Interview Long Grows the Dark by Catherine Labadie

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Title: Long Grows the Dark
Author: Catherine Labadie
Series: Currently a Standalone Title
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher:
Release Date: Nov 10 2018 (AVAILABLE NOW)
Edition/Format: 1st Edition/Format~ eBook & Print
Blurb/Synopsis:

“Magic was born in the Land, and those who govern the Land must rule by blood and by Fate’s will.”

Before
Glenna, court sorceress in service to Princess Jael, struggles to hide her feelings for her best friend’s betrothed. Yet even as the realm approaches its golden age, an unforeseen enemy rises to corrupt the princess and take the land for himself. Fate may lead them down a path too painful to contemplate, but are Glenna’s choices enough to dispel the inevitable darkness set to veil their future?

Now
Gwendoline Hallewell, a Starford University student in a world where magic is commonplace, has always been unusual. When her casting book summons a man from the past to interfere with her dangerous new present, she has no choice but to trust him. As she and her friends Colt and Everleigh reconcile what happened before with what must happen in the present, Gwendoline must decide what it means to make her own choices, suffer her own consequences, and if free will is really within her grasp.


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First let me start off saying it is an honor to have the chance to interview you Catherine. 

   Thank you! I’m fairly new to this scene, so I’m not quite comfortable with the process yet, but I’ll do  

   my best! :)

What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

   Again, I’m new to the scene, and I’m self-publishing, so there’s not a lot I’m familiar with yet. 

   However, I kind of hate how the deck seems stacked against indie authors. It’s hard enough to  write a book and prepare it for publication without a lot of people acting like self-publishing isn’t  “real” or valid. I understand that some self-published books are lacking in quality, I do...but I wish  the industry could grow as a whole and flood the market with truly quality books. That would be  easier if the whole process wasn’t so hard, I guess, but that’s just life as a writer in some ways!

How did you break into the publishing world? 

   I’m still trying. Honestly, marketing is challenging but a lot of fun, and I think once I have a few  self-pub titles to my name I might give traditional publishing a go. I think once I have a bit of a   following an agent might be more willing to give whatever novel I have to offer a better chance. 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

   That depends on the day, but typically it’s very energizing! I plot pretty rigorously, with blueprints  and everything, so getting all of that together is quite fun...and seeing all the ideas fit together over  time is sooo gratifying and it makes me feel like a writing god.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

   There are so many, but I’ll mention one that’s relevant to stuff I’ve read lately. We all like to write  dreamy guys, or a delicious romantic interest, and it’s so touching when he and the protagonist   get together. Yet if there’s a sequel, the authors forget to grow this “dreamy” character any further,   and they become this cliche of themselves that ends up boring the reader. Character growth should  not stop, and no character should be written as perfect. 

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

   I’ve published everything I’ve polished: my YA title Vixen, and now my upcoming novel Long   Grows the Dark. However, I have Vixen’s sequel almost halfway complete, and I have blueprints  completed for my next three novels. (One of which will be Long Grows the Dark’s sequel.) If I’m  writing something, if I’m investing all this time and work into a book, then I damn well want the world to see it once I finish it.

How many hours a day do you write?

   As many as my brain will let me! Usually 2-4 hours a day. Maybe it’s nerdy, but I’ve started  making records of how much time I spend on each book so when I finish a project I can see how  long it took exactly and what hours went where. (Comparing writing, editing, formatting, etc.)

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

   I do, but I don’t have many just yet! Once we pass a certain magical number I’ll probably stop so I  can move on with my other projects. 

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

   Not yet, but I plan to! The two books I’ve published have been so different from each other that I  haven’t planned anything yet. But I can’t wait to sneak some tasty tidbits in there referencing my other books. 

What are the hardest scenes to write?

   I don’t really struggle with any scene type in particular. On the whole, however, I do struggle to keep emotional scenes concise and free from melodrama. Which is funny, because I’m not an overly sensitive person myself, but I always heavily edit these scene types because I’m removing my characters’ ideas that they’re acting in a soap opera. 

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

   I wish I’d known to make writer friends on the internet way sooner. I don’t have any writer friends now, really, partially because I waited too long and now because I’m too secretive and paranoid about sharing my work. 

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

   Longer than it should, I sometimes feel! Vixen took me less than a year, which was a fluke, and it was the first book I actually finished. Long Grows the Dark took me from November 2016 - March 2018ish, partially due to life circumstances. I want each book from now on to take me less than a year, but we’ll have to see how I do now that I’ve really committed to deadlines and such. I always  want to be improving, and it’s better to be thorough than sorry later. 

Do you believe in writer’s block?

   I believe that there are times that your brain will not cooperate with you and you just have to take a break because none of the ideas are working out. I also believe in laziness. One of my struggles has been trying to differentiate between the two, so I know whether or not to press forward or wait until the ideas germinate a bit. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

   I get depressed now and then wondering if my characters seem human enough, relatable enough while remaining truly unique. Once I get through that, I’m golden, but while I’m in that state of mind...it’s hard to keep going.

Did you come across any specific challenges in writing “Long Grows the Dark”?

   I started it in November 2016 with a very tiny NaNoWriMo group, but aside from a couple meetings we didn’t really stay in contact. I was okay with it after all, but I had wanted to keep some writer friends, and it just wasn’t meant to be. Also, I got a Scottie from hell and three of my four pets in 2017, so that took up quite a bit of my time and energy. I love them all though. 

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

   I don’t remember the first, but stories that impacted me my whole childhood were the Narnia books and the Eragon Series by Christopher Paolini (which I’ve been meaning to re-read as an adult.) I loved those books, but I couldn’t deal with certain plot outcomes and they always  bothered me. I wouldn’t say that that disgruntled childhood anger inspired me to be a writer...but it kind of did? I still think about those stories often, and wonder how the plot would have gone if certain decisions had been different for the authors. 

Catherine Labadie lives in the mountains of the picturesque Carolinas with her husband and her two hellhounds, Fannie and Heidi. Vixen was her debut novel, and her next novel, Long Grows the Dark, will be released in autumn 2018.
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