Hey guys! I’ve got something new for y’all today! I’ve been wanting to do collabs for a while, so when Christian Girl Writes suggested we do one, I thought it would be a great idea! We’re both writers, so we put together some questions about that process (as well as some bookish questions). Check it out!
Writing Questions –
What thing has helped you most in writing?
Princess Geek: I would say God, for sure. I have a problem with confidence, but He has helped me a lot with that. Also, my friends and family have given me valuable support. Besides that, some advice from my favorite author has gotten me out of some times where I thought I wanted to quit. Whenever I feel my Impostor Syndrome coming back, I always remind myself of that advice; if I can make at least one person happy with my writing, I can change the world a little.
Kay: Obviously besides God and the encouragement of my family and friends, the one outside thing that has helped me a lot, especially when I get stuck wondering where I’m going with a story, is the One Page Novel Formula by Eva Devell. I wrote a whole post on it that you can read here!
Have you ever gotten inspiration from dreams?
Princess Geek: Yes, but nothing good! When I was a kid I had this bizarre dream and ended up turning it into a book. But I was a kid, and I wasn’t that great at writing, so yeah… I don’t think I could even give details on what it was about because it was years ago and it’s kinda foggy now. Other than that, a few years ago I had a dream that gave me inspiration for a scene in one of my novels. I ended up writing it, and though it was a little cute, I won’t be using it since it doesn’t fit with the story.
Kay: I get lots of ideas from dreams. I remember one of the first stories I ever wrote was based off a dream, which in turn, was based off a book I’d been reading. I still vividly remember it. I’ve also had lots and lots of story ideas come from dreams, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually turned a dream into a book besides that first story, but I can’t recall since I have so many stories. I do have a few of the ideas written down though!
What time of day are you most motivated to write?
Princess Geek: Probably either late at night or early in the morning. I’m part night-owl, part early bird, so either way works for me. Also, if I’m at work or in class I want to write. Anything to get out of those things, haha!
Kay: Honestly, it depends on the day. It used to be night for sure, but now it just depends on my day, mood, and how I feel. I can’t write if I have a bad headache, for example. Most of the time I’d say afternoon to evening though if I had to choose. Though if we’re talking motivation, I’m always wanting to write (unless I’ve written a ton already) so I guess all the time? It’s the inspiration that sometimes depends on the time, mood, and so on.
What made you want to be a writer?
Princess Geek: I’ve been writing ever since I was really young, but, funny enough, the thing that made me want to be a published author was the same thing that made me want to be a game developer: video games. I got really into RPGs as a teenager and the stories inspired me to write my own. To this day they continue to inspire me!
Kay: The novel True to the Last by Evelyn Everett-Green. Made me bawl the first time I read it, and granted while I was only just starting high school, I can barely handle reading any of it again without being tempted to cry. The foreshadowing was GREAT without being obvious, and I so admired the amount of emotion and foreshadowing that she did, that it made me want to be a writer. Plus I was alone a lot during that time of my life, so I just naturally went inside and told stories to myself, and that’s what really started me writing (even though I’ve been writing since I was six).
What inspired your favorite written work?
Princess Geek: As of right now my favorite work of mine is probably the novel I’ve been putting most of my effort into for the time being. I love the characters and the whole vibe of the world! I started writing it back in 2020 when I really needed something to work on, and it took me three days of brainstorming to come up with the beginnings of the story. Of course, the plot and characters have changed a lot since then, but the inspirations are still the same. The Mandalorian was probably the biggest inspiration, and I also took a few lessons in worldbuilding from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology and Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy.
Kay: I have to clarify what I mean when I refer to my “favorite work” here, as I’m going to just use my favorite series which I’ve written, since it’s all basically connected. Lots of things inspired it, mostly medieval history. The first book was inspired by a mix of In Freedom’s Cause by G.A Henty and Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope. My second book was inspired by a whole bunch of things, the Chronicles of Narnia, different soundtracks I listened to, and historical events such as the Black Dinner. Other books in the series were inspired by the Legends of King Arthur, the Princes in the Tower, and The Karate Kid. Lots of random things, honestly, and some things I don’t know where they came from other than the Lord. (In fact, most of it was inspired by Him).
Bookish Questions –
What’s one thing you’d like to see more of in books?
Princess Geek: Hm, I can think of a few things, but I’ll stick with one for right now! I would love to see more sibling relationships in fantasy settings, because I haven’t read a lot of those. I mean, there’s sisters in Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogy, but let’s be real; everyone who reads that hates Taryn, so it’s not the same, haha! I want a GOOD sibling relationship that isn’t toxic or cliché. One of the greatest sibling relationships I’ve ever seen was in Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert. That, my friends, is how to write an older brother-younger sister duo. I think more fantasy books would benefit from having siblings as main characters!
