Hello everyone! Today I have an interview from E. C. Colton, a blogger and author! She is so inspirational and you can find more of her work at her blog at this link.
Without further ado, let’s jump in!
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I’m a cat-loving published author with a love for historical, contemporary, and realistic fiction. When I’m not writing, you can find me baking, graphic designing, or reading a good book with a cat for company.
I published my first book at the age of seven, but since then, I’ve grown a lot in my writing journey. I’m part of a supportive writing community, and my writing style has gone from princesses and magic horses to deep themes about forgiveness, bitterness, and the value of family.
What is your current work-in-progress about?
I’m currently working on first drafting a contemporary novella titled Voiceless.
Here’s the blurb:
Ayron is the voiceless one. After a traumatic accident, he goes mute. Now he can no longer speak about what happened—and to this day, no one knows. His only companion is a cat who constantly follows him wherever he goes, shadowing his every thought, and a violin which he now refuses to touch.
His older sister, Jenn, wants to take her and her brother’s lives in her own hands. Battling anger, bitterness, and memories, she searches for a way to make things better for herself—even if it means escaping into the mountains of Colorado in search of their father.
When they both find themselves miles away from home, separated and being pursued by enemies, Jenn has the chance to save her brother, forgive relatives who have hurt her, and find hope—because this time, their very lives depend on it. Will she take it?
What is your favorite book?
I honestly don’t have one. In general, I like historical and contemporary fiction with deep themes. I aspire to write books that are as moving as Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls–or at least it was for me.
I also enjoy historical biographies like Lincoln’s Mothers by Dorothy Clarke Wilson.
What is your favorite character, and why?
My favorite character from one of my pieces of work is Holly. She’s optimistic, lighthearted, clumsy and overly trusting, but she helps balance out my main character’s flaws and lightens the series significantly.
I don’t really have a favorite character from books—I mainly like all of them. The ones that are likeable, that is. 😉
What are your favorite genres to read and write in?
I’ve loved historical fiction since I was seven and I’ll probably love it for the rest of my life. I’m a big fan of “realistic” stories—speculative fiction was never my “thing.”
As for writing—historical, contemporary, and dystopian fiction. I also write blog articles, but I don’t know if that counts 😉
What is the most influential pieces of writing you have ever read?
The Bible. Seriously, it has everything in there—it even relates to people and their personal struggles today. Need I say more?
What are some mistakes classics/newer books have, as you have seen?
To be completely honest, I’m not a big fan of most classics I’ve read or grown up reading, including Little Women, The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, Elsie Dinsmore, etc. Though they are all technically “historical fiction”, it just didn’t suit my style. A common mistake—at least in my mind—is they all were written in the “old style”, which I’m not a big fan of.
As for newer books—I find the main mistake is some reject good Christian morals and deep themes, instead dousing the reader in language and (if YA) romance. I haven’t read many newer books, but I’m forever thankful to my mom, who brought me up reading books that have really shaped my love of writing stories with deep themes.
What does a good character have, in your opinion?
Flaws. Loads and loads of them. Growing up, I used to get frustrated reading about characters that I struggled to connect with because of the lack of their flaws.
In order to write a good character, you must make them relatable. An easy way to do that is to add flaws.
As an example, my favorite character from A Change of Heart (my published book), Holly, is bubbly, supportive and optimistic by nature. On the surface, she may seem completely carefree and perfect, but in reality (as I discovered when I wrote a side story for her) was that she struggled with overconfidence and impulsiveness in the past when she was kidnapped. As a result of that, she’s still really overly-trusting in her nature years later.
How has writing helped you mature, spiritually, and mentally?
Spiritually, I feel like writing has helped me draw closer to God in a way. I never knew it when I was younger, but later on I discovered that God has helped inspire me when I wasn’t even aware of it. Years ago, when I first started drafting A Change of Heart, the ideas seemed to be spun from thin air. So much so that I had to keep typing to get that story out.
Even nowadays when I feel dejected or out of ideas, God gives them to me. It’s really humbling to know that without Him, I wouldn’t be able to write at all.
Mentally, writing has definitely helped me think more clearly, to communicate my thoughts on a page and out loud better.
What is a mistake that you’ve seen young writers make?
Rushing into publishing. In fact, I’ve done this too often myself. I ran into the indie publishing industry with no idea where I was going, what I was doing, how to get people to buy my books, and a whole lot more. I thought I knew it all—but in reality, I didn’t know anything and even now, I’m still in the process of learning.
For all those young writers out there, if you want to pursue independent publishing, it takes hard work and dedication. Make sure you know about making sales, promoting, formatting, and everything in between. Make sure you’re ready first, then jump in.
What is the best tip you have for writing better?
Don’t work on two many projects! (pun intended ;)) I’ve found that my writing quality has gone down when I’m constantly rushing around trying to write multiple chapters on multiple books. It’s just not fun, plus, it could lead to burnout. Pick a manageable amount of writing projects to work on and stick with it.
What advice do you have for fellow young writers?
Besides all the advice I’ve already dumped on you, my last piece of advice is just to write for yourself. Selfish as it may seem, if God gave you the ideas, you don’t have to worry about what others will think of you or your writing. Just write.
So that was it for the interview! Don’t forget to visit her blog, A Quill of Hope, here!