Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in the gator and mosquito-infested paradise of Panama City, Florida where my mama tried to raise me right, meaning drenched in Southern Baptist conventions.
What else? I’m a car freak and own two vintage cars: A 1984 Porsche Carrera 911 Targa and a 1978 Datsun 280 Z. I’m a Trekker and a Coca-Cola drinker. Nope, I don’t do coffee, although I rarely admit to this publicly for fear that I’ll lose my Writer Card.
Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about? Where did you get the idea to write this?
My science fiction series follows the adventures of Taiga Chavez, who we meet as an insecure, overly loyal State Soldier with hero-worship issues and a tendency to act before she thinks. In the first book of the series, Taiga earns a long-awaited Outbound mission. A dream come true. Except that, without throwing around spoilers, the mission becomes more nightmare than dream.
The idea for this book came from two vastly different sources:
1. My love of Star Trek
2. My worry for our military personnel
What’s your writing process like? Do you plot out every point or do you prefer to wing it?
One: I’m hit with a concept. It churns in my brain and demands to be released.
Two: I write down my thoughts in a free-form wild stampede of ink on paper.
Three: I herd the ink into a loose plot with a firm beginning and end.
Four: I block out the world and start writing, full-on pantser style. The characters and the stories write themselves. I’m simply there as a loyal recorder of events.
My writer’s dream, probably like many writers’ dreams, has evolved over the years. I started writing with no thought to publishing. I wrote because my dream was To Write. I wrote because a story raged inside me and demanded to be recorded. I obliged it. The story turned into two books, then four, then seven.
At this point, I sat back and thought, “I have written a series. An entire freakin' series. Well huh. Wouldn’t it be awesome if others read my freakin' series?”
Then, my dream morphed into Getting Published. At first, that dream involved images of JK Rowlingness and The Big Movie or TV Series Deal and OMG ACTION FIGURES OF MY CHARACTERS. That dream calmed to simply Getting Published because gosh darnit, forget the other stuff, I really just want other actual people to actually read my actual books.
How did you find Glass House Press, and what made you ultimately decide to sign with them?
I’m so glad that Glass House found me during a #Pit2Pub pitching party on Twitter. Over the years, I had researched kazillions of agents and publishers and Glass House was one of the publishers on my dream list. What I love about Glass House Press is the feeling of family and the exuberance of our leader and Jedi Master, Carrie White-Parrish. I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible and talented team.
Have you started the editing process yet? If so, what’s it been like for you? If not, are you looking forward to it or are you dreading it? What’s your biggest editing fear?
Yes, I have started editing. Outbound has been read and critiqued by sixteen beta readers and through one rigorous editing process to date with another on the near horizon. To be honest, I’ve greatly enjoyed editing. I know that may sound weird, but I love feeling like my editor has my back and is watching out for me. My editor will not let me fall into the abyss of plot holes or flop around in a muck of lay/lie errors. I am safe because I HAVE AN EDITOR.
Editors, the great ones, can tell you straight up what works and what doesn’t without crushing your frail writer ego – which I lost somewhere along the way on my path of collecting critiques, oceans of red ink, and rejection letters. Forged by fire and all that.
My greatest editing fear, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, is opening my email to see a meme from my editor: my manuscript in flames and the words FINISHED MY EDITS.
What advice do you have for new authors?
Advice? I’m not really an advice giver. I think everyone finds their path through this wild ride that is writing/publishing. But, I will tell you two things that have been invaluable to me:
1. Surrounding myself with supportive people, especially fellow writers.
2. Turning off social media, turning off the world (as much as I can), and giving my mind the permission, time, and priority to run amok in imaginary worlds.
Unfortunately, rejection plays a large part in an author’s path to publication. Tell us a bit about your journey and how you overcame rejection to get where you are today.
I finished my bright, shiny series and I started The Hunt-you all know the one: The Hunt for an agent or publisher. Which sounds really awful when you say it, like you’re a stalker, a serial agent/publisher killer.
I collected rejection letters. The first one made me sob. The second one propelled me into the throes of Writer Existential Crisis. The third one threw me into a virtual pit where Insecurity Waged War with Despair on a battlefield riddled with Fallen Dreams while lots of Gnashing of Teeth occurred and ice cream happened and ALL THE OTHER JUNK FOOD too. The rejection letters continued to pile up. I built towers with them, forts with them, a Death Star with them (the bigger one-The Force Awakens one).
Then one day I opened one and read: “I am less than sanguine about this project.” I don’t know exactly why but that sentence, that sentiment, made me laugh. “I am less than sanguine.” Hahaha! “Less than sanguine…” Hahahahaha! I now use the phrase whenever I feel like being a semi-pain-in-the-ass. “Another helping of kale? Why no thank you, I am less than sanguine about this vegetable that tastes like hairy self-flagellation.”
For whatever reason, after that LESS THAN SANGUINE rejection letter, the pain has vanished. I still may feel Less Than Sanguine about receiving rejection letters, but not to the point of Run Screaming Through the House in Circles of Overwhelming Sadness.
I lift my chin, tuck the letter away in my LESS THAN SANGUINE file folder, and move bravely onward (One must stand in a heroic pose when one says words like “bravely onward” by the way, so excuse me while I do that now. Okay done. Fat Cat tried to steal my chair when I heroically posed so now I do not recommend relinquishing your chair simply to Pose Heroically in your office).
What other projects do you have planned for the future?
Bring back the dinosaurs, but with NO feathers. Because abomination! On the writing front, with a series of seven books, I have a liiiiiiittle bit of editing ahead of me. Right now, revisions are taking the majority of my time. I also have short stories in mind and a novella in progress. And yes, one day soon I’d like to begin a new series in my universe. Maybe I’ll even include featherless dinosaurs.
Where can we find you on the internet?
Twitter. I adore Twitter. It’s my pillow fort of crazy kindreds. Come visit the pillow fort! @SonyaCraig15
Facebook. I’m a newb here, honestly. But hey, come visit. Let’s talk. Bring cat vines! www.facebook.com/sonyacraigauthor
G +: Sonya Craig
Website: sonyacraig.com (You can see my cars here by the way AND my Cloverfield Monster)
Okay, so let’s have a little bit of fun and really let our readers get to know you better with our Favorite Fifteen! Keep your answers short.
1. Favorite book or series: This book is outside of my normal genres but I adore it and am on my fifty-seventh and a half reread: The Fault in Our Stars
2. Favorite movie: UGH! This is so hard. The Birdcage, Underworld
3. Favorite TV show: This one’s easy: Star Trek Voyager
4. Favorite author: James Alan Gardner
5. Favorite actor: Russell Crowe
6. Favorite actress: Scarlet Johansson
7. Favorite color: Orange
8. Favorite snack food: Chips and Salsa
9. Favorite animal: Quokka
10. Favorite hobby: Drawing
11. Favorite vacation spot: Maui
12. Favorite type of drink: Margarita
13. Favorite meal: Chicken and dumplings
14. Favorite season: Fall
15. Favorite holiday: Halloween