This is our final author interview, with Fantasy and Horror author, Sarah-Jane Lehoux. She was kind enough to answer some questions about her book, Thief, which is featured as a prize for July's Death Match. She is also providing the Grand Prize winner with a critique of your query letter AND the first 5 pages of your manuscript. That's quite a prize! Be sure to come back next week, on Wednesday, July 7th, when the contest kicks off! We'll be picking our topic and two writers! You could be the first to win YA Flash Death Match!
Who are some of your favourite authors?
I absolutely adore the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. I also enjoy Diane Setterfield, Emma Donoghue, Gregory Maguire, Jane Austen, and Lucy Maud Montgomery. That being said, most of what I read is non-fiction. I love books on cryptozoology, the paranormal, folklore and mythology.
What is the main thing you hope readers will gain from your book?
I’m not labouring under the assumption that Thief is going to change anyone’s lives or go down in history as a classic or anything like that, but I’m hoping I’ve created something that people can enjoy. If they need a bit of escapism, then I hope they’ll be able to use Thief for a bit of excitement and fun. And maybe if I’m really lucky, Thief will be memorable enough to make readers think about the nature of good and evil, and how the world isn’t nearly as black and white as we sometimes believe it is.
What inspired Thief?
The initial idea came to me in a dream. I often take singular elements of dreams and expand upon them. In Thief’s case, the image I used was that of a woman rushing to the scene of her lover’s murder. Having this little bit of a story-less character floating around my head prompted me to take part in an online writing exercise, where a group of people took turns telling a story. That initial story died out, but by then I had grown to love Sevy even more. I decided to tell her story from the beginning, never expecting to be able to write an entire novel (plus sequels!) about it.
Where can our readers find you on the web?
If you visit to my website at www.sarah-janelehoux.com, there is a page for contacting me through email, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace. You can also check out my blog at http://sarah-janelehoux.blogspot.com/
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed writing as a hobby. I used to write stories for my teachers to read to the class during free time, and English was always my favourite class. That being said, I never really considered myself a writer until after I had written the first draft of Thief. It was then that I realized that I could make a career out of something that I had always loved.
Where is your favorite place to write?
At my desk, with a pair of headphones on and music blaring.
Do you have any upcoming books or projects?
My debut novel, Thief, was just released by Mundania Press, and while I’m still in the process of promoting that, I’m also gearing up for the release of Thief’s sequel. Shades of War will be published in Nov/Dec of 2010. In addition, I’m working on Masquerade, the third in the series and a comedic fantasy novel called Red Rover.
What is your favorite book?
Next of Kin by Roger Fouts. It’s a sort of biography of Washoe, a chimpanzee capable of sign language. It’s a wonderful albeit heartbreaking book that really made me think about what it means to be human. I highly recommend it.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Treat writing like you would any other career. That means researching the market, constantly improving your skills, and maintaining an air of professionalism in all of your correspondence. Look into getting a website built and become an active blogger and social networker, even if you don’t have a single publishing credit to your name. These are all things that potential agents/publishers look for when they are considering your work.
Above all else, be patient and stay positive! Getting rejected is all a part of the process. If you believe in yourself and your stories, you will achieve your goals.
Many thanks to Sarah-Jane for participating in our very first YA Flash Death Match!