Author Interview - Erica Crouch

Since today is a very special day for all of Erica Crouch's fans - in case you don't know today's the release of her new novel 'Madly, Deeply' - I decided to post some questions that she kindly answered for me.

Source: Erica's Facebook

Erica Crouch is a young author, best known for her 'Ignite' series. She's 21 years old and is currently getting a degree in English & Creative Writing. She lives in the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland.

1.    Why did you decide to become a writer?

I didn’t mean to, actually. I’ve always loved reading and writing, ever since I was younger, but I didn’t think anything would ever actually come from it. Being an author was one of those dream-jobs kids would say — like astronaut or Indiana Jones. I was going into journalism and public relations (it still had to be something in writing!), but was getting agitated with everything I was writing. It was all stiff and formal and overly factual… And I love throwing around the improbable and impossible! I’m a much better liar. So unless there was a sudden dragon or demon sighting I would need to report on, I knew journalism wasn’t my passion. Once I admitted to myself I wanted to be a writer, I wrote and wrote and wrote until I had something worth publishing. I’ll never look back.

2. Did you have any influences?

I think my influences are very vague. I’m inspired by poetry from all assortments of poets. My next novel, for example, is inspired by a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. I think mostly, I’m influenced by beautiful darkness — in any form of art, literature or otherwise. I do take a lot of inspiration from Libba Bray, though. She’s hands down my favorite author and I admire her world building and imagery.

3. How did you come up with the idea for Ignite?

The characters came to me first — Azael and Pen, specifically. I just had this image of two demons, bickering over morality with one another. And it was so interesting to hear them fight with one another, to banter back and forth over what justice meant and if there was respect in revenge. The further I explored the characters, the more I was intrigued by them, and then a story just spun out behind them. Pen, in particular, was a curious character for me: a reluctant, deadly demon who wants nothing more than to have a soul again. With Pen, Michael, and Azael’s story, I was able to explore some issues and debates I find really intriguing like hope/redemption and relative vs universal morality. I’ve always been really fascinated with mythology and religious studies, especially anything that’s a little darker and twisted.

4. What can we expect from the final book in this series?

A lot! I’m really excited about Incite, and think it will be the best in the series! I have a handful of new characters I’m introducing that I’m already so enamored with — Eli, Ana, and Kala. Incite is Ignite full throttle. There’s battles, romance, heartbreak… Brother hunting sister… Pen really comes into her own in Incite, and there are a few unexpected twists. Let’s just say this: you may be looking in the wrong direction considering the central villain.

5. Is a Spin-Off a possibility?

I think after Incite, I’m stepping away from the world of Ignite. That doesn’t mean a spin-off is not possible — in fact, it might be fun to revisit some of the characters left after everything ends in Incite, but I think the conclusion of the series will be satisfying enough to the reader that a spin-off won’t be necessary. When I first started writing the series, I was considering a prequel spinoff, showing Pen’s life in Heaven before the fall, but I feel comfortable with the prequel story I gave her in Entice that I’m not sure it’d be necessary anymore.

6. You are writing a new book at the moment. What is it about and when can we expect it?

I’m writing SO many new books right now that I’m starting to question my sanity. The next story I’m releasing, Madly, Deeply, is a young adult period piece romance based off of the Edgar Allan Poe poem I mentioned above. Originally, I wrote it with the intention to include in the July PWP anthology (which I am also contributing a story to), but after some early beta feedback, it looks like I’ll be turning it into a standalone novel. That should come out early summer. I also have a new adult science fiction series, the Undying Series, coming up, which will be five books (3 full length, 2 novellas). I’m expecting to release Cut, the first book in the series, this fall or winter. And then I also have a Robin Hood retelling in the works. It’s a gender-bent Robin Hood retelling with a lesbian twist (many merry women instead of merry men); that series — the Feathered Series — will be a duology, released 2015. There are also a few ideas floating around my head that I’m still plotting out, including: a YA horror, a YA contemporary, and a YA spy/assassin novel.

7. Do you have a special place to write and/or is there a specific routine that you follow before you start writing?

I really need to put more structure into my writing, but as of now, I write wherever I can, whenever I can. Sometimes it’s on the couch, or the floor, and other times it’s at a desk. My only real routine when it comes to writing is to open up Scrivener and put on either music or a movie — I can’t seem to work in silence. Lately, I’ve been writing to the Leonardo DiCaprio Great Gatsby movie. I also have about a dozen playlists on Spotify specific to the different manuscripts I’m working on!

8. How does it feel to be so young and already have a stable writing career?

Weird. Mostly because I don’t think of myself as young or stable. I’m still really early on in my writing career, and I have lots of stress about achieving success and financial stability to be able to live. But that’s a writer’s life! I think there’s a lot of stress put on our generation to achieve a lot early on — so much stress that it sometimes feel like I haven’t done enough yet, and that I could be doing more. So that’s what I’m trying to do… More!

9. How did ‘Patchwork Press’ come into being?

Kellie Sheridan (my friend/writing partner-turned-business partner) and I got together over a writing forum. After we exchanged manuscripts and worked with one another for half a year, we started talking about our publishing dreams. There was a lot we wanted to do in publishing, and we kept thinking about how flawed the current methods of publishing can be. Writing/publishing can be a solitary experience — especially for self-publishers — and we wanted to add a sense of community. We wanted to help great stories make it into the hands of readers and help authors out on the publishing journey. We help with editing and marketing, even design, but the authors keep 100% of the royalties. It’s going great so far, and I’m happy to say we’ve gone international!

10. Plans for the future?

Keep writing stories. There are so many characters living in my head that need their voice on paper. I want to write widely in many different genres, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to do that. I really want to keep building my relationship with readers and bloggers who have supported me early on. I want to keep working on building up Patchwork Press, and also help establish the YAWordNerds (a group of YA writers/readers I vlog for on Youtube) as a trusted source for industry advice. Mostly though, I hope to keep writing books that make people excited to read! :)

Now with some off topic questions:

1. What’s your favorite book and why?

The Diviners by Libba Bray. I mentioned Libba Bray is my favorite author, and The Diviners is by far the best book I’ve read by her! It has everything you could ever want in a book — murder, mystery, ghosts, psychics, intriguing characters, interesting debates, and the 1920s! Really, if you haven’t read this book yet, go get it! I know it looks a bit long and intimidating, but you’ll fly through the pages.

2. And if you had to choose between a printed book or an e-book, which would you choose and why?

Printed books. I hoard paperbacks like it’s my job. It’s a bit of a problem. I just love seeing books on my bookshelves, and being able to mark up the pages with highlighting passages or writing in the margins. I like seeing paperbacks get fatter the more they’re read. You can browse my bookshelves and see which books I loved most based on how destroyed they are.

3. What’s your favorite book that is now a movie?

The Book Thief. I ugly cried SO HARD watching that movie, I had a headache for days. It was beautiful and perfect and captured the spirit of the book in a way I never expected it to. I also love all of the Hunger Games movies, of course!

I want to thank Erica Crouch for not only being an incredibly sweet person but also for being an amazing author.

P.S.: I'm currently reading 'Madly, Deeply' and I will soon post a review of it. Keep an eye out for it. Also if you wanna know more about Erica Crouch you can go to her website by clicking here.

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