What’s the best the thing that I love about my work? I spend my days crafting entire worlds, creating mysteries and adventures, hunting monsters and fighting epic battles. I rearrange words on a screen until they have the power to transport those who read them to another time and place. My stories incite emotions. They make people laugh and cry. I love being able to have that kind of impact on someone.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Being with those I love and knowing I’ve done right by them. Knowing I’ve set my children off on a path that might someday lead to their own perfect happiness. A more selfish answer would be a beach, a fruity drink, and a notebook to write in. The beauty and strength of ocean waves is so inspiring.
What is my greatest fear? As a mother, my greatest fear is for something to happen to my family. As a writer: that I will die with stories left untold inside me. It’s inevitable I think. It’s not possible to tell them all when the well just keeps refilling, but I’m going to do my best.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I tend to procrastinate. It never helps to put things off. It only ends up causing more stress as I watch my to-do list grow longer and longer. Yet, I still do it. It’s something I need to work on.
Which living person in my profession do I most admire? Adam Dreece. Adam writes this amazing YA fairytale/steampunk series, as well as adult sci-fi. He attends many comic cons, signings, and book events each year. He frequently appears on panels and at schools, hoping to spark creativity in young writers. Adam juggles all the hats necessary to be a successful indie author better than anyone I know, all while being a stay at home dad. I’m not sure when he sleeps!
What is my greatest extravagance? Writing full time is a luxury that I’m grateful for every day. Being able to devote uninterrupted hours to a job may not seem like an extravagance for most people, but many indie writers work full time outside the home in addition to their writing—which they are forced to squeeze in whenever they can. I did the same thing when I worked outside the home and, later, when my children were small. I know how frustrating and stressful it can be. But I wasn’t published then, so there were no deadlines, no marketing or promoting to be done. Knowing so many indie authors struggle every day to fit everything in, makes my situation feel like an extravagance.
On what occasion would I lie? We all tell little untruths on occasion, but I try not to lie. It only snowballs and backfires in the end.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I dislike the little things that take me away from actual writing. Indie authors wear so many hats. We wear pretty much every hat in the business, really. The list of what needs to be done on a daily basis, simply to make ourselves visible among the growing number of authors and titles out there, is mind-boggling. I do enjoy many aspects of promoting/marketing; connecting with new people; interacting with readers and others in my profession. Yet, I can’t help mourning the loss of precious time that could have been spent furthering a story.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I don’t enjoy being on camera, especially live interviews or panels. I do them, but they are really a huge step outside my comfort zone. Video, especially, makes me nervous. I have fun while I’m doing a video interview, but getting to that moment comes with a lot of anxiety. I would love to lose that anxiety, to not be camera shy anymore. It holds me back.
What is my greatest achievement in work? My greatest work achievement is completing The Crown of Stones Trilogy. Writing and completing the first book was an amazing milestone in my life. I stepped out of my comfort zone in a way I never had before. None of this would be happening without that first book. But publishing the third book in the trilogy, knowing I had taken these characters through their entire story, that I had given my readers a complete 1500 page roller coaster that would live on well beyond my years; it was an incredible moment.
Where would I most like to live? Hawaii. I absolutely love Hawaii. The beauty is mesmerizing. I find the power and strength of the waves incredibly inspiring.
What is my most treasured possession? My family and friends. Though they’re not technically a possession, they are the most treasured things in my life. My laptop is a close third. So much of my work, of who I am, has been created with the help of those keys (which is why most of them are worn off now!).
What is my most marked characteristic? Generosity. At least, I try to be generous as much as I can. I enjoy helping others and will do just about anything for a friend. I am generous with my time, especially with new and aspiring authors. I have met so many that are looking for advice and encouragement. I didn’t have someone to go to for answers when I was that stage, so I want to be that person for them. I want to take some of the fear and uncertainty out of it for them if I can.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I can find inspiration anywhere, if I’m in the right frame of mind. But I enjoy the wooded trails near my home. When I’m there, the creative wheels spin faster. Nature in general moves me, whether it’s waling in the forest, listening to a thunderstorm, taking a drive in the country, watching it rain or snow, feeling the sheer force of an ocean wave. I’ve always drawn great inspiration from all forms of nature.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? My home. I love the days when my husband and I will pop open a bottle of wine and cook together.
What books influenced my life and how? The first: Gone with the Wind. I was an early reader and I devoured it one summer in middle school. Scarlet was such a beautifully flawed character. Later, toward the end of high school, I was given a copy of The Mists of Avalon. That book introduced me to epic fantasy and cemented me desire to write in that genre. The third book that influenced my life is my first published novel, The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price. Writing and publishing Magic-Price changed my life in ways I could never have predicted.
