C.J. Archer is the author of Young Adult, Historical, and Paranormal fiction. She is an amazing author, and her books are so addictive. If you haven't read one of her books yet, then you definitely need to make one your next read!
When did you start writing?
About 20-odd years ago. I wrote short stories for magazines to begin with, but when I wrote my first novel, I knew I wanted to continue with the longer form. I've been honing my story telling skills since then, and focusing on a genre I love (historical fantasy) helped me improve my writing.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I'm a bit of both. I begin by knowing the start, sometimes the end, and some key points in between. As I write, I flesh out more of the plot too, so that I always know what comes next. It's like crossing a path of stepping stones that are hidden just beneath a stream's surface. I can see one, two or three ahead, as well as the taller ones, but the rest are submerged and don't become visible until I get closer.
How many books have you written, and which is your favourite?
I've just completed my 32nd C.J. Archer book, but I've written about another ten on top of that which I've either published under other pen names, or left to gather virtual dust on my hard drive. They all hold a place in my heart, and for different reasons, but I'm probably most proud of the 3rd Freak House Trilogy (beginning with GHOST GIRL) because the heroine is someone I personally admire and the hero, Quin, is just to-die-for. He's a 500 year-old warrior who was banished to another realm in the middle ages and has now returned, tasked with keeping Cara, the heroine, alive. It's funny watching him try to fit in to the world around him, as well as battle his intense feelings for Cara, someone who is very much off-limits. Another favourite is the Ministry of Curisoties series which begins with THE LAST NECROMANCER. Charlie has been disguising herself as a boy in the slums, and hiding her secret from those seeking to capture her. But it's the man who does succeed in capturing her who is the most captivating character. Known as Death to those around him, Charlie is as frightened of him as she is fascinated. Peeling back his layers was fun for me as a writer, and I admit that I kind of fell in love with him.
Do you have a favourite author?
Dorothy Dunnett, Jane Austen, Janet Evanovich. The list goes on. I can't pick just one.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still writing! I can't stop. Creating stories is addictive and if readers still want to read them in ten years (and more!), then I'll be writing them.
What literary character do you most admire?
Lizzie Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, for her sparkling wit, attitude, and down-to-earth, caring nature. She's someone I'd like to be friends with.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Read, write, repeat until the process of telling stories becomes intuitive. There is no substitute for actually DOING the writing, but reading is just as important. I learn more from reading other books than I do from writing classes and seminars.
How alike are you and your characters?
I wish I could be like them. They're much smarter, funnier, and more courageous than me. If I had to face half the stuff they had to, I'd be a cowering mess.
If your book was made into a TV show or a movie, who would be your dream cast?
That's easy in the case of the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series because I based Lincoln Fitzroy on Aidan Turner, the British actor from Being Human and Poldark. He's so perfect that I've had readers write to me and tell me they picture him in the role, without knowing that I'd already mentally cast him in it.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
The ability to not need sleep. It's not a very glamourous superpower, but imagine all the stories I could write while everyone is asleep!
Facebook: CJ Archer Author Page
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