Kassandra Flamouri Interview

Hello my fellow little munchkins! How are you all doing? I am doing well. I have gotten a bunch of homework done this week and had to go to my high school today which honestly feels weird since we haven’t been to school in at least 2 months now. Also I have posted the review of Kassandra Flamouri’s book which you should check out HERE.

Anyways, why don’t we get into this wonderful interview?


What is your writing kryptonite? 

Kissing scenes! I wrinkle my nose the whole way through. Sometimes I can’t help myself and have to gag out loud to relieve the awkwardness. I’m told my kiss scenes are just fine, but, oh, I can’t stand writing them!

What made you want to write this book? 

I had a recurring nightmare when I was little about a forest shrouded in mist. At least, that’s all that made it into this book. There was more to the real dream – my friend’s garage turned into the creepy forest but I wanted to give her pet rabbit a cuddle, so I like a typical YA heroine went into the creepy forest anyway and then got chased out by wolves. The nightmare forest stuck with me for so long, and it was the seed that eventually grew into this book. I always knew it was going to be a secondary world fantasy, but so many bits and pieces came together over the years that I can’t really pinpoint one thing that made me want to write this book in particular. It has also evolved into a totally different book than what I started with.

If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be? 

Yes, you CAN do it. I put off really trying for years because it seemed so insurmountable.

Have you ever had difficulty coming up with an idea for your story?

An idea? No. An idea that really grabs me and makes me want to write it? Absolutely. I’m still struggling to fall in love with an idea for my third book. I have three full outlines complete with plot, character arcs, etc. but haven’t been able to really sink into any of them.

As a writer, what would your spirit animal be?

This may be cliché, but a cat for sure. Long periods of lolling about with brief bursts of energy.

What Hogwarts house would the main character of your book be sorted into? 

I think Sasha would be a Hufflepuff all the way. She’s very loyal, with a work ethic like you wouldn’t believe. 

While you were editing your book what were some thoughts that were going through your mind?

Do I have too many words? THE BLOG POSTS SAY IT’S TOO MANY WORDS. But the editor said this needs to be fleshed out. Okay I’m doing it. My god, did I write that? That’s amazing. Wait—I wrote that? What was I thinking? What does that even mean? Oh, I love this paragraph let me read it again. GASP A subject-verb agreement error! DIE FAULTY AGREEMENT DIE.

And so on.

What word would sum up your book?

Bittersweet.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Absolutely. But I also believe it shouldn’t stop you from being productive. There are a lot of ways you can keep moving forward even if putting words on the page isn’t working out in that moment. You can read something that inspires you, you can research, you can switch to marketing or planning for a while.

 What is your writing process like? 

That’s actually in flux at the moment. Outlining everything wasn’t working out, so I’m trying the method proposed in Story Genius, and so far I think it’s really helping. I’m working on deep, deep character development first. Not just deciding on character attributes or deciding what the character wants, though that’s part of it. Right now I’m writing full scenes showing turning points in the character’s early life that eventually lead to the desires and beliefs that drive the book. These scenes may or may not make it into the actual book, but I kind of like that. There’s less pressure.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Read. A lot. Read books in your genre, of course, but also read craft books and other nonfiction that can inform your characters and plots. Read critically, with an eye to the how and why behind the author’s work—especially grammar! Grammar matters!

 How much research do you do for your books? 

TONS!

When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?

I’ve always been a writer, but I decided to try writing a “real book” and eventually get published about six years ago.

 When did you first start writing?

As soon as my mother taught me how! My very early works include “Simba’s Adventure” and “The Fairies” in third (second?) grade. I was one of those dweebs that actually liked the free writing prompts on standardized tests back then.

 Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? 

I take notes and sometimes scribble parts of scenes longhand, but I actually write full works on the computer.

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

DRAFTING. I hate it so much. Going from nothing to something (anything) is just mind bogglingly hard for me. I really start to have fun and shine in revisions and editing.

What is the easiest part of writing that you consider?

Editing for grammar. There’s much less agonizing because it’s much less subjective.  

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

So far? About two years. 

Any tips on how to go through a dreaded writer’s block?

I’m a big believer in productive procrastination. If it’s not working, I switch tasks for a while and come back with (hopefully) fresh eyes. 

How did you decide to pick out your book cover?

Oh man. As of writing this I’m waiting to receive my cover art and praying to anyone who will listen that it comes out right. I had a pretty specific vision for what I wanted, but I don’t have the artistic skills to make it happen myself. I wanted references to Sasha’s history with ballet as well as floral elements for the City of Roses, and I really wanted to get the swans in there since the themes presented in Swan Lake are pretty prevalent throughout.

Do you think the cover plays an important part of the buying process? 

Absolutely! We warn people not to judge a book by its cover because we know that almost everyone does indeed judge a book by its cover.

How do you market your books? 

This is my debut novel, so I’m still figuring that out. A big part of it involved emailing a lot of bloggers like you! I also plan on running ad campaigns and contacting indie bookstores for reading events.

Why did you choose said route?

I was considering hiring a promotion service, but reviews seemed to suggest that it didn’t make much of a difference. 

What is your favorite quote of your book?

“I promised myself that if Cimari ever touched me again, I would kill her…and I always keep my promises.”

 How can your readers discover more about you and your work?

There’s tons of info on my website: www.flamourifiction.com, and there’s always Twitter and Instagram (@flamourific) 

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

I don’t think I’m at all qualified to answer that! But I do hope that we see expanded respect and opportunities for indie writers. 

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included.

If anyone is interested, I’d be happy to do a post of some kind explaining how I DIY’d a lot of elements and how I mitigated my self-publishing costs. I’ve discovered a lot of tools and resources that I think would be really helpful to a lot of people.


 


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