantly and rearrange, it’s something.

4 –   Did any other books influence how you wrote Starstruck? If so, how?

C – I think we’d both agree that Gossip Girl, by Cecily Von Ziegesar is probably our biggest influence in the how. The layout of our chapters being from multiple character perspectives was something we’d only ever seen in that series previously. 

B – What we liked was you could have one scene, but see it from several different perspectives, ultimately weaving together several different stories.

5 – Writing as a pair, how would you overcome creative differences?

B – We do have our moments occasionally, not as often as some people might think because we work well together to plot everything out. But when we do have our differences we argue the points objectively. Deciding what benefits the story.

C –  I think the main issues are mainly in regards to our characters. We split them down the middle and each write from a set list, to keep them authentic. But that usually means I can’t dictate what one of Bridget’s characters would do. She knows them in a way I never could, even being a co-author. And vice versa.

6 – What does a typical writing day look like for you?

C – When we started writing it was very much a whenever I could sit down for a few hours and just…type. These days it’s more often than not after the kids have gone to bed if I’m not following them.

B – Generally I’m a night owl, so I tend to write best in the evening. Ideally with music on in the background. 

C – One day soon it will resemble mine…

7 – At what point did you decide you wanted to be an author?

B –  I’m not sure it was an active decision, more of a desire that’s always been there. I think we realised it was something we actively wanted to do as teenagers though.

C –  I agree. I don’t think either of us consciously thought ‘I wanna do this’. We just found a hobby we enjoyed and created Starstruck from it

B – Yeah, exactly. It’s always been a bit of a dream but then our friendship made it a reality.

8 – Any advice for aspiring authors?

B – Just keep writing. It’s the best way to work out ideas and characters, to hone your skills and ultimately to give yourself material to work with.

C – Definitely! I think writing is a skill that you never stop trying to perfect. We look back at the earlier drafts of the book and…well, we cringe. But we’ve come so far in such a short stretch of time because we just kept writing.

9 – Would your advice be different prior to writing this book? Did it change your view on what being an author is like?

B – I think my advice would still stand, only now we’re more aware of how true it rings post completion. I think the book process has opened our eyes to how many rewrites and fine tooth combing is actually needed.

C – I think I’d probably throw in that the writing part of being an author is a relatively small part of the whole package. Before you even get to that stage you need to make sure you have fully fleshed characters and a plot. And as Bridget said, after finishing there’s rewrites. Formatting. Editing. Advertising. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. I don’t think either of has actually written in over a year.

10 – Where do you think this book will go? How do you see the series progressing and performing?

C –  I think we’d be lying if we said we didn’t want to hit the big time and have everyone desperate for their next fix. But ultimately we’ve always said that our main aim was to just be able to hold our own work in our hands. Anything else is a bonus.

B – Yeah, I’d have to agree in that just to hold it and say we did that is rewarding enough. But in our deepest fantasies it’d be incredible if we could publish the entire series knowing that people are following it eager to reunite with the characters.

11 – Which characters in your book do you identify with the most, and why?

B –  I identify with elements in all my characters. Rosie’s insecurity on my bad days, Jonathans sarcasm, Nathans ambition-

C –  Ash’s stupidity…

*That earned an eye roll*

C – I think we both use our characters as a means of freedom, so they have aspects of us in them, but essentially they’re all so different to us. I think Bridget would agree that there is a character coming into the later books that is more like me than she’d like. She’s kinda emotional and…a little crazy.

12 – What is most exciting about the upcoming release for you?

C –  Besides the relief of it finally being out there, I think personally I’m looking forward to sitting back down at my laptop and writing up the first chapters of the second book. For the last few months it’s been non-stop working on getting it out there. Knowing that soon it will be out of my hands, in a sense, and I can work on other things…that feels exhilarating.

B – I agree. I’m excited (and nervous) about letting the characters out into the world and finding out how they stand up. But I’m also eager to explore the next book and dive back in.

13 – What has been the best and worst parts of the process in creating the book?

B-  Best is definitely drafting the chapters as I find it so fun! And then post writing a chapter, getting my feedback from Casey when I’ve worked really hard on it. The worst parts are definitely the edits. Although she’s taken the helm with these.

C –  I agree. They’re the worst! There’s something quite soul destroying in looking at your finished work and then taking a sledgehammer to it and ripping out huge chunks of text. But on the flip side, the best part is always going to be getting feedback. Be that from Bridget, or anyone else. And it didn’t have to be positive. Some of the constructive criticisms we got have really changed the book for the better.

14 – What is one thing you would want readers to know about your upcoming book?

B –  That this is only the beginning.

C – And that the best, and worst, is still to come.

15 – Where and what formats will your book be available to buy?

Starstruck is available from Friday 22nd May in paperback through Amazon, and eBook via Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, 24Symbols, Tolino and Baker & Taylor. We’re currently working on a handful of other apps for eBook, as well as finding another publisher for paperback distribution via bookstores and libraries.


 

If Starstruck sounds like something you can get behind, you can pre-order now! Remember the book comes out this Friday! I’ll pop the amazon link below. Sending all the best wishes from Bookishbearx to Bridget and Casey. I cannot wait to read this one when it comes out! Thanks for reading!

 

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