Kay: I’d like to see more of non-romantic leads. Like, characters who don’t care about romance, don’t have any romantic notions or anyone who likes them romantically, and who is a hero. Sir Galahad in the King Arthur legends is like the only character I’ve ever seen that is shown in an epic light who’s not interested in romance and who doesn’t have any romantic interest shown by someone else in him. And it’s great, he stays focused on his mission, accomplishes it, and bam he’s done.
What is one literary character you hated and why?
Princess Geek: There’s a lot of characters I don’t like, but I think the character I hate the most has got to be, for now, Nehemia from Sarah J. Mass’ Throne of Glass series. Am I bitter? Sure, but hear me out. She is everything I hate in a supposedly “strong female character”. I would LOVE to see more female characters portrayed like Black Widow in Marvel, who is the paragon of a strong female character done well. Black Widow can take care of herself, but she’s not a Mary Sue. Sometimes she needs Captain America or Hawkeye to bail her out of situations. She still has her emotions and she loses battles sometimes. Basically, she’s a human being.
But Nehemia was just plain annoying. I wanted to like her so bad, but everything she did annoyed the crap out of me. She gave off extreme holier-than-thou vibes, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. Not to mention she was the downfall of my OTP! Okay, maybe Chaol could have stepped up his game a little more, and not, you know, LIED about stuff. But I still hate Nehemia. To those of you who are fans of Nehemia, I’m sorry, but she annoys the crap out of me!
Kay: Oh man, there’s been a lot, especially on the female side. I can’t remember the name of one girl in the Lamplighter book, The Hidden Hand, which I read, but she was a very “good” girl, so sappy, with no real depth to her. And she married my favorite guy which ticked me off.
So besides Mary-Sue damsels in distress, I really hated Guinevere in the King Arthur Legends. She’s another stuck on herself girl who’s sappy and cares only about herself. And she has affairs on her husband who loves her. A total jerk.
What is your favorite genre to read? Do you also write in that genre?
Princess Geek: My favorite genre is fantasy, and I usually stick to writing that. It’s the genre I know best, so I feel the most comfortable writing in it! However, I do love a good dystopian novel, so I’ve played with that genre as well and hope to continue writing my dystopian/sci-fi series I started a couple years ago.
Kay: My favorite genre to read is historical fiction, preferably Christian. I actually don’t write in that genre though. I’ve tried. It’s too much research for my writing style. However, I do write fantasy grounded in realism, with strong historical leans to it. Would that be called historical fantasy? I don’t know, haha!
What is the most annoying cliché in your opinion?
Princess Geek: As a writer, I strongly disagree with the advice to “avoid cliches like the plague”. In fact, I may or may not roll my eyes at it. I agree with what Kay said, that cliches have lasted so long because they work. I mean, duh! They wouldn’t be cliches if everyone hated them! I like to take cliches and see what I can do to make them unique. I promise there’s always something you could do to them to make them interesting! But that doesn’t mean there’s no cliches that I don’t like. The “chosen one” cliché kinda gets old sometimes.
Kay: Well, I’m a little more lenient with cliches because most cliches are cliché because they work. So if someone does a cliché in a new way, or uses an old one but because of what they’ve set up before, it’s not old (like if someone wanted to see rain their whole life and they didn’t get to and they died and it rained on their funeral or something) that would be a cool way to do the original “raining at funeral” cliché. But if I HAD to pick one… either the Mary Sue one (which I mentioned a bit in question 2) or just the whole random romance, “the hero gets the girl in the end” one, ugh, I HATE that. I need development to want a romance to work.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Princess Geek: My favorite author is Brandon Sanderson, the author of the Cosmere universe. He is a giant inspiration in my own writing and has so much valuable advice. Excuse me for being sappy, but his books have honestly changed my life a little. The Final Empire is currently my favorite book of his (and my favorite book period). I’ve never seen someone work plot twists the way he does, and he is an absolute master at foreshadowing. I’ve never seen anything like it! If I could write like anyone, it would be him. Aside from Sanderson, I also like Leigh Bardugo, Frank Herbert, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Agatha Christie.
Kay: My favorite author right now is probably Gilbert Morris, because like I said, I love reading Christian historical fiction (and my favorite book is written by him). I also really like Marylu Tyndall though, and Melanie Dickerson. Marylu Tyndall writes great pirate stories (and honestly one of her books rivals Gilbert Morris’ as my favorite because of the main character) and Melanie Dickerson writes fairy tale retellings from a Christian perspective and in a medieval setting and connects them all together in like, a family saga, which is really neat! They’re a little bit juvenile on the writing style side, but still pretty good.
That’s that! Please let me know if y’all enjoyed this post, and perhaps we will do more of them in the future! Don’t forget to check out Christian Girl Writes, she’s awesome!
God bless y’all and have a wonderful week!