Charisse Reid

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1.What got you into writing? Actually, it’s really strange how I started writing. I started out as a reader. I fell in love with ebooks on my iPad. Started with iBooks and went to Kindle app. Somehow I found Goodreads when I started purchasing and fell in love with it. I found this book Wake Up Call by Victoria Ashley in the Kindle store and started reading it. Once I reviewed it on Goodreads, she connected with me and a relationship developed. She trusted me enough to send me Chapter 1 to This Regret, which is now live, to get my opinion. It made me realize I wanted to edit romance books for a living and to see if I really liked it she allowed me to become her full time editor. It has been an amazing journey. Anyway, a few chapters in she suggested that I try and write a book because writing seemed to come naturally as I made edits to This Regret. We probably don’t have a standard editor/author relationship because we’ve become friends. To begin with I didn’t think I had the creative ability to sit down and form a plot so I brushed it off. A few days later a plot just popped into my head and I ran it by her. I sat down and gave it a shot and wow, am I glad I did. I feel like I have finally found my niche in the world and once I started the flood gates opened and my mind went crazy. Now, here I am a published author!

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? Since I work full time I have to write when I can. I am hoping my book does well enough that I can come home and write/edit full time. I absolutely love to write. When I write, I lose myself in the lives of my characters. I am probably not the standard writer. I don’t outline my plots. A general idea comes to my head and I sit down at my tablet and write on my storyist app. Each chapter develops in my mind as the story moves along. Nothing is premeditated but the basic plot. My mind creates the story chapter by chapter. One thing that I have found that bugs me is when people ask me how many chapters are in the book because I can’t answer that question. I know where the book needs to end but everything in between is created during the process. As I write my characters are acting the scenes out in my head based on the models I chose and I love it.

 3. Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Luckily I have not experienced writers block so far and the reason being is because when I sit down to write my mind becomes the character I am writing for. I don’t sit down to write until my mind starts formulating the event of the chapter. I have found that if you escape into the life of the character you become them and not your own mind so it’s easier to avoid writers block, but I’m sure each writer is very different.

 4. Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I think I jumped the gun and answered this in an above question but I’ll be glad to answer again. No I don’t plan my story. The general plot comes to me and as I write, the story completely develops in my mind. For example; if you have read Accepted Fate you will meet Preston. Preston literally was created when I started writing the chapter he appears in for the first time. I ended one chapter and my mind created him. Once I wrote him in the plot it formulated the main events for another book in the series. I will not elaborate on it because you’ll have to read.

5. What was the publishing process like for you & any advice to aspiring authors? Publishing can be very tedious but it’s fun if you have the time. I had to take a week off from work on vacation to get it out there so I wasn’t rushed. It has been a very meaningful experience and an amazing journey. I won’t lie; writing is hard work and sometimes emotionally draining because for me, my characters have completely taken over my mind. If you notice on Goodreads I currently have seven books scheduled for the Fate series if no more are added and two other projects as well. I really need to be able to write full time but that is not a possibility right now. I have to give credit where credit is due; I could not have done this on my own. I had step by step help from Victoria Ashley along the way and also my cover designer Clarise Tan has been a major help as well. As an Indie author I believe STRONGLY in paying it forward. There is no reason not to help others when someone has helped you. I will help anyone that needs help. I can be found on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and Google plus. I have met some amazing people through networking from fellow authors, reviewers, and bloggers.

The advice I would give to aspiring authors that actually have a love for writing and books is to go for it. The sky is the limit. I don’t think writing is something that someone should attempt just to make money; It’s an art. Don’t get discouraged because you will meet people that will try to bring you down.  I personally have had awesome support, BUT I did experience negativity along the way and I have decided to cut my ties with that person. It’s not worth surrounding yourself with those kinds of people because you will already get negative feedback along the way with reviews. Keep your head up because it is impossible to make everyone like your story. Each person has their own taste when it comes to what they like to read; remember that and you will do great.

Words I live by and this actually came from a post by another author and one of my favorite, JL Mac. “Don’t choose your story let your story choose you.” There is so much truth to this statement it’s unbelievable. Be original; own your story and it will show when you transfer it from your mind to the manuscript. Don’t worry about wanting to please readers when you are telling your story or you will ultimately end up with writer’s block.

6. What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? The highlight to me was discovering that other people actually like my story. This project has been my baby and it is amazingly motivational for others to like it too.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My debut novel Accepted Fate was just published to three major channels: Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble. It is a journey of a girl that doesn’t want to fall in love to avoid the risk that comes along with loving someone. She is a planner and wants to achieve her dreams with no one standing in the way. She finds that we can’t always control our fate, but that it’s ultimately thrown at us whether it’s the fate we wanted or not. I absolutely loved writing this story and there are more to come in the series. I am about to start writing book two, Twisting Fate. For teasers and excerpts you can check out one of my pages and you will find them there.

8. Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I have ultimately become a book junkie. The only downfall of writing is that I don’t have the time to read like I did before and I miss it. Reading has been an escape for me and I love it. The thought of parting with books sends me into a panic. If I can ever come home full time, I’ve even considering dabbling in things like blogging but we will see. Write now time is my enemy.

9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? Probably Jessica Sorensen. She is my favorite author and the woman has a brilliant mind. I’m obsessed with her stories. If you haven’t read them you should check them out. To name a few of my favorites are: The coincidence of Callie and Kayden series, Death collectors series, Fallen star/souls series, Breaking Nova, The secret of Ella and Micha and I can’t wait to finish the ones I’m still in the middle of.

10. Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers?  I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. If it wasn’t for the support of the readers, Indie writing wouldn’t be where it is today. I didn’t realize this until I became a writer. Always leave a review after you complete a book on Goodreads or the channel you purchased the book from. It doesn’t take much time and it really helps self published authors that don’t have anyone marketing their work. It doesn’t have to be anything long and that’s understandable unless you are a blogger. Just a few sentences telling what you like or what you didn’t necessarily like. With this said, I do not support author bullying. If you genuinely didn’t like a book, there is a classy way to getting that across for things that may need work such as grammar, dialogue, structure, etc. Even before I became a writer I would run across reviews that were utterly ridiculous and even slander. It doesn’t matter if you are a top selling author or Indie; not everyone will like your story but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. People that make it sound horrible just because it wasn’t for them is unnecessary and if it was done to them they would understand. Since I was young I was taught to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Think before you review is all I advise and ask yourself this question. Would it hurt you if you were the author reading the review? Authors have feelings too and they read them for feedback.

If you purchased Accepted Fate, thank you for your support. I want to say a special thank you to Sophia Valentine for supporting me as well and asking for this interview. You are awesome!

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