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Welcome, Immi

Hi, Suzan! Thank you so much for having me.

Can I offer you a drink? Tea? Wine?

I’ll have a red wine, please!

Can you tell me a little about yourself? (inc if you use a pen name and why)

I write fantasy and science fiction, mostly for young adults. I’ve been published since 2008, with some small digital-first publishers as well as one of the Big Five. The topics I always want to come back to are spaceships, shapeshifters, twins (especially identical ones!), controlling institutions, and teenage girls with terrifying superpowers.

I also work as a freelance editor.

And in my free time I, um, read and do word puzzles. My life has a certain theme!

You’ve just released a book. Can you tell us about it, including the genre?

My most recent release is A Girl of Stone & Smoke. It’s re-release that was first published some years ago, and is a young adult romantic fantasy, set in a world inspired by Greek mythology. And it has, yes, a teenage girl with terrifying superpowers (check) who’s been groomed to become a priestess and executioner by a controlling institution of bad priests (check) and who falls in love with the shapeshifter (check!) she’s supposed to kill.

What does a re-release involve?

First, checking you definitely have the rights back to the book you’re re-releasing! (This book was originally published by Samhain Publishing, which has since gone out of business, and all authors had their rights returned.) I didn’t have rights to the original cover, and I wanted to change the title anyway, so for me, this also involved making a new cover and rewriting the blurb. I also wanted to do a light edit, to make it clearly young adult (it was first published as adult fantasy, because at the time there was almost no digital market for young adult books). And then lots and lots of proofreading, formatting it for Kindle, print, and various other online vendors, and putting it up for sale.

If this book hadn’t been edited when it was first published, I would have hired an editor for it, so that was one of the advantages of it being a re-release. And if I hadn’t been able to create a cover I was happy with, I would have had to buy one. As it was, iStock and Canva were my friends!

What is the title and genre of the book you are currently writing?

Right now I’m working on the third in the series begun by A Girl of Stone & Smoke, which follows the second book, A Girl of Dust & Death, releasing in November. It’s another young adult romantic fantasy, and its working title is A Girl of Golden Flame.

How did you come up with the story?

Most of my stories come from a single idea or image. Linked, for instance, was based on the basic premise “telepathic twins in space”. In fact, that was its working title for at least a year, because it summed up exactly what I wanted to write about.

With A Girl of Golden Flame, I’d finished writing A Girl of Dust & Death, and I still had so many characters whose stories I wanted to know. Once you create a whole bunch of interesting shapeshifters and girls with superpowers, you want to carry on playing with them!

Are you working to a deadline? Do you write X number of words per day? How are you feeling?

I’m planning to release this book in May 2022. I’m such a slow writer that I need lots of lead time! On my best day, I can write 1000 words. On a not-so-good day, I’m lucky to get 100.

Do you write in first or third person?

I mostly write in third person. But it depends on the book—I have works-in-progress that just refused to be written in third, so I had to use first. I also have one scene of one book that insisted it had to be written in second person. I just kept looking at it thinking “This is going to be unsellable” so I didn’t write more than the first scene! Since then, though, I have read a couple of books written mostly in second person, so it can work.

Are you a planner or panster? Do you choose the venue and visit it before writing? Tell us about it.

Because I’m such a slow writer, I can’t afford to be a pantser—I just waste too much time trying to think what to write next. And a nice road map of where I’m going makes me very happy!

I don’t deliberately choose places to write about, but I often take snippets of places away with me as settings for books.  A stretch of deserted land waiting to become a building site turned into a setting on an alien planet in Linked—it had that bleak, dusty feel to it that was perfect for what I wanted.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Read a lot. Read in every genre (apart from the ones you hate). And if anyone tells you a hard and fast writing rule, ignore them. Good writing has principles, not rules. 

What is your writing routine?

Walk the dogs so they don’t interrupt me, make a coffee, open laptop. Hope for words…

Do you have an editing process?

My personal editing process can be summed up as just “Make it better.” After a first draft, I put the book away for a while, then I come back to it and start working through it, changing everything from comma placement to cutting out scenes and characters and rearranging timelines.

Where can people find you on the internet?

Website: http://www.imogenhowson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imogenhowson/ and https://www.facebook.com/imogenhowsonauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/imogenhowson

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

Please do sign up to my newsletter if you’d like updates on my next book. I only send one out every second month, plus on release dates, and you also get a code for a discount on my editing services!

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h6z8z8

And thank you so much for having me on your blog, Suzan!

You’re very welcome, Immi.

If you would like to purchase any of Immi’s books please click here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Imogen-Howson/e/B0044CQ0JU%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

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