Christine Adwoa Owusuaa
An Angel's Mark
What inspired your most recent book?
I was inspired to write An Angel's Mark by all my life experiences so far, and the book properly came into fruition during my Second Year of University. As a matter of fact, the curriculum for the College the angels attend was loosely based on the structure of the one I studied under in school.
What was the most difficult part of your artistic process?
For me, the most difficult part is definitely finding a place to start. I am the type of person that can usually find the strength to finish things but I don't always have an idea where to start. However, once I have the main plot line in my head, I am good to go.
What was the hardest scene or character to write in your most recent book?
The first chapter was the hardest scene to write because I had to wait for the inspiration to come, but once I had the first two paragraphs or so figured out I was able to breeze through it.
Do you remember the moment (or person who inspired it) in your life that you knew you were going to be a writer?
I don't think there was moment per se in which I knew I was going to become a writer. Now, I have always loved reading but I don't think I had ever had a story worth telling before. So, now that I do have some inspiration, I just hope people enjoy the stories I come up with as much as I enjoy writing them.
Tell us your favourite character you’ve created.
As cliché as it sounds, I love all the characters I have created for different reasons. I am a character reader (which has in turn made me a character writer) and so I don't think of any of my characters as extras or side characters just there to progress the plot.
Consequently, every character is special to me in a different way and hopefully that will allow readers to find bit and pieces of themselves in one or more of the characters.
What was the first thing you learnt as an indie author that has never failed you?
Never sign over your publishing rights if you ever want to see your books promoted and marketed the way you want them to be.
How do your books differ from each other?
I have some other books in the works and I would say that my writing has become more and more focused and intentional in the themes I present and the goals of the characters, which nicely compliments the growth I have experienced in the short time that I have been a writer.
How has your life or work experience influenced your work?
I have always considered myself to be very lucky to have parents who let me be my own person and raised me to think for myself. Consequently, I think my upbringing has allowed me to journal my experiences and thoughts in a manner that is authentic enough to truly bring depth and life to my characters and stories.
Do you use a lot of personal experience in your books, or do you try to write objectively?
I think it is a bit of both, sometimes I can subconsciously or consciously pull from my own personal experiences and other times I can witness someone or something that triggers a theme or conversation that I can then have my characters explore in the books.
What genre that you haven’t tried already would you like to?
I don't necessarily think about genre until I have finished writing the book (solely for marketing purposes) so it will have to be a certain character or life experience that takes me down a path towards a genre that I have never thought about previously, which seems rather unlikely at the moment.
Do you base characters on people you know?
I like to say that I take my experiences of people I have met or witnessed through the media and pick apart the aspects of them that can aid in helping me flesh out a character. So, I wouldn't say I base my characters on anyone but instead I take components of a person's essence and see if I can extrapolate on their core traits and refigure them in a way that creates an authentic fictional character.
Do you do a lot of research and why, or if not, why not?
I would say that simply living my life is my research and I more often than not wait for the inspiration to come to me. So, in actuality I am always doing research, a lot of which is subconscious, and so I find that I rarely have to look up a specific location, theme or thought.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I think the best thing you can do as a writer is read other people's works, so you can explore what you would have done differently and why, in order to hone in on your writing style and what features of it are unique and important to you. So every time I spend money on a new book I think of that as a great investment into supporting my writing career.
What does literary success look like to you?
I think literary success in my eyes would entail involve me being able to sell my books at an affordable price and having them be enjoyed by a wide range of people from young teens to adults.
Did you ever consider a pseudonym?
When I was first considering publishing my book I thought a lot about using a pseudonym but I eventually decided that if the books were ever successful, then I wanted them to be identifiable and tied uniquely to me. So, I decided on using my first name and my middle names as a sort of pseudonym that both separated and defined me as an author.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
No, I can’t say I do anything like that intentionally. However, the fact I am a Christian is definitely something that bleeds into my work, even though the majority of it is fiction and so there are probably things in the books that other Christians might see differently or look further into.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Initially I started writing for fun on Wattpad, Quotev and Inkitt for free and the comments on there were great, so I am yet to see how I will handle official reviews that are less than complimentary. However, I will make sure to remind myself of the fact that I am honoured to be in a time when I can self-publish my own works and that every book is not to everybody’s liking, no matter how great you think it is.
Do you try more to be original or pander to readers’ wants?
I think the best thing about being an Indie Author is writing about what you want to, when you want to and as much as you want to. Therefore, I don't think I will ever truly be swayed by what readers want or hope for.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I hope that each book in each series will stand on its own and that any additional books will just help to provide a deeper understanding of the characters and the worlds the span the breadth of the series.
Does your family support your career as a writer?
I am still trying to see how far I can take my career as a writer before I fully let them in on it, but I know that they are supportive of anything that I do.
Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
I don't think so I have very broad ideas when it comes to genres, so a good book is just a good book. I don't think it matters if it doesn't represent exactly what marketing suggested it to be.
Have you read anything that made you think differently about non-fiction?
I don't think so, I am very open and unrestrictive when it comes to all genres, because in my opinion a good book is a good book. So, I don't think it matters if a book doesn't represent exactly what it was marketed as.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Publishing definitely made me more aware of things like sentence structure and grammar, but other than that my writing process remains very much the same.
How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
I think I work on the basis that I can only give the reader what is authentic and true to me, and then I let them decide whether that is enough for them or not.
How do you feel when you start a book, in the middle, and when you finish?
I love starting a book because it means that all my ideas are fresh in my head and full of promise. However, in the middle and towards the end of the book sometimes the inspiration can take a little while to arrive, but I have been known to start another book if necessary (until the inspiration returns).
How do you select the names of your characters?
Sometimes I mix the first and last names of people and things in real life who have inspired me, sometimes the names come to me randomly, and sometimes some names require a quick google search.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
I don't think I would change anything, because I think all that I have been through has helped make me the writer that I am today.
If you have a day job or family commitment, how do you work writing into it?
I am currently treating writing as a hobby and a stress reliever as I continue to pursue forms of higher education.
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
At the moment, simply living helps improve my writing. In fact, I think I have structured my life so that my writing is something that acts as a biproduct of living as opposed to an official job. For me, my writing will always be a result of what I have available to give at any given time, so there is never any pressure to increase the time or proficiency with which I complete a book or a series.
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