Who are my favorite writers? My favorite writers who influenced me the most over the years: C. J. Cherryh, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jennifer Roberson, Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Joss Whedon, Emily Bronte. More recently, I’ve developed some favorite indie authors, including Tom Reinhart and Dylan Morgan.
You only die once. What music would I listen to on my last day? I enjoy a variety of music, from pop to alternative, to industrial metal. I love loud, hard music. But if it was my last day, I would have to go with anything by Marty Casey. He is the lead singer of an indie band out of Chicago called Lovehammers. I discovered their music while I was writing The Crown of Stones. I found their lyrics and the perseverance of the entire band very motivating at a time when I needed it most.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I love the character of Morgaine from the Gates Series by C. H. Cherryh, but my favorite hero would have to be my own: Ian Troy from my Crown of Stones Trilogy. That’s not said out of pride or arrogance. Ian is certainly not the greatest literary hero every written, but he is the one that has changed my life the most. Ian was created as a tribute to some of the amazing characters I enjoyed in my formative years. He’s a compilation of the heroes and characters that caused me to fall in love with reading. Through the process of creating him, he became a character I could draw strength from in my own life.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Anyone who doesn’t give up on their dreams, who pushes and works until those dreams come true, is a hero to me. Indie author, Angela B. Chrysler, fits that description perfectly. Angela has had to overcome so much in her life, yet she never gives up. She works tirelessly to create new stories and to implement new ideas to help other authors on their publishing journey. Along with writing stores in multiple genres, Angela has chosen to share her own personal story with the world in her memoir, Broken. What she has gone through in her life, compared to where she is now; it’s a journey only a heroine could take.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Gone with the Wind. Being from Kansas, I suppose, it was required watching for me growing up, but I’m glad it was. It was my first introduction to truly flawed characters, which have become the cornerstone in my own writing.
What role plays art in my life and work? Being a creative person myself, I love all forms of art. I find the drive of someone to create, regardless of what it is, stirring and energizing. Seeing what someone else has made or is striving to make, pushes me to work harder.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I would never have been able to make my dream of publishing come true without the love and support of my husband, Bryan. My girlfriends tirelessly volunteer their time, whether it’s helping out at my table at in-person events, lugging boxes of books, counting pens, listening as I ramble on about covers or story ideas, answering my emergency ‘does this sentence sound right’ texts, forcing me to take breaks, or simply soothing my writer’s doubt. Both my immediate and my extended family go out of their way to help spread the word about my books. To know that I’ve made them proud is an incredible feeling. I’m blessed to have such a tremendous support system and such a large number of people who believe in me. There are also a number of fellow indie authors whose friendship, support and encouragement is never in short supply.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I would like to work with anyone who shares the same love of story that I do. I enjoy working with a creative spirit, someone who understands the process and embraces where it takes them without fear. Indie author, J. R. Swiger, and I have been working to find the time to collaborate on several fantasy novels. Hopefully this is the year we manage to get at least one of them done.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? That is such a long list! I would be thrilled to meet any of the talented writers I’ve connected with online! I’ve been fortune over the last few years to meet several of my indie writer friends in person, yet there are still so many more out there. I know one in particular that I have a good chance of meeting this year: D.M. Cain. She has tremendous talent and has been a huge supporter of my work. I’m really hoping we can make it happen.
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to working on? In 2017 I’m looking forward to completing the second book in my new urban fantasy series and starting the third. Knowing how the series is going to end makes me anxious to write and publish it. I want the complete story out there for my readers.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017? I love to attend local in-person events. In 2017, I will be at the Hudson Valley Comic Con on May 6th and 7th, and the Albany Comic Con on June 4th. I’m still booking events for the second half of 2017. But you can always find me online on my website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. I live on Twitter far more than I should, so that’s a good place to start.
What do the words “Passion never retires” mean to me? If you’re truly passionate about something, that never goes away. Even if I went a week without writing (which would be very difficult for me to do), that doesn’t mean I would stop thinking about it. I would be plotting and planning, and writing dialogue in my head. There are no days off when you have passion for something. It fills you and demands to be let out. There’s no turning that off. It’s a part of you.
What creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Kylie Jude from Frozen Creek Studios http://kyliejude.com/fcs/ Kylie is behind the creation of my book trailers. She writes, sings, composes music, edits video—and much more. She’s a highly creative individual with diverse talents, and I’m sure she has a story to tell.
How can you contact me? You can contact me via my website at http://www.clschneiderauthor.com Amazon Author Page http://author.to/CLSchneiderAmazonPg Twitter https://twitter.com/cl_schneider Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CLS.Author Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomCLSchneider Google+ https://www.google.com/+CLSchneider
The Crown of Stones Trilogy http://mybook.to/COStrilogy
Flash Point ( Nite Fire Book #1) http://mybook.to/NF1