I am here today with children’s author Chris Condeleo, winner of the Silver Quill award for Gasgeil’s Bravery.
JR: What is your favorite story you have written and why?
CC: ‘FOTK Eala’s Misfit’. It’s my favorite because of all the characters. I have spent several years developing their personalities and they feel like my children.
JR: Yeah, when you spend so much time developing a series, it is probably hard not to get attached to it but I bet your other books feel deprived.
JR: Which character, from any of your books, is your favorite and why?
CC: Epiphany Fire (Eppy from ‘FOTK Eala’s Misfit’), she’s very wise and despite her fragility, she’s quite strong. How many people could foresee their own death and not be too freaked out by it?
JR: I would be completely freaked out if I knew when I would. I would die from anxiety before that day ever came around.
JR: How was the experience of having your first book published?
CC: It was great—aside from my having to pay for it.
JR: Tell me about it. I love when I am able to print new products, until I see the bill for printing. Then comes the reality of profit/loss, cash flow, and all that other boring business stuff.
JR: I saw that you won a silver quill award for Gasgeil’s Bravery. Tell me how that happened and how did you react when you found out you won the award?
CC: I sent the book off to be reviewed and not only received an outstanding review but was told that it had been nominated for an award. I didn’t put much thought into it since I never win contests. When I received the email, I squealed so loud that my dogs started barking and my oldest son got upset with me because I startled him so badly that his gaming character died.
JR: You got his gaming character killed. That is a cardinal sin for gamers everywhere.
JR: If you couldn’t write, what would you do for a career and why?
CC: Own and run my own bookstore. I love everything about books—they’re like mini worlds and friends that you can travel with.
JR: I would be a treasure hunter. It’s a great excuse to stay around the ocean.
JR: What author would you like to co-author a book with and why?
CC: Piers Anthony, I spent many years in his world of Xanth. I think it would be interesting to see what we could come up with together.
JR: What do you dislike about the process of writing a story?
CC: I loathe the editing! I’d much rather scrub the floor!
JR: Wow, you would rather clean than edit. I guess it makes sense, depending on how dirty floor is. Now I would rather edit than scrub a bathroom floor, I think.
JR: Where do you want your career to go from here?
CC: I want to sign on with a reliable publishing house — this way someone else can help with some of the hats (i.e. editing, marketing, and the bills!).
JR: That is always a perk, but business people can be very stressful to deal with. Just ask any of my authors.
JR: In your opinion, how has the economy affected the publishing industry?
CC: People still read and seek out books—unlike a movie at the box office, you can keep a book and reread all you want!
JR: What personality traits make a good author?
CC: Tenacious, open-minded, emotional, and stubborn people.
JR: I agree with all of those but why don’t authors understand the meaning of a dealine. You know all these big SAT words but “deadline” isn’t in a author’s dictionary.
JR: At this point, what are your thoughts about publishers?
CC: Ooo, Ooo, pick me!!!!! I’m loyal, I work hard, and I’m house trained!
JR: The house trained is definitely a great start. Do you put that on your resume.
JR: If showed up to a book signing and only one person showed up, what would you do?
CC: Take a hint and advertise the events better! I’d also treat that one person like a king/queen!
JR: Great answer.
JR: What superstitions to you have when you get ready to sit down and write?
CC: Must have a pot of tea and something to munch. One other weird quirk is that I have to have my memory stick (a back up copy that holds all my stories) with me at all times-like a security blanket.
JR: Now is your chance to ask me any question that you want.
CC: How did you get to where you are now in your career? Do you have any advice for me?
JR: Simply hard work and blind faith. I am an entrepreneur at heart and decided to get into publishing after reading a manuscript. The rest is history. Pretty much I learned from my mistakes, and there was many, and made sure to keep moving forward. My advice to you is be persistent. Very few authors make it in the industry with their first or second book and it takes years before most authors ever make any real money. The one’s that do are persistent.
Writer’s block makes me want to…bang my head on the desk until the words flow again!
I think Swine Flu is…the weirdest name for an epidemic yet.
American Idol should…not be about appearance and voice alone. It should be the whole package—make the Idol be able to write their own songs and/or play an instrument.
Jon and Kate Gosselin should…get sent to time out and get off the air.
If I was stranded on an island and could pick two items to have (not people) they would be…a sketch pad and notebook w/pencils
Joaquin Phoenix needs to…get a reality check. Seriously, tighten up that screw that came loose.
My biggest vice is…reading fan fiction (but I’ve never written any)!