Make sure to check out Chantele's writing blog, My Writing Bug, and her book blog, There is Always Something to Read.
Please, allow me to introduce my friend and fellow writer, Chantele Sedgwick.
Q--Would you please share some background with us?
A--Let's see... I am the oldest of four. I spent my childhood years playing soccer, softball, learning to play the harp, singing duets with my sister and of course, daydreaming. My family was very close, and we still are. I met my hubby when I was twenty. We even went to the same high school and he was a year older than me, but we never knew each other. We started dating and were engaged within a month. Yeah, I know. Kind of fast. But, when it's right, it's right! And it was definitely right. :) We have three kidlets, ages 5, 3 and 9 months. I stay at home with them and teach harp lessons every week.
Q--Would please share any awards you've won, and anything you've published?
A--No awards yet. Probably because I've never entered anything. LOL. I haven't been published, but I will be someday! (Think positive...think positive...)
Q--What have you done to help improve your writing talent? Any advice?
A--Well, I'm not really one to give advice, since I'm just an aspiring author and all, but I will share what has helped me. When I first started getting serious about writing, I didn't know anything. I wrote my stories, but didn't know formatting, didn't know about agents, or how brutal the publishing industry can be. Since then, I've read agents blogs, authors blogs, aspiring authors blogs, "attended" a few online writers conferences,and I plan on attending my first "in person" conference in the spring! :) I also read books in the same genre I write. That has helped me a ton. And I joined a critique group. Their input is priceless, and I'm so thankful I found these amazing ladies who are honest with me and don't try to sugarcoat things. It's hard to hear things about your writing, but they have pointed out several problems I've had with my manuscripts and have overall made me a better writer. I have an online one and one that meets in person and love both. So, if I could give one piece of advice, join a critique group. It's worth it.
Q--Computer or Notebook?
A--I have a notebook with me at all times and jot down little things from time to time if I'm not home, but I write on the computer. :)
Q--What is the strangest thing, person, place, or event that has inspired your writing?
A--Just one? :) I think my WIP right now is the strangest. I had just finished reading a retelling of . I remember sitting there, thinking back on what I'd just read and an idea popped into my head. Why don't we ever hear the Fairy Godmother's point of view in that fairytale? And to make things more interesting, what if the was a guy? Like, the first male fairy godmother, ever? And what if the girl he had to grant three wishes to, fell for him instead of the prince? Long story short, I wrote the book, and am getting ready to submit it to agents in a month or so. I love it, and even though it sounds really weird, it's the first book of mine that I've absolutely fallen in love with. :)
Q--Would you please share a story about writing with us?
A--I never really thought about writing a book until I realized how often there were characters swimming around in my head, talking to each other. I'd find myself making up stories while I was driving, watching my kids, taking a shower, or whatever. So, one day, I thought I'd start writing my stories down. The moment my fingers touched the keyboard is when I knew I was onto something great. I wrote constantly, keeping my secret from everyone, including my cute hubby. I was embarrassed at what he would think. One day about a year or two ago, I asked him what he thought of me wanting to be an author. He smiled and said, "Why not? You should do it!" I told him about the secret manuscripts hidden on our computer and he just laughed at me, asking me why I didn't tell him sooner. I told him I was scared of what he would think, since it was a really hard career to even get in to. He has been so wonderful since. Cheering me on, and letting me write at night once the kids go to bed. So, all you "closet" writers out there? Don't be afraid to tell people about your love of writing. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I'm so happy I told my husband and my family. Now my friends know, and their reactions have given me more confidence to get a book into print someday!
Q--At what point did you begin considering yourself a bona-fide writer?
A--Probably about six months ago. I looked back on some old manuscripts and compared them to what I'm writing now and thought "Did I really stink that bad?" Just kidding. Sort of. What I really meant was "Look how far I've come."
Q--Do you have a certain process you go through when you write or do you just wait for the "muse" to come out of hiding?
A--I just sit down and write whatever comes to mind. I'm not an outliner. It stresses me out. I just let my story come to me and write by the seat of my pants. I also have a nasty habit of editing as I go along, but it works for me.
Q--How do you balance your writing and your family?
A--I only write when my kids are in bed. Usually at night. My husband does homework while I write. It works out quite well. :)
Q--What is your favorite genre to write?
A--YA all the way! :) I love young adult fantasy. I'm also working on an LDS young adult as well.
Q--What is the best book you've read in the last six months?
A--Tough question. I loved Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, and Matched by Ally Condie. There are way too many others to list.
Q--Was there a book you read as a child (or adult or teen) that got you hooked on reading and/or writing? If so, please share the story.
A--I have always loved reading, but didn't really read in high school since it was "required." It wasn't fun for me. I got introduced to the Harry Potter series right before I got married and have loved reading ever since. It wasn't until about 2 years ago that I started calling myself an avid reader though.
Q--If you could live or experience any story/book you've read, what story would it be and what character would you choose?
A--Seriously? Too many tough questions! Ha ha! I'd LOVE to be a part of the Hogwarts crowd. That world is fantastic! I'm a sucker for a sparkly vampire too, but I would refuse to be as annoying as Bella. :)
I'm still looking for volunteers for Saturday Stories! Make sure to drop a comment and let me know if you're interested.