Hey, everyone, and welcome to my channel! I will be answering the AuthorTube Newbie Tag questions as well as the BookTube Newbie Tag Questions. The whole thing is about introductions, so I’ll just go for it!
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT AUTHORTUBE?
I found out about BookTube and by association AuthorTube after falling down a clickhole that started with Terrible Writing Advice and ended with #ARCsAreFree. From there I found a few interesting channels, like Shaelin Writes, Read with Cindy, and The Courtney Project.
WHY DID YOU START THIS YOUTUBE CHANNEL?
I want to expand my circle of writer and reader friends and maybe trade some experiences and learn new things.
IN WHICH GENRES DO YOU WRITE?
Dark High Fantasy. If you’re looking for specificity, I would describe my work as “neutraldark fantasy fiction that explores the consequences of story actions on individuals and society at large across multiple works and is primarily focused on complex female characters .” My stories also include a healthy smattering of LGBT characters, by which I mean “most of my main characters are lesbian, bisexual, or asexual.”
WHAT KIND OF BOOKS DO YOU LIKE TO READ?
I like speculative fiction, nonfiction about a variety of topics including history, hobbies, and linguistics, as well as graphic novels and webcomics. I don’t really do lit fic, general or contemporary fiction, YA of any genre, fanfiction, horror, or romance.
WHAT AUTHORTUBE-RELATED VIDEOS CAN WE EXPECT TO FIND ON YOUR CHANNEL?
Well…that’s a good question. Most of my experience is in the realm of (extensive) planning, weaving multi-character storylines together, balancing out dark stories, and really, really intense worldbuilding. Like, probably a bit too much. But, I find that I do my best work when I allow myself to engage equally in writing, artwork, and worldbuilding, which is a hobby I enjoy in itself. I am also heavily invested in being healthy as a creative, so I will likely post videos relating to things like healthy productivity, creative self-care, and the like. As far as book reviews go, I am terrible at analyzing from the perspective of a reader and criticizing other author’s works as an author can get messy, so…maybe if I find something I can discuss from the angle of what can be learnt from it?
WHEN DID YOU START WRITING?
I started writing in seventh grade, so I would have been right around thirteen. We were in the middle of taking ISATs (Illinois Standards Achievements Test), which I can only equate to “The ACT/SAT but for determining which schools to defund”, and they were just about as exciting as they sound. I had just acquired a small journal was bored out of my ever-loving mind, so I decided to write a story.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST STORY YOU EVER WROTE?
“Dji looked scornfully upon her everlasting duty. ‘It’s not fair,’ she whined to her parents. ‘Why do I have to leave school to become a naiaga? I’m barely 3!’
‘Because the Creator chose you, that’s why!’ said her father. ‘Why, if I were you, I’d be proud to be chosen as a naiaga!’
‘But dad, you aren’t even a girl, and you’re nearly 40!’ retaliated Dji.
Dji remembered that night as if it were yesterday. Now 15 she was an official naiaga, or light sister. But since the sedasurec, she was one of the last of her kind. ‘Don’t talk nonsense, now,’ she muttered to herself as she walked. ‘I’m almost 9 years older than I was, and it’s too late to do anything about it now.’ She almost walked into a peasant.”
Yes, you heard that correctly. “She almost walked into a peasant”. That is the action that is tied to this piece of dialogue. So…remember when I said I started writing in seventh grade? Yeah. At the time I was absolutely nutty for Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe but was also (painfully) influenced by Legend of the Seeker at the time, which I used to watch with my dad (definitely should not have been watching that at that age…or any age…). Absolutely zero of those things go together, but damn if I didn’t try to make it work! I wrote a decent amount of this story, as well; close to 100 pages, all of them handwritten. I actually don’t have an electronic copy of this, which…might be for the better.
I did keep some worldbuilding from this story, but…modified to the point of being unrecognisable. For example, I use the name “Seryll” for one of my main characters and “Atycia” is the name of a continent (not the one in which my current stories take place, but one within the same world).
DO YOU TYPE ON A COMPUTER, TYPEWRITER, WRITE EVERYTHING OUT BY HAND, OR USE A BLEND OF THOSE? AND WHERE DO YOU READ AND WRITE IN GENERAL?
