Welcome everyone to Q&A with Adrianna Stepiano!
First we want to thank Adrianna for taking time to answerer what may seem like a million silly questions. THANK YOU!! Have no worries if the question you dying to ask her is not here; I am sure we will see more from this very talented Indie Author.
1. (Q) The first question Diane and I had to ask and I am sure what most of us are eager to know is...What inspired you to write the book(s)?
(A) The inspiration to write Memoir of a Mermaid came from a combination of a stormy day and my daughter. I had recently been laid-off from my full time job. I live in Michigan and our state took one of the greatest hits during the economic downturn. Times were tough, financially and emotionally. When I finally decided to sit down and write, I was at the lowest point emotionally and I knew I had to turn myself around. That day, it was storming outside; I took my (then 3 year-old) daughter to the local library for story time. As I sat, on the verge of tears, the storm seemed to grow out of control. When my daughter emerged from the story time room, the sky seemed to clear with her smile. That was the first piece in the story of Seraphin.
2. (Q)Most of the readers can understand that. Times are getting harder for everyone. With the world in such dire straits and given your status of laid- off What sparked the idea for you to publish your novel?
(A)My daughter's smile, her love of mermaids, and many prayers.
3. (Q)It makes it easier when you have a higher power on your side.Which came first; the character's story or the idea for the novel?
(A)In Memoir of a Mermaid, Seraphin's story was first. As a matter of fact, I didn't know I was even writing a full novel until I was at about 50,000 words. It began as a short story about a girl who was stuck in a ring of bad luck.
4. (Q)That truly must have been a joy to share with your daughter; how did you start writing?
(A)I started writing as an escape from reality. Which, of course, is why I read so many books as well. At night, when everyone was sleeping and no one was left on facebook, I found I still had trouble dozing off. At times, I'd throw myself into an anxiety attack. I found that writing made all that anxiety go away. It truly is an escape for me. Hopefully, I'm providing an escape for my readers as well.
5. (Q)Oh, I get that as I am sure many do; escaping reality to visit places only your imagination can take you.What is your writing routine?
(A)My writing routine began at night, and was very random. Now, I write every second I can. It doesn't matter what time of day or what day of the week. If I can fit it in, I'm writing.
6. (Q)When you start to writeDo you outline or just let it flow to wherever your imagination flows?
(A)Probably not as good as someone who has been professionally trained in writing. I'm a graphic designer by trade and career, so I like to call what I do, sketching. I make flow charts of the characters and their personality traits as well as their role in the story. In my head, the book is just another design that I'm working on. Everything has to fit together and flow properly. When I close my eyes I can almost visualize the scene that I'm working on. Hopefully, my readers can too.
7. (Q)I have just started reading; I don’t think there is a problem with the scene they play very well in my vivid imagination. What is your favorite part of the book(s)?
(A)My favorite part of Memoir of a Mermaid, is when Seraphin and Joseph are on the Great Cranberry Island, alone, in the abandoned house. She becomes a hero for the first time in her life.
8. (Q)I have a daughter as well; so I am pleased when the female are strong leads. What was the hardest part to write in the book(s)?
(A)For me, the most difficult part of writing Memoir of a Mermaid, came in that opening paragraph. It changed so many times.
9. (Q)If possible will you Explain how you researched for the book?
(A)Of course, every book needs a setting. I had an almanac and marked off all the places in the world that I had visited. (There are not that many.) However, I live in Michigan, I've been to Italy, and I've also been to Maine. All three locations are either in, or referenced in, Memoir of a Mermaid. I picked Australia as a location for one of the pieces of the story because of the marine life that only lives in the waters surrounding the continent (that develops more in book #2). Anyway, I read everything and anything I could get my hands on that had to do with the ocean or marine life, as well as old fables and classic literature. By far, the book that inspired the purpose driven thinking, as in the fact that each character has to have a reason, was The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter: A Treasury of Myths, Legends, and Fascinating Facts by David Colbert. It was then when I realized that every name had to have meaning behind it and every action had to have motive or reason.
10. (Q)Travel can come in handy to an author. I noticed that most authors travel. You have explained why. What do you wish was different about the book(s)?
(A)As a self published, penniless, author, I don't have the money to pay for an editor. I wish I did. It's the strangest thing because I have read Memoir of a Mermaid a million times, however, there are little mistakes that I would have never picked up on. I have to thank my friends, they downloaded the book to their eReaders and marked it up for me (for free). It's funny because at smashwords.com, I ended up revising the file about 20 times. Actually, there are still small mistakes that I have to correct before I publish in printed form.
11. (Q)When it does make it to its print form I’m first in line for and autographed copy! My daughter loves the book!Who are some of your favorite authors or books?
(A)My favorite books, there are so many. I suppose it depends on the day and my mood. Of course, I love the Harry Potter books, the Percy Jackson series, the Hunger Games series, and the Twilight series. However, I am always up for a Nicolas Sparks or James Patterson novel. I'm in a book club and we read anything and everything. Right now, we are reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, but last month we read, Lake of Dreams by Kim Adams. Those book club ladies keep me diversified.
12. (A)Impressive I found my new kindle buddy! LOL! What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
(A)Do it. If it makes you feel good, do it.
13. (Q)Straight to the point, I like that. What are your plans for writing in the future?
(A)At the moment, I am nearly finished with Memoir of a Mermaid: When, at last, she came to see. I plan to have 4 books in the series. I also have two side novels started. Both are YA fiction, one is fantasy (sorry, no mermaids) and one more of a true to life drama. You'll be seeing a lot from me and I hope to be seeing a lot of you as well.
14. (Q)One more quick question before we go; If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
(A)I'm going to expand the boundaries of this question and give a fictional character. If I could have dinner with one person, it would be, Seraphin Shedd. She continues to surprise me. I know, I made her. To some, this might sound silly, but she continues to surprise me. I can't wait to find out where she wants me to take her next.
Thank you again Adrianna for taking time two answer our silly questions. If you want to know more about Author Adrianna Stepiano and all the characters she has swimming around in that talented mind of hers visit her at http://www.memoirofamermaid.com