Okay, Monday the 13th.
What's the worst that could happen?
Whatever it is, I'll bet this helps:
Today I get to talk to Chelsea Thornon! She's a rising fantasy author, and I'm excited to have her here!
Chelsea Thornton is a writer from Texas. She is a reader for The Forge Literary Magazine, an MS warrior, and a tea addict. She is married to a truck driver, and her husband often whisks her away so they can travel around the United States with their two dogs. She is the co-author of Lost in the Vast, a dark sci-fi/fantasy novella series. Her short fiction has been published in Maudlin House, Bewildering Stories, Idle Ink, Crow & Cross Keys, and elsewhere.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think I was around twelve years old when I first started writing more than just for class assignments. My family was going through a tough time, and I discovered how I could escape from it all when I would write—how I could kind of disappear into another world if only for a little while. That method of escapism has followed me into my adult life. And while writing has turned into so much more than that, it’s definitely still my preferred method of escaping from reality.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Most of my time when I’m not writing is spent reading or hanging out with my dog, Harper Rose.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is incredibly supportive. My husband has always urged me to follow my dream and has supported me the whole way. I couldn’t be more thankful for that. For my mom too. Sometimes I feel like I have cheerleaders, and while I’m certain they’re biased, I’m extremely grateful.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
My co-author and I are currently writing a very, very, very long series of episodic fiction. Technically, we’ve written over thirty books in the series. Final drafts are a different story. We recently published the third book in the series, and of the ones that are out so far, the third one is my favorite.
Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I don’t feel like I’m qualified to be giving writing advice; I can just share what’s helped me. My writing has undoubtedly improved in the last ten years, and I know it’s because I write a lot and read a lot. You can’t expect to get better at something without any practice. Studying your craft helps tremendously as well. I’ve always been a reader, but I started reading even more a couple of years ago. I noticed quickly how much that helped to make my writing stronger.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I hear from my readers occasionally, but I would love to hear from them more! I think many people don’t realize how much it means to authors to even hear them say that they’re enjoying something we’ve written. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story is subjective to the person reading it. For me, a good story has characters who have depth, who make me care about them. The story and the worldbuilding are all important, but I want to feel like I know the characters on a personal level.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
My co-author is my best friend. We were friends when we started writing together, but our series really brought us closer. We complement each other because we have different strengths. He’s always been exceptional at worldbuilding and descripting a setting. I like to focus more on character development and dialogue. But I think in the years that we’ve been writing together, we’ve each shared our strengths with the other and helped each other grow. It’s been both fun and beneficial.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Sphinx by Robin Cook. It was one of the first adult books I ever read. I read it when I was young, but it’s stuck with me and remains one of my all time favorites to this day.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
My spirit animal is definitely an owl. I write all night long. But my co-author and I have said that my dog is our mascot. She has a bandana with our series name on it.
What’s the best way to market your books?
That’s a great question! When someone discovers the answer, please let me know! Haha. I suppose one of the most helpful things that I’ve realized is that people will react and engage more if you’re being personable, sharing something about yourself as a human being. Not everyone will interact with an ad. But when I told people all I wanted for my birthday was for them to read my books, that sure seemed to work!
What do you have coming next?
Mallory Manor is the fourth book of the Lost in the Vast series that I write with my co-author. It’s set in a haunted house and comes out in November of this year. I am also currently working on my own novel—an adult contemporary fantasy about primordial gods who have lost their memories and descended to the realm of mortals.