Interview with Olene Quinn

Olene Quinn

Interview Date: 6/4/2012


Author, gorcery store clerk, random review writer, blogger, and general spaz, I love historical fiction or a good love story. My next novel will be released later this year! Follow me at http:/ or on twitter as @olenequinn

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started writing when I was sixteen years old. I was home-schooled at the time and living in a very small town, consisting mostly of retired people. There was very little for a teenager to do, so I used writing as a way to entertain myself.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")

I would like to be able to turn anything into chocolate, like a Cocoa King Midas.

Kev's response: Mmmm ... chocolate. If you get that superpower, I'm coming to visit you.

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

Does Robin Hood count? Splitting an arrow is a super power, right? I like him so much I spent two years writing a novel about him and his escapades.

Kev's response: Not traditionally, but since real archers can't do something like that, I'd have to say it's superpowered or supernatural in some way.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

I get inspiration from all sorts of places: the people I meet, the books I read, the movies I watch, and the images I see. Everything comes down to history, though. I love to imagine scenarios in different times and the characters that would live in and navigate them. I read history text books for fun! (To answer the later question, no this is not odd.) As for motivation, my dream is to make a living doing something I enjoy, which I think is really what everyone wants.

Kev's response: Have you considered obtaining therapy for that? >;)

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

It’s half and half for me. There is an element of planning, but it is usually all in my head. Sometimes, I will write down character names and descriptions and a brief synopsis of the idea, but if I had to write detailed outlines, I would never get a word on paper.

Kev's response: So ... you put on only one pant leg, is that where we're going with this?

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

I don’t keep a schedule and I’ll often go weeks without writing. I feel like a bad, disorganized writer because of this, but when I do write it will often be 30 pages a day for weeks. So, I do remain productive.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

I write historical fiction and so far I have only deviated from that long enough to complete one screenplay in the modern romantic comedy genre. As far as reading, I love the classics, but lately I have been sticking to light, fluffy reads to keep my mind and time open for writing.

Kev's response: Fluffy! That is all.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

There is a rush of inspiration and production occasionally, when I can hardly type fast enough. I am in the character’s minds and know exactly what is going to happen.

Kev's response: Now I know what I'm doing wrong. My characters are in MY head! No wonder things get all wacky, I'm supposed to be in theirs!

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

I have learned to like editing, but I still can’t stand formatting for print or Kindle. I have a head-ache just thinking about it.

Kev's response: Here's a tip - setup a book for 5.5" x 8.5" (if that's the size you plan to print at), and do all typing in that document. Create a named paragraph style for your chapter heading (I call mine "ChapterHeading"), and use another for all the body, called something like "ChapterBody" or such. I use others for the title page and copyright pages, since some of that is centered, and some left adjusted, without the normal 0.4" left indent on the first line of a paragraph. When you've finished typing (& editing), you have a document ready to be "printed" to PDF and uploaded to Createspace. Takes a few seconds ... literally. For the Kindle side just "save as" and "web page, filtered" and you're ready to use Mobipocket to create the .prc for Kindle. For the Table of Contents, you can then enter "p" "class" "ChapterHeading" in Mobipocket and it'll generate it for you automatically.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

There is nothing odd about me. I am completely normal. That is what I claim anyway.

Kev's response: Now I'm going to send my minions to spy on you, because it's just not believable!

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I always have about three things going at once, just to keep things interesting. Not all of them will be completed, however.

In my evil plot to take over the world, what one animal type do you advise I use and why?

A jag-u-ar. I happen to have the only one. He passes himself off as a lazy, black cat by day, but I know that at night he turns into a stealthy creature of mass destruction. I will loan him to you if you let me be your evil vice chancellor.

Kev's response: I love cats in general, but having a 500 lb. tiger in the house (that won't bite anyone, including me), and somehow feeding it ... and keeping it off the furniture ... would be a nigh impossible task. So I have no pets (and if I can't have my 500 lb. tiger, no visiting pets!).

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

I think there will always be a place for paper books. As much as I love my Kindle, I hate not being able to physically turn or bookmark a page. Especially with non-fiction and research books, I need the print copy for that purpose.

What are your current projects?

I am editing So Many Secrets, my next major novel about an arranged marriage, which will be released at the end of this year. I am also writing Prince Dead, a novel about a Viking prince who leads a raid on an Irish village. A storm wrecks the ship during the raid, and the Vikings are stranded in the village they have just ransacked. I am also playing with adapting my film noir screenplay The Talkie into a novella.

Kev's response: Intriguing! :)

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

Don’t give up. Just keep telling yourself that you are good enough, your material is good enough, and you will make it work. Remember that if you don’t believe in yourself and you don’t do the work, nobody else will.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

Yes, you can find me at I am also on Twitter as @olenequinn.

Kev's response: Olene, thank you for joining me, and I wish you and your (secret) jaguar the best!

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