Anywhere that won’t put me or others in imminent danger, really. I prefer reading physical books but for writing I prefer typing. If I’m using our desktop I write in the living room; the tablet I can take wherever is convenient at the time.
ARE YOU A PLANNER, PANTSER, OR PLANTSER?
I am what you might call an *exhaustive* outliner. The outline for one of my works is 12,000 words long. For a shorter and more straightforward work the outline breaks 5k. Arranging my scenes this way allows me to have a workable schema that helps keep me on track and allows me to quickly and easily make drastic changes well in advance—especially when I’m writing stories that follow multiple characters. So I suppose you could say I’m also a plantser in that my outlines are not chiseled in stone. I think these planner/pantser/plantser distinctions are more of a fluid spectrum than a hard definition.
DO YOU SCHEDULE YOUR WRITING SESSIONS OR SIMPLY GET TO WRITING WHENEVER YOU CAN FIND THE TIME?
I would describe myself as “conscious of the fact that I need to write yet not having a specific time to do so”. I write even when my creativity isn’t cooperating, but I rarely plan out a dedicated time or place.
WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED WRITING TENSE, POINT-OF-VIEW, AND CATEGORY OF STORY?
I prefer close third person limited. However, I am currently working on a story that is written in first person past tense with a shift to first person present tense at the end (trust me, it makes more sense in-context than it sounds like it does). I write for adults and would not say that my stories are at all appropriate for children or young teens.
WHAT AUTHORS HAVE INSPIRED YOUR WRITING MOST?
I tend to be influenced by individual stories moreso than individual writers, and not all of my inspiration is drawn solely from printed media. I would say my biggest influences are:
- The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, both by Kate DiCamillo, Poppy by Avi, and Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe, which were all very important to me as a child;
- Avatar: The Last Airbender created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, and The Elder Scrolls games; for their attention to detail in worldbuilding
- James Cameron’s Avatar less for the story and more for the effort that went into creating the Na’vi, which opened my eyes to the idea that not everything has to be elves, dwarves, and wizards all the time and was instrumental in my decision to develop my own original fantasy species
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica created by Akiyuki Shinbo, Gen Urobuchi Ume Aoki, and Atsuhiro Iwakami, because it is as yet the only piece of media that has made me cry. I will probably end up making a video about the impact this show had on me and why I think it’s a masterwork of storytelling and worldbuilding.
- I must stress the vagueness of this influence, but I would be remiss to not include the webcomic Homestuck by Andrew Hussie in this list, mainly for instilling me with curiosity about the social, interpersonal, and political ramifications that would arise from a species capable of having a variety of different blood colours.
WHAT BOOK OR SERIES GOT YOU INTO READING?
When I was in second grade, a local community member regularly came in and read to us for storytime. She was very encouraging of reading and writing as a hobby. I’m not much on stories with talking animals as an adult, but these sessions are what sparked my love of storytelling at a very young age.
ARE YOU A SELF-PUBLISHED, PUBLISHED, OR YET-TO-BE-PUBLISHED AUTHOR?
Right now I’m an out-of-print author (and that’s just as well, since that was a nightmare scenario that probably deserves its own “don’t be like me” video), but I have flash fiction available for free both here and via Worldbuilding Magazine, who I cannot recommend enough as a free resource for speculative fiction writers.
WHAT PUBLISHING COMPANY, LITERARY AGENT, AND/OR PRINTING COMPANY ARE YOU REPRESENTED BY OR DO YOU USE? IF YOU’RE NOT YET PUBLISHED, WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PUBLISHING HOUSE AND/OR LITERARY AGENT?
This doesn’t quite apply to me. I was originally published in an anthology printed by a small press, who I presume used LuLu or something similar to print their books, but again…nightmare scenario that I never wish to repeat. Worldbuilding Magazine is online-only, so there’s no printing to speak of. As for dream literary agents or presses, a year ago I would have told you Orbit, Tor, DAW, Dark Regions Press, and a bunch of agents whose names I have jotted down somewhere. My thoughts on publishing will likely spawn a video unto themselves, so for now I’ll leave it at “None of the above.”