ABOUT THIS AUTHOR:
I grew up in Indiana and currently live in rural Ohio. My resume includes retail, elementary school teacher, medical lab processor, the contemplative life, insurance and finance. Squeezed in there somewhere was marriage and two awesome children.
Back up a few years (okay, a lot of years), to my senior year of high school. I was working part-time in a legal office. On a slow week when the boss was on vacation, I started my first fantasy novel. Wow, I thought, who knew writing could be so much fun? The book was terrible, but an aspiring novelist was born. Unfortunately, getting published didn’t seem like a realistic goal. Being hopelessly pragmatic, I filed away the dream and worked toward degrees in business and education.
However, the stories in my head refused to die and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Thanks to emerging eBook technology, I have found the means to share my imagination with the world. Old stories have been refined and new ones keep coming. My interests include weird trivia, funny sayings, quotable quotes, Saint John Paul II, landscaping, dogs, dragons, history, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, coffee and chocolate.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
C: Ambition is the strong desire to achieve something, typically requiring hard work and determination. Every new character, setting and plot is an achievement, so whenever I’m working on a story, I’m realizing my ambitions. Creating fictional worlds populated with people, places and things born from my own imagination is a god-like power trip. Creating difficult situations, plopping characters down in the middle of them, and helping them escape (or not escape) is vastly entertaining.
Writing doesn’t feel like work or ambition to me. It’s simply fun. I’m only speaking of the creative process here—not marketing. Marketing is hard, soul-sucking work, but necessary if I want people to know my books exist. Naturally, selling more books is an ambition of mine. I would love to be able to support my family on the income from my writing, but that’s an unlikely scenario. The average self-published author averages between $500 and $999 a year. You would think a traditionally published author would be rolling in the dough, but no. They average between $3,000 to $5,000 a year, which is well below the US poverty level of $24,250 for a family of four. If being an author was solely about the money, I would have given up long ago. I write for the love of the craft.
Where do the your ideas come from?
C: I ask What If a lot and spend a lot of time coming up with the answers.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
C: A few years ago, I would have answered no. Now I answer with an emphatic yes. I was 40,000 words into a new novel when the words stopped flowing. I stared at the computer screen for weeks and the inspiration never came back. I’ve abandoned that book and moved onto other things. I wish I could say it was just that one time, but I’ve run into blocks on other stories. Thankfully, they haven’t been that severe. My solution has been to distance myself from the process for a while. I might critique another author’s book, play a game, watch a movie, help with homework, take a walk or do housework as a very last resort. Ha. In other words, I focus on something other than the story at hand. By the time I revisit the story, my perspective has changed, and the block usually dissolves.
What book/s are you reading at present?
C: I am busy critiquing Bound to the Abyss, Book 3, the continuation of a fantasy series written by James Vernon. He critiqued Avant Nation for me and is currently helping out with the sequel. I’m also reading Writers of the Future, Volume 31, a collection of short stories in the fantasy and science fiction realm.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
C: Reviews are supposed to be written for the benefit of readers contemplating a purchase, not the authors or publishers. It’s is not the reader’s job to give me constructive criticism, but I’m grateful when they do. I try not to let ‘good’ reviews go to my head, but I do enjoy getting them. However, I’ve gotten 5-star reviews that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside until I realize they’ve given every book they’ve ever read 5 stars. Somehow the praise isn’t quite as meaningful. On the other hand, I try not to let ‘bad’ reviews get me down. Some reviewers seem to get off on being mean, while others have legitimate complaints. In summary, my philosophy on reviews is this: You can please some of the readers all of the time, some of the readers none of the time, but you’ll never please all readers all of the time.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
C: My children.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
C: I am working on the sequel to Avant Nation. In book one, a beautiful young medic teams up with a ruthless soldier during a war over the human genome. When the two main characters begin their mission, they see the world in black and white. Their country is in the right. Everyone else is in the wrong. When the pair unbury a devastating secret, their convictions are put to the test. Book two focuses on what happens after they have completed their mission and return home as heroes to a nation they no longer believe in.
My next project depends on how The Wish Thief is received. It’s a stand-alone book, but I’ve already mapped out more adventures for the main character and friends. Young Adult Fantasy with a Christian edge can be a though sale though, so I’m taking a wait-and-see approach. If sales of book one are brisk, I will start on book two as soon as possible.
What can you say about @abookwithbea’s blog?
C: aBOOKwithBEA is a vibrant and informative blog about the latest in YA literature. Bea’s enthusiasm for books and life in general radiates from the screen like pure energy. Then again, she’s a coffee head like me, so maybe it’s the caffeine.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Verhoff/e/B009989JGU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)