Last month author Carissa Lusk so kindly allowed me to read her book After the Fall for free, which I was super thankful for and also because it was a wonderful book.
You can read my review here.
So now I’m super excited to tell you guys that she agreed to do a questions and answers session as well and I was like “awesome.”
I sent her my questions and she kindly answer them and well, what can I tell you I’m so in love with this blog because it has allowed me to reach out to authors and I get to do this wonderful things like this.
I should warn you, there are some questions that are a bit spoilery, so if you haven’t read the book, be warned!
No more talking (reading) here you are, my Q&A with Carissa Lusk.
Q: When did you decide you wanted to write a book?
A: I had always wanted to be a writer. Even as a little kid I would write poems and short stories. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English, but after college, I was burned out on reading and writing for a few years. Then I decided to see what all the Twilight hype was about, and I read the series. I fell in love with reading again, and that renewed my interest in writing my own novel.
Q: What was the inspiration for the novel?
A: The book is based on a few of my own dreams and I wondered how they could be tied together to make one story. The closet scene, in fact, is a dream that I expounded on and added to until it became the scene in the novel.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, though. Since this was my first novel, I decided to take the age old advice of “write what you know.” Some of the characters’ traits are loosely based on people I know. My experiences at Concord College (now Concord University) provided all the inspiration for the setting and for the sororities/fraternities.
(Spoiler Alert) What made you write about reincarnation?
Again, the whole concept was based on those dreams and how they could all be connected. I had the one character (Amity) living in different times throughout history. She isn’t immortal, so this became the only plausible explanation.
Q: Did you self-publish or is it a small publishing company that you went with?
A: I didn’t see many advantages of going through a small publisher, so I self-published through BookBaby. The process was so fast and easy with them. They converted my story into an e-book and listed it on all the sites for me. Easy peasy.
Q: Is there anything you would change to the story now that it has been published?
A: If I could find and fix 100% of the typos, I would change those. I’m sure they exist somewhere in my novel, but I’ve found them in bestsellers, too, so I’m not too worried about them.
Otherwise, I would change nothing. I spent so much time working on After the Fall, and I’m glad to be finished with it. I have its prequel in the works and several other stories I want to write, so I’ve been too busy to obsess about After the Fall anymore.
Q: How was the process of publishing your book for you?
A: Once I settled on going the self-publishing route, publishing was the easiest part of the whole process. Again, BookBaby did everything for me. If I ever had any questions, they were always quick to answer.
Q: What is your favorite part of your book?
A: Most readers prefer the second half of the story when the paranormal part is revealed.
But I’m a sucker for love stories, so I love the beginning chapters where the relationships develop. I love, too, the subtle hints in the first half, which point to the paranormal aspects.
Q: What was the hardest part about writing After the Fall?
A: The many, many rewrites were the hardest part. Thankfully, my genius husband helped so much. He read every single version of every single chapter, and I think he was the only person critical enough to tell me the absolute truth. He’d tell me what, exactly, was terrible. Sometimes I disagreed, but I’d fix it anyway. And…he was usually right.
Q: What was the easiest?
A: The first draft. It was my first attempt at writing a novel, and I had no pressure to finish it. I wrote it in my spare time, and it was as fun as reading a book. I used to read the Choose Your Own Adventure books in grade school and loved them. Writing the first draft of a novel is like an extreme version of Choose Your Own Adventure. You sit down with a blank Word document, and you choose everything that goes on the page. The possibilities are endless.
Q: Why incorporate the poems? (Don’t get me wrong I feel like that is something unique but why did you do it?)
A: Amity, the main character, loves poetry. Since the story is told from her point of view, it was important that they were all included. I love the tiny hints the poems give to the reader and how it all ties together in the end. The full story behind “When It Was Cold” will also be included in the prequel.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: I read lots of good books, so it’s hard to choose just one. But I always pick Wuthering Heights. It’s a classic and a beautiful story.
Q: Off the book topic, but I’ve never actually seen or heard your name before the Lux series and then I met you, what was your reaction to seeing your name in such a successful book?
A: First, I think Jennifer Armentrout is awesome. Wait for You was the first book of hers that I read, and I just stumbled upon it on Amazon one day. I thought it sounded interesting because I’d just written After the Fall (yes, it took me years to finish the final draft), and here was another book set at a small West Virginia College. So, being a fan of hers already, I was excited to see a character with my name. I love, too, that the Lux series is set in WV. I’m a West Virginia girl myself.
Q: Are you working on something now? What is to come for you?
A: I’m working on the prequel for After the Fall right now. It’ll be a full length novel. I’m still in the early stages of writing it (chapter 10 of the first draft), so I have no idea of its completion date yet.
Q: What would you say to any author trying to get published or just trying to write a book?
A: The most important thing is to just sit down and write. Write whenever you have a minute of free time, or schedule a time to do it. I try to keep in mind a quote by Jodi Picoult: You can’t edit a blank page. When you aren’t writing, you should be reading. Reading absolutely makes you a better writer. Worry about the publishing part later.
I cannot wait for the upcoming prequel because if is as good as After the Fall, then that book’s going to be good.
What do you guys think?
Have you read the book?
If you haven’t I don’t know what you are waiting for. You have got to read it, I’m pretty sure you will love it.
Read you guys later!