Interview with Australian Author – Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer
“Australian Authors” – Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Cecelia – I was born in 1967 and grew up in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. I spent ten years living in New South Wales. I have travelled to Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. I have studies a lot in my life, and dedicate myself to helping children achieve a level of mastery in their studies that equips them for life.
“Australian Authors” – What made you want to become a writer?
Cecelia – I love to read and write. Producing as well as consuming appeared to be a logical step.
“Australian Authors” – What gives you inspiration for your book(s)?
Cecelia– I get inspiration from various things. Generally my interests, sometimes my experiences, and sometimes just a kernel of an idea I know can grow into a full length novel. Poems may come to me as couplets in the night. Occasionally I am inspired by a call for submission. Generally, I consider competition entries and other purpose written fiction my poorest work, but I have found a high degree of compatibility between myself and Black Hare Press, leading to the inclusion of my work in a number of anthologies edited by Dean Kershaw.
“Australian Authors” – Now, the big question, are you working on another book?
Cecelia – Always. I plan to release LOVE ALWAYS HOPES, the third in the “Silver Springs Christian University Series” by July 31 2019. It is in the proof reading stage. After LOVE ALWAYS HOPES the fourth and final instalment, A PRAYER FOR UNDERSTANDING is in manuscript form and will be released in 2020.
I have been inspired by topics announced by Black Hare Press and hope to submit to an alternative history anthology entitled WHAT IF?.
Writing for WHAT IF? has already inspired a historical romance spin-off that I am considering releasing as a freebie – perhaps through Watt Pad.
I have some other projects in progress.
“Australian Authors” – What genres do you prefer to write in?
Cecelia – Horror, Dark Fantasy, Science Fiction. However, other genres come to me. Poetry, Romance, Christian Fiction, Non-Fiction.
“Australian Authors” – What do you think about the ebook revolution?
Cecelia – Ebooks make stories more accessible. An ebook can be distributed at a very low cost, assuming the reader has the technology to read it. Electronic formats have made submission more practical, as one does not have to pay postage on a huge printed manuscript (likely to receive a rejection). However, I prefer POD (Print on Demand) technology. This enables print versions to be distributed at a reasonable price. I also believe the discipline of creating and proofing a print version ensures quality.
“Australian Authors” – Do you start a book with a definite plot, or do you just write?
Cecelia – I need an idea I know will go somewhere. I can develop more as the story progresses. There is also the hard work of bringing the story to the climax points of plot. I may know that at some point the narrator will experience a life changing event – but using who-dun-it or dramatic irony techniques, I do not reveal this until the correct moment. This means I have to write the in-between events with as much effort as the parts that are most exciting to write!
“Australian Authors” – Pen or type writer or computer?
Cecelia – Computer mostly.
“Australian Authors” – Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or are you always in control?
Cecelia – I am open to a bit of both.
“Australian Authors” – Are your characters based on real people or completely imagined?
Cecelia – My fictional disclaimer says all resemblances are the result of coincidence! To be honest, however, I try to relate to each protagonist using different aspects of my experience. Sometimes, I take a small personality characteristic and make it the main feature of my current narrator, like a caricaturist does, but I am not trying to be satirical. Other times, I combine different features taken from many experiences and interactions, and create a narrator from the mix.
“Australian Authors” – Have you thought about joining with another author to write a book?
Cecelia – I would love to co-write with a friendly person! Maintaining an individual artistic voice is important, but developing professional connections in the writing industry is also important.
“Australian Authors” – Who are your favourite authors?
Cecelia – Enid Blyton, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R.Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, C.S. Lewis. I am an avid reader so the list goes on and on. Stephen King and James Herbert were my idols for a while. Recently Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan, and George R. Martin have held my interest.
“Australian Authors” – What’s your advice to Authors? On writing? Publishing? Marketing?
Cecelia – Hmm. I hear other authors are tired of hearing “keep writing”, but that is the most essential activity for a writer. When it comes to publishing, I think joining groups is both a help and a hindrance. Several groups have been most supportive of me – mostly by letting me know what opportunities are out there! However, it is important to remember that other authors are not our primary target. Authors do read – but I always use non-writers as my beta readers. They are the consumers, and their opinion is important.