Capes & Clockwork author interview with Andrea Judy
Capes & Clockwork is an upcoming anthology from Dark Oak Press which fuses the beauty and elegance of steampunk with the action and adventure of the superhero genre. As part of the ‘gearing up’ to the release of ‘Capes & Clockwork: Superheroes in the Age of Steam’, I’ll be interviewing some of the great authors that contributed.
And now on the stage, right here for your reading pleasure is…. Andrea Judy.
Andrea Judy is a writer, and professional pixie. She makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia and enjoys causing mischief by talking non-stop about Internet memes and all of the stories she’s working on. She has had poems and short stories appear in various literary magazines, and had her first original one-act play performed at a local university. She is returning to her roots in genre fiction, especially steampunk.
At what age did you start writing?
Since I was very young. Even before I could write I would tell all kinds of stories.
Where do your ideas come from?
The Idea Factory of Schenectady, NY.
No the ideas come from all over the place. Music inspires me a lot.
Do you base your characters on people you know or know of?
Not intentionally but pieces of real life pop in all the time. After I finished my story for Capes and Clockwork, I realized that Rowan, my main character, is very similar to one of my best friends, but while I was writing it that never clicked.
Do you plot out your stories or just make it up as you go?
A combination of both. I do a very loose framework, usually something like a plot point for every 1000 words or so. It helps keep me on target and on plot, and see any big issues before I have to rework an entire story.
Do you listen to music while you write and if so, what do you listen too?
YES. I cannot stand silence. What I’m listening to changes depending on what I’m working on. For anything Steampunk I tend to listen to a lot of jazz and blues.
Which of your characters would you most like to meet in person?
Ha! I’d love to meet Rowan and Bee. Hardworking detectives and junk dogs are probably the most interesting people to talk to, right?
Which of your stories/books/works do you consider the best?
The ones that haven’t been written yet. I always look towards the future, and improve every day so I always think the next story is going to be the best one.
How much do you write each day/week?
I write every day, and try to get at least 1000 words down. It’s a challenge because I work full-time and have a lot of other responsibilities, but writing is important so I make time for it every day. I make sure I write by not allowing myself to eat dinner until my words are written. It’s amazing how much focus you have when your stomach is growling in your ears!
Can you tell about your experiences working with publishers?
I have had a great time working with all the publishers I’ve been involved with. The process has been smooth, and I really couldn’t be more pleased.
Do you have a routine when you write?
Butt in chair, and write. I don’t worry about routine or having a certain something to write. I write when I have the time, and sometimes that means writing during the commercial breaks of a TV show.
What is your latest project/release?
My first stand alone work, The Bone Queen, will be available in November from Pro Se Productions. I’m incredibly excited about having a digest novel out, and it’s a great story about a villain and how she came to be so wicked. It will be (hopefully) released at Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention November 15-17!
Do you have any signings or appearances coming up?
I will be at the Georgia Literary Festival in Milledgeville, GA on November 9, and will be at the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention November 15-17.
Who were your inspirations?
My mother inspires me with her dedication and unwavering belief in me.
Neil Gaiman, and Guillermo del Toro inspire me with their work and their imagination.
What book do you read over and over the most?
Oh, that’s a tough challenge. I don’t tend to re-read books very much, but I read Stephen King’s On Writing at least once a year.
Is there a book or book series that you recommend to people?
Not so much a series, but I always recommend people explore books outside of their favorite genres, and to look at books not put out by the big six publishing houses.
Do you have a dream project that you want to write in the future?
I would love to work with DC on a Wonder Woman reboot.
Do you have a special way of generating story ideas?
Not really, I usually just listen to a lot of music and go running. If that fails, a long bubble bath cures a lot of story block issues.
How much of you is in your characters?
I think all of my characters wear a piece of me, but I don’t think any of my characters are real representations of me.
If you could live the life of one of your characters, who would it be?
I want to be Rowan, and solve crimes. We both live in Atlanta, so I’m almost there!
What genre do you prefer to write? To read?
I read and write nearly everything. I cast my net wide. I really like fantasy, and sci-fi, but my background is in literary fiction. I enjoy writing fantastical settings or the real world with a twist. I like taking familiar things and twisting them just enough to make them into something new.
Do you prefer writing short stories or novels? And why?
It depends on the story. Sometimes the story doesn’t need a novel to be told, and sometimes a novel isn’t enough for the story you’re trying to tell. I think figuring out the right length for the story you want to tell is one of the biggest challenges of being a writer.
What are you working on now?
I am working on my second digest novel featuring my villain, The Bone Queen, and the Pulptress hashing it out in an old cemetery. I’m really excited about it!
Is Writer’s Block ever a problem for you? If so, how do you deal with it.
I don’t think writer’s block is an issue. I have days where I don’t want to write, but I still force myself to do it. Giving up because it’s hard is too easy of a way out. Write when the words are flowing easy, and write when every word is a struggle, there isn’t any other option.
What 3 things do you feel every aspiring writer should know?
1. FINISH WHAT YOU START. You can’t be a writer until you’ve finished something you’ve started, don’t chase every project that catches your eyes or else you’re just going to run yourself ragged.
2. Don’t be afraid to write crap. It happens; everyone has bad days and bad sentences. Don’t let the fear of being bad stop you.
3. Network. Writing is a lonely job. Go out and meet other writers especially if you’re just starting out. Most writers are happy to sit and help out new writers. Also, read, read, read, and write reviews for what you read.
What is your funniest/ awkward moment at a convention/signing event?
Oh god, this could be a whole book. I once met a troll in Arkansas and literally scared the piss out of a cow.
How do you use social media in regards to your writing?
I’m social media obsessed. Part of my daytime job involves handling social media accounts so I spend a lot of time on them. It’s easy to get sucked in and waste time so I suggest people schedule posts and limit their time on the internet so that you can get your work accomplished.
Thanks for the chat, Andrea!