Blog Archive

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Tale Retold with Author C.J Godwin

What inspired you to write a novel?
I was inspired to write my debut novel in 2011 when I read the classic 'The Little Mermaid' by Hans Christian Andersen. Growing up I was obsessed with the Disney version and had been told the original was much darker with a not so happy ending. 

The original story was sad, but I was intrigued by the vague details that left so much up to interpretation. I loved the idea so much I just knew I had to write the continuation of this story to share it with other mermaid fans.

Who helped you with the editing?
After a ton of rewrites, I spoke with my editor, Rob Carr, who made a few suggestions that worked for the story.

What did you enjoy most about writing your story?
My favorite part of writing was coming up with the characters, naming them and brainstorming the backstory and events that have led them to where they are today.

Your book is self-published. Did you try the traditional route first?
I never even tried to find a traditional publisher, which I sometimes regret because I know they have better resources and finances to help me with the marketing and distribution I need.

How did you choose your publisher?
I decided to publish with Outskirts Press, one of the highest rated self-published companies I could find on the internet. 

What is the hardest part of writing for you? Starting? Creating a scene? Tension?
I would definitely say the hardest part of writing for me is the editing. I love to write the story first, sitting in my recliner with a cup of coffee. But I hate when I have to go type it up, add more details, and check for mistakes, all at the same time! It's easy to catch them reading something for the first time but once you've read it for the hundredth time the words just blur together.

Could you give me a short synopsis of your book?
Mystic Tides is a Young Adult Fiction Series that takes place in modern times -- 200 years after “The Little Mermaid” storyline. The story is told from Aden’s point of view, who left Alaska in a drastic move to a small town in Florida. Once there, he meets the mesmerizing Kailani.

He soon comes to realize her image of perfection may be more illusion. He sees signs of her mystical powers and learns how they are linked to her equally surprising past. As if young love wasn't difficult enough, he is also dealing with his own identity crisis, which is tied to a tragic event that severed all ties he had in Alaska.

We have all experienced writing rejection. How have you learned to write past it?
I am a big believer that rejection is meant for your own protection. I try to remind myself of this. I wanted to add underlying messages of ocean conservation and religious tolerance toward others. Unfortunately, I had a few conservative "friends" who will no longer have anything to do with me because of this. It makes me sad but in the world we live in today, I felt it was an important lesson to teach the younger generation. 

What has surprised you the most in writing/publishing?
I have learned so much from my first book yet have so much more to learn about the publishing industry. What surprised me the most is the amount of automatic snub I received because I chose to self-publish. I really wanted to get an experienced agent to help me but learned that most of them won't touch anything that's been self-published.

What frustrated you the most?
The thing that has been the most frustrating for me is the inability to get my book into bookstores. I would love to do more on location events, but I’ve been mostly restricted to online sales.

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
I received a compliment from a young girl who told me she wasn't really a reader but she loved my story so much she was now going to start reading more.

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
This best writing advice I've received is to write with your heart. The best advice I can give is don't let fear of judgment stop you from your dreams. If you have a story to tell, tell it. You'll never be everyone's cup of tea and that's OK. 

What is the next book that will be coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?
I am currently working on Mystic Tides: The Siren's Curse (Book #2) I hope to release it by next summer. I can't say too much without spoiling the secrets of the 'Mystic Tides' but be prepared to dive deeper into the depths of the world's oceans and meet another one of “The Little Mermaid's” sisters as well as a few more mythical and interesting characters. 


That's all for today's interview. If you would like to learn more about this series, go C.J.'s website at https://outskirtspress.com/mystictides. You’ll be able to listen to a 5-minute audio clip and watch the official video book trailer.