Today we’re excited to have author Constance Cooper joining us!
Let’s take a look at Constance’s book Guile!
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Clarion Books
Yonie Watereye lives in the bayou. The water there is full of guile, a power that changes people and objects. Yonie, 16, makes a living investigating objects affected by guile, but in fact it’s her talking cat, LaRue, who has the power to see guile.
Yonie becomes aware that someone is sending harmful guile-changed objects to certain people, including herself. Her investigation becomes entwined with her hunt for the secrets of her mother’s past and leads her to discover dangers hidden within her own family.
In the suspenseful adventure that follows, Yonie and her furry sidekick face challenges that could end their adventuring forever.
What do you do when you have writer’s block?
I try to get into the mindset I used in school while taking a test. What do you do if there’s a test question you’re having trouble with? You go on to the next one, and come back to it later. So if there’s a scene giving me trouble, I skip to a different part of the book and work on that for awhile. It takes a certain amount of self-deception, because most of the time I don’t actually have any deadlines except for the ones I set myself
I figure out some things in the shower, which is unfortunate because I live in California and there’s a drought on, so showers can’t be too long. I’ve also learned never to put music on while doing boring tasks like folding laundry. Without music, my brain finds other things to do in self-defense–usually writing!
I always talk to my husband about what I’m working on, and as my two kids get older I’ll probably be talking to them about it too, though there’s a certain tension about whether or not to give spoilers.
And do you have a certain daily routine when writing?
My writing routine is set by my kids’ elementary school and after-school schedules, which are different on different days of the week. I prefer to write during the day while they’re at school, though of course there are other things I have to do too. Sometimes I write in the evening also, though there’s a risk to that: if I’m on a roll, I may stay up too late and be sleep-deprived the next day.
One thing I’ve incorporated into my morning routine lately is exercising while listening to podcasts about writing. My favorite is Writing Excuses, which is hosted by four science fiction/fantasy authors. That gets me thinking about the story I’m working on–sometimes so much that I zone out and miss part of the podcast. (I like to think the hosts of the podcast wouldn’t be too upset to hear that, though.)
Unlike some authors, I can’t really listen to music while writing—either I hear it and it distracts me, or it doesn’t distract me and I don’t hear it. (Speaking of distractions, a common part of my day is removing cats that walk in front of my monitor while I’m typing!)
Constance’s fantasy novel Guile will be published March 1, 2016 by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Guile is set in the Bad Bayous, where the water makes strange and unpredictable changes to things (or animals, or people) that soak too long.
Constance’s short stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and various other publications. Her work has been podcast, translated into Swedish and Hebrew, and included in “Best Of” anthologies. She also writes sf poetry, and has twice been nominated for the Rhysling Award.
Constance grew up mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area, with one year spent in Surrey, England and a chunk of another spent in Newfoundland, Canada. She studied journalism at UC Santa Cruz, where she hiked to class through redwood forest, explored secret caves, and helped edit the college newspaper. Later she earned an MA in Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, and stayed on in Philadelphia working on a linguistic research project before getting sucked into the brand-new world of website design.
After Constance met her husband, they moved to Edinburgh, Scotland for two years, where she morphed into a software engineer. Just as she’d acclimated to saying “beeta testing” and “proh-cessor,” she and her husband returned to the Bay Area to work for a natural language search company.
Now Constance lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two children, and is enjoying ever-increasing time to write the kind of stories she’s always loved. Her published science fiction so far has all been set on alien planets, and often told from alien viewpoints (including reptilian, mammalian, and crustacean analogues.) In writing fantasy, she’s attracted to inventive, nonstandard settings, light touches of humor, and just pure adventurous fun. Constance’s writing also shows the influence of her love for mysteries.
Thank you for joining us Constance!
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3 winners will receive a finished copy of GUILE
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