A while back when I posted a Call to Writers, asking my fellow author bloggers to allow me to interview them, I was elated with the responses I received. (And if you would like to participate, please feel free to contact me.) I asked thirty-five questions and gave the interviewee the freedom to answer only what they wanted. My friend and fellow-blogger, R.J. Seeley, had some very nice responses which I’m sure you will find as interesting as I did. When you’re done reading the interview, please hop on over to R.J.’s blog and make sure you follow for more news. And now, I turn the microphone over to R.J.…
1. Please tell us your name (or pen name) and a little bit about yourself:
R.J. Seeley, a little about myself, well I’m freshly nineteen and have gone from a Young Adult writer to a New Adult writer – somehow, I’m dyslexic and am terrible at grammar but I’m learning, I swear.
2. Please provide the link to your blog (and website, Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc.):
3. How many books have you written?
To date, I’ve wrote 29 books, and always have about 4/5 in progress.
4. Has any of your work been published yet? If so, please share the link(s) to purchase it:
Yes it has. http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00BSG8SGI
5. If you have been published, did you self-publish or use traditional publishing? Why? If you have not been published yet, what are your plans for the future?
I used Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing, which work with each other to create a physical book and a kindle edition. I decided to self-published because my early writing was lacking in grammar and I wanted my books to be out there but knew I’d continuously be rejected.
6. How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I started writing very young but I started properly writing for an aim when I was thirteen. I knew I wanted to be an author when me and my co-writer finished our first book Choreography, the pride and accomplishment I felt was brilliant and I knew I just kept wanting to do that.
7. What would you say motivates you to keep writing?
Honestly, I don’t know. I would say boredom but that sounds terrible. I always create stories, I make events that are actually happening to me, happen to my characters so that I’ll understand more what’s going on, I have a dyslexic and dyspraxic brain so it needs to be kept busy but things need to be simple. Writing to me is busy but simple.
8. Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading (or what is the last book you read)?
Some of my favourite authors, Robin Reardon, Brent Hartinger, T.J. Klune, David Levithan and Dan Savage.
I’ve had the pleasure of being able to write a story for Brent Hartinger’s project which meant being in contact with him and sharing thoughts and getting advice, the experience was brilliant.
The last book I read was Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List, by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn.
9. What is your preferred reading method? (i.e., Kindle, Nook, paperback, hardback, etc.) Why?
I prefer reading paperbacks, there’s just something about having a book in your hand.
10. Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?
I always write in first person, I feel first person is more personal and you get a better sense of the character when you’re listening to their voice. With the tenses it varies, it does completely depend on the book.
11. Do you “always read” or do you take breaks between reading books?
I’d love to say I always read but I don’t, I would like to but in-between college and writing and other commitments, reading gets neglected far too much, but I do make a point of putting days aside to just read a book.
12. How many books would you say you read in a year? How many at any one time?
I ideally read 25 – 30 books a year, realistically. At any given time I’m reading one, but I read a book in a day, the whole day would be dedicated to a book.
ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BOOK::
13. What is the title of your current work in progress of the most recent manuscript you’ve completed?
I have a lot in progress currently, Paperhouse I have just finished and that is coming out on the 19th September, but my main WIP is currently Ely, Jesse and Robin’s Guide to Asexuality.
14. What is your novel’s genre? Would you say there is a sub-genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?
Ely, Jesse and Robin’s Guide to Asexuality is very much a Coming of Age book, there’s a bit of romance, a bit of sex, a bit of teenage angst, a bit of selfishness, a bit of everything.
This book is different to others in its genre because it’s about three asexual teenagers, a subject that isn’t approached that often.
15. What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed?
For Paperhouse – I was inspired by creating the backstory to Ryan’s dad and just really had to write it.
For Guide to Asexuality and The Asexual Equation I was inspired by my own sexuality and the lack of knowledge about it, I wanted to represent asexuality as a true perception whilst also educating.
16. What is your target audience’s age, gender, etc.?
Age, Pre-teen to adult, really my writing is definitely aimed at a wide scope of age and any gender, my books can be read by anyone.
17. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your story?
Ely is 16, homoromantic and when he leaves school he wants to go into Art. He is currently dating the physically attractive Joel who believes that sex is what makes a relationship a adults relationship, Ely doesn’t completely know how to tell Joel he doesn’t think sex is all that. But when he gets a health scare the whole truth comes out.
Jesse is 16, and planning to stay on and study for his A-Levels. Jesse lives with his dad and his dad’s partner Patrick, they got together when Jesse was 11 when his dad was emitted into hospital due to his HIV, but Jesse hasn’t quite moved on from those few months when he was 11 and still is wary of his dad’s situation.
Robin is 16 and when he leaves school he plans to leave home at the same time. Robin’s parents are Foster Carers and his house is like the Dumping Ground, there’s new kids there every week and Robin hates it, all Robin does is crave attention from his parents but when a new girl comes to his house his feelings for her begin to confuse him and he no longer knows exactly what he wants to do in his life.
ABOUT HOW YOU WRITE::
18. How often do you write?
I write every day. I write on my laptop from whenever I get home until 10pm then write on my iPad from 10pm till 2am.
19. What is your method of writing? (i.e., Do you write the entire manuscript, then go back and make changes? Do you plan chapters as you go along or write the story then go back and add chapters? Do you re-read as you go along or after you are done with the first draft?)
I write and write and write. I write out of order, I write random scenes then I mash it all together and make sure everything fits and makes sense.
20. How long does it take you to write a full manuscript?
If I’m writing my Book in a Day which is 15-25 pages, that takes twenty-four hours. Once a manuscript (Superstar) took me 9 months other times it’s takes me a month and a half, it totally depends on my dedication to that book.
21. What is your genre of writing?
I write mostly LGBT books, ranging from gay to transsexual, to asexual and I also write Young Adult, New Adult and Adult books, they’re all mostly romance with a few that have different motives here and there and I’ve been known to dabble in writing Supernatural books, which lets my imagination and creative skills run wild.
22. How do you come up with your character names and geographic location / business names?
Well in my favourites is the Baby Name Website, which I usually scroll through, but lately character names just come to me or they’re names I’ve heard recently and thought ooh. Locations, most of my characters live in my hometown, honestly, there’s the rare few that don’t and other names, I use the same School in all my books, pretty much every teenage character aged between 11 and 16 attends Kingsbury High School, other than that I use whatever just feels right.
ABOUT YOUR WORK::
23. If you have written more than one novel, which is your favorite and why?
I have a few favourites, but the one out in front is Released. Released is about a 19 year old Drag Queen called Jason, but the story is about so much more, it’s about him gaining independence, he moves out of his parents’ house and moves in with his boyfriend, he starts to face adult life head on whilst performing in the Rose Quartz every Saturday night as Jasmine. He also has such a good message about self-confidence, body confidence and self-love.
24. What is the oddest thing you have ever researched for one of your books?
The oddest thing I’ve ever researched, is how to say “Remove your pants” in French
Thank you, R.J., for allowing me to interview you. I hope everyone else has enjoyed learning about you and your work as much as I have.