Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Writers and Writing: Corie J. Weaver

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Fantasy Tales Weave Stories Everyone Can Enjoy

Corie Weaver is a web designer and all around creative spirit. She says she didn’t grow up planning to be a writer, but always loved to read, an important step in becoming a writer. Realizing she had stories to tell she got to work. Corie’s background is in medieval history, she loves to travel and she and her husband are active in the local animal rescue group. She has written two wonderful young adult e-books, Coyote’s Daughter and Bear’s Heart.

Both novels are easy reads with a wealth of fantasy and lore, a combination of what might have been and possibilities beyond what we know. Both are written with tight prose and imagination. You can’t help but engage with the characters as they are faced with the unexpected and the unsettling.

Riddles within riddles, challenges to established beliefs, and courageous characters who do the right things for the right reasons keep readers turning the pages anxious to see what’s next.

In Coyote’s Daughter you will follow Maggie and Jack into a surprising alternate reality where their actions make the difference between preservation of a society and its demise. In Bear’s Heart a young girl resists her destiny until it becomes clear only by embracing her unusual gifts can she save her homeland and bring peace to troubled souls.

The target audience is preadolescent children and teens. I found the plot interesting enough to hold my attention and left me wanting more.

Corie Weaver is an emerging talent whose attention to detail and ability to meld plot and character in entertaining ways shows great promise for a long and prolific future writing good books worth reading.

Q&A: Corie J. Weaver

WB: Let’s start with you telling the audience the catalyst for you going from “not being a writer,” to publishing two books.
CW: In grad school I started writing flash fiction as a way to relax. One day I had an image in my mind that I couldn't shake. I thought I'd be writing another flash fiction piece, then thought maybe it was a short story. After a month I realized to some dismay I'd started down the road of a novel. That one is still in revisions. For future projects I've made sure to have much more planning done before hand. I've been lucky enough to have participated in some fabulous crit groups, and to have attended the Taos Toolbox Workshop.

WB:  I’ve read Coyote’s Daughter and Bear’s Heart. Aside from being targeted to a YA audience, what genre do the books fall into?
CW: Both are fantasy novels. Coyote's Daughter is closer to urban fantasy, with the blurred line in Maggie's life between the real world and the world of legends. Bear's Heart brings characters from folklore and forces them to deal with consequences of a historical event. They can also both be seen as coming of age novels.

WB: Coyote’s Daughter seems to be a blending of folklore and mysticism. Talk about how you decided to go this route in creating character and plot.
CW: So much of young adult fantasy is rooted in the folklore and history of Europe. In New Mexico we have a very rich history and I wanted to explore that. I spent about six months researching pueblo history and legends for each book, with the hopes that the new characters I created would blend well into the existing framework.

WB: Is there a third book in the series or is this a series?
I've played with a couple of different options for the third book, but haven't drafted a final outline yet. And I must admit, I keep being distracted by shiny new ideas.

WB: Do you plan to do print versions of the books?
That was actually the plan for this summer, but now it's looking more like a winter project. I've done a little bit of research into different options, now just to get that moved along. At the moment I'm leaning towards Lightning Source to take advantage of getting into Ingram's distribution catalog.

WB: You have a pretty active schedule. When do you find time to write?
CW: I'd love to say I write every day, but it just doesn't happen. I'm currently experimenting with having a few hours every weekend to actually write, and the rest of the week percolating on world building or plot points, so that when I do have the time to get some words in, I've done the thinking ahead of time.

WB: What authors do you admire?
CW: This is something that changes pretty often, but at the moment I'm greatly inspired by the plotting ability of Dorothy Dunnett. In her six volume Lymond Chronicles she spans the whole of the 16th century world, from Europe to the Middle East and back. The pages are filled with sword fights and period quotations, gorgeous detail. And the hero acts throughout with reckless abandon that the reader only much later realizes is perfectly calculated.

WB: I know you used Smashwords as a vehicle for publishing. What was that like and will you continue to use that service?
CW: Smashwords is wonderful in that it formats the book for a number of different e-readers at once, without me having to do all that work myself. It also has its own distribution channels that let my work get into outlets I wouldn't have been able to reach on my own.

WB: What did you learn about yourself in the course of writing these books that you didn’t know before?
I've always loved puzzles, and plotting out these books was just like a giant puzzle that I could build and solve. I love figuring out who my people are, and what made them that way, and then creating situations for them and seeing what they'll do. The best part is when they surprise me, and take the story to wonderful new directions. The worst part is when I discover that a character I actually like has done something awful.

WB: What is the most difficult aspect of writing and how do you overcome it? What comes easy?
CW: I love world building and most of the time is comes easily to me – creating the background for the story, the conflicts that drive the plot forward. But every now and again what seems like a minor detail comes up that I get stuck on. Usually a logistical or logical issue that I need to get sorted out before the story can progress. I feel silly, because about half the time it's something the reader will never know about, but I need to know that everything hangs together properly. I get around it by percolating on the issue for a few days, trying different options, and brainstorming with anyone who will sit still long enough to hear me out.

WB: Do you have a website where your books are featured?

CW: They're up at coriejweaver.com

Look for Corie’s work through her website, and hopefully before the year is out, in bookstores.

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ear is out, in bookstoreore.hopefully before the year is out, in bookstore.
re writing good books worth reading. and bring p

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