Thank you to author, Erika Collins, for your interview with us! We are so grateful! Read the interview below, and at the bottom of the page you'll find links for more info. 1. What inspired you to write this book? Answer: To be honest, Iʼm not sure. I started writing it in high school during my composition class. I was just thinking about children who get abused and came up with the beginning of the book. 2. Can you tell me about the book? Answer: My main character Rosaline is 15/16 years old and gets abused by her mother after she blacks out from drinking and snorting meth. Everyone including her mother thinks she is hurting herself not being abused. Then, on the way to school, she meets James and falls in love. 3. What is your writing process like? Answer: Horrid! I will go months without writing a single word. Writerʼs block hits me hard! But, before I start a book, Iʼll write out a story map and character descriptions to go off of. I didnʼt do that for this book, The Abused. 4. What did you learn when writing the book? Answer: I learned to believe in my writing and be confident. For my writing to be great, I have to believe itʼs great. 5. What surprised you the most? Answer: I originally published it on wattpad.com and I was surprised that the people who read it and waited for me to update chapters actually enjoyed the story line. 6. What does the title mean? Answer: Basically that teens can be abused multiple ways and no one will notice. The title speaks for all of the abused children and teenagers. 7. Was the character inspired by a real person? If so, who? Answer: The looks of Rosaline weʼre somewhat based on my appearance. Jamesʼ looks were based off my then boyfriend now husbands looks. 8. What do you think happened to the characters after the book ended? Answer: Iʼm actually writing a sequel for The Abused, so once Recovered is written I guess weʼll find out. 9. What advice do you have for writers? Answer: Donʼt doubt yourself or youʼre abilities. Be confident and if a publisher rejects you, donʼt give up. I was rejected a few times before I self published through Kindle Direct Publishing. 10. Does writing energize or exhaust you? Answer: Both. I feel accomplished and ready to go, but I also feel so tired from making sure and double checking my spelling and use of details. 11. What are common traps for aspiring writers? Answer: Being cocky about themselves and their writing to where the piece doesnʼt turn out. 12. What is your writing Kryptonite? Answer: Stress. If Iʼm too stressed I CANNOT write. 13. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? Answer: Never. I wanted people to know my name and who I am. 14. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? Answer: I try to be original, but I feel like I sometimes fall into some cliches. 15. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book? Answer: The Abused will just be the two book series and Oliviaʼs Razor Blade will just stand on its own. The only thing that connects them is they both have tragedies and sadness. 16. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? Answer: Too many! Iʼve been writing since about 2nd or 3rd grade I believe, and I would start writing a story and then stop just to start another a few days later. 17. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? Answer: Depending on what needs researching, I spend a decent amount of time on google. For The Abused I had to research pregnancy up to 7 or 8 months. For Oliviaʼs Razor Blade I had to research abortion. Iʼve never experienced either situation and wanted my books to be correct. 18. How long were you a part- time writer before you became a full-time one? Answer: Years. I always had school taking up my time and then it was work. Iʼm still not a full-time writer because I am a mother to three dogs that demand my attention every five seconds, but I write as much as possible. Iʼve been able to focus on writing more for about a year. 19. How many hours a day do you write? Answer: On my good days, Iʼd say a few hours. On a bad day, Iʼd say 30 minutes to an hour. 20. What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult) Answer: Young adult. I mostly base my characters around my age group. I started The Abused at 15 and so my characters age matched mine. In Recovered, Rosaline will be 21 which is now be my age in June. 21. What did you edit out of this book? Answer: I went a bit into detail on her first time, so I edited it to be more pg-13. 22. How do you select the names of your characters? Answer: This is actually the hardest part for me. I can come up with a story line in a matter of minutes, but have to think about a single names for hours. 23. If you didnʼt write, what would you do for work? Answer: Probably some boring job in fast food or retail. 24. What was your hardest scene to write? Answer: Rosalineʼs mother attacking her at 7 or 8 months pregnant and killing her baby. 25. What is your favorite childhood book? Answer: Iʼm not sure. I remember just reading everything because I was mesmerized by the worlds that were created. 26. How long on average does it take you to write a book? Answer: Depends on the writerʼs block. The Abused was a couple years and Oliviaʼs Razor Blade was a little under a year. 27. Do you believe in writerʼs block? Answer: YES! I will sit in front of my work in progress and think for hours before giving up for the night. 28. What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand? Answer: I like writing on paper, but I type all my books so itʼs easier to edit and publish. 29. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer? Answer: I wanted to be a writer for as long as I could remember. My imagination was very active as a child so I was always drawing and writing. 30. How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something? Answer: I struggled a lot at first writing an actual book. I was always writing short stories that were a few pages and I wanted a challenge so I decided to write a book. 31. Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day? Answer: I want to have at least 20 chapters and I have recently set the goal to have at least 3 pages a chapter, but strive for more. 32. Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you? Answer: The Abused was wherever an idea took me. Oliviaʼs Razor Blade had a set plot. 33. Any tips you would like to share to overcome it? Answer: Learn to use the source of your block as an outlet for your writing instead of it shutting you down. 34. Do you read much and, if so, who are your favorite authors? Answer: I read more in school, but I still enjoy reading. I enjoy John Green and Ellen Hopkins. Stephen King is another writer I enjoy. 35. What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion? Answer: Details and a good strong plot. Iʼve struggled with having good detail and one of my teachers pointed that out to me, so now I make sure thereʼs detail. 36. How would you feel if no one showed up at your book signing? Answer: Devastated! I write for people to enjoy my writing and hopefully inspire someone like me. I wouldʼve loved to meet some authors as a kid, so Iʼd be sad if no one wanted to meet me. 37. Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read? Answer: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull 38. How much of yourself do you put into your books? Answer: I put as much as possible. All the sadness is how I would feel or feel. Same with the happiness and the personalities. 39. Who are your books mostly dedicated to? Answer: My mother and husband because they keep me going when I feel like giving up. 40. Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family? Answer: I think itʼs a tie between my mom and husband. My mother cried when I first published my book. 41. Writers are often believed to have a Muse, your thoughts on that? Answer: Definitely. My muse has been coping mechanisms for hard times in life, but Iʼm trying to break free from that so my writing is all sad. 42. Another misconception is that all writers are independently wealthy, how true is that? Answer: I struggle on a daily basis with money. I stress about bills being paid and dog food being bought. My husband and I are just starting our lives and I donʼt make much from my books so we struggle. Some maybe wealthy, but I am not one. 43. Is it true that authors write word-perfect first drafts? Answer: Not at all. I will write my first draft and tell myself thereʼs no mistakes and that itʼs perfect, until I read through it and thereʼs mistakes everywhere from me writing so fast. 44. Did any of your books get rejected by publishers? Answer: The Abused got rejected by 3. I found Kindle Direct Publishing and stuck with them. 45. What is your view on co- authoring books; have you done any? Answer: I think itʼs a good idea. I havenʼt co-authored any books. 46. Is writing book series more challenging? Answer: Somewhat because while writing one you have to think ahead for the next book to come so that theyʼre connected. 47. Does it get frustrating if you are unable to recall an idea you had in your mind some time earlier? Answer: Yes! This happens so often to me! Iʼll be in the car and Iʼll come up with a whole scene and Iʼll get home and I wonʼt remember any of it. 48. Have you ever destroyed any of your drafts? Answer: Plenty. I tried writing vampire books, but couldnʼt get very far and just erase it all. 49. Can you tell us about your current projects? Answer: Iʼm writing my sequel to The Abused. It basically goes into detail on what happened to her mother and how/why her father was murdered. Iʼve also started a story map for another book that Iʼm not sure if Iʼll go forward with. 50. Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day? Answer: Never. They all told me my writing was extremely good, but none told me Iʼd publish. 51. Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid? Answer: My father is. He had a ton of books and would always take me to the bookstore with him. 52. Do you enjoy discussing upcoming ideas with your partner? If yes, how much do you value their inputs? Answer: I do! He helps me figure out the direction of my books when I have too many ideas to put it all together in an organized fashion. 53. Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece? Answer: I have! Since about the 6th grade Iʼve had nightmares every night. I had this one about this house that was haunted pretty bad so I wrote my short story House 666. Follow the links below to buy one of Erika Collin's two published books! The Abused: https://www.amazon.com/Abused-Teens-Hardships-Book-ebook/dp/B07C4NYPRQ/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=erika+collins+the+abused&qid=1556818515&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull Olivia's Razor Blade: https://www.amazon.com/Olivias-Razor-Blade-Erika-Collins-ebook/dp/B07JNCZLKW/ref=sr_1_2?qid=1556818538&refinements=p_27%3AErika+Collins&s=digital-text&sr=1-2&text=Erika+Collins
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