Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Won’t You Be My Neighbor—Chantele Sedgwick

Alrighty people do I have a surprise for you! The always kind, never grouchy, eternally helpful, superwoman ChanteleSedgwick is here today! Do you feel lucky? I do. So welcome Chantele...

Chantele: Wow! Thanks for the warm welcome! I totally wish I were superwoman! Ha ha!

Angie: You are superwoman! You can juggle babies, write books, and leap over laundry in a single bound! Okay, I'll stop embarrassing you :) 

First real question...It's really a double question...What is your favorite thing about yourself (don't be modest)? And what would you change about yourself if you could?

Chantele: So ... My favorite thing about myself? Oh, crap. Um ... I think my determination is one thing I like. If I want something bad enough, I won't give up. (I guess there comes a point when I should, but ... you know.) And something I'd change would be how critical I am about my writing. I'll never ever think I'm good enough, and I wish I could be more positive about it. :)

Angie: I think most people can't look at their own writing objectively. We either love it or hate it. I go back and forth too. Sometimes I think it's total crap and consider destroying it (but I don't). Have you ever done that?

Chantele: ALL the time. I don't really throw anything away though. I just move on to something else. Or let the "crap" settle for a while and then go back to it later and figure out what's wrong with it. It's usually not as bad as I thought it was. Surprisingly. But sometimes it's ten times WORSE than I thought it was! Ha ha. :)

Angie: Hehehe :) That is NEVER a good realization.

Next question...I know you will yell at me and tell me this is impossible to answer, but give it your best shot. What fiction book has taught you the most about writing? I will be a little lenient and let you pick one author if you must :)

Chantele: Oh, freak. Seriously? I really want to pick two. And they aren't really books, more of the authors that taught me the most. Sorry, I'm cheating. ;)

The first one, and you guys will roll your eyes at me for saying this, but the author who made me realize I could write while raising my kids, was Stephenie Meyer. I'm not saying she's the best writer, I just admire her for putting herself out there and making me realize I could do the same.

The other one is J.K. Rowling. She was able to create such an amazing world out of nothing. Reading her books are like magic. They pull you in, keep you there and it feels like you're part of Harry's world. It takes an AMAZING author to do that. I'm still in awe of her writing. And I can read her books again and again and again and still find new things in them.

There are so many things we can create as writers. A whole world of possibilities, which is what makes writing so much fun and rewarding. Hopefully that made sense... my pregnant brain isn't working lately

Angie: You are such a cheater...but I will let it slide. I love J.K. too! I can read anything she writes. I am also with you on Stephanie Meyer. I've had a few complaints about the last books, but I still love her. I never realized until reading her that you didn't need a writing degree to become a published author (I'm slow I know). I felt like an entire world opened up to me when I realized that.

Chantele: We were slow together, because I thought you needed a writing degree too! Ha ha. Great minds think alike. ;)

Angie: You said it! 

I'm feeling like a fun question...If you had to lose one of your five senses, which one would you pick and why?

Chantele: My sense of smell. I couldn't stand not hearing my kids sweet voices. Or seeing them. And I could do without smelling certain things. ;)

Angie: I think I could do without hearing my sweet children :) I have a VERY chatty seven year old!

Chantele: Ha! I already have selective hearing. ;)

Angie: What did you say? Ha! Me too :)

So you've had a big year already. You split with your agent, found a publisher who loves your books and now you are on your way to having a real live book in your hands. * Squeal* I'm so excited. Other than the time it has taken to get here, what has been the hardest thing and the easiest for  you?

Chantele: That's a tough question, but I think the hardest thing so far was splitting with my agent. I mean, I had an AGENT. There are so many writers who would have loved to be in my position. But it all came down to what was best for me and my books. It was really the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my writing journey. But, I don't regret it. Not one bit.

The easiest thing for me, has been not giving up. If that makes any sense. I want to be an author so bad and I've worked so hard to get this far. Surprisingly I haven't wanted to give up. Which is weird. Usually I give up on lots of stuff. LOL! But I knew writing was something I couldn't stop. I have too many stories in my head to throw it all away. It's a part of me now. And a part of me that I'm proud of. :)

And SQUEE for having a real live book in my hands! I still can't believe it.

Angie: It is so cool! How long have you been writing? And what made you start?

Chantele: I've been writing seriously since 2007 ... so about 5 years. I've had stories in my head for MUCH longer though. Since high school. I remember typing stories on my parents computer and making sure no one knew what I was doing. I don't know why I was embarrassed about it, but I was. I stopped writing for a while after that, but still had stories floating around.

After I had my second baby, I realized I needed to write them down. Seriously write instead of toy around with the idea. I had one particular character that wouldn't leave me alone, so I sat down and ended up writing  60,000 words in two months. It became my first YA novel. Which I still want to go back and re-write. Once I finished that one I started another one. And another. Now I'm on my 6th and still loving every minute of it. :)

Angie: Six! Wow! Sometimes I think it is easier to write one than to write more. Are you still a writer if you only write one?

Chantele: Of course! I think writing one book is a big accomplishment! Seriously. And each time I start a new book, I think, "There is no way I can write another book." But if you do it once, you can do it again. 

Angie: There is a moment when you think, "I can't duplicate that." But I think you are right. Tons of people say they are writing a book but never finish.

