Thursday, August 21, 2014

Interview with Madeline Freeman


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
I just finished Wild Magic, which is the second book in the Clearwater Witches series. It follows Krissa Barnette as she adjusts to the consequences of her actions at the end of Crystal Magic. Krissa will have to learn to master her abilities and figure out who she can trust when a new danger presents itself in Clearwater.

Do you have a favorite character?
My current favorite character to write is Felix Wolfe in the Clearwater Witches series. He’s funny and sweet—like a little brother you want to noogie. In my last series—The Naturals—my favorite character to write was probably Kellen. He has this kind of easy snarkiness that’s fun.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
In Wild Magic, the second book in the Clearwater Witches series, a peripheral character from the first book—Felix Wolfe—suddenly took on a life of his own. He ended up taking over the role another character was going to fill, and his awesomeness altered the trajectory of the book. It didn’t change the entire direction of the book, but his evolution caused a retooling of some events. In the end, I’m glad it happened. I look forward to what Felix will do in the next book!

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
When I decided to self-publish, it was because I wanted—needed—a change. I read about the success stories of people like Amanda Hocking and figured I could do that, too. I had no idea that writing is only a part of the story, so to speak. I really wish I knew then what I know now, and I wish I’d figured out how to write faster earlier in my journey.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
My writing process is still evolving. In November 2013, I went down to part time at my day job and started spending four hours each weekday at my local Panera, writing. I like writing in sprints—fifteen or twenty minute stints where I ignore everything and write, even if I’m not entirely sure what to write. To get the most out of the sprints, I’ll typically brainstorm scenes beforehand. Wild Magic, the second book in the Clearwater Witches series, was particularly tricky to write: It’s just over 90,000 words, and that’s after I cut more than 50,000 words. Because it took so much longer to write than I anticipated and because I struggled so much with the story itself, I’m trying out a new plotting system for my next book (a contemporary romance). As I’m maturing in my craft, I’m finding I work so much better as a “plotter.” I need the structure if I want to get anything done.

I typically listen to music when I write, although sometimes I switch to white noise when I’m working on a particularly tricky scene. Since I do much of my writing in public, I was originally a little self-conscious about tapping my toes and chair-dancing, but now I’m more comfortable. If people think I’m weird… well, they’re right.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I always know how I want the story to end, and I typically have in mind a handful of plot points in between. I spend several days scribbling down notes about things that can and should happen—but those don’t always come to pass. For my next book, I’m going for a scene-by-scene outline. I’m hoping that spending some extra time plotting on the front end will make the writing faster and less stress-inducing.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
My books are for sale on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks (the iTunes book store), GooglePlay (for Android devices), and Smashwords.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Absolutely. I know there are things I could be doing to market my books that I’m not doing, either because they haven’t occurred to me or because I don’t have time to do them. I know it’s na├»ve to think that all I need to do is write, but writing does tend to be my primary focus.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Study up on what’s working in your genre. Look specifically at things other self-pubbers are doing. Read books that are selling well so you can get a good idea what readers are craving—as well as holes in the current offerings. And write fast. In series. And no matter how good you are (or think you are) at grammar, have someone go over your draft—preferably several people (critique partners, beta readers, an editor or proofreader).

What’s next for you?
My next project is a contemporary/NA romance. It will involve a rock star and will have nothing to do with magic or psychic powers. I had such a hard time working on Wild Magic that I decided to do something that required no world-building. This’ll be my fun experiment, and I’m excited to get started on it!

Book & Author details:
Crystal Magic by Madeline Freeman  
(Clearwater Witches #1)
Publication date: March 30th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Nothing is safe around Kristyl Barnette. Windows break. Books rocket across the room. Lights flicker. Strange occurrences follow the sixteen-year-old everywhere.

When tragedy forces her to move to the small town of Clearwater, Michigan, with her estranged aunt Jodi, Kristyl tries to leave her past behind. But Clearwater has secrets of its own—a mystical history that intersects with Kristyl’s life and might shed light on the inexplicable events that plague her.

When a mysterious illness threatens her aunt’s life, Kristyl will do anything to cure her. Enlisting the help of witches could save Jodi, but is dealing in magic worth the consequences?

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AUTHOR BIO:
Madeline Freeman lives in the metro-Detroit area with her husband, her daughter, and her cats. In the time she should spend doing housework, she rewatches Fringe. She also loves anything to do with astronomy, outer space, plate tectonics, and dinosaurs, and secretly hopes her daughter will become an astronomer or a paleontologist.

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