Hello there. My name is M.A.Greene a writer reaching for publication. I am revising a YA Sci-fi/Fantasy novel and write short stories and poems. You can follow my writing journey on twitter at https://magreene96.wordpress.com/.
- M.A.Greene: So first can you tell us when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
Blair Cousins: I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I knew there was no future in it for me. It wasn’t until I started the publishing process of my first book back in 2016 that I realized that this could be a new path for me.
- M.A.Greene: When you say you “knew there was no future in it for me.” could you explain what you were thinking and what you mean by that?
Blair Cousins: I was thinking about how hard it is to publish a book, back then I hadn’t thought about self-publishing and I knew I would have to write something absolutely fantastic to be published. Not to mention it would have to be shown to the right people. So I didn’t think it could be done, at least for me.
- M.A.Greene: Publishing does have a lot of work involved and connections. When did you realize this could be your “new path?”
Blair Cousins: I think things started to clear up the more I researched. I joined a lot of self-publishing groups and listened to dozens of authors who were going through the process. By reading their stories, it showed me that it was absolutely possible to become a writer and to be successful at it.
- M.A.Greene: Thank goodness for writers sharing their journeys the struggles and all. · What was your publishing journey like for Ouji The Curious Cat from the initial idea to publication?
Blair Cousins: Yes! Shout out to author’s who share! It’s actually kind of funny how OTCC came along. It was completely by accident that the story was even written. I wrote OTCC for NaNoWriMo some years ago, however, during that time I had a different idea planned for it. About three days in I scrapped that idea and started working on OTCC. The idea came to me while I was at work, I work with cats and kind of ran with the idea of what it felt like to be a young kitten at a shelter. After I finished writing it, I thought it was good enough to take a chance on. So I looked into the publishing process, I choose self-publishing because I had control over the timeline. At the time I thought I was going to be too busy to wait for a traditional publisher. The rest of my publication journey was completely trial and error and I’m still learning new things today!
- M.A.Greene: It’s good you did your research. What was the revision process of Ouji The Curious Cat like for you?
Blair Cousins: Very challenging! It’s hard to know what’s right when you’ve read the words dozens of times. That’s why I had betas, but more importantly I hired a developmental editor. He pointed out things in my story that I would have never thought about.
- M.A.Greene: It was good you were so prepared and did not think you could do everything on your own. Some people mistakenly think that self published books have no one other than the writer involved.
Blair Cousins: Oh yes indeed, you have to build yourself a team. It can get pricey, but it’s totally worth it. Making friends in the industry is also extremely helpful.
- M.A.Greene: What are your favorite genres and least favorite genres and why?
Blair Cousins: I like science fiction and fantasy, with a hint of humor, because I like to laugh. I’m not fond of romance or historical fiction though, unless it’s has a fair amount of humor in it of course.
- M.A.Greene: Do you write with music? If so what types of music do you like?
Blair Cousins: I do! I love to write to film scores and edit to soft EDM of various genres. I use Pandora and Youtube a lot, it’s become somewhat of a routine for me.
- M.A.Greene: Will OTTC have a sequel?
Blair Cousins: Yes it will! I am working on four other books right now and though it won’t be out anytime soon I do have lots more adventures planned.
- M.A.Greene: One important question I realized I needed to ask is how you would describe Ouji The Curious Cat to readers?
Blair Cousins: OTCC is a fun and adventurous tale about a cat, named Ouji, who runs away from home to find his place. Along the way, he makes a lot of friends and discovers that the world is a lot bigger than his suburban home.
- M.A.Greene: What age group would you suggest Ouji The Curious Cat for?
Blair Cousins: I would say 10 and up, but it can be read to younger children too.
- M.A.Greene: Ouji seems to be a loyal friend who is a kind hearted soul. How did you go about developing his character and the other animals in the series.
Blair Cousins: I sort of developed him along the way. I don’t really do much with character profiles, though they seem really helpful. I just focus on what his goals are and try to get him there emotionally. Same with his friends, they start off as archetypes and as the story progresses I discovery their wants and needs as well.
- M.A.Greene: Are you a plotter or a panser?
Blair Cousins: I would say I’m a plotter, I don’t make super detailed outlines, but I do plan a bit as I go.
- M.A.Greene: You also have a picture book out. Is that right?
Blair Cousins: Yup, it’s a coloring book with cats. I put it together with my good friend and illustrator, Danielle Dooley
- M.A.Greene: Can you explain how the picture book is related to OTCC and what the process of working with an illustrator was like?
Blair Cousins: The coloring book is its own series, but there is a small reference to OTCC in there. I had to add it, I couldn’t help myself. As for working with the illustrator, it was sort of a shot in the dark. I had an idea and she had the talent. I always loved her art and she agreed to join me. So it was a very informal, but fun process.
- M.A.Greene: If there is any advice you would give aspiring writers what would it be?
Blair Cousins: Write as much as you can as often as you can. Whether it’s your own stories or fan-fiction. Have fun with it and don’t stop.
- M.A.Greene: Thanks so much for letting me interview you. Have a great day
Blair Cousins: No problem, it was a lot of fun.
Blair Cousins is also on twitter. Her twitter name is @BlairEveryWhere and her blog is https://theofficebc.wordpress.com/. To purchase her book Ouji The Curious Cat on amazon https://www.amazon.com/Ouji-Curious-Cat-Blair-Cousins/dp/0998462101/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1542914885&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=blair+cousons+ouji+the+curious+cat