Alright, time for the pageant question :) Pretend you are on a stage with millions of people watching you (no pressure)...What is one thing the world would be better with more of? (You can't say reality T.V. or Vampire Diaries or chocolate ;)

Chantele: I was gonna pick chocolate, but that's a no go... Um ... I think one thing the world would be better with more of, is optimism. Everyone is so negative all the time. If we were all more optimistic, people would be happier more often. :) And there can never be a shortage of awesome books in the world, either. ;)

Angie: I give you a ten for that answer :) And a standing ovation! My hubby is excessively optimistic. I think I can count on both hands the times I've seen him really down.

And more great books? Yes please!!!

One last fast question...Will you give us all a little hint of what new book you are currently working on. Give us a premise or fun character detail or even better a hook sentence :)

Chantele: The new book I'm working on, is actually the sequel to my Fairy Tale book. So, I won't spoil any of that. ;) I'm also working on a YA sci fi (I think ... ) about a girl who's dad is the FBI director and uses her gift of hypnosis to put criminals away. She isn't sure if the criminals are innocent or not and has to decide who the bad guys really are. That's the best way I can explain it. Haha. :) 

Angie: I'm so excited for your first book and the sequel! And how cool does the FBI book sound? Awesomeness!!!

Thanks so much for answering my insane questions :) You were brilliant!!!

Chantele: Thanks SO much for having me, Angie!! You are the best!

Chantele is so much fun :) Everyone can check out Chantele’sbook on Goodreads. Thanks everybody for stopping by.



Kyra Lennon said...

You know, I never thought of Stephenie Meyer that way before! That's a very cool way to think of her.

Melissa Sarno said...

Great interview! I love Chantele's blog! And I love hearing about people's writing journey.

elizabeth seckman said...

Jinx Chantele! I hid my writing too! My poor husband thought I was having an affair with all of my encoded files and secret notebooks. Too funny. Glad it wasn't just me. Let me know when your book is for sale!

Jess Stork said...

That's an interesting thought... I never thought of actually throwing away any writing. Even the bad drafts and hopeless novels. Does that make me a writer hoarder? Thanks for the questions and answers, you sound like a person that's very passionate about writing.

Patti said...

Great interview. I'm a hoarder of words as well. I never through anything away.

Jaye Robin Brown said...

I love these interviews - they're so chatty and fun. The back and forth is great.

Jenny S. Morris said...

Love, Love, Love Chantele. And her pageant question was wonderful. I'm in the same boat with you on Stephanie Meyer, I think a lot of us are. She gave us hope. ;0)

Nice interview ladies.

Tara Tyler said...

lovely chat, ladies!

i have to say, some of my stuff i love & some i know needs improvement in a bad way and thats what we're here for! encouragement & improvement! thanks!

J. A. Bennett said...

Stephenie Meyer was my reason for starting to write as well. Even if her writing isn't perfect, she is an inspiration!

Ruth Josse said...

An interview with two ladies I love! Awesomeness. :) Chantele really is one of the nicest people. And crazy talented too!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Yay! I adore these two lovely ladies!
I'm impressed you haven't wanted to give up. I've only been writing for almost 2 years now and I've wanted to give up SEVERAL times. But Chad keeps on top of me and that helps.
Hip-hip-hurray for optimism!!

Shallee said...

Love the answer that the world needs more optimism! I think we'd all be a lot happier with more optimism (wow, just realized that was a totally ridiculous, obvious brain is so not awake yet). Anyway, thanks for the interview, Chantele and Angela!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great interview. What fun! Though Chantele should know that when you lose the sense of smell, you lose most of your taste as well. Two senses for the price of one!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You've worked so hard for this, Chantele!

Cherie Reich said...

Wonderful interview! I hadn't thought of Stephenie Meyer that way either.

Leigh Covington said...

Ladies!!! I'm so glad I hopped into the blogosphere for a moment tonight. This interview is spectacular. And Chan - you are so right about the optimism. I was doing the standing ovation for that answer too! Bravo ladies! Fabulous interview!

Melanie Jacobson said...

Fun interview. Chantele is one of my favorite writing peeps. :)

Katie Dodge said...

I love you both! Awesome stuff, ladies. I especially love the part where Chan said, "let the crap settle." It made me giggle. Maybe because I'm super tired. :)

Meredith said...

Yay! Love Chantele and her blog! And I'd love if the world had more optimism--that's so important! Good luck with all the writing you have going on!

Emily R. King said...

Fantastic interview! What can I say? I love you both. I'm so happy for Chantele. Her book baby and baby baby are two bits of wonderfulness to celebrate!

Jessie Humphries said...

I am Chantele's #1 stalker fan! I don't know if I have missed one of her posts in months. I so look forward to her positivity, her ideas, and suggestions. I totally have a girl crush on her. (in a totally non-weird way okay!)

Stacy Henrie said...

LOVED this interview! Great job, both of you.

Kelley said...

GREAT interview you guys! Love Chantele and her writing/life story. Thanks so much for this!

Sarah Pearson said...

I love the sound of Chantele's new story - and yes, the world could definitely do with more optimism :-)

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Thank you everyone! And thanks Angie for having me!! :D

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