Writer Life & Lessons

Interview with S. M. Boyce – Part IV

“It’s very hard especially at first to separate you from your art, because your art doesn’t necessarily define you.” ~ S. M. Boyce 


C. R. Trumbo and I interviewed the lovely S. M Boyce in April, and and today is the final instalment!

Our thirty minutes of chat about her books, published and in-progress, led to 4,000 words of transcript, so we’ve split it into four parts – two here, and two on C. R’s blog. This week, it was meant to be over at her site, but she’s having some internet problems.

Therefore, please find the transcript below and I’ll let you know when she’s finished editing the video to go with it!

If you missed Part I, click here.

If you missed Part II, click here.

If you missed Part III, click here.

This week, the final instalment, Part IV is below!

The Interview ~ Part IV



Before Writing

C. R. – “I was kind of wondering, what did you do for a day job, to pay the bills before you finally got here?”

S. M. – “I have to prefeace this [answer] with my degree. I have a creative writing and marketing double-major, BSc, and somehow I ended up software testing. I don’t even know how. I broke software for a living.”

C. R. – “Makes sense, I guess, in somebody’s mind?”

S. M. – “It was just the only job I could find in Tallahassee when I lived down in Florida. There’s really nothing in Tallahassee … so that was pretty much my only option. I had to make it work. Lots of fun.”


K. R. – “What were your favourite books and series that as a child, you attribute to your interest in writing, or just that you loved?”

S. M. – “The Hobbit. Definitely. That’s such an awesome, wonderful book. And not really anything like Lord of the Rings, but still – I like The Hobbit better.

I’ve read pretty much everything by Dr. Suess. It helps keep myself silly.

And… have you read The Anybodies by N. E. Bode? I loved that book, I still have my childhood copy. It’s a middle grade book about a girl who was swapped at birth with someone else. She doesn’t fit into her very prim and proper family, and it’s because her real family lives in this magical version of the world. It spirals out of control really quickly but it’s really fun.”


C. R. – This one’s a bit random, and out there. Is there any fandom that you would say you’re a part of? Like the Whovians, Potterheads… Anything like that.

S. M. – “Yeah, alright. I’m a Potter geek. I really like Harry Potter. I grew up with him; he was a month older than me. So, I read pretty much every book as soon as it came out. For some reason though, I really was not into the seventh book. I didn’t like it as much. It peaked at six for me. So it’s kinda hard to say I’m a true Harry Potter fan when I didn’t like the seventh book.

And I’m a Tolkienite. I don’t necessarily know everything about him, and everything about his world or how to speak Elvish but I do really like the series.”


K. R. – “What kind of books would you say that read at the moment? Is there a particular genre that you tend to go for, or do you just read anything?”

S. M. – “Usually I read about anything, except for historical fiction. I just can’t get into that for some reason. But right now I’m on a paranormal fantasy kick, and a paranormal romance kick. So, I’m pretty much devouring everything by Nicky Jefford. She’s an indie writer and I love her. She’s also in Caffeinated Books with me. And she just released the end to the Spellbound trilogy. It was amazing. I have to review it tonight, actually. So, yeah. I’m on the paranormal romance genre right now.”


Now You’re a Writer

C.R. – “If you can, without spoilers, I kind of want to know what you can tell me about books three and four.”

S. M. – “This is such a complicated project that I don’t know how to tell you anything without spoilers. Hold on a second… Let’s see.

There is an even bigger twist in number three than there was in number two. I told one of my friends that and she kind of looked and she was like “how? How is that possible?” But it is. And I think fans are really going to freak out about it. I hope so. That’s the hope.

And the end of number four, very end of the saga; there’s going to be a little bit of a tease – that’s how I write. But I will wrap everything up for you, I promise. You’ll just get a little snippet into letting your mind wander with where it could go next… without giving too much.

This is so hard. I don’t know how to do this without giving away spoilers. I’m trying!”

K. R. – “As long as there are no cliff-hangers at the end of a series I’m generally okay.”

S. M. – “It’s not a cliff-hanger, it’s a cool riddle, kind of thing. Can I tell you anything else? Hold on one second…

Do you like Deidre’s character? She’s probably my favourite character besides Stone. She really plays a massive part in three and four. And you see more of the inner workings of her mind, and how she’s pretty much run the show the entire time. I’ll leave you with that.”

I guess this is kinda a tangent, but if there was ever a film and I was allowed to act in the film, I’d wanna be Deidre because she’s so deliciously evil and you can really let yourself go and just enjoy the character that way.

You’ll have to let me know what you think of Deidre’s evolution in three and four.”

K. R. – “I’m sure we can manage that!”

S. M. – “I love it when you guys tweet me as you’re reading. And tell me all your thoughts and feelings as you go through. It makes my day every time I see one of those.”

C. R. – “I’m probably guilty of that a lot!”

S. M. – “And I love every one that you’ve sent me!”


Do you have any tips to new aspiring writers?

S. M. – “Oh you’re gunna let me ramble, you shouldn’t do that.”

#1 – Develop thick skin:

This is art – writing is art and with any art you’re going to have people who hate it and people who love it and you’re going to have people who hate you because you’re living your dream and they haven’t figured out how to do it yet.

It’s very hard especially at first to separate you from your art, because your art doesn’t necessarily define you. So developing a thick skin is important, and remembering that no matter what anyone says it’s about what’s going on in their life, not about you personally.

That was big lesson number one for me to learn.

#2 Kick Ass Editor:

I don’t who care you are, or how talented you are, make sure you have a kick-ass editor. A content editor who can go through and tell you when you suck along with a copy editor even before you send it off to your agent or a traditional publisher or especially if you’re going indie. Two different people, preferably.

#3 Patience:

It takes a long time to write full time. Keeping patience through that and having some means to survive. Most writers have a full time job along with their published work, and just learning how to balance that life with usually your spouse or your boyfriend or your girlfriend is hard and you have to really learn what your limits are and how to say no… and just know that it’s okay to say no.

#4 FUN!

And have fun! Of course, have fun! There’s no point doing this if you don’t like it… Don’t want to end that on a sombre note or anything!

That’s all for the interview!

Did you enjoy the series?

Were there any questions we didn’t ask?

~ ~ ~

Interested in our books?

* S. M. Boyce’s first book, Lichgates is available [for free on Kindle!] here.

* Information about my novels can be found here.

* Information about Cheyenne’s work-in-progress, The Forsaken can be found here.

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