Carol Riggs is an author of Young Adult novels who lives in the beautiful green state of Oregon, USA. You will usually find her in her writing cave, surrounded by her dragon collection and the characters in her head. She loves to read, write, take walks with her hubby, work jigsaw puzzles, draw and paint, listen to all kinds of music, and watch all kinds of dance. Sci-fi and fantasy are her favorite genres to read as well as write. Her books include THE BODY INSTITUTE, BOTTLED, THE LYING PLANET, and the JUNCTION 2020 series.
Where do you get your ideas?
Lots of places! The news, tidbits from real life, sparks of ideas from movies or other novels, chatting with people, etc. Mostly, it’s me playing a “What If” game and seeing where my questions lead me. I like stories that have a twist of weird to them—like being downloaded into other people’s bodies, getting sucked into an inter-dimensional portal, being turned into a genie, and uncovering creepy, unbelievable mysteries. I try to be unique with my ideas and surprise my readers.
What advice do you have for your fellow writers?
Never give up! Most writers work for years and years before becoming (traditionally) published; it took me 11 years. Keep at it, learn your craft, grow a thick skin to distance yourself from your “babies,” and join writer support groups online or in real life (for instance, I belong to the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators—the SCBWI—and go to their conferences to learn things about the industry/writing).
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I write my rough drafts fairly quickly—but not sloppily, because that just makes for a longer editing or revision time. For a 50,000 word novel (180-200 pages) like my JUNCTION 2020 series books, I average about 2 months. For other novels that are closer to 90,000 words (280-300 pages), it’s more like 4 months to hammer one out. Then I spend another 2-4 months tidying things up. If I have a publisher and an editor, it stretches out even longer.
Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
I had to ask my husband this question, and he said I tend to talk to myself in different voices. Hmm, maybe I do! High, squeaky voices. Muttering tones. Cynical or disgruntled voices. Especially while I’m cooking or doing the dishes. And sometimes these voices ANSWER EACH OTHER. Can I just claim that I’m trying out different characters for my next book? After all, a good author can see both sides of a conversation, right?
What’s the next project you’re working on?
I’m writing books 4 and 5 of my JUNCTION 2020 series, which I’ve always wanted to finish. I plan to release them both in 2019 in order to have them published before the year 2020, since the books start with New Year’s Eve, 2019. Book 1 existed for years before I finally had the time to continue on to book 2; the idea of a group of teens being sucked into a portal into a landscape that’s built by one’s personal sweet dreams and terrifying nightmares is really fascinating to me. I’ve recently also written the rough draft of a companion novel to my debut sci-fi YA, THE BODY INSTITUTE; the release date of that one is up in the air still.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote about 3 chapters of a novel when I was a junior in high school. However, I didn’t actually finish a book until I was about 35 years old. At that time I wrote a 100-page novel, and worked by way up to longer ones. I wrote a total of 12 unpublished novels before Entangled Teen picked up my debut novel. I never gave up, because I love to write.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00JO01IE4?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true
Buy link for JUNCTION 2020 Book 1, The Portal: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072S8PYRC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1497794641&sr=8-3&keywords=junction+2020