What a blast talking with Cidney Swanson! Daryll Lynne is a big fan of the Ripple series, and James is focused on indie publishing, so Cidney hits that sweet spot of great stories and successful self-publishing. We cover a lot of ground in this interview. Bonus—Cidney reads from her newest book, Siren Spell!
Cidney Swanson is an award-winning writer of Young Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy including The Ripple Trilogy and The Saving Mars Series. SAVING MARS (Kirkus, starred) was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 and was an honor book for the SCBWI Spark Award 2014. (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators ) When she’s not writing, Cidney is distracted by shiny things such as books with raised foil covers, macarons in jars, and stars set against an inky night sky. She lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband, three kids, two cats, and entirely too much rain.
THE RIPPLE SERIES and WRITING YA
- Cidney talks about how natural curiosity leads her to her strong villains and the intense trouble they cause in the world of her stories.
- Writing for her first reader and how that shapes the futuristic and sometimes fantastical elements in her stories.
- How her “active inner teenager”—plus having a few teens in her life—helps her connect to the psyche of her teen characters.
- The challenges of planning multi-book stories, plus revisiting the Ripple world to extend the original trilogy into seven books.
- Cidney remembers how books were important to her as a teen, which influences her choice of writing Young Adult stories.
- Cidney’s love of writing started in childhood, but her path to becoming a published author took some time.
BEING AN INDIE AUTHOR
- How she built her indie publishing “team.”
- On the pressure to publish faster as an indie author.
- That time she wrote a book that didn’t work, and how she’s dealt with it.
- Her mix of plotting and pantsing and how her drafting process works, and how her approach to writing a series has changed now that she’s got two series under her belt.
MORE INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS
- True change takes time—the need to hold back on character growth over a series versus a stand-alone book.
- The importance of strong female characters and diverse characters in books. We Need Diverse Books — #ownvoices.
- The importance of dogged persistence when she’s frustrated with writing: “The muse doesn’t show up unless I show up.”
- The writing tools she uses and other resources that she returns to, including John Truby’s book on screenwriting: Anatomy of Story, and Libby Hawker’s book on drafting, Take Off Your Pants; SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators); Willamette Writers.
- Enjoying both sides of being an indie author—the back and forth between writing and the marketing and technical parts of putting out one’s own work.
Her simple wisdom for writers: Read read read, write write write!
LEARN MORE ABOUT CIDNEY SWANSON
Cidney’s on Facebook as Cindey Swanson
Cidney’s on Instagram @cidneyswanson
Cidney tweets @cidneyswanson
Learn more about Cidney at cidneyswanson.com